While it may be true that alcohol and tobacco use among young people have decreased over the years, it seems a different case when it comes to teen marijuana use.
Parents often refuse to acknowledge what is happening to their kids until everything becomes too late. This is because parents and kids feel uncomfortable discussing marijuana and other drug abuse issues. Yet in keeping kids away from pot and other drugs, parents are key factors as they serve as their children’s role models and source of information.
Here are some suggestions as to how parents can keep teens safe and in a healthy environment:
1. The talk about drugs should start early and should be consistent through the years. Remember to include issues like addictions, impaired driving skill and learning capabilities, and other risky behaviors associated with drug use. Cooperate with your child’s school on the matter as they can very well influence your child on his decision making.
2. Parents should serve as role models, so if you are a pot smoker, you must cut the habit immediately and without hesitation.
3. If you have experiences on pot use or other types of drug abuse, be honest and tell your kids you’ve done it. It’s the best way for you to share the destructive effects of your past habits and it will no doubt have a great impact on your kids.
4. Make sure you know your child’s activities without invading their right to privacy. Give concrete guidelines to them when it comes to drinking and drugs and at least ensure that adults are present during teen parties or gatherings.
5. Kids should be able to approach parents when they are in doubt of anything related to substance abuse. As parents, you should be the first persons kids run to when they need proper education and correct information on the subject matter. In short, communication lines should be kept open between you and your children at all times.