For Parents

For parents, ensuring that your children have positive activities and friendships is growing more complicated by the day. Substance abuse prevention information for parents is helpful – after all, the more you know, the better. Here are some helpful tips to ensure you remain connected to your children, followed by some valuable resources for more information.

Talk with your kids often and maintain good communication.

The better you know your children, the easier it will be to guide them towards positive activities and friendships. This can be accomplished by:

  • Talking to your children every day. Share what happened to you and ask what happened to them during the day.
  • Asking questions that kids can’t answer with “yes” or “no,” such as “What was your favorite part of the day?” Ask your children their opinions and include them in making decisions. Show your children that you value their thoughts and input.
  • Being ready to talk to your children as early as the fourth grade, when they may first feel peer pressure to experiment with alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes. Have regular conversations with consistent messages about the risks of alcohol and other drugs.
  • Practicing how you will respond to tough questions.
  • Listening to your child’s or teen’s concerns nonjudgmentally. Repeat them to make clear that you understand. Don’t preach.

Get involved in your children’s lives.

Young people are less likely to get involved with drugs when caring adults are a part of their life. Adults can get involved by:

  • Spending time doing something your children want to do every day.
  • Supporting your children’s activities by attending special events, like recitals and games, and praising them for their efforts.
  • Helping your children manage problems by asking what is wrong when they seem upset and letting them know you are there to help. When your child seems angry or upset, start a conversation with an observation like “you seem sad” or “you seem stressed.”
  • Empathizing about problems with friends.
  • Eating dinner together at least four times a week.
  • Getting to know your child’s friends and their parents.
  • When your child is going to someone’s house, make sure an adult will be home.
  • Encouraging your child to call any time they feel uncomfortable.

Helpful Resources