Teen drug abuse is one of the most dangerous and common problem facing young people and their families. Interventions for teens and young people are not uncommon. Drug and alcohol abuse poses particularly high risks for teens because their bodies and minds are still developing. Many parents worry about whether their teen is using, and want to do anything they can to prevent their teen from falling prey to substance abuse. The good news for concerned parents is that strong family ties have been found very effective in fighting teen drug use.
The more time parents spend with their children, the more they have the opportunity to stress the importance of living a healthy, responsible life. Teens who feel loved and accepted by their parents generally have much higher self esteem, which makes them far less likely to to use drugs or alcohol. An increased amount of conversation and quality time spent between parents and teens also leads organically to more frank conversations about drugs. Open dialogue about drug and alcohol use is a great way to decrease the allure of “taboo” activities. It also allows parents to feel that they know what is going on in their teen’s life, which likely leads to them treating them with more trust. When a teen is treated with trust and respect, they are far less likely to betray said trust when faced with peer pressure or other circumstances that may tempt them to do experiment with drugs.
Integral Part Of Your Teen’s Life
Being an integral part of a teen’s life means knowing their friends and what their social circle is like. Having a relationship with your child’s friends makes it far easier to remain aware of how they are spending their time. Teens with friends who use drugs or alcohol are far more likely to engage in drug use themselves. Conversely, teens with friends who are athletic or over achievers in other ways are likely to face stigma and disapproval if they engage in dangerous activities. If your child has an activity that they are passionate about, supporting and encouraging them will help them remain focused and determined to continue with it. Having an activity that requires discipline reduces the amount of boredom or idle time that often acts as a trigger for drug experimentation.
Most teens enjoy spending time with their friends, and it is certainly not possible or healthy for parents to be present for all of their children’s social activities, but organizing regular activities such as family dinners or trips or even sporting events helps foster a sense of community and reminds teens that they are an important part of the family, which helps them feel less alienated. If you have younger kids, doing activities as a family helps strengthen the relationship between your teen and their younger siblings. This will help encourage them to be a good role model for their brothers or sisters. It is also a great idea to invite your teens closest friends to join you on some activities. This will lead to your kid’s friends respecting you more and feeling more personal responsibility when they are out with your child.
Parenting a teenager has never been easy. There are new challenges that present themselves daily, and unfortunately, the world is full of risks and threats to your child’s safety. The good news is that by remaining an active and meaningful part of your teen’s life you are shaping them into an individual that you can trust to make the right decisions on their own. You are showing your teen that you care about them and sending the message that they should care about themselves too. Your teen can say no to drugs and you can help them!