Whether driving the kids to soccer practice, enjoying family dinner, or tucking little ones into bed, it’s important to remember that those every day activities have a lasting effect on your children. Each of these moments offers an opportunity to connect, share and really listen to what’s on their mind.
As children age, it is vital to keep those lines of communication open, especially as they start feeling increased pressure to start engaging in risky behavior including smoking, drinking or using drugs. Adolescence is the critical period for the initiation of risky substance use and its consequences. Nine out of 10 Americans who meet the medical criteria for addiction started smoking, drinking, or using other drugs before age 18. Addiction is a disease that in most cases begins in adolescence so preventing or delaying teens from using alcohol, tobacco or other drugs for as long as possible is crucial to their health and safety.
- Spend time with your kids
- Talk to them about their friends, interests and the dangers of drugs and alcohol
- Answer their questions and listen to what they say
- Recognize that YOU have the power to keep your kids substance-free!