Your child's friends will have a huge impact if not the most impact on their drug and alcohol use. We know that not every kid who tries drugs or alcohol will have a problem. But I want to remind you of the end goal here. From a harm reduction standpoint, you want to extend their age of first use to be as old as possible, preferably adults so that their decision making abilities will be greater. So how can you keep your child from experimenting when their friends around them are more than likely going to this task may seem impossible, but it's not. Staying in the right social circles starts from a young age like preschool age, and this is not an exaggeration or an overreaction.
But if you help your child choose their friends wisely, when they're younger, their social circles should remain similar as they age. Now I know there are circumstances that not every parent can control such as needing to move divorces, deaths, and so on. But the values that you instill in them from a young age will definitely make an impact. As they get older, they will start making their own choices and choices of friends. And this is where it starts to get tricky, and there's a fine balance. You don't want to come across as too overbearing, because then the resist, but a hands off approach can be just as detrimental.
We talked earlier about extracurriculars and keeping your kids busy, and that's something that seeps into friendships. really capitalize on the right friendships and do your best to help them steer away from the friends that you have a bad feeling about. So go out of your way to make sure your child gets social time with those who are on the right path, band friends, sports friends, and so One, those friends who share similar interests with your kid dance scouts, whatever, but popup blockers on those social situations that come up where there are friends involved, that you have a bad feeling about. For example, let's say your daughter starts hanging out with a girl named Sarah, who has a reputation for getting into trouble. Let's say this weekend, Sarah is having a party and wants your daughter to come. It's important to have little excuses in your pocket.
So there's two ways to approach this situation. And this would all boil down to how adaptable Your daughter is to you saying no. First you could try the no we already have something planned that I forgot to tell you about. We're going to the movies or we're going out to eat and we're going to grandma's so on. Just think of something on the fly yet it's always been in your back pocket. This way.
The thing that you do will distract them from not going to the party house. Ever every kid is different. And your daughter may have the type of personality where if you say no, it will ruin their life metaphorically, of course. In situations like this, maybe you could compromise, letting her know that you already had something planned, and they have a choice, they can go to the party and leave early or don't go to the party at all. That way, it'll look like you're willing to work with your daughter to find a solution. Leaving a party early will minimize the likelihood of drug and alcohol use, especially because they know you're coming.
And typically drug or alcohol use starts later in the night. On the flip side, let's say your son is really involved in drama and his drama friends want to hang out and go to town. Go to a town that's an hour away. You trust these kids. They're good kids. But the thought of driving so far just sounds so annoying.
Do it anyway. You know why? Because if they're getting the social interaction That they need from good level headed non using drug friends, there'll be less likely to seek out other situations. You want to help them to build stronger friendships. As your kids get older, it's going to be harder and probably one of the hardest things to navigate as the parent, especially once they reach driving agents so on but don't give up as much as you want to say, yeah, just be home at curfew. It's important to know what's going on in their life at all times and pick up on signs for drug or alcohol use may be present.
You are the parent. And as the parent it's your job to keep tabs on your kids at all times. It's not snooping to go through their phone and read their messages. They don't need to know you're doing it. You can do it simply by getting software or reading through it when they're asleep at night, but you want to make sure what they're doing isn't heading them down the wrong path. If you don't keep tabs on them both in person and online, you'll never be able to spot the early signs.
The worst thing you can do when you have a teenager is to feel comfortable. I know it's exhausting, but it won't last forever. And the harder you work at keeping at it, the benefits of them not using drugs or alcohol will certainly pay off. If you know a kid who had a drug or alcohol problem as a teen, I can almost guarantee you that you'll be able to think about their parents involvement and how they weren't able to spot the signs early enough but could have kids and especially teams are very good at hiding what they do and when they do it. But you need to be one step ahead at all times. know who their friends are, know where they are.
Get to know their friends, parents and encourage strong friendships with good kids. And don't be afraid to snoop. Now, let's talk about classmates and how schooling classmates may impact their choices on drug and alcohol use.