By Jennifer McDougall

Being the parent to a child of any age can be challenging at times, and there are all kinds of things parents worry about, but one widespread worry is keeping your child safe from drugs and alcohol. Preventing your child from being exposed to things that could potentially be dangerous is difficult, but it can be done by giving them the tools they need to know how to deal with certain situations they may encounter down the road. Here are 6 ways you can start today.

Gain and Maintain Respect From Your Child

Many teenagers have said that one of the main reasons they don’t use drugs or alcohol is because they do not want to lose the respect of their parents. You can do this by keeping balance in your relationship with your son or daughter. Know when to be their friend, and know when to lay down the law and be the parent. If your child is too afraid to talk to you about certain issues they are dealing with, they are more likely to turn to substances to escape their discomfort and problems.

Set a Reasonable Curfew

My parents always told me, “Nothing good happens after midnight.” I still believe this to be true, and growing up, I know that it kept me out of a lot of trouble. It was in high school, “Be home by 10 pm.” After I graduated and still lived under their roof, the rule was always home by midnight. It can be difficult for many parents to get a child to obey the rules you set for them, but with the help of technology, parents can call and text their child’s phone to check in and remind them of the guidelines set in place for them.

Be a Good Example

If you do not want your child to grow up and drink at an early age, or ever, your best bet is to eliminate alcohol from the house. Don’t do something you wouldn’t want your child to do. Be the example of what you expect them to be instead of living by the motto, “Do as I say, not as I do.” Children watch very closely to what his or her parent is doing. They follow in our footsteps and learn from the moves we make. Try to be alert when your children are present to grow up to be strong individuals who have healthy habits and a stable mentality.

Family Dinners

Sitting down as a family at the end of the day to share a meal and talk about your thoughts, challenges, and accomplishments makes it nice- knowing you have people to lean on and talk to. Family dinners are also a good time to learn about what’s going on in your child or teenager’s life. Parents need to know some of what they are experiencing and know how much you love and support them. This is also a time they can feed off of your knowledge and wisdom, helping them make smarter choices.

Get involved in school and community events.

Children and teenagers involved in recreational sporting programs tend to have more confidence and learn a wide variety of skills that can play a major role in their character and academic success. Have a  conversation with your son or daughter about enrolling in a local sporting team or community event to help them step outside of their comfort zone and get more involved with those in their age range.

Educate Your Children on Drugs & Alcohol

Make it known the dangers and effects of using drugs and alcohol. Let them know what to look out for and be cautiously aware when they are with friends or other adults. They may have already been taught a few things in school, but you must instill the warning signs and dangers in their mind so they will be careful and alert. Make it clear that you are always just a call away if they are ever in a bad situation and need to come home.

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Passages, Where Addiction Ends and Life Begins™

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