They key is to Talk Early, Talk Often and Don’t Ever Stop Talking.
Develop an open, honest and trusting communication between you and your child-it is essential to helping them avoid substance use.
Encourage conversation - Don't lecture. As parents we want to have “all the answers” sometimes we are so anxious to share our wisdom or our opinion that we don’t take the time to listen.
Listen without interruption- your active listening will start a trend for conversations about topics that concern you.
Ask open-ended questions - avoid questions that have a simple "yes" or "no" answer.
Encourage your teen to tell you they think and feel about the issue you're discussing.
Control your emotions - if you hear something you don't like, don’t respond with anger. Take a minute and a few deep breaths. Acknowledge your feelings in a constructive way.Watch your tone of voice and body language. Model what you want your teen to do.
Show respect for your kid’s viewpoint will make them more likely to listen to and respect your viewpoint.
The truth is important - if you have a family history issues with alcohol or drugs, be matter of fact about it, as you would any other chronic disease, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
Remember to talk to your kids about drug advertising. Most messages are especially powerful and influence kids more than you know.
Focus efforts on teaching children what TO do, instead of what NOT to do, and reminding them regularly that the majority of youth do not drink alcohol or do drugs.
The more you talk to your kids, and the more you really get to know them, the easier it will be to gauge what they need to hear.FIND HELP: 1-877-8-HOPENYNew York State Hopeline, offering hope 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for alcoholism, drug abuse, and problem gambling. All calls are toll-free, anonymous, and confidential.