How To Ensure A Safe And Drug-Free Environment For Your Kid
It is a common thing today for kids as they grow up, to enter the world of drugs. This makes it difficult for parents to ensure that their kids don't get influenced by drugs. But some steps can be taken by parents from the very beginning to make sure this doesn't happen.
Many experts, like those at a Columbia drug rehab center, Lantana Recovery , believe that children who aren't exposed to drugs growing up have fewer chances of getting addicted when they are older. The earlier the exposure the more is the risk of addiction in children. So you must ensure that your child isn't exposed to drugs.
Here are a few ways you can ensure your kids don't get influenced by drugs:
1. Keep Communication Open
Communication with your kid! Let them know you care for them, try and spend time with them so that they can open up about what is troubling them, or give you feedback on how life is treating them through their daily experiences. Keep lines of communication open always so even if there are no signs of trouble, at least they know you care and will accept only if it's necessary. Kids these days tend to experiment a lot because it's an age where they're facing a lot of changes. Even knowing that the experiment might not end up good, they don't let their parents know about it. They tend to think that their parents will scold them or even punish them, therefore they tend to avoid telling them. This is why open communication is very important so that they can feel free to tell you if anything bothers them and vice versa.
2. Check for Changes
Childhood is a time when kids start experimenting with themselves and others around them so it's natural for some changes to happen in physical appearance or behavior but there are some clear-cut signs which indicate the use of drugs. In case you notice any of these things, get help from an expert right away:
- Change in behavior
- Change in appetite
- Change in attention, grades, or school performance
- Change in sleep patterns
- Loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy
3. Stay Informed and Educate Yourself
Drugs come in all forms from prescription medication to heroin and it's our responsibility as parents to make sure that our kids don't take them without a doctor's prescription or even experiment with stuff blindly. This is where knowledge comes into the picture. Not only will you be able to tell if your child is using something illicit but you can also help him/her stay away from harmful substances by knowing what they are and why not to use them.
4. Set Ground Rules
Keeping an open communication channel is very important but so is setting some ground rules within your family. Some important rules that you must put into place are no smoking in the house, no underage drinking, and absolutely zero drugs. Try to educate your kids on why it's a bad idea to experiment with drugs.
5. Know Your Surroundings
Every house has a specific set of people who come over for various purposes like getting help with homework, playing video games, or just hanging out. It's important to know all these people inside out so that if they ever start showing signs of addiction, you know what their problem is all about. This will also avoid any kind of problems later on when it comes to your child picking up some bad habits while hanging around these kids more than usual. Also, don't hesitate to quiz your kids about their friend circles since most parents aren't sure where their children go after school or who they hang out with. Don't hover but actively participate since it helps in building a rapport with your child.
Don't allow your child to grow up thinking that drugs are cool or something to be admired. You need to make them understand the consequences of drug experimentation at a young age, which will make them more alert when they get older. If you have any history of drug abuse by anyone in the family, then it is even more important that you talk about the negative impacts of drugs on yourself and how you turned out one fine day after quitting drugs or alcohol addiction.