Parenting isn’t easy. Especially when it comes to talking to your children about alcohol and drugs. Many parents hope to avoid the subject entirely. However, as a parent, you have far more influence than you think, and talking honestly about alcohol and drugs can have a real impact. Iowa Department of Public Health, reports that children of parents who talk to their teens regularly about drugs and alcohol are 50% less likely to use these substances than those who don’t. Yet, only a quarter of teens report having these conversations. Sieda Behavioral Health and Treatment Services and Prevention seek to educate on the importance of talking to your children. To help them understand the dangers and risks, so they are not ensnared.
Here are some guidelines to assist you:
- Listen Before You Talk: It is important your child knows that you are really listening; this is the most important thing you can do to help.
- Talk to Your Child and Ask Open Ended Questions: On a regular basis, talk to your child about their feelings, their friends, their activities and listen to what they have to say. Try to avoid questions that have a simple “yes” or “no” answer.
- Be Involved: Be involved in your child’s everyday world.
- Set Expectations, Limits and Consequences: Make it clear that you do not want your child drinking alcohol or using drugs and that you trust them not to. Be clear about what you will do if the rules are broken.
- Be Honest and Open: Care about what your child is going through as they face and make decisions that will affect their lives now and for the future.
If you have concerns for someone you know or need assistance Sieda Behavioral Health and Treatment Services is available to help. Please call them at 641-683-6747.