Reducing your Child's Risk for Substance Use
Have ongoing conversations with your child.
Discuss the dangers of drinking alcohol. Make sure your child knows that you disapprove of underage drinking. Promote healthy choices.
Be a good example.
You are the #1 influence in your child’s life. Role-model healthy behaviors and attitudes.
Be a part of your child’s life.
Regularly discuss your child’s interests and take time to learn about him/her.
Get to know your child’s friends and their friends’ parents.
Help them problem-solve and offer encouragement.
Spend time together.
Be fully engaged with and responsive to your child; see the world from their perspective. Help your child find ways to have fun without alcohol
Encourage your child to get involved in school or extra-curricular activities
Keeping your child engaged in healthy and positive activities decreases the likelihood of them participating in risky behaviors.
Know where your child is and what they are doing.
Monitor your child’s activity, especially during high risk times such as after school.
Set clear rules and enforce them fairly.
Encourage your child’s growing independence, but set appropriate limits and follow through with consequences when rules are broken.
Practice refusal skills.
Help them practice how to say no even if they might not be currently experiencing peer pressure.
Make your home safe.
Do not have alcohol easily available in your home and limit guests who abuse drugs and/or alcohol. Keep track of medicines (over-the-counter and prescription) and cleaning products.