Home FEATURED Family Check Up Series 7: POSITIVE PARENTING PREVENTS DRUG ABUSE

Family Check Up Series 7: POSITIVE PARENTING PREVENTS DRUG ABUSE

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Wilson Ighodalo

HELP TEENS DEVELOP A POSITIVE ATTITUDE

PARENTS, YOU ARE THE PIVOT IN THE HOME, TURN IT ON (PARENTAL IMITATION 101)
Drug abuse may be initiated at any age, but mostly at adolescent age (11 – 18 years). This stage naturally is the period of adventure, excitement, ignorance, peer influence, escapism, hero imitation and a new thrill. This possibly exposes teens to the danger of experimenting with all sort of things, including drugs. Parental drug and substance addiction is a form of child abuse.
Cases have been reported of children who started abusing drugs by stealing the drugs from either their mother or their father. Adolescence is arguably one of the most challenging periods in any teen’s and parent’s life. Helping your teen cultivate a positive attitude can help her more efficiently and effectively navigate the tumultuous waters of adolescence and also beyond. According NDLEA, in the “Drug Demand Reduction Department Report,” teens who displayed a positive attitude had a decreased likelihood of depressive symptoms and risk-taking behaviours in early adulthood.
Become a Positive Role Model
If you walk around most of the time with a downtrodden attitude, frequently complain about your life or display other negative behaviours, your teen will likely have a more difficult time staying positive. Setting a positive example can help you draw the best out of your teen. For example, demonstrate respect for yourself and others, and avoid criticizing or belittling your teen. Try to control your temper, even when your teen displays challenging behaviours.
Teach Positive Self-Talk
Actively teaching your teen ways to challenge negativity can help pave the road to a healthier and more positive attitude. Engaging in negative self-talk can lead to an increase in feelings such as depression, anxiety or frustration in teens and do you also know that positive self-talk increases mental wellness in children and teens? Teach your teen how to identify unrealistic, negative thoughts. You might start by asking her if there is any evidence to support her negative beliefs. For example, if she keeps saying she feels stupid yet she achieves high marks, point out that there’s no evidence to support that statement. Encourage her to replace that negative thought with more realistic, positive thought patterns. Point out her accomplishments and explain that it’s OK to feel proud. Tell her you believe in her. If she does have evidence for her negative beliefs, help her figure out ways to improve the situation. Help her change her negative self-talk by suggesting more positive statements such as “I can do it” or “I’m good enough.” Do not compare other teen’s progress with your teen, they all need their own time to travel their own distance.
Boost Your Teen’s Self-Esteem
A positive attitude is often linked with a higher level of self-esteem. Help your teen by providing praise and positive feedback whenever he performs well, and also when he doesn’t. I suggest acknowledging your teen’s efforts even when things don’t go his way.
Provide constructive feedback. For example, instead of saying, “Why did you fail the test?” Say, “You almost passed, I’m sure you’ll do better next time if you study a bit harder.” Encourage your teen to discover and develop his unique talents and strengths by providing support for his interests and hobbies, as long as they don’t interfere with academics.
Provide a Positive Environment
Teens who grow up in positive atmospheres tend to develop more positive, healthier attitudes toward life. In addition to promoting a positive internal environment, ensure that your teen grows up in a positive physical environment. This includes providing proper nutrition such as offering nutritious, appealing food choices, maintaining a clean, safe and cheerful home, promoting healthy communication between family members and spending quality time with your teen.
A lot of people abuse drugs because of their prevailing hardship in life. They are overwhelmed by a strong feeling of hopelessness.
Tough times don’t last forever.

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