5 Ways to Educate Kids About Addiction
Written by WinGate Therapy, in Section Parent Resources
Here are 5 Ways to Educate Kids About Addiction:
Most people have heard the familiar phrase “the children are our future”, children are the most valuable asset to our future. We need to do everything we can to ensure that our children are safeguarded and prepared to live long, healthy, happy lives. This includes putting preventative measures in place to keep our children away from drug and alcohol abuse as much as possible. Many lives are tragically lost every year to drug and alcohol abuse. Many teens and young adults are first exposed to these substances at school, work, and by their peers. This fact stresses the need to do whatever we can within our power to try to bolster the future generation against the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse.
There are methods that have been shown to be successful in helping to prevent our younger generation from falling into substance abuse. Education about the dangers of drugs and alcohol is one of the most effective ways to help curb the use of them.
1. Parental Education – Parents are a child’s first role model and have the most influence on their child in their early years' and need to be a good example to them. A parent can play a large role in helping to prevent their children from using drugs or alcohol. They can begin to educate their children on the dangers of drugs and alcohol from an early age, which can help to fortify them against these substances. A parent should start educating their child as early as 5 years old. They should be taught to fear taking drugs for non medicinal purposes.
2. School Education Programs – Being that a child is generally in school much of their childhood and adolescence, it is an opportune time to provide extensive education in the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse.
3. Set Goals- You can do something effective even beyond educating yourself and your kids about drugs. When parents work with their children to set and achieve goals, this is one major way they can help keep their kids drug-free. Working toward these goals, they have a purpose and life becomes more meaningful. When young people have goals and get some encouragement and help to achieve them, positive effects occur in a chain reaction.
4. Build self-esteem in your child-Low self-esteem and a biochemical propensity for addiction is a lethal combination. Self-esteem issues are pervasive in addicted teenagers and need to be treated with counseling. Be involved in their lives and reward good behaviors. We're not all born good-looking, smart or with perfect bodies. Some of us have emotional issues and lack social skills. It is up to us as parents to find the good in our children and build on it. Everyone has positive qualities, and it is up to us to bring out their best.
5. Counseling – If a child has already fallen into the habit of drugs or alcohol, catching it early on can help to prevent it from spiraling out of control. This is where counseling can be used as an important tool. If it is discovered that this is the case, the child can be sent to a counselor in school or referred to one that can help them to work through their difficulties with substances. As a parent, showing love and support during their treatment is very important.
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