Five Tips To Keep Your Kids Away From Marijuana
With four states and one district now legally allowing the recreational use of marijuana; are your kids safe? Many opponents to the growing trend point to a need to keep kids away from marijuana by making it illegal everywhere. But if you live in a state where it is legal, or might soon be so, how do you make sure that your children are not at risk?
Research has shown that teens in particular are at risk of addiction if they experiment with marijuana while their brains are still developing. Use during adolescence can result in slower development, lack of motivation, and even depression and suicide, especially amongst those who use it regularly at a young age. So how do we as parents send a clear message and reach out to our kids about this? Can we keep kids away from marijuana in a state where recreational use is legal?
Keep Kids Away From Marijuana By Communicating
The most essential tool you have is your ability to communicate with your kids. This is why it is important to keep the lines of communication open and always reach out, even if you think they aren’t listening. Here are five tips to help:
- Reach Out Early – Kids often begin to experiment with drugs as young as 14, so the younger they are when you start discussing this, the better.
- Teach Them to Say No – Try role playing the situation with them to give them the tools to say no if they get pressure from their peers. This is when they are the most vulnerable.
- Create Guidelines – Just as there are rules for bedtime and chores, discussions with kids about the rules about drugs should be clearly communicated. In fact, they should be part of that same discussion about family guidelines in general.
- Get Involved – Do you know where your child is at all times? Getting involved with their lives, knowing their friends, creating fun family activities and keeping the lines of communication open , including on social media, is part of parenting and helping them know you care.
- Walk the Talk – Are you the role model you should be for your kids? If you say don’t do drugs but do them yourself or drink to excess, then they will act as you do, not as you say. Send them the right message.
Keeping the lines of communication open can go a long way to helping to keep kids away from marijuana. Just as they must learn how to make smart decisions about alcohol and tobacco, they can learn how to handle this newly legal drug as well, with your guidance.