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Talking to Your Kids About Drugs

Although such topics as the use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs are emotionally charged, they are a natural and necessary part of a communicating process you have with your child.

Clearly, the best time for such a conversation about drugs is when your child brings up the topic. As hard as this may be to believe, some children actually do this. For most parents, however, it’s not this easy and it may become your responsibility to raise the subject. You’ll want to pick a time and a place that make it possible for you and your child to be comfortable and undisturbed.

Remember that the purpose of this encounter is communication, so listen to everything your child has to say. Observe his or her nonverbal cues – they will let you know how he or she feels about having this conversation. Listening means paying special attention to what is said, both verbally and non-verbally.

Communicating with your child about drug use should not be a one-time occurrence or a one-way process. Conversations about tobacco, alcohol and other drugs are not like inoculations that can protect children for all time. Talk with your children often as they grow from preschool to adulthood.