It is important to start talking with your child at an early age about not using drugs and alcohol. Research has shown that parents are their children’s strongest role models and knowing that you would be upset if they used alcohol or drugs, will help your children avoid them.
Maintaining a close relationship can happen anywhere. For example, many parents choose to start conversations with their kids at the dinner table or in the car. Having frequent conversations with children can make the talk about alcohol and drugs easier to start. To build strong, open communication with your children ask open-ended questions, be a good listener, and encourage conversation. Always listen to your child and understand that you can learn something new from them.
If your child asks you about your own past alcohol or drug use, try to steer the conversation back to your interest in keeping them safe and healthy.
If you would like some tips on what to say, visit our website to download or request a free copy of our parents’ guides at the Massachusetts Health Promotion Clearinghouse.