Do you suspect your child might be using tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, or worse? And if they’re too young, or you don’t suspect drug use, how do you prevent your child from using in the first place?
As an Empowering Parents 1-on-1 Coach, I speak with many parents who struggle to free their children from addiction. Their experiences are incredibly frustrating and isolating, yet frighteningly common.
To help prevent drug abuse, a good first step is to “teen proof” your home, as described in My Child is Using Drugs or Drinking Alcohol — What Should I Do?. Remove any substance that could be abused such as alcohol, prescription medications or tobacco. If it’s not possible to remove these substances from your home entirely, try to at least create barriers to access. This includes putting substances in a locked cabinet, safe, or box.
If you suspect your child is using substances, it’s important to intervene as early as possible in order to get support for both you and your child. “Yes, Your Kid is Smoking Pot” What Every Parent Needs to Know offers effective, comprehensive tips for parenting kids with addiction.
Even if your child is not currently using drugs or alcohol, it’s still necessary to talk about your stance on substance use. In Lesson 4 of The Total Transformation, our at-home parenting program for addressing bad child behavior, James Lehman emphasizes how crucial it is to have early, ongoing discussions about your family values. Modeling these values through your actions is vital to creating a healthy learning environment for children.
Substance use is an incredibly challenging issue to navigate, and some parents may need more support and guidance. If this sounds like you, take a look at Life Over The Influence — our program for knowing what to do when someone you love uses drugs or alcohol.
Hang in there! As hard as this is, the Empowering Parents community is here to support you.
Rebecca W., Empowering Parents Coach
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Quote of the Week! “The truth is, you don’t have control over your child’s choice to use substances — but you do have ultimate control over your response.” – James Lehman, MSW