Helping Parents Prevent Youth Substance Abuse

Be a Role Model

Research shows that when it comes to alcohol and other drugs, children are likely to model their parents’ behaviors — both healthy and unhealthy ones.

Be a good role model when it comes to drinking alcohol, talking medicine, and handling stress. Your attitude about drugs and alcohol can also influence your child’s attitude about drugs and alcohol — and have an effect on his or her future behavior. Here are three ways that you can be a good role model for your child.

1. If you choose to drink alcohol, consume small amounts with a meal or for a celebratory occasion. Don’t become intoxicated in front of your children. Drinking alcohol in excess around your children or using illicit drugs increases the likelihood they will develop alcohol or drug problems.

2. When it comes to prescription drugs, be sure to follow the instructions properly. Do not use leftover prescription drugs in your house for casual, non-medical use. It’s also important not to share your prescription  medications with other family members or friends. And be sure to dispose of unused prescription drugs properly.

3. Children learn behavior by observing their parents’ behavior. That means your child picks up on the way you cope with stressful situations and how you manage your emotions. When you are overwhelmed, try exercising or using other stress management techniques in order to teach your children that they do not need to drink or use drugs to cope with life’s problems.



Use the TalkSooner app for tips on how to talk to your kids about not using alcohol or other drugs.