In the same way that you protect your child against diseases such as measles, you can help “immunize” them against drug use by providing them with real facts about them before they find themselves in dangerous situations.

When children do not feel comfortable talking to their parents, they seek answers from other sources, even if they are unreliable. And children who are not well informed expose themselves much more to engaging in unsafe behaviors and experimenting with drugs.

Parents who are well educated about the effects of drug use can provide their children with correct information and clear up any confusion or misconception they may have. You are an example for your child, and your approach to alcohol, tobacco, and drug use can greatly influence what your child thinks. Therefore, make the topic of drugs part of your conversations about general health and safety.

Preschool stage up to 7 years

Before getting nervous about having to talk to your child about this topic, take courage. Probably already prepared the ground for the subject to come up in a conversation. For example, whenever you give your child a fever medication or an antibiotic, you can talk about when and why these medications should be used. This will also be a good time for your child to pay attention to his behavior and his guidance.

Take advantage of family therapy near Yorkville. If you see a character in the movies or on TV with a cigarette, talk to your child about smoking, nicotine addiction and what tobacco does in a person’s body. This can lead to a conversation about other drugs and about how harmful they can be to health.

Keep a quiet tone in the conversation and use terms your child can understand. Be specific about the effects of drugs: how they make a person feel, the risk of overdose and its harmful effects in the long term. To provide this information to your child, you may need to do some research.

Between 8 and 12 years old

When your child gets older, you can start conversations with him by asking him what he thinks about the drugs. If you ask open questions and do not make value judgments, you are much more likely to receive honest answers.

Remember to show your child that you are listening and that you are paying full attention to your questions and doubts.

Children of this age often continue to want to talk openly with their parents about sensitive issues. Starting a dialogue at this stage helps keep the door open when they grow up and they feel less inclined to share their opinions and feelings with their parents.

Even if the questions you ask your child do not lead immediately to a conversation about drugs, you will get your child to think about it. Show him that you want to talk and hear his opinions about it. This way, your child will be more willing to come to you to help you in the future.

News, such as the use of steroids in professional sports, can be good opportunities to initiate conversations to inform them about this topic. Use those conversations to provide information to your child about the risks of the drugs.