There’s no way you can protect your kids from drugs and alcohol, but you can help your child turn down offers to try them. Before working with your child on this topic there is one thing you should know: children and adolescents do not usually receive drugs from strangers, they get them from their friends. This is the most difficult problem of all, teach children to say no to their friends, that is to say to the people for whom they seek validation, recognition and fun.
Peer pressure is often to blame
Forcing your child to say no to his friends is not an option, it is advisable to encourage your child to avoid friends who may use drugs. A great way to prepare for these drug-related situations is by teaching them from a young age and offering them strategies so that they feel self-esteem and enough confidence to achieve it. It is important to practice the situations with role plays and scenarios with children before these situations actually occur.
It is normal for adolescents not to want to talk to their parents about the pressure who suffer so that they drink alcohol or take drugs, but they tend to face constant group pressure. For example, your child may see their teenage friends enjoying drinking or drugs and feel like they want to be a part of what’s going on, too. Or, he may be afraid that her friends will think he’s not so ‘cool’ if she doesn’t join them.
For all this, it is essential that parents work from the time their children are children to prevent them from falling into drug use in the future. But how do you get this from any age?
How to prevent drugs at any age
No matter how old your child is, surely you can work to make him aware of the danger of alcohol and drugs and that in this way, it is your decision to say no to the consumption of these substances.
From 2 to 4 years old.
- Have a base of healthy habits and if the child sees someone in the environment smoking or drinking, let him know that this is bad and that you disapprove.
- From 5 to 8 years old. At this age children still want to please their parents and begin to explore their individuality, promoting healthy habits, self-esteem and self-confidence is fundamental. It allows them to make decisions and work on critical thinking.
- From 9 to 12 years old. Preadolescents are seeking to discover their place in the world. They want to give their opinion and show their energy, they start to question their parents and the parents of their friends. You will need to provide additional supervision for your child.
- 13 to 15 years old. For parents, this is a crucial time to help children make positive decisions when faced with situations where they are offered drugs and alcohol.
- 16 to 18 years old. When it comes to drugs, your child will need to make smart decisions. His life will have been a drug-free life for many years and it is not something that should change now.
It is imperative that as your child grows, you do not mark that drugs or alcohol it is a taboo subject, just let him know the dangers of the abuse of these substances and that they should not be taken as a joke, not even to be socially accepted. Communication and empathy must be very important between parents and children. You should be their best example of healthy living, remember that your child learns directly from what you do, and not just from what you say.