Set Rules for Your Children About Alcohol, Tobacco, and Illegal Drugs Vignette

By Brian Lemay No comments


Talking to your children
about the dangers of alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs
is an important step in keeping them safe and healthy. However, many parents
neglect to take the next step: making sure that their
children have clear rules about alcohol, tobacco,
and illegal drug use.   Mom!! I’m home! Hi, honey. How was school today? Great! We learned about drugs today. You what? Yeah, the teacher
said lots of people your age used to do drugs. Did you? You have many
opportunities here. By asking this question,
your child is giving you a chance both to respond
and develop your listening skills-so try not to
react too quickly. It’s understandable that a
question about your own drug history might make
you uncomfortable, but let’s see what
might be possible here. For instance, you might say. Well, I’m not sure what
your teacher meant to say, but I can tell you what
I know about those times. Would you like me to? Offer a choice here
to gauge your child’s interest in the subject. Some kids may want to keep their
knowledge fairly general and not focus on their specific
parent or caregiver. Of course, others
will forge ahead. Sure! Well, many people my age
tried marijuana back then, when they were young adults. Mostly, we called it “pot.” But we didn’t know as much
about it as we do now. The same was true with
cigarettes-we didn’t know smoking was harmful either. So, did you smoke pot?   Yes, I tried it. A couple times, because
friends of mine were doing it. But then I stopped
because I decided that it just wasn’t a good thing to do. It’s important to make a
distinction between past use or experimentation as an
adolescent or young adult and current adult use. You should not divulge
current use unless directly confronted by your child. You should seek help for
yourself and the child in dealing with that
type of situation. So what do you think? About me saying I used
it but then stopped? Okay, I guess. I don’t know. Well, one thing you should
know is that I definitely do not want you to use alcohol,
tobacco, marijuana, or any other illegal drugs. I’m not going to give
you a lecture about how bad they are for you-you
probably learned a lot about them already in class. But I do want you
to think about this: plain and simple,
you don’t need them. You have too much going for you. Drugs don’t really
help anything. They don’t solve problems,
won’t make you popular, and they won’t help you
grow up strong and healthy. In fact, just the
opposite can happen. I tell you what; we can talk more about
this later if you like, Okay? Okay. It’s getting late,
though, so go ahead and get ready for soccer practice. Now that’s something
that makes you feel great about yourself, isn’t it? Yeah   Obviously, this
conversation can go many ways. But the point is
to really listen. Make it clear that you
value this child and that he or she has the right to
talk with you about anything. And, make it clear that you
do not want him or her to use alcohol, tobacco,
or illegal drugs.   No, I didn’t. I was into sports. Plus, I thought my friends
said and did some really stupid things when they were high. I just didn’t
want any part of it. And, I didn’t want to
disappoint my parents. So what do you think? Are you surprised I
didn’t even try it? Yeah sort of. But I think it’s good that
you did what was right for you. Did grandma and grandpa ever tell you to
stay away from drugs? No, but I’m telling you. I definitely do not
want you to use alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, or
any other illegal drugs. I’m not going to give you
a lecture about how bad they are for you-you
probably learned a lot about them already in class. But I do want you to think
about this: plain and simple, you don’t need them. You have too much going for you. Drugs don’t
really help anything. They don’t solve problems,
won’t make you popular, and they won’t help you
grow up strong and healthy. In fact, just the
opposite could happen. I tell you what; we
can talk more about this later if you want, Okay? Okay. It’s getting late,
though, so go ahead and get ready for soccer practice. Now that’s something that makes you feel great about
yourself, isn’t it? Yeah   Obviously, this
conversation can go many ways. But the point is
to really listen. Make it clear that you
value this child and that he or she has the right to
talk with you about anything. And, make it clear that you
do not want him or her to use alcohol, tobacco,
or illegal drugs.   No, I didn’t. I thought my friends said
and did some really stupid things when they were high. Same with alcohol, they
always seemed to get out of control
when they drank. And another reason I chose
not to drink was because my uncle was an alcoholic. You see, people are more
likely to develop alcoholism if someone in their
family has the disease. That’s why I chose not to
drink, even as an adult. So what do you think? Are you surprised
I didn’t even try it? Yeah sort of. But I think it’s good that
you did what was right for you. Did grandma and grandpa
tell you to stay away from alcohol and illegal drugs? No, but I’m telling you. I definitely do not
want you to use alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, or
any other illegal drugs. I’m not going to give you
a lecture about how bad they are for you-you
probably learned a lot about them already in class. But I do want you to think
about this: plain and simple, you don’t need them. You have too much going for you. Drugs don’t really
help anything. They don’t solve problems,
won’t make you popular, and won’t help you grow
up strong and healthy. In fact, just the
opposite can happen. I tell you what; we
can talk more about this later if you want, Okay? Okay. It’s getting late,
though, so go ahead and get ready for
soccer practice. Now that’s something
that makes you feel great about yourself, isn’t it? Yeah.   Obviously, this
conversation can go many ways. But the point is
to really listen. Make it clear that you
value this child and that he or she has the right to
talk with you about anything. And, make it clear that you
do not want him or her to use alcohol, tobacco,
or illegal drugs.  

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