Common Concerns About Talking with Kids About Drugs
“I don’t want to be a hypocrite…”
What if you smoke, enjoy the occasional cocktail or experimented with drugs once yourself? This is a legitimate concern, but it should not dissuade you from communicating honestly with your child and sharing what experience has taught you. You don’t have to project a perfect image to be an effective communicator! We are all human, and this is in itself an important message.
“I don’t want to plant ideas in my child’s head…”
Are you concerned that you might inadvertently prompt your child to consider drug use when it wasn’t even in his or her mind to begin with? Don’t worry, discussions don’t suddenly make children users. In fact, you can safely assume that your child is already aware of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. Discussing these topics clarifies information and lets children know your views – it doesn’t invite them to use these substances.
“I am uncomfortable with this role…”
There is nothing wrong with sharing your discomfort with your child. No doubt he or she already senses it. An admission from you reassures your child that your anxiety stems from within you, not from something he or she has said or done.
To make the task seem less overwhelming, you may want to share the responsibility for talking with your child with another nurturing adult in your child’s life. This will make it clear to your child that both of you consider this matter important.