Alcohol and Drug Abuse

Tips for Parents

No one said raising young teens today was easy. They wear different fashions, listen to different music — even speak a different language. Although you may not feel like you can relate to your young teen, studies show that you do influence his/her decisions. Here are some tips to help you talk to your child about the dangers of marijuana use:

  • Play a “what would you do if….?” game.
    Create a hypothetical situation where your child has to make a critical decision. This will give you the opportunity to praise your child’s decision-making skills, while educating him/her about healthy choices.

  • Discuss an article with an anti-drug message from your child’s favorite magazine (Sports Illustrated for Kids, YM, Teen) and talk about how it relates to your child.

  • Design a contract on which your children pledge to stay away from marijuana. You then sign a similar contract, rewarding them for their commitment (coach a team, teach them to drive, etc.).

  • Take time to listen. Young teens will confide in their parents if they feel they can talk openly, without their parents getting upset or interjecting an opinion. Helping your children develop strong self-esteem will strengthen their ability to make difficult decision.

  • Talk with your teen. Anytime is a great time to talk, whether you’re out for a jog, watching TV — even doing dishes.