Alcohol and drug abuse prevention is one of the major concerns of millions of households in America. This is because the incidence of alcohol and drug use among teenagers has risen dramatically in recent years and decades. To keep kids and drugs separate from one another, you'll have to take an active role as a parent in order to ensure that your child doesn't have access to these dangerous items. Read on for a few helpful tips on how to make sure that your child does not use drugs or alcohol.
1. Be a Scapegoat
Understand that there is sometimes massive peer pressure on children to use drugs and alcohol, particularly as they get older and reach independence. One of the best ways to ensure that your child doesn't do these things is to be there for him as a scapegoat. Allow your child the chance to use you as the reason that he will not use drugs, rather than leaving him to come up with a defense or a reason for abstaining for himself. This shows your solidarity with your child but still lets him feel like he's making his own decision.
2. Be Close with Your Child's Friends
Keep an eye on who your child hangs out with by getting to know his friends. Encourage your child to bring his friends around the home or to organize activities that involve your families as well, when appropriate. Once you've met his friends, take the opportunity to introduce yourself to his friends parents as well. Having more eyes watching over the children will help to ensure that they do not participate in this dangerous behavior.
3. Encourage Other Activities
Extracurricular activities are not only a great way to develop skills outside of the classroom and to give your child a way to express himself or get some exercise, but they can also be another means of support to protect against drug and alcohol abuse. Encourage your child to get involved in these activities, and maintain close contact with any supervisors or coaches to ensure that you know if there are any dangers.
4. Have an Open Line of Communication
Many children want to talk with their parents about the pressures to drink or to take drugs. As a parent, you have to ensure that the lines of communication are open and that your child feels comfortable discussing these things with you. Bring up the consequences and risks of these activities from an early age in order to ensure that your child feels comfortable sharing with you.
5. Be a Good Example
One of the best ways for you to show your child that it's important to you that he not do drugs or alcohol is to follow that rule yourself. If you drink, do so only in moderation, and refrain from doing drugs or keeping any of these items around the house.