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Your 10-year-old tells you a friend offered him some marijuana (or other substance). You can begin your conversation by asking for more information.

Q: What do you know about marijuana (or other substance)?

A: [Chances are your child will have some information on marijuana (or other substance), but not all of the information may be accurate. If your child doesn’t know about the harms of marijuana (or other substance), you can do the following things together to find out more:]

Ask more questions to continue the conversation.

Q: Do you know what happens if you use marijuana (or other substances)?

A: [Listen to your child’s response. Does he mention any of the consequences listed below? If not, you should mention them. We have used marijuana as the example here. ]

  • Smoking marijuana is illegal and could result in getting suspended or kicked out of school, being sent to jail or juvenile detention, and having a criminal record. All of these things could affect the rest of his life.
  • Smoking marijuana sets a bad example for younger siblings.
  • Smoking marijuana will hurt his lungs and cause him to perform poorly in sports.
  • Smoking marijuana will hurt his brain and could result in memory loss, bad grades, and a loss of motivation.
  • Smoking marijuana would affect his relationship with you and others he cares about.
  • Smoking marijuana would affect the whole family greatly. State what the resulting consequences would be in your family.

For more discussion starters, or to get more information about teen drug use, see Parent drug resource

Communication Is Important Because… Some Kids Use Drugs To Satisfy Curiosity. Children are very curious about alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs. They are exposed to drug messages on TV, in the movies and videos, in newspapers and magazines, at school, on the Internet, and in conversations with friends and family. Even if we have done an outstanding job of educating and nurturing the children in our care, some children will remain curious about alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs. Their sources of drug information may not always be accurate or have their best interests at heart. But you do. That’s why it’s important for you to know about the drugs your child may be exposed to and for you to communicatethe consequences associated with them. Let your kids know that you will drug test them at home . This is a huge deterrent and your kids have a way out with their friend, No way. My parents drug test me!

There Is A Difference Between Boys and Girls

There’s no denying that boys and girls are different. Differences between the sexes become more obvious with the onset of puberty. So do boys’ and girls’ needs when it comes to resisting alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drug use. Boys and girls experience adolescence differently because of various social, cultural, physiological, and psychological challenges. For example, among boys, puberty tends to increase aggressive behavior, while among girls puberty tends to bring a higher incidence of depression.

Studies show that girls may lose self-confidence and self-worth during this pivotal time, become less physically active, perform less well in school, and neglect their own interests and aspirations. During these years, girls are more vulnerable to negative outside influences and to mixed messages about risky behaviors. Girls are also at higher risk than boys for *** abuse, which has been associated with substance abuse.

Puberty generally occurs a year or two later in boys than it does in girls. The physical changes boys go through can cause a lack of coordination that may lead to injury. Boys tend to experience mood swings and can have feelings of anxiety during puberty. During these years, boys crave exploration of things associated with being grown up, including *** behavior or experimentation with alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs. But boys and girls also have a lot in common. They need the same kinds of guidance, information, and nurture from their parents to help them grow into healthy, well-informed adolescents and adults. Both boys and girls are less likely to smoke, drink, or use illegal drugs if they have:

  • A positive attitude, an ability to adapt to changing circumstances, and a belief in their ability to handle things.
  • A warm, close-knit family and parental supervision with consistent discipline.
  • Close friends, an extended family that provides support, community resources, and family and community attitudes that do not tolerate substance abuse.
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