A child’s curiosity will never change, yet the way parents speak to them about drugs and alcohol should change the older they become.
Consider some of the following pointers when having this conversation:
- When speaking to children between 9 and 12, begin the conversation by asking them what they have heard about drugs and alcohol.
- Take a non-judgmental approach and ask open-ended questions, which encourages honest answers.
- Ensure your children know that you are listening to them and paying attention.
- Provide factual and current information, which means doing research.
These pointers help encourage open dialogue and encourage children of this age to speak openly about touchy subjects.
Preventing Early Experimentation with Drugs and Alcohol
Active and close supervision is another way parents can help prevent their children from using drugs or alcohol. The best way to accomplish this is to stay involved in their everyday world. More importantly, keep things out of reach, such as over-the-counter, prescription, alcohol, and even cannabis or edible products.
Other practical steps include getting to know your child’s friends. Parents should also continue to educate their children about the importance of maintaining good health.
Some other essential pointers to consider include the following:
If your child has a phone at this age, monitor their online activity.
Set parental filters and block explicit content.
Speak with other parents of your child’s friends.
Ensure there is parental supervision if your child is away from home.