Face Challenges Together
According to The Partnership at Drugfree.org, modeling healthy ways of processing challenging situations and being involved with helping your child work through their own challenges can reduce the chance that your child will drink, use drugs, or engage in other risky behaviors.
As a parent, share appropriate personal challenges you face in your adult world. Briefly describe the problem, how you feel about it, and what steps you are planning to take to move forward. Ask your child how they think you should address the problem.
When your child sees you process a challenge in a healthy way, it gives them a set of steps to follow when they face problems of their own. Sharing your own difficulties with your child can open up communication for them to share their challenges with you.
When your child shares a challenging situation with you, be sure to take the time to sit down with them and give them your full attention to show that the child's problem is just as important to you as it is to them.
For example, if your child had an argument with a close friend and feels his world has fallen apart, encourage him to talk about how he feels, what might make him feel better, and what he can do to re-engage with his friend.