Honesty speaking about drugs and alcohol is very important when talking to your kids. Now the detail in which you speak can vary depending on age, but you should still be 100% honest.
Think back to when you were kids. How did your parents talk to you about this? How did you feel? Were you informed after, feeling able to make the right choice or were you left still unsure?
Those questions once asked of yourself can mean all the difference approaching you kids. For example, my dad passed away when I was 11 so this talk was left to my mom alone. She never went down either path herself so any time we spoke, I was told the same thing I heard in school. Remember the frying egg commercial from the 80’s.
Now this left me no wiser and thinking everything I heard was bullshit. Eventually, leaving me to find everything out the hard way.
I will never forget towards the end of high school, mom saying to me “your dad never wanted you to follow him and use drugs or drink!” Well fuck me, I was already binge drinking and well into my drug use. Little late to finally have a true heart to heart.
Would it have made a difference? For me, probably not. I started down that path as a way to kill the pain I was still feeling after loosing my dad. Maybe it would have sparked conversation though.
Having facts from the medical field is good to a point but kids relate better to real life. This is where honesty speaking about drugs and alcohol comes into play. Don’t kid yourself, they are smart and can see right through lies and miss information.
Having facts mixed in with real life is a true benefit. When it comes to real life, speak about the good and bad sides. Give them all the information needed to make an informed decision that is right for them. Us as parents will never be able to stop them from experimenting but we can help them by teaching the pros and cons.
Tell your kids this is why drugs are taken. Not just illegal ones either, but also prescription and over the counter. Also share why people drink, why you drink. Then, tell them what can go wrong. Why they need to be mindful.
Start talking at a young age. Why we use Tylenol, cough syrup etc. Then let them know what happens if they get into it themselves. As your kids age, bring up drinking and illegal drugs. Use the same method of explanation.
This is how I have done things. My kids all have had varying talks about this. My oldest has had more in-depth ones that really took off in the teen years. She made her own choices and I have been told it was very easy to do based on our talks together.
I know there are tons of parents out there that, like my mom have no life experience in this area. Over the next little bit, stay tuned and I will share some of mine. I will write about the good and bad of both drugs and alcohol. Maybe things that you didn’t know.
Feel free to share my experiences good and bad during your talks. You never know, it just might be the information you needed. Information to help your kids make the right choice.