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Teach Your Child How to Say NO to Drugs

Many parents have a difficult time talking to their children about drugs, in part because it is one of those negative subjects that some parents try to shelter their children from. Still other parents seem to not know what to say to their children about the subject matter, because it is a very delicate subject.

In recent years drugs have been readily available to children and our youth teens are in a environment where drugs can be located or are offered to them on a routine basis. It has become more than imperative to talk to our children about drug use, it can actually save their lives. There is more than just one type of drug that has been used by teens that resulted in death, from that first test, that first point of giving in to peer-pressure  Ejust that quick.

Drug use has become a rising problem; in 2005, the United Nations office on Drug use and Crimes stated that nearly 200 million individuals ages 15-64 regularly use illegal drugs, a number that can decrease with simple conversations and children understanding the affects of drug use.

Grades K-3rd
Allow this to be a conversation that sparks ambitious understanding, start with a simple conversation when administering antibiotics or medications to your child. These are known as drugs, but these are considered medications. Medications help your body to fight off infections and other harmful germs that enter people’s bodies. However, there are drugs that are illegal and can greatly harm a person’s mind and body. It is important to point out to your children that prescription medications are only for the person on the bottle, no one should ever take any one else’s medication as this can really hurt the body.

Take every opportunity to talk  about drugs during teachable moments, when you see a billboard for cigarettes, see a commercial for alcohol,  or see a movie where there is drug or alcohol usage (sometimes they come into movies when we least expect it). When these moments occur be honest to your child about the affects of drugs, alcohol and cigarettes on your body. Show them pictures of lungs that are healthy and lungs from a cigarette smoker. Tell them stories of people whose lives have been affected by drugs.

Main points to address:

  • Be honest about the affects of drugs.
  • Use teachable times to talk to kids about drugs.
  • Talk to your children about the differences between medications and illegal drugs.

Grades 4th-6th
When you really want to make an impact on your children take them to a homeless shelter or a soup kitchen and volunteer together. This will affect children when they see the lives of the homeless first hand. It is indicated that nearly 90% of the people who are homeless have used drugs in the past or are currently using drugs. Inform your children that these people were once caring people who had good jobs and a good life, but whose mind was destroyed or taken over by the addiction of drugs.  This will certainly have a major impact on your children when someone asks them if they want to take some kind of drug, their mind will shoot back to that homeless shelter and think twice about saying yes. We only have one life to live, inform them that we can all make what we want of that life, why would anyone throw it away for drugs?

To get a conversation rolling with older children ask them how they feel about drugs. Children who understand the concept of drugs and the effects drugs cause on lives will certainly have an opinion. Construct your conversation around their thoughts and opinions. Such as if your child says, “I think they’re gross. E“Gross is a good word for drugs, especially when you think about how you stop caring for your health, your life and your family. I think they’re gross too, did you know that certain drugs have been known to kill people the first time they take them?”

Some parents have a hard time putting death into the conversation, but it’s okay to scare your children away from drugs. For those who do make it out of the first attempt to take drugs , they can become addicted with the first hit, drink or pill. Let them know what addiction is, that your body depends on it to be sustainable. This is instrumental in teaching your children the facts about drugs.

Main points to address:

  • Ask your children how they feel about drugs.
  • It’s okay to scare your children where drugs are concerned.
  • Volunteer with them at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter, showing them the affects of drug use.

Resources that can help you in your venture include:

Games & Facts for Kids

Posted in Health.

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