Home FEATURED Family Check Up Series 5: POSITIVE PARENTING PREVENTS DRUG ABUSE…MY CHILD, KEEP...

Family Check Up Series 5: POSITIVE PARENTING PREVENTS DRUG ABUSE…MY CHILD, KEEP OFF DRUGS

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Wilson Ighodalo

YOUTHS ARE THE FUTURE and THE FUTURE IS NOW.
Within the last few years in Nigeria, the involvement of youths in drug abuse has taken a wide and frightening dimension. For many parents, talking to their kids about drug use can be scary.
If you think that your family is immune to drug abuse, think again. Drug abuse is not a problem solely for the poor, rich or people residing in urban or rural areas, but a problem of people from all walks of life. Incidentally, parents often do not sense the danger until it is too late.
Families strive to find the best ways to raise their children to live happy, healthy, and productive lives. Parents are often concerned about whether their children will start or are already using drugs such as tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, and others, including the abuse of prescription drugs. Record has shown the important role that parents play in preventing their children from using drugs.
Parenting skills are important in preventing the initiation of drug use among youths.
Education is an important tool in preventing your teen from using drugs. As a parent, you must take an active role in preventing your child from experimenting with these substances. This is especially important during transitional periods, such as a separation, moving to a new city and going through puberty, according to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA). By learning about the warning signs and how to deal with them, you can help keep your child away from drugs.
Identify the risk factors. Any aggressive behaviour your teen exhibits, his level of self-esteem and his friends determine whether he falls into a high-risk category.
Ask your teen what he thinks of drugs. Avoid turning it into a lecture, as you should speak to your child like an adult, learning about his views on the subject. Use the information he gives you, along with non-verbal clues, to determine the likelihood he’s using drugs.
Give him strong reasons to avoid drugs. Do not attempt to scare your teen away from drugs by using shock tactics, but rather give useful information for him to consider. Explain how drug use can affect education, health, family, finance, integrity, future, performance and appearance, especially if it leads to a serious addiction.
Look at content in the media. Turn movies and television shows that depict drug use into an opportunity for discussion with your teen. Ask his opinion on drug use in these films and give your own opinion, too.
Implement clear rules on drug use. Inform your teen that using drugs of any type is not permitted and that punishment will follow if he breaks these rules.
Teach your teen how to say “No.” Consider the different ways in which others will offer him drugs and come up with ways for him to refuse. Remember that peer pressure can influence teens greatly when developing these methods of refusal.
Avoid using drugs yourself. Make your child aware that you do not touch drugs because of their dangers. Remember that your actions will speak louder than your words, so set a good example for your teen.
If your teen is using drugs, seek help immediately.

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