As parents it is our job to teach our kids things and make sure they know how to keep themselves safe. Many parents, however, come to a point in their lives when they have to decide just how much information is enough, and how much is too much.
In order for our kids to grow up happy and healthy and safe, we need to educate them. We need to teach them about dangers that they should be aware of, and how to avoid risks and temptations they will face.
Sometimes, however, parents feel torn over how much information to share with their adolescent, and there may be times that less information is better. If you as a parent have a history of drug and alcohol abuse, it is not necessary to go into detail about that abuse. Certainly, bragging about it or making it seem glamorous in any way would not be appropriate. We don’t want to hide things or lie to our children, but we have to be careful about how much we share. The best way to talk about it is to say that you made some bad choices and tried drugs when you were younger, but that there were consequences to those choices, and you wish you wouldn’t have gotten involved. You could say that when you were younger, your parents never had this kind of a talk with you, and you wish you would have known better.
Kids also do not need to know all the details about the drugs teens do today. Knowing too many details will give a teen a sort of familiarity with drugs and can make them too comfortable with the idea of experimenting with them on their own. Parents need to work hard to strike a balance between knowledge and curiosity in their child.
In the same way, parents may choose to keep certain bits of information from their child for their own safety. For example, you may choose to not tell your teen about the prescription drugs you are taking and keep in the house. Some parents may choose to keep quiet about the alcohol they keep at home. In these cases, all parents should keep their substances locked up or out of reach, but how much detail they go into may depend on what they feel is best for their child.
As with almost everything in life, moderation is a good thing. Parents will want to give their kids the information that will help keep them informed and safe. However, parents need to be careful about how the information is provided to the kids and how much, to make sure it doesn’t make substance abuse seem fun or enticing. The best way to do this is to give simple facts that support your point to say no to drugs. Explain the risks of substance abuse and then focus on the positive things your child can work to accomplish if they don’t ruin their lives with drugs or alcohol.
This article was written by Bethany Winkel
Joining the TSN online family in 2008, Bethany has used her skills as a writer to reach many people through her blog. Always eager to be a help to others, she is pleased to see her writing become a source of information, encouragement, and hope for those impacted by substance abuse. Bethany is happy to be involved with an organization that is making a difference in the lives of others. Bethany has also held the position of development coordinator for a nonprofit youth center for the past 6 years. With her expertise in grant writing, Bethany has raised over $1 million for programming that benefits at-risk youth. The happy mother of 4 young children, Bethany juggles her writing from home with spending time with her family. If her hours of research for her TSN blog articles have taught her one thing, it is to be an involved parent who takes time to listen to her kids.