The Partnership for a Drug-Free America provides good suggestions for parents to help their children stay off drugs.
Their ideas deserve parents’ consideration.
For example, parents are urged to make sure the information they offer fits their children’s age and cognitive level.
When a six or seven-year-old is brushing his teeth, parents can say, “There are good things we need to do to keep our bodies strong and healthy, like brushing our teeth. But there are also some things we shouldn’t do because they can hurt our bodies, like smoking or taking medicine when we are not sick.”
An eight-year-old can understand a simple lesson about specific drugs, like marijuana or alcohol.
If marijuana is mentioned on TV, take advantage of the chance to ask your child if he knows what it is. Say it’s a bad drug that can hurt your body.
If your child has more questions, answer them. If not, let it go. Short, simple comments, repeated often enough, will get the message across.
For older children, you can add more details. Explain to a 10- to 12-year-old what marijuana and crack look like, their street names, and how they can negatively affect the body.
Don’t be afraid to talk about these issues. Cocaine, crack, heroin, and meth are very dangerous and illegal drugs that can kill a user, sometimes even if they are taken only once. It is important to be honest about these types of dangers.