As a single parent of a teenager, you most likely have heard about D.A.R.E. This stands for Drug Abuse Reinforcement Education and is a program that schools follow to teach kids about drugs. It taught kids to “just say no” to drugs and in the perfect world, it was believed that was enough to stop drug abuse among teens.
Well after ten years or more of using this program, experts have found that it wasn’t enough. But does this mean you don’t need to talk to your teen about drug use? Definitely not! If anything, more talk at home about the abuse and use of drugs is needed. But as a single mom, maybe you aren’t sure how to go about it and where to start?
Quickly Confront Problems
If your teenage daughter or son is caught or you suspect them of using drugs, don’t wait to see what happens. It may be something they will “outgrow”, but it may be something that becomes a habit too. As soon as you have any suspicion that your teenager is drinking or using drugs of any level, confront them.
Talk To Your Teen Before They Are A Teen
Start talking to your kids before they become teenagers about alcohol and drug addictions. Studies have shown that the earlier you intervene can be the first step in prevention. The average teenager has taken their first alcoholic drink by the time they are fifteen. So how early should you start talking to your kids about this topic? Start having conversations with your kids at the age of eight years old. This will allow you to dispel any false or misinformation they could hear from peers and others. It has been proven that kids as young as 11 years old have been introduced to drugs on the school bus.
Make Clear Your Boundaries and Your Expectations
Every teenager knows that mom doesn’t want them to drink or use drugs. Almost 90 percent of the kids survey in 2010 said they know that their parents would not approve of them trying pot even once. And yet, most parents will still hesitant having that talk with their kids. You have to set up your boundaries and make your expectations clear to you kids before they become a teenager. If you find yourself a single mom with a teenager, it is never too late to set those boundaries and make your expectations clear. Many parents are going the route of creating a pledge in writing that both the parent and the teenager sign.
Take precautions in the medications you dispense at home as well. If you have any leftover prescriptions medications, dispose of them instead of leaving them around “just in case” somebody has as tooth ache or pulled muscle later on.