the PARENT UP-Date
Vol1.1 February 2014
It's Time to Parent UP
Life is full and fast. Today's kids and teens have instant access to information and answers, a constant bombardment of stimulation, and social interactions that happen virtually almost as much as in person!
What kids need most in this frenzy is for you, their parent, to slow down, enter in, and listen up. Through all the stages and changes of adolescence, kids want a committed and concerned adult to know about and care for them.
RIGHT NOW IN KC'S NORTHLAND:
-The average age youth start drinking alcohol is 12
-Data shows 1 out of every 5 high school students reports drinking alcohol in the last 30 days
-Almost half of our teens will be offered dangerous drugs by the time they leave high school.
Despite these surprising and scary realities, there is good news!
YOU as a parent, have great influence in your child's decisions in the areas of drinking, drug use, or other risky behaviors.
- Even though it can seem like your child defies your authority, fights against your involvement in his or her life, and resists your teaching moments, the truth is children who learn about the risks of drugs and alcohol from their parents are up to 50% less likely to use.
- Even if your relationship with your child is wrought with conflict and battles over big and small issues, staying involved and present will make all the difference.
It’s time to Parent Up and use your influence to keep your kids healthy and substance free.
By starting the conversation now, you can help equip your child to make smarter and safer decisions later in life.
Talk to your kids early and often:
- While your child is young, Develop trust with your child by setting and enforcing rules and boundaries. Talk to your child about the dangers of alcohol. Model responsible adult use of alcohol.
- When they’re in middle school, talk to your child about the specific dangers of underage drinking. Express your desire for them to stay alcohol free until age 21. Establish clear, no-use policies with specific consequences. Develop relationships with your children’s friends and parents of their friends.
- When they're in high school , be specific and strict about family policies and expectations on drug and alcohol use. Explore with your teen the realistic dangers of alcohol on their brains and bodies. Show commitment to them as a person, interest in their individuality, and concern for their well-being. Complement their strengths and keep communication lines open.
Some questions to get the conversation going...
"What is a challenge you overcame?"
"Who do you admire the most and why?"
"What is a favorite memory you have from our times together as a family?"
"What is a favorite memory you've made with your friends?"
"What are you doing to keep your body healthy?"
"Do kids at school talk about alcohol?"
"What do you think about drinking?"
"How do you think I feel about kids drinking?"
"What are you excited about this week?"
"Is there anything I can do to help you this week?"
"Tell me about some of your best friends."
"Tell me about something you like about school and something you don't like about school."
"If you knew you couldn't fail, what new thing would you try?"
More tips here