Wellness Break

Teachable Moments- From DrugFreeTexas.org

HOW TO TALK TO KIDS ABOUT DRUGS

Parents and role models create “teachable moments” by turning ordinary situations — like eating dinner or watching TV — into an opportunity to talk with kids about making good life choices. Before kids face situations involving alcohol or drugs, make sure they have the facts. Use “teachable moments” to talk to your kids, even when a child is 8 or 10 years old, before they get the wrong information from their peers.

Think Like a Kid

  • Kids are naturally curious. But a lot of drug education focuses on “just say no” without explaining how drugs can affect someone’s life.
  • Remember:
    • Many kids don’t see themselves using drugs in the future.
    • Kids want the facts on why people do drugs and how drugs affect them.
    •  Kids need a safe space to talk about drugs and a way to get help without getting in trouble.

Start an Open Dialogue

A lot of kids don’t know where to turn with questions. Their families and peers can also have a lot of influence on their behavior. Assure them they can come to you if they or someone they know needs help.

  • Be truthful about why some people use drugs and why some are legal.
  • Share real stories without judgment.
  • Focus on the consequences of drug use, both to physical health and life goals.
  • Express your opinions on drug use and how you disapprove of it or don’t like it.

Share the Facts

Use the Teachable Moments fact sheets found at drugfreetexas.org to provide kids with current and scientific information on different drugs. More general facts you can share:

  • The majority of teens do not use drugs.
  • Some people use drugs to cope with stress, fight boredom or take a risk.
  • Drugs can cause permanent damage to growing brains.
  • Some drugs are worse than others, but all drugs can have negative effects.
  • Because drugs affect people in different ways, if you know someone who used drugs with no negative effects, it doesn’t mean your experience will be the same.

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