How to talk to your child about alcohol and other drugs?
Communicating with your Children
All of our organization’s activities have a common goal: helping people to live full and healthy lives, and acquiring skills and knowledge that will allow them to be more autonomous in all areas of their professional lives, family lives, etc.
As such, Dianova launched the “Listen First” campaign, an international effort to raise awareness about the importance of establishing positive relationships with children, to help them grow up healthy and prevent risky behaviours such as drug or alcohol abuse.
The basis of this concept is something very simple, something we all know how to do but sometimes do not take the time to do: listening. A successful prevention action is not only based on well-designed and intelligent posters or television ads, but also on the willingness of those most interested (in this case, the family) to implement these simple things: listening and talking with your children, sharing with them moments of pleasure, culture, or discovery.
Did you know?
- On average adolescents in Spain start drinking alcohol at 14?
- 13% of adolescents from 14-17 years of age are at risk for addictive behaviours related to the internet?
- Cannabis use during adolescence is associated with the occurrence of mental disorders in adulthood such as anxiety, depression, psychosis, and dropping out of school?
Some tips for improving family communication:
Listen to them
Listen carefully to what your child has to say. Make sure they feel comfortable asking you questions or talking about their problems. Stay calm even if you don’t like what you hear.
Children need to know that they can count on adults to give them the correct information about the subjects that interest them. If you are not available when your child asks you a question, explain why and schedule another time when you can give your full attention.
Give clear messages
When you talk about alcohol and other drugs, be sure to give your child a clear message so he or she knows exactly what you expect from him or her. For example: “it is easier to stay away from drugs, than to get away from drugs.”
A child learns from the examples he/she receives from his or her family. Be sure to be consistent between your words and your actions so that they reflect the same integrity and sincerity you expect from your child.
Praise your child when he/she does something good instead of criticising him/her for the bad things he/she does. If they receive more compliments than criticism, and you show them that they can make the right choice themselves, you can generate their self-esteem and confidence to will allow them to rely on their own judgement.