How Young is Too Young to Talk to My Child About Substance Abuse?
9 and underYounger kids may be aloof to what alcohol and drugs really are. Seeing mommy or daddy drink or use might give them the impression that drinking and using is okay. Set a boundary with them to not take any medication or drink any alcohol without consulting with you first especially since they are not legally old enough. This can set the standard for them now and in the future.
10 to 13Answer any questions your tween may have to inform them on what drugs and alcohol do. This should not be a time to lecture or criticize but rather a chance to give them insight on how to make better choices for their future. Let them know they can come to you with any questions they may hear or see to alleviate any confusion they may have.
13 to 18Your best bet with teenagers is to be transparent and give them the truth. They are old enough to read between the lines and if they do not hear it from your perspective, they can be swayed into thinking something other than what your beliefs may be. This is a time kids often start experimenting and you want to be there to walk them through making the right decisions. Talking to your teen will help the both of you when you share your instincts on the matter of substance abuse. You may think you are saving them by not talking to them about something they cannot legally participate in until they are of age. The truth is that you may save their life by being upfront with them about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.
Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center can help your teen with their drug and alcohol abuse. Our unique, adolescent, substance abuse program provides our patients with a customized and comprehensive level of care to maintain their sobriety.
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