So your son is 16 now. It’s finally time for him to get his driver’s license. Soon he will be a junior in high school. Where does the time go? Doesn’t it seem like just yesterday you were watching him play little league baseball? And now before you know it, it will be time to have “the talk” with your kid. No, not that talk. Chances are you’ve already had that talk with your son.
No, I’m talking about the alcohol and drug talk. By this point, I’m sure they will have seen the cool kids drinking at a party or the stoner guys hanging out with a joint in their mouths. It’s at this point that you should talk to your kid about drugs and alcohol.
First of all, it’s okay if it’s awkward. It’s going to be awkward, especially if they have started drinking or abusing drugs. But the thing is that you don’t want your kids to become chronic relapsers. While it can be difficult to get your children to follow your rules, you have got to try.
Start by being honest with your kids. Have you ever known anyone who had a problem with drugs and alcohol? Have you yourself ever had a problem with drugs or alcohol? How did you overcome that? Try to make the consequences of drinking and doing drugs well known so that your children can have all of the information to stand up to peer pressure when necessary.
You might also want to talk to them about some of their heroes who do not do drugs or drink alcohol. There are plenty of celebrities who are constantly talking about being sober, like Russel Brand. If you can find someone “cool” who is cool without using drugs or alcohol, that can really help.
Another thing is that you definitely want to give your children all of the information. They deserve to know the truth. There are a lot of great resources for talking to your kids about drugs. One such example is the Partnership for a Drug Free America (http://www.drugfree.org/).
If you do know kids who have already had serious problems with drugs or alcohol or if perhaps your kids are having this problem, it’s important that they understand their options. Try talking to them about rehabilitation facilities specific to teens like The Next Generation Village at The Recovery Village (https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/).
The most important thing about this conversation is that you aren’t shying away from talking to your teenager about the hard stuff. It may not always be easy, but in the long run, your teenager will appreciate openness and honesty much more than deception.