LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - In wake of the opioid crisis, parents need somewhere to turn to for help on addressing drug and alcohol abuse with their children.
The Gateway Foundation provides a list of questions for parents to utilize for just that reason. Here are the four things parents need to consider when talking about drugs and alcohol with teens:
Am I encouraging open dialogue?
If you've been openly talking to your child throughout the years, you've formed a strong foundation for having an open dialogue with your teenager. However, as adolescents mature, even the most communicative ones can close up. As the parent, it's up to you to keep all lines of communication open and non-judgmental.
Am I setting aside one-on-one bonding time?
Sometimes your child needs to be reminded that despite the preoccupations of every day life for the both of you - work, school, after school events, siblings, and family obligations - that they still matter and are being listened to. Try to get some one-on-one time with each of your children.
Am I discussing the dangers of drugs and alcohol in a way that places importance on the topic?
It's a tough subject, and sometimes it's even harder to get conversation time with your children. Having a quick conversation in between texts or in the car on the way to soccer practice doesn't always signal the gravity and importance of the topic.
Am I monitoring and communicating more?
Parents walk a fine line between 'snooping' and checking in on their child. As a parent, you have every right to know what's going on in your child's life - from who they're interacting with and where they're going to what they're doing. Kids who are not monitored are four times more likely to use drugs than those whose parents monitor their activities.
For more tools from the Gateway Foundation - click on the link provided with this article.