Together, We Grow
The prevention of addictions and
other risk behaviors
starts in the family
When adolescence begins, with all the changes that accompany this period, teenagers have to face new challenges, and in many instances, risky behaviors arise.
as Health Agents ❤️
First outings with friends, first cigarettes, repeated episodes of binge drinking, withdrawal, single-minded focus on video games, compulsive social networking, a bit of cannabis found in your teenager’s room… There are many examples of risky behaviors, and parents are often ill-prepared to deal with them. They feel powerless and helpless.
The solutions to help these parents lie in promoting their educational role and in helping them to re-establish communication with their teenager. However, a genuine prevention of risky behavior should begin well before adolescence. It begins in the family.
The driving role of parents
Parents play a leading role in prevention. This involves establishing quality relationships with their children, and teaching rules, responsibility and self-reliance. The family is the ultimate place where the child can build their reference points. A good family environment enables them to assert themselves, gain confidence and acquire a good self-image.
For parents, it involves a role-modelling of acceptable alcohol-related behaviors; it involves teaching them a positive and safe use of technology, from an early age. It also involves promoting communication about these issues, recognizing the challenges children and teenagers may face and discuss these challenges. All of this is part of good prevention in the family.
The Only Thing Impossible
Is What We Do not Attempt
Becoming a self-reliant, healthy adult is a journey fraught with dangers.
Addictions and other risk-taking behaviors can pose a serious threat to the development of adolescents.
From there, everything becomes possible!
Doesn’t Always Help Communication
As the saying goes, our children and teens are “digital natives
However, all of them need guidance on how to use digital tools in a positive, safe and productive manner, thus avoiding the pitfalls of addiction, cyberbullying, trolling, and inappropriate contents.
Families should provide this guidance, while promoting healthy and creative spaces, tech free.
Listening is Love
Children do not grow up in a vacuum. They grow up in a social setting, surrounded by their loved ones.
To help them lead a fulfilling, responsible adult life later, it is essential to treat them with respect and benevolence, so that they come to perceive and expect these qualities as normal.
When they are talking to us, listen to them. Without doing other work, cutting them off or judging them.
Nurturing our Family,
New year’s resolutions often include spending more time with our families. We rarely follow through though, due to the hustle and bustle of daily life, schedules, etc.
Yet, quality time spent with one’s family has a definite impact on the well-being of children, their sense of belonging, their development, and later, their life choices.
So let’s make the effort. Really.