It is never too early to starting talking about substance abuse with your children. However, it can be difficult to determine at what age your children should be aware of certain things. There are certain things that every child should by by the time they reach certain ages.
Starting the conversation at a young age is beneficial because toddlers are more likely to listen to what you have to say. It is a good stage in their life to start practicing decision-making and problem solving skills that will be helpful for them in the future for when they need to say “no”. Here are some helpful pointers on what to talk about with your children.
While your kids are in kindergarten through third grade is when you should start introducing them more to what drugs and alcohol are and the consqeuences of misusing them. Discuss with them how any non food related things that they put into their bodies can be harmful to them. introduce to them the idea of addiciton and the affects it has. Here are some more key points to bring up with them.
During your child’s preteen year be sure to emphasis a strong stance against drugs and alcohol. Explain to them that anything taken in excess, whether it is cough medicine or aspirin, is dangerous. It is really important that your child’s attitude toward drugs and alcohol is strong before the enter middle school or high school. It’s during middle and high school where peer pressure plays a large role in what kids do and don’t do. Which is why it is so important to instill an anti-drug attitude in your kids at a young age. The following are key points to discuss with your child.
Many peoples first time trying drugs or alcohol occur during the early teenage years, when peer pressure is heavily prevalent. It is during this stage in their lives that they would be more responsive to hearing the more serious and life threatening facts about use drugs and alcohol. Help them build the confidence they need to stand up against peer pressure when the time comes. Give the permission to use you as an excuse, “My mom will kill me if I drink a beer!” “Upsetting my parents” is one of the top reasons preteens and teens give for why they won’t use marijuana.
Starting the conversation early in your children’s lives is one of the best preventative measures a parent can take in making sure that their child does not fall into drugs and alcohol later in life.