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Archive for the ‘Drugs’ Category

Teenagers and Drug Addictions | How to Confront Your Child

May 27th, 2010 - Category: Drugs

The persistent problem of drug addiction amongst teenagers is one of great concern and, in many cases, is on the forefront of parent’s minds as their children begin to reach the age where drug abuse is prominent. Drugs are addicting, disempowering, and, perhaps most importantly, they limit a person’s potential. Teenagers often use drugs to feel a part of the in crowd. Approval from peers is important in the mind of a 16 year old. This is true no matter how well the child has been taught at home. And oftentimes, when exposed to the wrong types of peers, a child will do something that compromises what he has been taught and what he believes in order to please a friend.

If, through great misfortune, drug addiction has crept into the life of your teenager, please know that there is help. It is not the end of the world and there are ways of dealing with the situation without making it worse. We need to know how to confront a child about drug abuse without them feeling like we are condemning or preachings to them. This will only make the situation worse and it can lead to other undesirable outcomes. Here are a few suggestions on how to confront your child about drug abuse or drug addiction.

Stay Calm When You Find Out About Your Child’s Drug Abuse

Unless there is serious danger associated with your child’s drug abuse/addiction, do not rush into things. If you were to confront your child the moment you found out about his/her problem, you would be reacting instinctively and this could cause potential problems. Usually, when you first find out about the problem you are mad, frustrated, in despair, concerned, or despondent.

There are any number of emotions that will flood through you, but either way you are not in your right frame of mind. Take a few to unwind and make sure you are in the right mind set before you approach your child. Make a plan to confront them. Decide the time, place and setting that would be most conducive to both you and your child responding positively.

Make Sure Your Child is Not Intoxicated

Not only should you be in the right frame of mind when approaching your child regarding drug abuse, your child should also be free from any drug influence. He/she should be calm and comfortable in an environment that is conducive to communication with you.

Make a Plan

It’s vital that you go into the conversation with a game plan. Have specific examples as to why you suspect that he/she is using drugs. Make sure you clearly state your concerns. Re-assure them that you love them and that you only want what’s best for them. Clearly lay out the dangers and the logistics of their behavior and why it can be harmful not only to themselves but others including their friends and you (their parents).

How to Act During the Conversation

Listed below are some things that you should and shouldn’t do/be while discussing the matter of drug addiction or drug abuse with your child.

Do be:

  • Understanding (“I realize a lot of kids take drugs.”)
  • Firm (“As your parent, I cannot allow you to engage in harmful activities.”)
  • Supportive (“We love you and sense something is troubling you, in which case we want to help.”)

Don’t be:

  • Sarcastic (“Don’t think you’re fooling me!”)
  • Accusatory (“You’re a liar.”)
  • Hostile (“How could you be so stupid?”)
  • Self-pitying (“How could you do this to our family?”)
  • Self-blaming (“What did I do wrong?”)

Always remember that if your child is having problems with drug abuse, he/she really needs your help. Whether they know it or not, they are crying out to you or anyone to help them. They need attention and they need someone to understand them. Do everything in your power to not criticize or demean your child during this important juncture in his/her life. You have a great opportunity to make a positive influence in their life.