It’s tragic to see kids drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana or using any other drug. Tragic because they have their whole life ahead of them. Tragic because we, the adults in our community, are often guilty of just accepting it as a social norm. We the adults in our community too often look the other way. We don’t get involved or even worse, we don’t think it’s that big of a deal. It is tragic because today through science and research we know just how grave the effects of alcohol and other drugs are on a still developing brain. Sadly, many of our kids are experimenting at younger and younger ages which is now scientifically proven to exponentially increase the likelihood of addiction throughout that child or teenager’s life.
Research tells us time and time again that kids say parents are the #1 influence in their lives. Furthermore, moms have the most intimate knowledge of their kids’ behaviors. It follows that moms who band together with other like-minded moms will substantially increase the possibility that their kids will make the better choice when faced with the decision of whether or not to use alcohol, marijuana or any other drug. And, make no mistake, virtually all of our children will have to make that decision at some point in their young lives.
Instilling hope, structure, perseverance, resiliency and determination in our children and teens requires a village. Moms are the natural first step in creating and securing this village. Moms surrounded by other moms who are like-minded, create a structure, a village, a place for kids to grow up free from alcohol and other drugs. To find out more about the “I am MOM” campaign and how to get involved and learn more about keeping our kids away from alcohol or other drug use, please call 1-800-334-4568.
Tips for raising children and teens that make healthy decisions and stay away from alcohol or other drugs:
- Start conversations with them early in their lives so that it is natural and each of you stays in tune with the other. A strong bond between parent and child pays off in the long run.
- Listen to and observe your kids. Hold regular family time discussions.
- Help your kids learn self control.
- Be involved in your child’s life.
- Kids need clear limits. Talk about family rules. Be consistent in following through with your discipline.
- Be aware of major transitions in your child’s life, such as beginning school or changing schools.
The dinner table is the perfect place for these!
Tips for Parents Created by Teens:
- Listen to our stories, try to understand, stay calm and please don’t jump to conclusions.
- Spend more time with us, like cooking or family dinners, and when a rule or something changes with one of us, let’s all get together to talk about it.
- Know us as individuals and make sure the consequences you set match our maturity and levels of responsibility.
- Make an effort to get to know my friends. It’s important to me that you care.
Preparing Meals Together or Enjoying Family Mealtimes = Healthy Families that are in tune with each other and Children and Teens that Make Healthy and Drug-Free Choices.