As a parent of a teenager, it is natural for you to feel apprehensive about potential peer pressure and substance abuse issues. While you can never completely control what your teens do when they are away from home and with their friends, there are many things you can do to help keep them away from drugs and alcohol. To this end, here are some time-tested tips for preventing teenage substance abuse:
Tip: Monitor Who Your Teens are Hanging Out With
While it is important for your teenagers to have friends from all walks of life, it is still very important that you monitor who they are hanging out with. As your teens make new friends, make it a point to introduce yourself to their parents. Having a connection between parents shows your teens that you are in touch with who they are spending time with and puts all of the teenagers on notice that the parents are speaking with each other about their lives and behavior.
Tip: Keep Your Teens Occupied with Sports and Other Healthy Activities
It is a proven fact that teenagers who are involved in sports, band, and other healthy activities are less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol. The reason for this is twofold. The first reason is that your teen will be spending a lot of time with other kids and adults who support healthy activities providing them with consistent positive peer pressure to stay sober. The second reason is that your kids will not have a lot of idle time on their hands where they will just be hanging out with other teens unmonitored by responsible adults.
Tip: Expose Your Teens to Sober Role Models and Be One Yourself
It is also important that you make an effort to provide positive, sober role models for your children - including their parents. If you and your friends often drink around your children, then you are sending them a message that drinking is a way to have fun with friends. While some household alcohol use is reasonable, make an effort to keep drinking to those times when you are out with friends or your kids aren't home.
Tip: Be Honest with Your Teens About Family Addiction Issues
Finally, it is vital for preventing substance abuse and addiction problems with your children that you take the time to have a serious conversation with them about any family addiction issues. Alcoholism often runs in families, for example, so it is important that your kids understand what is at risk if they decide to drink with their friends at a young age.
For more information about tackling substance abuse issues, contact a facility like Bridgeway Recovery Services Inc.