My 9-year-old son has always been curious. He asks a lot of questions. I should clarify that he asks a lot of thought provoking questions. It started years ago when he saw someone smoking and for weeks wanted to know all about it. He wanted to know why someone would do it when it was so harmful to their body, etc. He knows all about smoking and the dangers of it.
He came to me a few days ago wanting to know more about Whitney Houston, her death and her issues with drugs.
I thought I would share some tips that I came across while researching the topic:
1. Start Early
It is never to early to talk to your child about drugs. Once my son started asking questions, we started telling our two other children as well even though we were younger. They probably don’t understand as much but they
2. Talk it Out
When you hear news like athletes using drugs or the death of Whitney Houston, use this as a conversation starter with your child. Let them know about the risks and effects that drugs can have on them. These can be teachable moments.
3. Ask Questions
Ask your child if they have talked about drugs before or what they know about drugs. Ask tough questions such as “do you have friends who have tried drugs? or do you know where you can get drugs?” I have asked my kids this several times and while they have always answered no, I figure that I will keep asking.
4. Be There
Letting your child know that you are there for them to discuss the subject at any time can be comforting to them. If your child knows that they can come to you with questions and concerns, then they will do just that. I always tell my kids that they can ask me anything and I will answer.
It can be hard sometimes as a parent to discuss a topic like this when the tendency is really to lecture and tell them about all of the bad things that drugs can do to a person.
When my son came to me about Whitney Houston, he was curious about death and drugs plus there were a few things that he didn’t understand. By listening to what he told me and the questions that he asked, I was able to answer all of his questions in a conversational tone rather than a lecture. I knew he stayed engaged in our conversation because he kept asking more questions.
6. Establish a Family Policy
Just a few days ago, based on this conversation, we established a family policy on drugs. Our kids can ask any questions they want about anything and we will answer. As a family, we pledged not to do drugs and to tell someone else in the family (like mom or dad) if we were ever offered drugs or felt tempted.
HAVE YOU TALK TO YOUR CHILD ABOUT DRUGS?
Check out TimetoTalk.org.They have some great conversation starters and an entire downloadable toolkit for talking to your kids about drugs. It is never too early to start.
Read more from Stacie on her blog: The Divine Miss Mommy.
Photo Source: Microsoft Stock Images