Parenting is hard enough without adding the possibility of addiction the mix. It’s unfortunate, but many parents find that their children suffer from addiction to drugs or alcohol while they’re still in school. It’s a shocking fact, but many teens and young adults drink daily, use drugs, and struggle with addiction. It’s not uncommon, but it is something you can prevent. Your job as a parent is to keep your kids close enough and comfortable enough in life to teach them the power of saying no and remaining true to themselves rather than part of the crowd. These tips can help you prevent your kids from becoming addicts, though it’s not a guarantee.
Set A Good Example at Home
If you’re not setting a good example at home, your kids are less likely to grow up making wise decisions. If you drink too much or use drugs or are addicted to another substance or act, you increase the likelihood your kids will grow up and turn to substances. There are some kids who avoid it like the plague after seeing what it does to you, but many do not turn away. If you want to decrease your child’s risk of addiction in life, handle your own problems and set a good example at home. Kids learn through action and what they see more so than what they hear.
Provide an Outlet
Kids who are too busy to turn to substances are less likely to suffer from addiction. For example, if your kids have ample downtime in their lives, they have more time to get into activities that aren’t so appealing. If they’re busy with academics, with sports, and with other activities, it’s more difficult for them to find the time to engage in other behaviors. Encourage your kids to play sports, join a club or team, volunteer their time, or get a job that helps them fill their time. An outlet for their downtime and something to look forward to is a good deterrent.
Confident kids who don’t care what others think and don’t need validation from their peers are less likely to make questionable decisions such as turning to drugs or alcohol. Many of the people who spend time in an outpatient drug rehab Utah facility state they didn’t have the confidence to say no when they were pressured into trying drugs or alcohol. They didn’t have self-confidence. They cared too much about what people thought, and they weren’t strong enough to say no. Be sure your kids have a reason to be confident in their decisions regardless how others feel. A confident person is so attractive, and people want to be around that person. They even have the power to influence others to make better decisions.
Make Sure They Understand the Consequences
Be open and honest with your kids about addiction and what it can do to a person. Take them to homeless shelters to volunteer. Let them volunteer in a hospital. Let them see what drugs and alcohol abuse can do to their minds, their bodies, and their lives. If your kids aren’t aware of the consequences of their choices, they might not think it’s such a big deal. Let them speak to those who’ve been addicted. Let them see what happened when someone had a drink and then drove. Expose them to this, and watch as they make decisions not to engage in the same destructive behavior.
You cannot control, change, or cause someone else to make poor choices when it comes to drugs or alcohol. However, you can work to prevent your kids from turning to addictive substances by providing them with a good example, healthy self-confidence, and the knowledge that drugs and alcohol can forever negatively change their future. If you provide your kids all the tools they need to make informed decisions, you’re doing your job. You cannot change the fact that some kids will do what they want and learn the hard way, but it’s easier to provide those kids the help they need when you know you’ve done everything in your power to prevent it.