Be an excellent role model for your child

Researchers have identified important factors that can led to teen drug abuse

BY DOUG ROGERS

Researchers have identified important factors that can led to teen drug abuse. These risk factors include things such as a chaotic home, drug-using friends, and ineffective parenting.

Conversely, protective factors include parental involvement, success at school, a strong family bond, a no-use drug policy at home and appropriate role modeling from parents.

Parents should remember to model the kind of person they want their child to become.

Keep these tips in mind:

n Be a living, day-to-day example of your value system. Show the compassion, honesty, generosity and openness you want your child to have.

n Know that there is no such thing as “Do as I say, not as I do” when it comes to drugs. If you take drugs, you can’t expect your child to take your advice. Seek professional help if necessary.

n Examine your own behavior. If you abuse drugs or alcohol, your kids are going to pick up on it. Or if you laugh at a drunk or stoned person in a movie, you may be sending the wrong message to your child. Be the person you want your child to be. What stronger anti-drug message is there?

Parents significantly influence teen smoking and drinking. Your kids need your support during the difficult years of childhood.

Research shows that teens who perceive that their parents like them, respect them, take them seriously, listen to them and give reasons for rules and decisions that involve them are less likely to smoke and drink.

Teens with parents who do not establish clear behavioral expectations, do not keep themselves informed about their teen’s life and do not demonstrate their regard for their teen are more likely to experiment with substance use.

Finally, high parental expectations, involvement and monitoring have been found to be negatively associated with substance use – be involved in your kids’ lives and remember they are watching you!

Merry Christmas and all the best for 2015.

Doug Rogers is the Substance Abuse Prevention Counsellor for the Vernon School District.