How can I reduce the chances of my child experimenting with drugs?
Answer: Talk to your child about drugs and alcohol.
Educate yourself regarding drugs and Alcohol before you have any serious conversation about the subject with your child. After acquiring basic information about the consequences of drug and Alcohol use and abuse, you will be more confident talking to your child about the subject. There are many informative web sites on the internet regarding the subject of drugs and alcohol. After educating yourself, talk with your child about Alcohol and other drugs, also as a rule make time to talk to your child each day about the events of their day. This establishes a stable communication line between you and your child. You can help change false ideas your child may have that "everybody drinks, smokes, or uses drugs."
Learn to really listen to your child. Your child is more likely to talk with you when there is two way communication as opposed to a lecture in which the child has no input in the conversation.
Simply put, allow your child to participate in the conversation and communicate thoughts and ideas.
Acknowledge your child when he/she does something, good or helpful. Help your child to establish high self esteem. When your child accomplishes a positive goal in school, sports etc. be sure to reward it. Acknowledgments for a job well done is equally if not more important to your child's mental state as being disciplined for making a mistake. Your child will feel good when you praise efforts as well as accomplishments and when you correct by criticizing the action rather than the child. After all, who doesn't make mistakes?.
Talking to your preteen or teenager sometimes can be a bit difficult. Maybe you start to chat with your child and you get a "look" that immediately stops conversation. Or, maybe your child wants to talk to you, but you're focusing on paying the bills and are not giving him/her your full attention. Maybe you think that talking to your child has no effect, but this is proven to be untrue.
In fact studies show, that talking to your children does have an impact, so it's important to make the effort to really communicate.
Even if you think a problem your child telling you about is minor, for example, if your child is upset because his friend wouldn't sit next to him, it's a big deal to him. It's hard to open up sometimes and if you make your child feel uncomfortable, chances are he will simply avoid having honest conversations with you.
Remember to praise your child when she demonstrates good listening skills. It's just as important to develop these skills in your child as it is in you!
A child that is confident in himself/herself, happy, and well informed about the TRUE dangers of drugs and Alcohol is not usually a candidate
for drug or Alcohol abuse problems.