Helping Parents Prevent Youth Substance Abuse

Pre-tween (7-9)

The pre-tween years are when children need help determining how to go about making their own healthy choices.  At this age parent involvement is important for drug prevention. Take advantage of "teachable moments" now. Children at this age are faced with more and more decisions and having conversations early can help teach them how drugs can be harmful to the body.

Know Your Facts
Talksooner can help provide the facts!

Parents who are educated about the effects of drug use and learn the facts can give their kids correct information and clear up any misconceptions. Make talking about drugs a part of your general health and safety conversations.  Keep the tone of these discussions calm and use terms that your child can understand.

Make Healthy Choices
Teach children early!

Explain the importance of health, diet and exercise.  Eating healthy foods feeds their body and allows it to grow and putting things other than food in the body like drugs can be very dangerous.

Promote healthy medicine use! Make sure they know that they are never ever to take a medicine unless given to them by their parent (grandparent, or a trusted adult).  Be sure that you keep all medicines safely locked away and out of reach. Explain that medicines can help your body if it is sick but only if prescribed by a doctor.  

Separate Reality from Fiction
Use a character in a movie or on TV to reinforce your message!

Characters in movies and on TV shows can provide parents an opportunity to talk about smoking, nicotine addiction and what smoking does to a person’s body.  This can lead into a discussion about other drugs and how they can cause harm.  
i.e. Pinocchio-Disney Movie

Know Your Kids Friends
Everyone has different schedules and challenges, but even the busiest parents can find ways to stay connected with their children’s friends.  Being involved and getting to know your children’s friends and their guardians will not only show you care but can help build protective factors that will help reduce risk of drug use as they get older.   
Here are ways to get involved:

  • Volunteer at sporting events.
  • Get involved with the parent teacher organization.
  • Volunteer in the classroom.
  • Participate in community or church events.

Role Play
Role playing can help a child prepare to say “No”.  Children enjoy role playing and this will be a great way to teach young children about drugs and help build on their strengths.  
Here's some help with role playing.

   

 

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