Helpful Principles to Follow When Talking to Your Children About Drugs, Sex and Alcohol

Examine your own attitudes and beliefs.

  • When it comes to talking to children about difficult subjects like sex, drugs, and alcohol, the first
    thing you need to do is examine your own beliefs and attitudes.
  • Remain calm when these topics come up with your children.
  • Encourage other parents to talk to their children about these topics.
  • Talk to your children about what you expect of them with sex drugs and alcohol even if it is different from your own past behavior.
  • Relax. The more comfortable you are discussing these topics the more comfortable your children
    will be.

Your children think differently and understand these topics differently than you.

  • Pay attention to the things your child is saying. Especially pay attention to the questions your
    child asks you.
  • Share information that is age appropriate for your child.
  • Children have to mature to perform some activities.
  • Because healthy children are curious and enjoy exploring, they especially need to have limits and
    boundaries that are clear to them about sex, drugs and alcohol.

Guide your children to correct information.

  • If you do not teach your children about sex, drugs and alcohol they are sure to be taught by some
    other source and you may not agree with that source.
  • Start early with giving information to your children.
  • Anticipate your child’s next stage of development and share information before they reach that
    stage.
  • Communicate your values.
  • Talk about the Don’ts, but spend more time talking about the Do’s.
  • Remember that your example speaks louder than words.
  • Make family rules simple and clear.

Children Need to know you care about them and their future.

  • Let your children know that you understand how they feel whether they are dealing with peer
    pressure or with their own physical desires.
  • Don’t just share the facts about sex, drugs and alcohol with your children, share your feelings.
  • Encouraged your children to do positive things like spending time as a family or getting them
    involved in a sport or hobby.
  • Talk positively about what you hope they will become in the future.
  • Share your spiritual beliefs.

The best way to motivate your children to make good choices regarding sex, drugs and alcohol is
to get involved in their lives.

  • Take advantage of informal learning opportunities. (For instance if Aunt Betty is pregnant you can
    start talking about where babies come from).
  • Use open ended question (What do you think can happen to you if you use drugs that you are not
    supposed to use?).
  • One of the best ways to advocate for you child’s well being, in the area of sex, drugs and alcohol
    is to take the initiative. If you don’t initiate the conversation someone else will.
  • Remember that you are a partner with your child’s teacher. It is not the teachers primary
    responsibility to teach your child about sex, drugs and alcohol. What the educator is teaching
    your child should be secondary to what you are already teaching your child.
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