Parents have many opportunities to foster healthy, drug–free lifestyles in their children, playing a dominant role in their children’s emotional and interpersonal development from infancy. Children are taught ethical values and responsibility through what social scientists call “Modeling,” or demonstrating acceptable behaviors for children to follow.
Parents who have responsible habits and attitudes regarding drug use send a healthy message and strongly influence their children’s ideas about alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. Parents are models for their children, and even the use of legal drugs may send the wrong signal.
A basic reality is that children will have to make their way in a world that is filled with opportunities to use drugs, but parents can prepare their children to make positive choices. High self–esteem sometimes helps children resist peer pressure to use drugs, but not always. Research is unclear about the relationship between self–esteem and drug use. However, all children need opportunities to practice decision–making and to become aware of the consequences of bad decisions. Parents need to provide clear, factual information about drugs and their effects.
They also need to appropriately supervise their children. For example, parents should know their children’s friends and be aware of what their children are doing. They also need to ensure that there is proper supervision of after–school and weekend activities and that all parties are chaperoned by responsible adults.
Try becoming a positive role model
No parent is perfect, and everyone makes some mistakes. Teach them the proper way to behave. Make the most of the opportunities you have with your children. Good parenting strategies will pay off in the long run.
Family membersSpend enough time with family members
Parents should always try to spend quality time with their children. parents can engage children in some enjoyable activities, such as playing games, sports, etc. this helps parents to interact with children and pay attention to them. This gives your child a sense of security and shows that you care for them.
Showing real interest in what your child is doing, saying, thinking, and feeling is very important. It demonstrates to your child that you care about them, and helps them feel important. Feeling cared for and important helps them understand that their parents will love them even when they do something wrong, and that their parents will always be there to help them.
Express your feelings
Love can be expressed and communicated in many ways. Such as simply saying “I love you.” can do wonders. Communication also occurs by more subtle, non–verbal cues, such as gestures, tone of voice, facial expression, etc. Children are particularly good at picking up on non–verbal messages.
Provide physical and emotional support
Children always expect support from parents. If you fail do so at proper time, it can send wrong signals to your child. When family members nurture each other, providing real care and loving concern, individuals develop the strength to handle their problems.
Discuss what you expect from them
It is very important for children to understand what is expected of them. Without clear expectations, children won’t know how they are supposed to behave, and they may act inappropriately simply because they don’t know what you want them to do. Once the expectations are clear your children will get an idea of how to behave.
Both parents need to agree on the same set of expectations for their child. Otherwise, home life will become confusing and difficult for both the child and the parents. Finally, it is important to let your child know when they have fulfilled your expectations. In this way, they will learn more clearly what they should do. Also parents should praise children for behavior that meets their expectations.
Involve your children in household chores
Parents can start giving kids household chores at an early age, permitting kids to make informed decisions about things that affect them, and teaching kids responsibility toward others.
Parents also need to realize that it is natural for children seek their independence, and one of the tasks of parenting – perhaps the hardest – is letting go. Nonetheless, parents need to allow children more and more independence in their activities and choices as they develop through the teen years. part of a parent’s job is encouraging children to make their own choices in matters they can handle at their present stage of development. By gradually loosening our tight grip on children, we give them the chance to practice making choices while they still have a firm home base of support, so they will be prepared to make good decisions when they are out on their own.
There are many reasons that kids turn to drugs. But there also are many steps that parents can take to help their children stay drug–free. Parents can play a critical role for their children: “Therein lies the key: that children feel secure in their parents’ love. You’ve no doubt seen cars sporting the bumper sticker ‘more hugs than drugs’? It’s not just a clever slogan, doing so can truly make a difference.”
Ask the right questions
Always keep track about your teen’s whereabouts. Keep in touch with your children.
Ask your children to inform you when they are going to come late and where they go.
- Make a list of his/her activities for the coming day.
- Know your teen’s friends. Keep in touch with your teen’s friends’ parents. Make a point to attend parents meet get–together’s at school or college.
- Work with other parents to get a list of everyone’s addresses, e–mails, and phone numbers so you can keep in touch with your teen.
- Show up a little early to pick up your teen so you can observe her behavior.
- Occasionally check to see that your teen is where he says he’s going to be.
- Lots of teenagers get in trouble with drugs right after school – from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Try to be with your kids then, but if you can’t, make sure your child is doing something positive with an adult around: Sports, jobs, clubs, after–school programs or religious youth groups. If your kids have to be home, make sure they are doing homework or chores and not handing out with friends.
Every parent feels overwhelmed from time to time. If you feel your family life is continually in turmoil or if you are always worried about your teens, you can reach out to other parents, as parents have always done, for ideas and support. There is also a great deal of family life education material available in audio, video and printed form. Similar material for people of different cultural backgrounds is beginning to become available. You can also ask your doctor for names of agencies where you can get professional counseling and parenting advice.