Back to School is a hectic, often stressful, time of year. Although, some parents might rejoice with schedules and routine coming back into their families. During this time your child/niece/grand child or other loved one may be experiencing a lot of transitions. Whether they are entering Middle School, High School, or advancing a year within these schools; there is one thing for certain: Talking with the youth in your life about good decision making needs to be a top priority.
It has been said that it is more powerful to have 60 One Minute conversations than 1 Sixty Minute conversation when it comes to talking about many important topics, including alcohol and other drugs.
Can anyone keep count of how many news stories there are highlighting the negative consequences of substance use disorder and other stories related to the chronic health condition known to many as addiction? Probably not. But, discussing the negative effects is not the intention of this note. The intention of this note is to empower you to start having small talks about how successful and amazing these children are and will continue to be if they do things unrelated to substance use.
"Aha Parenting" shares great conversation starters here: http://www.ahaparenting.com/parenting-tools/communication/family-discussions and if the topics of Drugs and Alcohol start coming up in your conversations make sure the child is aware of that their family has clear consequences if they do use substances. Partnership for Drug-Free Kids has great answers to common questions that may come up, like "Did you use drugs Mom?" or "How is marijuana harmful if people use it as medicine" that is located here: http://www.drugfree.org/the-parent-toolkit/. If you want local information check our campaign: Check the Stats NH at checkthestatsnh.org.
So, whether you are in the car talking about sports on the way to a game, or talking quickly when you get home late and everyone is headed to bed... take advantage of opportunities to connect and talk. We'll be here to provide you with tools and messaging while you are busy with life and supporting the youth in your life. (By the way, you don't get told this enough, but you are doing a great job!)