Encouraging young people by supporting their healthy growth
Have courage! Sometimes, fear of negative reactions from kids keeps parents from talking to them. Remember, short and frequent conversations that include listening to your child can open doors.
Be a positive role model. What you do is often more important than what you say! If you host a party, always serve non-alcoholic beverages and do not allow anyone to drink and drive. When hosting parties for young people, do not allow alcohol. “If it’s about the kids, don’t make it about the drink.”
Make connections with other parents. Get to know the parents of your children’s friends. It is a great way to build mutual support and share your rules about alcohol and drugs.
Establish clear rules of conduct. Setting specific, clear rules is the foundation for parental efforts in prevention and can help your child say “no”. For example, it is not okay for kids under 21 to drink alcohol. Older brothers and sisters will not encourage younger kids/siblings to drink or use drugs.
Connect with your child’s friends. Pay attention to who your child is hanging out with. Encourage your child’s friends to come to your home and make them feel welcomed with food and recreation.
Encourage your child to be an upstander. Teach your child what to do if they see something wrong – a child being bullied or a youth in distress from alcohol or drug use; knowing what to do could save a life.
Promote healthy activities. Encourage your kids to become engaged in school or community activities like music, sports, arts or a part-time job.