Do you worry that your teen may be hanging out with the “wrong crowd”? Identifying addiction issues in youth early is important. There is some truth to the claim that who you spend your time with impacts how you become. This is why it’s a good idea to learn who your children are friends with, maybe even host get-togethers at your house as much as possible. Even if you stay out of the way of what they are doing, you still have a general idea of what is going on. You can ensure that your child is not touching drugs or alcohol easier when you are nearby.
Be a Friend
It’s said that you shouldn’t be friends with your child. Yet you should maintain a distance in that way so that you can demand respect and discipline them. However, it is possible to do both. Let your teen know that you are there to talk at any time. Find out what they like to do and what they are interested in. Go shopping together, have regular sit-down meals as a family, and try not to freak out about every little thing they say or do.
You want your child to feel comfortable enough to come to you if they are feeling pressured to drink or do drugs, or if they have gotten involved in something that is concerning. If you are around often and talk to your child with respect, love and caring, he or she is much more likely to confide in the event that something happens.
Talking About the Issues Early
You don’t want your child drinking alcohol or using drugs. You should make them aware of the dangers of abusing such substances. Explain how it can affect a person physically, psychologically and how that can in turn cause damage in the individual’s life. You may want to talk about someone you know personally who had an addiction. Show your teen videos or websites that discuss these matters.
Activities such as sports, school band, choir, chess club, church youth groups and more are important for providing structure, pride, and enjoyment for children and teens. Encourage your child to find a hobby (or a few) that he or she can really get into. This definitely helps with preventing the temptation to try alcohol and drugs. Even something as simple as spending more time with positive role models and helping out with the family can make it easier to avoid addictive substances.