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Now that you are informed about the typical signs that indicate drug abuse, you are prepared to discuss the issues that concern your child: What they are afraid of; the force of peer pressure and a whole host of other topics may come up. The most important thing is that you engage in a dialogs and don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions. In order to prepare your son or daughter for the world and for the offers of drugs they will most likely encounter, take an involved approach to parenting:


No loving relationship can exist without communication. Teens have valuable things to say and, when a parent listens genuinely, it helps self-esteem and confidence. The most important thing to remember when it comes to talking about difficult subjects like drinking and drugs is that it's not a five-minute "talk" — it's about building an ongoing dialogs. As your children grow up, they will need more and more information, so start early, build on the conversation as your teen matures and always keep the lines of communication open.

These conversations don’t have to be formal, sit-down discussions, but even from an early age, talk about drugs, how you feel about them and remember to listen to their concerns.

By establishing this communication with your child from the start, they are more likely to come to you in times of crisis, or when they are confronted with drug use for the first time. Likewise, showing that you know a lot about the subject shows your child how much you care and that you’re serious when it comes to drugs. Emphasize the health aspects of using drugs and their negative impact on quality of life. But most of all, just let your child know you understand the pressures they face as a young person today and try to help them work through these moments.


Make sure that your child knows you are against drug use. They should know that you disapprove of any drug use and that you are serious about it.


You can have sit down talks with your kid about the serious implications of drug use, but if you’re not there for them when they really need you, talking won’t matter that much. Let your child know you’re there for them and will always be there for them. Let them know they can come to you when they need to. Reinforce the notion that even if they’ve broken the rules, you still love them and will help them through their issues. Often times, the most insightful and helpful talks you will have with your child will be entirely impromptu, and initiated by your teen.


Telling your kid to “just say no” isn’t enough. If your child should actually be oered drugs, resisting peer pressure can be tough and overwhelming. So rather then sending your child out into the world unprepared, take the time to practice potential conversations they would have. Visit http://www.drugfree.org/parent for some great scenarios that can help you teach your child just how to say “no” and stand up to peer pressure.

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