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Everyday, teenagers are faced with so many different influences. As parents, this sometimes makes us feel as if we are losing control, especially when it comes to things that are addicting. Yet, there are some things that you can still do to positively influence your son or daughter.
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No parent wants to talk about drugs or addiction, especially
when their kids are young, but this conversation should happen at some point.
In 2009, it was estimated that 10 percent of
children between 12 to 17 were using some type of illicit drug. Keep in mind
that drugs are merely one type of vice that a child can get addicted to. The
following are a few tips to help your teen avoid addictive behaviors.
One common reason people use drugs deals with stress. Not
being able to cope with stress makes it easier for a teenager to turn to
addictive substances or acts. Keep in mind that surveys
show that teenagers really do feel stressed. This is the reason why you need to
help your teen cope with stress. Yoga, tai-chi, meditation, exercise, sports,
or healthy hobbies are just some things that can help.
You should teach your teenager about the dangers of drugs.
It is okay to be honest about drug use and your own fears regarding the
possibility of them using drugs. You should also remember that some of the best
lessons are the ones you teach with your own actions. You should avoid drinking
too much and driving while intoxicated. These lessons speak louder than words.
At times, drugs and addictive behaviors are shown in a
positive light on television, in film, and music. You want to make sure you
avoid showing or allowing your child to listen to these creations whenever
possible, or speak up when you hear something that you do not want your child
to misinterpret. You should understand that these mediums are powerful
influences that could make your child believe that drugs are cool.
One of the strongest tools a parent has in his or her
arsenal is parental involvement. Do your best to make your presence known to
your teenager, which could mean knowing your teenager's friends or encouraging
open communication. It is dangerous for teens to live in households where they
cannot share thoughts or feelings.
Regrettably, prevention does not guarantee that your teen
will not become addicted to a drug or act. Although, it can help a lot. If your
son or daughter is already showing signs of addiction, call up a trusted
recovery center, such as Brightside
Clinic, to see what your options are. The quicker you act, the earlier
you’ll be able get your child back on track.
Hopefully, all of these tips are useful to you. It seems
like more and more youth today are becoming involved in addictive behaviors, and
so apply these tips to your family’s lifestyle to help avoid that from
happening with your teen.
Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys reading reading books out on the lake while kayaking.
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