Tips for Talking to Your Teen About Addiction

1:14 PM

When it comes to dealing with problems, young children look to their parents for support and solutions. As they get older, conversations between teens and parents seem to occur much less. From 13 years onwards, a barrier seems to be built when it comes to communication. However, there are certain subjects that need to be talked about, even if it’s difficult, one of which is addiction. When it comes to alcohol, drugs, and other forms of addiction you might feel a little confused about what you can do. Believe it or not, you do actually have a lot of influence over what your kids decide to do. The most important of which is to talk about such a problem.

Set Clear Rules and Expectations
As a parent, you need to be very clear about your expectations and the rules related to drugs and alcohol. If you don’t appear to be too bothered and you’re okay with their drug and alcohol use,there could be a greater chance they themselves may become users. Regular use in the teenage years makes it more likely they will become addicts in later lifeand need the help at a treatment center such as Epiphany Sober Living. If your teen understands you disapprove of such behavior, they will be less likely to use. 
Pick the Right Time for Such a Difficult Conversation 
Finding the right time for difficult conversationsisn’t easy. A good tip is to let them know you want to have a talk and let them decide on the time and the place. Catching them when they’re off guard will make it difficult to broach the subject. The most comfortable situations are when you’re doing something non-stressful together. You might be driving them to the mall, walking in the park, or simply sitting in the garden.
Understand How Your Teen is Wired
The teenage brain is hard-wired to take risksand experiment, making them impulsive and more likely to make a risky decision. If you know your kids are looking for thrills, find safer alternatives than resorting to using drugs or alcohol. These alternatives could be skateboardingor BMX racing. If your teen is looking for more of a sedative effect, activities such as yoga or running are safer alternatives. 
Be Open and Practice Active Listening
If you want your teenager to be receptive, you need to keep anopen mind and stay calm while also being curious about what they have to say. Asking open-ended questions makes it more likely you’ll get something other than yes or no responses. Active listening is a good way of letting them know you understand what they are saying. It requires you to listen without interrupting, no matter how hard that might be and then summing up what you’ve heard them say. The use of “I” statements will also help to keep the conversation flowing rather than making them feel blamed or judged. 

You are a bigger influence in your teens life than you think which is why it’s important to have regular conversations with them. Be open and empathic with them and communicate clearly that you don’t want them using drugs or alcohol. Make sure they know you’re there for support and always listen to what they have to say without being judgmental.

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