Prevention for Parents

Keep Your Teen Drug-Free :: February '20 Issue

It’s All About Relationships

Points of interest

· Connection is key in preventing unhealthy behaviors.

· How are you loving your teen? Find out what’s right for them.

· Can peer pressure be a good thing?

Relationships :: what makes the biggest difference

While there isn’t one right answer for keeping students away from substances and other risky behaviors, we know relationships make a big difference.

When your student feels connected to family, community, and positive peer groups, they make better decisions.


Take time this month to talk with your student about what it means to be connected and how to build supportive relationships.


People need connection, but we often don’t know how to cultivate it– especially during our awkward teen years.

Help your teen practice how to connect with others by having meaningful conversations.

Here are a few starter ideas:


  • Tell me about the best part of your day.
  • What is something you are struggling with?
  • What is something you are working towards right now?

Shuksan Middle School Prevention Club

Shuksan’s very own Prevention Club meets every Tuesday from 3:45pm to 5:00pm


This club is for any student who wants to help create and maintain a healthy and positive school environment for everyone. The students decide what topics to focus on, and how to address the challenges our school faces with support and guidance from Mr. Giles.


We can make an impact on teen substance use, bullying, failing grades, school climate, and more. Club activities will include:

  • creating posters and bulletin boards,
  • small projects around our school
  • participation in our Community Family Night

Speaking the Same Love Language

We all speak and understand love in different ways. When someone is speaking a language we don’t understand, we miss the message.

There are 5 primary ways we receive and give love– words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, physical touch, and acts of service.

Are you and your teen speaking in a way you both can understand

Big picture

Peer Pressure Can Be A Good Thing

“Peer pressure” calls forth images of one teen being a “bad influence” and aggressively telling another teen to make an unhealthy choice.


However, many students report rarely being in this situation. And, if they are, they feel comfortable saying no.


More often, peer pressure comes in the form of wanting to fit in with a group of friends that they already have close relationships with. No one is explicitly telling them to do something, but just being in proximity induces pressure to make similar decisions.


Whether it’s healthy or unhealthy choices, your teen is more likely to do what the rest of their friend group is doing. Make sure that is part of the conversation when you’re teaching your students to say no to substances. Saying no to a stranger or acquaintance when they offer a hit off their vape is easy. Telling a close friend that they’re making a bad decision and turning down their offer or ending that relationship is much more difficult.


There’s no getting around peer pressure in middle and high school, it’s always present. But it can be used in a positive way, too.


Encourage your teen to hang out with peers that will influence them toward healthy choices, and to be a positive influence on others.

YOU CAN

Marijuana Prevention Campaign

From the Author

Hi! I’m Kelly Giles and I work at Shuksan Middle School as a Student Assistance Professional (SAP), doing drug and alcohol prevention and interventions.


A big part of my job is building relationships with students because we know adults play a huge role in influencing healthy choices.


I love to partner with parents, too! Please stop by my office just to say hi or get in touch if you are worried about a student. Send me any ideas you'd like to see in upcoming issues via email.


Thank you for all you do for our young people, it matters!

Kelly Giles

Student Assistance Professional (SAP)

Shuksan Middle School

Northwest ESD 189