Momi Shares Tips on How to Talk to Teenagers about Drugs and Alcohol
Talking to your teenager can be difficult at times. However, there are some pressing issues you need to make clear with a teen. As most teenagers are known to be daring, there may be chances at some point during their adolescence that they will use an addictive substance. Though this phase is considered part of growing up, it can turn into an addiction if not correctly managed. It is important to open the subject to help your teenager make the right decisions about drugs and alcohol. It may be a daunting move; thus we share with you a few tips.
Influence your Teen
Teenagers might not be all that willing to admit it, but you are a significant influence on their life. It’s essential then to talk and keep open any dialogue. Find time to have a regular conversation with your teenager. It is prudent, too, to give him the opportunity to discuss how he feels.
Go into the negative implications of alcohol and drugs and how addiction can lead to the need for drug treatment. Help your teen understand the long and short-term effects of drugs and alcohol on mental and physical health. Reiterate as well how it can affect his safety and decision-making process.
Pick the Right Time and Place
Timing is everything when it comes talking to your teenager, but you can set the scene early on by having regular conversations with him in his formative years. Talking with your child about his day and his preferences will make it more comfortable for him to open up as he gets old. When you raise the subject of drugs and alcohol, don’t make him feel like he is under a microscope. Opt for a long drive or take a walk together as you discuss these matters casually.
Be an Active Listener
For a productive conversation with your teenager, approach it with an open mind. Keep calm and appear curious about what he has to say. Ask open-ended questions to reduce the chances of yes or no answers. Practice active listening. Listen to what your teen has to say without interrupting. Sum up what you’ve heard and let him confirm. Use “I” statements so you can express how something makes you feel or affects you.
Show Empathy and Support
The teenage years can be both liberating and tough on your youngster. There are many different pressures to cope with. Help him develop healthier coping mechanisms to reduce the chances of him resorting to drugs and alcohol to deal with stress and problems. Make sure he is aware that you are always there for support and guidance. You want him to be healthy, happy, and make the right choices.
Talking to your teenager about alcohol and drug abuse is not a one time only conversation. Keep the lines of communication open because factors that can influence your teenager are continually changing. It’s important that he realizes he can talk to you at any time about any concerns he may have. This keeps him feeling engaged and safe during turbulent times.