Jul 09 2008

For Parents

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It’s Summer Time

Summer can be a risky time for teens. More teens try marijuana for the first time in the summer months than any other time of the year.

Here is a S-U-M-M-E-R drug-free checklist from the National Youth Anti-Drug Campaign:

Set rules

Have you set clear rules and let your teen know that marijuana use is unacceptable? Two-thirds of kids say that upsetting their parents or losing the respect of family and friends is one of the main reasons they don’t smoke marijuana or use other drugs. Set limits with clear consequences for breaking them; praise and reward good behavior.

Understand and communicate

Have you talked to your teen recently about the harmful physical, mental, and social effects of marijuana and other illicit drugs on young users? Young people who learn about the risks of drugs at home are up to 50 percent less likely to try drugs than their peers who learn nothing from their parents. Look for teachable moments in everyday life to keep the conversation ongoing.

Monitor your teen’s activities and behaviors

Have you checked to see where your teen is, who he is with, and what he is doing? Teens who are not regularly monitored by their parents are four times more likely to use drugs. Check up on your teen to make sure they are where they say they are.

Make sure you stay involved in your teen’s life

Have you talked to your teen’s coach, employer, and friends lately? Stay in touch with the adult supervisors of your child (camp counselors, coaches, employers) and have them inform you of any changes in your teen.

Engage your teen in summer activities

Have you helped plan activities to keep your teen busy? Research shows that teens who are involved in constructive and adult-supervised activities are less likely to use drugs.

Reserve time for family

Have you planned a family activity with your teen in the coming weeks, such as going to the movies, taking a walk, or sharing a meal? Teens who spend time, talk and have a close relationship with their parents are much less likely to drink, take drugs or have sex.

Parents are the

#1 Influence

Parents be Alert!

One of the best ways to reduce teen alcohol use is to make sure your kids can’t get alcohol.

               Problem                                                            Solution 

     Using alcohol in the home without                    Lock up or monitor alcohol in your      

     permission is a main source of initial                home.  Have clear family rules against

     alcohol use by teenagers.                                underage drinking & enforce them.

Perceived parental disapproval is the strongest influence on youthful alcohol use. Children who believe their parents would strongly disapprove of their using a particular substance are less likely to do so than those whose parents somewhat disapprove or neither approve nor disapprove.

Remember:      Teens view silence as approval!!!

                         Talk to your kids before they start!!                        

                       Influence your kids before someone else does!   

Parent Tips:·      

  • Set clear rules and boundaries    
  • Enforce rules and establish consequences for breaking them     
  • Reinforce your expectations of no alcohol, drugs or tobacco      
  • Encourage teen to make each moment count       
  • Let them know you want the very best for them     
  • Remind them that a bad choice can change their lives forever     
  • Provide fun, safe, drug free alternatives    
  • Communicate positively with your teen regularly     
  • Set a good example  

Characteristics of a Minor

Least Likely to Use Alcohol:

  • Teen is active in extracurricular school activities and other hobbies.
  • Teen is part of a strong family in which there is a clear and consistent policy on underage drinking.
  • Teen is educated about the dangerous effects of alcohol and the large number of teens who choose NOT to use alcohol.
  • Teens have positive role models.
  • Parents know teen’s friends and their parents. 
  • Parents know where their teen is and whom they are with at all times.

Parents are the #1 influence in their children’s lives!

            STOP – THINK – DON’T PROVIDE 

Thinking about providing to a minor… THINK AGAIN. . . !!!

Resources for Parents

The most important job you will ever have – “Parent” sometimes known as “Adult Caregiver, Role Model, Mentor”The number one reason kids give for not using drugs is their parents. The Red Ribbon Project seeks to help parents carry out the most important job they will ever have. In the site: www.redribbonschools.com,  information is provided that is meant to help parents in the job of guiding and modeling healthy behaviors and strengthening positive social values. Every adult contributes to the emotional and social development, cultural growth and academic achievement of every child. Are you equipped for the job?

Create a home environment that encourages learning and nurtures your child’s physical, mental, social and spiritual education.
Communicate high, yet reasonable, expectations for their children’s achievement and future careers.
Develop knowledge of how their child functions in the school environment by becoming involved in their children’s education at school and in the community.

Tools for Parents

Parent involvement is the participation of parents in every facet of the education and development of children from birth to adulthood. Parent Involvement takes many forms including parents as first educators, as decision makers about children’s education, health, and well being, as well as advocates for children’s success. There is clear evidence that the child-rearing practices, attitudes, and values and behaviors of parents influence whether their children will use drugs, alcohol or tobacco.Engaging families in prevention and in the education of their children is imperative. Research consistently reveals that students with involved parents, no matter their income or background, are more likely to:

  • Be drug-free
  • Earn higher grades, and enroll in higher-level programs
  • Be promoted, pass their classes
  • Attend school regularly
  • Have better social skills, show improved behavior and adapt well to school
  • Graduate and go on to post-secondary education
  • Make greater gains on state tests than schools with lower rated programs due to highly rated partnership programs

Research demonstrates that when parents are involved, students achieve more, regardless of socioeconomic status, ethnic/racial background, or the parents’ education level. The most accurate predictor of a student’s achievement in school is not income or social status, but the extent to which that student’s family is able to. It is important to also understand that the cognitive functioning of the brain changes with substance use and abuse.

Find out more…

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