The more you are active in your teen’s life, the less likely they will be pressured into experimenting with alcohol, smoking, or take drugs. Here are several methods to show your support:
- Improve your teen’s self-esteem. The body changes during the adolescent years, emotions run high, and moods vary. It might be a perplexing period for both you and your adolescent. Listen to your teen and refrain from passing judgment. Make it clear to your teen that their feelings are important. This promotes self-esteem. If your child has the confidence, assertiveness, and strength to deal with adversity, he or she will be less inclined to experiment with drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes to feel better or to satisfy others.
- Keep an eye on your child. Count the amount of time your teen spends alone. According to a study, giving a child a lot of unsupervised time may make them more likely to try drugs. Help them choose healthful recreational activities.
- Know their acquaintances. Discourage your kid from hanging out with others who use drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes. Peer pressure has a powerful influence on youngsters.
- Serve as a role model. If you smoke, drink, or use drugs, chances are your adolescent will as well. Get treatment if you smoke or have an alcohol or drug addiction. Contact a local substance abuse treatment clinic or a support group such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, or Nicotine Anonymous. Allow your teen to witness your efforts to break the habit of substance abuse. Invite a family or friend who is trying to quit smoking, drinking, or using drugs to speak with your child about the severity of the addiction.
- Seek assistance. Raising children is challenging, and you may require assistance. Consider attending a parenting class, Parent Couch or seeing a family counselor. Such seminars are frequently provided by hospitals and community centers. Your teen’s doctor can point you in the right direction.
Keep an eye out for indicators of substance abuse. Here are a few examples:
- Friendships have shifted.
- Drop in grades
- a lack of motivation
- Eyes that are red (or increased use of eye drops)
- Secretiveness or irritability
- Staying alone
- Changes in appetite
- Nail polish remover, correction fluid, or paint (common inhalants) are missing from your home.
- Covering the odor of cigarettes or marijuana using air freshener, incense, or breath freshener
- Violence or devastation
Rose .A. Milani,
Parent Coach and Registered Mental Health Counsellor
Based in Melbourne, Australia