This is a sponsored guest post.
Let’s just get right to it! Hands down, the most effective way to ensure a drug free home is by simply talking to your kids. Sounds so simple, right? Developing a strong sense of home safety by having open conversations about drug use with your kids significantly reduces the likelihood that they will dabble in drugs in the future. These conversations are best built up over time through many opportune learning moments and heart-to-heart talks between you and your child.
You Can’t Hide Your Kids from Drugs
Inevitably, your child is bound to be exposed to drugs – drug use is common and all around us. Your child might pass a smoker on the way into a public building or see a professional athlete drinking on the television; yes, tobacco and alcohol are drugs, too. Kids are most receptive at a young age, and you’re their greatest influencer as their parent. So, though it may be difficult to talk to your child about something so serious, it’s crucial this important message comes straight from you. By seizing these moments to teach your child about the dangers of drug use, it builds learning experiences from a young age, so they are less likely to partake in drugs later in life, helping you maintain a drug free home.
Prepare Your Child Early
As your child grows, you can begin to have more specific, straightforward conversations with them. This is especially important before they enter middle school and then high school. It’s best to take the listening approach with your child. Lead in with your own questions and concerns to get the conversation rolling. Be open and honest with your child, and don’t be afraid to share your own stories and experiences. This builds trust between both of you, allowing you to positively influence your pre-teen or teen. Learning the truth about the negative consequences of drugs from you rather than someone else will help prepare your child to “just say no” in the future.
Parenting is not always easy, and though it may sometimes be uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to emphasize the severity of drug use as your child grows up. Your child will be able to understand the gravity of the situation more with age, and they should be aware of such things; especially as your teen gets to the age where they’re starting to go out with friends and drive. Talk to them about how drug use expands beyond home safety; the dangers of overdosing, being arrested, and driving while under the influence of drugs are all serious risks a teen can experience when using drugs. Explain to your teen how these are now real issues and concerns and that you worry because you love and care about them so much.
By maintaining an open and honest dialogue between the two of you, your child will feel that they can turn to you for anything, even if they do end up involved with drugs. If you suspect your child may be close to dabbling in drug use or has already taken the plunge, don’t be afraid to seek out a home drug test. At-home drug tests, like HairConfirm, can be the preventative measure you need to obtain quick, non-invasive, and reliable results from the privacy of your own home. Once you have answers, you and your teen can build a greater sense of trust and accountability through a regular drug testing regimen if needed to maintain your drug free home.
It’s important whenever you talk to your child about the dangers of substance abuse to always speak from the heart in a calm, reassuring tone. Taking an angry or judgmental stance can often lead your teen to feel you don’t understand her, close up, and create an unhealthy disconnect between both of you. Being open and honest with your child regarding substance abuse can help establish a strong sense of home safety and preserve your drug free home.