Kids Turn Down Drugs
There's almost no way
you can shield your kids from finding out that illegal drugs, Alcohol
and Tobacco exist — but you can help your child reject offers to try
Before you work with your child on this issue, there's one thing you
need to know: Kids don't usually get drugs from strangers. They get
drugs from their friends. And that's the toughest issue of all — as you
have to teach your kids that it's OK to say no to their friends, to the
people they look to for validation, recognition, and fun. Strongly
encourage them to avoid friendships with kids who use drugs.
A great way to help kids prepare for drug-related situations is by
acting out — also known as role playing — scenarios with them. It's
important to practice these scenarios with your kids before these
situations really happen.
Remember, teens rarely verbally pressure or chastise each other into
drinking or doing drugs — the offer is usually casual. "Peer pressure"
is more internal. For example your child sees other teens that she wants
to be friends with enjoying a drink or a drug and she feels like she
wants to be part of it too. Or she may be afraid that the other teens
will think she is less cool if she doesn't join them. Try to include
this dynamic when you act out scenarios with your teens.
Use the following scenarios as a starting point, but create new ones
based on your child's life:
Your son goes to a party at his
friend's house and someone has brought a bottle of vodka or some
beer. Lots of the guys there, including older high school
guys, are drinking and they ask him, "You want some?" Take the
role of the older teens or of your son's friends who casually offer
a can of beer or a shot of vodka to your son.
Help your child develop firm but friendly responses. Reassure him
that his friends will respect his decision not to get involved.
Remind him that people are pretty focused on themselves, which
leaves much less space for them to be concerned with what others do.
"Nah, I'm not
"Nah man, I'm
I'm on the ____ team and I don't want to risk it."
training for _____ ."
"No. I gotta go
in a bit."
Your daughter is at her friend's
house with a few close pals and on of them pulls out a joint.
take the role of her offering it to the group. Help her
develop firm but friendly responses. Reassures her that good
friends will respect her decision not to try it. Remind her
that people are pretty focused on themselves, which leaves much less
space for them to be concerned with what others do.
"No thanks, I'm
not into that."
"No, thanks. I'm on the ____
team and I don't want to risk it."
training for ______ ."
"Nah, I get
tested at work/ at school and I don't want to risk it."
"No, thanks. I
don't like how it makes people not act themselves."
Your kids will
need to be prepared for protest from their peers. Suggest that
they meet them with a "broken record" technique -- just keep repeating
the reason they don't want to drink, smoke or do drugs. Then they
can try to change the subject or, if all else fails, they should say
they have to go home or ask their friend to leave