We recently talked about the program D.A.R.E., (Drug Abuse Reinforcement Education) and how a few years ago it was thought that by teaching kids to “just say no” to drugs would stop them from using drugs. Then it was proven that was not working.
So as a single mom of teenagers, what can you do to educate your daughter or son on alcohol and drug abuse? We have four tips to share with you:
Simply giving them warnings and telling them about the consequences of drug use won’t prevent them from trying things. Start talking to them during the preteen years and incorporate it with their goals and motivations as encouragement for them not to try drugs. Why do you need to start a positive reinforcement at such a young age? Over 12 percent of 8th grade kids surveyed in 2011 admitted to use of some kind of drug with the past month.
First Build Ties and Resiliency
More than we may realize, preventing drug abuse doesn’t have to start by talking about drugs. It is talking to your teen about things that can lead to alcohol and drug use, like stress. Talk to your kids about being resilient and how to solve personal problems without turning to things like alcohol and drugs. During the teen years it is hard for kids to manage their emotions. By forming strong family support, you form strong emotional support and that will help steer alcohol and drug abuse away. Small things like having the whole family present for the evening meal at least three to four times a week is a big step in forming that support.
Provide Examples of Real-Life Problems
While as a single mom, you will try to always be the right example for your teenagers. But you can’t hide the problems of what kind of consequences alcohol and drug addiction can bring. Talk to them about other teens they may know that have had or currently has an addiction and how their lives have changed. If your child is mature enough, talk to them about any family member that may have had a problem in the past or are going through it now.
The Health Issues
When talking to your teenagers about alcohol and drug use, approach them with being concerned about their health. This will have a more positive effect than an interrogation approach. Carry the conversation as you would if you were talking to them about diabetes, exercising, heart disease, etc.