Talking to your teen about drug use is hard. With all the publicity that drug use receives in popular media, and in the new it has become almost commonplace. To have used drugs before, and to now talk to your teen about why not to use might be really hard. Luckily we have found a little guide that may be able to help you through this difficult time.
The fact that you’ve had experience may actually be an advantage
- THIS ISN’T ABOUT YOU. We all want to warn our kids against the dangers of drug abuse. But the single biggest reason many of us are reluctant to start the conversation is because we’re afraid we’ll be asked the uncomfortable question : “Mom/Dad…..did you do drugs?” So let’s start by stating the obvious: This isn’t about what you did or didn’t do. It’s about what your child is going to do or not do. So let’s talk bout how personal experiences might help steer your child in a good direction.
- EXPERTS DISAGREE For every psychologist who recommends openness and honesty about your past, another
advises caution. The fact is, you can say too much. A good place to start is by considering your child. Some kids demand candor. Others are happy just to talk. Use your judgement. You know your kids better than anyone.
- WHEN TO LIE. In our opinion? Never. Some parents who used drugs in the past choose not to tell the truth, but risk loosing their credibility if their kids discover the real story from a talkative uncle at a family party. Many experts recommend giving an honest answer, or no answer at all.
- THE WHOLE TRUTH? Try to avoid giving your child more information than he or she asks for. It’s a not a courtroom, it’s a conversation.
- SAY WHAT YOU MEAN TO SAY. Like other important conversations you’ll have with your kids, the point you’re trying to make is what really matters. In this case. it’s crucial your kids understand that you don’t want them to use drugs. Don’t beat around the bush; say so. Then give your reasons why, and yes it’s ok to have a lot of reasons.
- What have you learned? Before you talk, take stock. You’ve lived your entire life in a culture where drugs are a fact of life. From the headlines on TV to your own experiences, you’ve seen to many examples of how drugs can change young lives for the worse. Your own experiences with drugs are just part of the bigger picture. The real opportunity is to share what you’ve learned.
This is just half of the original article, to read more about how to talk to your kids about doing drugs if you have done them, follow this link to an easy to print and take with you .pdf article. What do you think, we want to hear form you in the comment section below on how you talk to your teens, or how your parents talked to you about drug use.