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It's Never Too Early to Talk to Your Child About Drugs

Aug 27, 2008
Some parents think that they don't have to bother talking to their children about drugs and alcohol until they are teenagers. Wrong. National studies show that the average age when a child first tries alcohol is 11; for marijuana, it's 12. What a scary thought. Therefore the earlier you open up a dialogue with your child about drugs and alcohol, the better.

Talking to Toddlers About Drugs

As soon as your child is able to understand you, you should talk to them about drugs. Of course, you need to tailor the talk to their level of understanding. Start by talking with them about the drugs in your medicine cabinet. It is important that they understand that they should never take medicine unless mommy, daddy or another trusted adult gives it to them. Let them know that if they take too much medicine it can make them very sick.

Talking to School Age Children

As your child gets older and enters school they are going to be exposed to different children and even older children. So it's important to broach the subject again more in depth before someone else "educates" your child about drugs. The information they may receive from other students can put them at risk of all kinds a problems.

* At this time you can start being more specific about different types of drugs and how they negatively affect the body.

* Don't forget to add alcohol and tobacco into the mix. Most children have witnessed someone around them drinking alcohol or smoking by this age. Make sure you are honest about what effects alcohol and tobacco can have on the body as well.

* If you are having trouble explaining things to your child then look for books and videos on drugs that tailored for young children. Be sure and talk to your child about the book or video afterward.

* Make sure your child understands that if someone offers them drugs, alcohol or cigarettes, they should say no and tell you about it. You can even do some role playing with your child to reinforce this concept.

Important Things to Remember

* Let your child know that they can ask you any questions they have about drugs and alcohol.

* Take advantage of those moments in everyday life to talk about drugs with your child. Some moments might be when issues about drugs and alcohol come up on television, in a magazine or in your own family.

* As a parent you should educate yourself about the different types of illicit drugs, what forms they come in and what they look like. It is important that children know this information as well in case they ever encounter someone with drugs.

* Be sure and model good behavior. Children are more likely to drink, smoke or use drugs if their parents do.

* Hopefully by starting early and keeping the lines of communication open about drugs with your child will help when you reach those difficult teenage years.
About the Author
Find helpful and creative ideas for parents and grandparents while you shop our great selection of kids furniture (including our popular toy boxes) and classic toys. Visit www.TheMagicalRockingHorse.com today!
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