It’s school season once again! The experience of going back to school can both be exciting and stressful. The new environment or new set of people surrounding a teen could cause stress and this could pave the way for teen substance abuse.
It is important then for parents to help kids cope
with the stress of school opening. Issues like drugs and alcohol abuse should not be taken for granted. The best time to start the talk with kids is now, and not later. Here are some points parents need to remember:
a. It greatly helps when parent-child conversations start early and happen regularly. This is a good way to deter negative behavior among teens. Both can set their expectations and possible problems are discussed before anything comes too late.
b. To make kids focus on school, parents should set academic expectations
for their children. When teens know that their parents are expecting much from them in terms of school performance, they will be more determined and focused on their academic life.
c. Sometimes, it’s not enough for talks to discourage teens on getting into substance abuse
. To emphasize the whole family’s seriousness on such issues, put everything into writing. You may create a "written contract" containing rules and regulations on important teen topics, and such a contract should be strategically placed where each member of the family will have a glimpse of it each day. This way, they will be reminded of the commitment that the family has established.
d. During instances when parents begin to detect changes in a teen’s behavior or physical appearance, the talk should be done immediately. Parents can seek help and support
for their troubled kids through various school programs against drugs and alcohol or in community initiatives that aim to help families disturbed by substance abuse cases.