First, set aside a few minutes a day. Talk about problems or challenges that might have come up during the day and discuss how you handled them. You can ask your child for his ideas on simple matters to help him build problem-solving skills. These skills can help him resist peer pressure to use alcohol and drugs to solve problems.
Decision making skills are important
Children learn how to make decisions. You can guide them with a key set of questions to ask when faced with a choice:
- What am I trying to decide and what do I know about it?
- How do I know my information is accurate? Who gave me the information?
- What more do I need to know before going ahead?
- Who has the added information I need?
Once the decision is made, ask these questions:
- What are the good effects of this decision?
- What are the bad effects?
After this, you can ask your child to reconsider a decision and take responsibility for the consequences.
Second, validate your child’s feelings. Sometimes, children react to situations in ways we think are inappropriate, silly, or overdramatic. That’s because children don’t have the benefit of our adult experience. What is minor to us may be very important to them. For example, if your child says, Mrs. Smith doesn’t like me. She gives me too much homework, don’t dismiss your child by saying, That’s ridiculous. Everyone gets the same amount of homework. Instead, validate your child’s feelings, investigate the situation, and guide her toward a better understanding of the situation. Oh, I wouldn’t like it if I felt my teacher didn’t like me. But does everybody get the same homework assignment? If you’re not sure you have all the facts regarding a situation, assure your child you will take action, such as talking to Mrs. Smith. This lets your child know that you respect her feelings and are willing to help her work through difficult situations.
How To Talk To Your Kids About Drugs – Part Two
Practice active listening. When you show interest in what your child has to say, he or she will open up. One technique to show you’re listening and understanding is to paraphrase what your child tells you. Try doing this the next time you have a conversation. For example, your child says, I like playing soccer, but practice is the same time as my favorite show on TV. You might say, Wow, that’s a tough choice. On one hand, you really like playing soccer; on the other hand, you don’t want to miss your favorite show.
Ask questions. Children have a lot to share when they think their opinions matter. Ask for your child’s input about family decisions. These decisions may range from what to have for dinner to where to go for a family outing. Showing your interest in her opinion will make your child feel more comfortable about opening up to you.
If you are successful in establishing open lines of communication with your child about day-to-day events, he or she will be more likely to seek your input on more serious issues as well. Many of the skills you use in daily conversations may prove useful when discussing tougher issues.
How To Talk To Your Kids About Drugs – Part Three
Express thoughts and feelings. Being able to express thoughts and feelings with someone we feel comfortable around—whether it is a spouse, a coworker, or a friend—can make all the difference in how we feel about ourselves and in how we interact with the world around us.
Similarly, young people need opportunities to express their thoughts and new feelings. When we try to limit the thoughts and feelings of our children, we take a great deal away from them. When we deny that their feelings are real, we are denying that children are individuals with their own perceptions. Young people who are taught to express themselves have an easier time dealing with peer pressure and resisting other temptations.