You can teach your child about the dangers of drugs from the day they were born, consistently pound the message of being drug-free into their heads as they grow up, and persistently monitor who they are hanging out with and what activities they are engaging in, but NONE of that matters if you aren’t doing one simple thing…
…building a strong relationship with your child. You can be the most overprotective parent in the world, but if you don’t have a positive relationship with your child, you can’t help them stop addiction if they were to become addicted to a substance. It is vital to let your child know that they can communicate anything with you, ask you serious questions, and that you will always be there for them no matter what.
If you don’t have this relationship, just the opposite of what you want to happen will happen, such as them not listening to what you have to say, going behind your back to do things so that you don’t find out, and rebelling against your wishes. It is important to maintain a positive relationship with your child so that these negative behaviors do not happen, and worse, fall into the cycle of drug addiction.
How Can I Form A Positive Relationship With My Child?
Since the most important factor on how to stop an addiction from forming is having a positive relationship with your child, it is essential to follow these simple steps:
Maintain good communication — By talking to your child everyday, asking them questions that can’t simply be answered with “yes” or “no,” and listening to them in a nonjudgmental way, you will be able to form an open and honest channel of communication with your child.
Get involved in their life — Don’t be clueless as to what is going on in your child’s life, but be aware that the only way to completely know is to ask them. A lot of times, children don’t just come up to their parents and state something; it may require questioning and communicating from your end.
Make clear rules — Don’t set too strict or harsh rules; your child will just rebel. Let them know what is okay and what is not okay, as well as the consequences for wrongdoings. On the other hand, give them praise when they do something good. Let them know that how to overcome an addiction once one is developed is extremely difficult.
Be a good role model — Many children don’t use drugs or alcohol for the sole purpose of not wanting to upset their parents. When you don’t do something, your child is less likely to do it as well. Set a positive example for your children, because if you do something negative, why shouldn’t they?
Help them choose friends wisely — Many people become addicted to drugs because they started hanging out with the wrong people. Teach your child what healthy and unhealthy relationships looks like, as well as how to pick good friends while still being kind and nonjudgemental to others.
Talk to them about drugs — A good way to teach your child about drugs are by showing them real-life examples of what can happen; if you know somebody who’s life was negatively impacted by drugs, if something comes up on the news, etc. By giving them real life examples, they will learn first-hand what can happen to them.
If your child is suffering from addiction or you may be worried that they are, call SAFE Prevention at 1-877-503-2608 as soon as possible. SAFE Prevention can give you the resources you need for addiction prevention and treatment so that you can help your child in the best way possible. Call SAFE Prevention today to get your child started on their journey to recovery!