Addiction Prevention Begins At Home
There is no guidebook to being a parent. However, when you become a parent, you instantly become your child’s greatest role model. Your responsibilities and priorities suddenly shift as you learn new lessons and face unfamiliar challenges.
Being a parent means setting a good example for your child and leading them down a happy, healthy, and successful life path. This may require uncomfortable conversations and being vulnerable with your child to teach them different lessons.
Preventing addiction is something that starts in the home. Children will repeat your patterns and mimic your actions — they learn from you. As children grow into their teenage years, drugs and alcohol become easier to obtain and more tempting to try.
To help prevent your child from struggling with substance abuse, implement these steps at home:
Have a Conversation
Talking about substance abuse and addiction with your children is a difficult and heavy topic. It can be challenging to address but will help prepare them if they are ever offered substances to try in the future.
During this conversation, it is important to mention the consequences of substance abuse, including physical changes, mental changes, and legal repercussions. This is also a good opportunity to teach your child how to say no when they are not comfortable and set personal boundaries with their friends.
Let this conversation be a two-way street with your child. Actively listening to what they have to say on the topic is equally important, so they feel heard and understood. This provides an opportunity for you to correct any wrong beliefs your child may have about drugs or alcohol. It will also help strengthen the relationship with your child and allow them to feel comfortable coming to you about difficult topics in the future.
Create Household Rules
As a parent, you have a lot of power. Use this power graciously with your child as you set household rules for them to abide by. While some parents may not be comfortable with their child trying drugs or alcohol in the family home, others may be more comfortable with their child using substances in the comfort of their home where they are safe.
When you spend time together as a family, avoid any TV shows, movies, or video games that may embellish drugs or alcohol. The media heavily influences people’s behaviors, so promoting only positive programs will also promote positive behavior in your child. As a parent, you can also limit the amount of time your child spends utilizing any of these mediums.
Encourage Positive Relationships
Involve yourself with the friendships your child is creating. Invite their friends to fun family activities and evaluate if the people they surround themselves with are safe. Going to your child’s sports games or competitions is another great way to meet the people they interact with regularly.
Once you get a sense of who your child is spending most of their time with, you can encourage them to foster healthy friendships. Remind your child that true friends will never reject you for not wanting to do something they may not be comfortable with. While children often seek acceptance from others, healthy friendships will never make them feel otherwise.
Start Your Climb Today at Mount Sinai Wellness Center
If your child is currently struggling with substance abuse, the compassionate team at Mount Sinai Wellness Center can help. We recognize the importance of family during the recovery process, which is why we offer a structured family program.
If you would like to learn more about our programs and how we can help both you and your child, call (800) 353-4673.