These tips are helpful to parents of kids at any age.
Here are 10 things you can do to increase the chances of raising a teenager who just says "no."
1. Be a good listener. Make sure your child feels comfortable bringing problems or questions to you.
2. Be available to discuss sensitive subjects. Children need to know they can rely on you for accurate information.
3. Be a good role model. Your own habits and attitudes about tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs make a big impression on your child.
4. Be straight on tough topics. Give clear, specific messages when talking about drugs of any kind, so your child knows exactly what is expected of him.
5. Be media-savvy. Read, watch TV, and go to the movies with your child, and compare media images to reality.
6. Be helpful. Teach your child to manage stress in healthy ways, such as seeking help from a trusted adult or engaging in a favorite activity.
7. Be positive. Emphasize what your child does right rather than wrong; self-confidence is her best protection against peer pressure.
8. Be aware. Know your child's friends (and friends' family members), and be aware of their habits and attitudes toward drinking and drugs.
9. Be honest. Help your child understand that he doesn't have to do something wrong to feel accepted by his peers, and that his real friends won't pressure him to use tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs.
10. Be your child's biggest fan. Children need your unconditional love and support, both in good times and bad, to manage stress, resist peer pressure, and thrive in their daily life.
For more information
The following organizations can provide you with further resources:
- Partnership for a Drug-Free America (www.drugfreeamerica.org)
- The Foundation for a Smokefree America (www.tobaccofree.org)
The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It's not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.