Between the ages of 9 and 12, our children begin to take on a personality. They're getting to the age where clothing, music and hanging out with friends are far more important than doing well in school. While we worry about what our children will do, how they'll act and what they'll become, it's up to us to ensure they're ready to face the world. It's also up to us to make sure they learn right from wrong. We must teach them that drugs and alcohol are dangerous at any age, especially during their teenage years. Offering them guidance and teaching by example are important during these years.
Once they've reached kindergarten, it's likely they'll begin learning about drugs and alcohol in school. They'll recognize use of these substances on TV. Their little eyes see everything and their minds soak up every bit of information they can. If you missed our previous blog post containing tips on how to begin teaching our children at an early age what it means to live a healthy lifestyle, you might want to visit back. This is the first step to take in preventing drug use in our toddlers.
By the age range of five to eight, you'll be able to talk more about drugs and alcohol and why it's important to refrain from using them. They'll better understand how harmful they can be and what type of damage they can do to growing bodies. You can also set clear, defined rules geared towards expected behavior, both in school and at home.
Problem solving skills that they learned as a toddler will be honed and taken to a new level. Work with them on what it means to solve predicaments they might find themselves in versus running away or getting frustrated.
Also work on expressing feelings. If your child is uncomfortable with a situation, they need to know that it's OK to walk away and tell an adult about it. If they're faced with a problem that they aren't sure how to solve, help them express that. Also assure them you're there to help them in any way possible.
There might come a time when they need you to pick them up from a party that has drugs or alcohol involved. If your child is worried you'll be mad or frustrated over the fact they're there, they might not even call you.
Taking all scenarios and outcomes into consideration and making a life lesson out of them is key at this stage in their lives. If your preteen needs help, call Legacy Freedom. We specialize in drug treatment in Asheville NC for young people.
Preventing Drug Use in Preteens
One of the most essential and effective ways of preventing drug use in preteens is setting rules, sticking to them and enforcing consequences of broken rules. This can be quite difficult, give your preteen might have a serious attitude. Kids this age are moody. They're stuck between a childlike age and one that's ready to face the world without fear. Preteens don't know whether to cry to mom when a bad situation comes along or deal with it as best they can on their own.
This age also brings a need for them to "fit in." They want to be just like their friends. Wearing the wrong clothes, listening to different music or having a unique haircut is pure torture. They worry that their friends won't like them anymore. Preteens are troubled by the fact that they might be different.
During these crucial years, it's important to help them become their own individual. Encourage them to choose a different pair of shoes than those their friends are wearing. Show them what it's like to happily wear unique attire, just because they want to. This will give them the courage to stand up for what they want; what they believe in. Preteens will be less likely to go with the flow if parents show them how to be themselves.
This will also help when it comes time to say no to their friends. It might seem like the end of their world, but preteens must understand that just because their friends are doing it, doesn't mean they should. It also doesn't mean that what they're doing is right.
During the ages of nine and twelve, your child will begin to make friends that could last them a lifetime. This means it's time to start monitoring their time spent with them. Also be ready to meet other parents. You want to know your child is hanging out with kids whose parents have the same mindset and offer the same guidance and example that you do. This can be difficult and time consuming, but it's well worth the end result, when you know your kids are safe.
Also start teaching your kids about the facts of drug use and the consequences of drug treatment in Asheville NC. Scaring them into thinking that using drugs are bad might only work for a while; if even at all. Facts are hard to ignore. Use examples from www.drugfree.org/drug-guide. Below, you'll find a few facts to help you begin:
- More Americans die from drug overdoses than in car crashes, and this increasing trend is driven by Rx painkillers.
- 10 million young people (12 to 29 year olds) in America are in current need of treatment for substance abuse and addiction.
- More people die from abusing prescription pain relievers than cocaine and heroin combined.
There are tons of facts out there for you and your preteens to discuss. The information is startling and might scare you more than your child, but arming yourself with this knowledge is important. Saying no is easier when they know the cold, hard truth of what substance abuse can do to us, at any age.
The most commonly used substances among ages 9-12 are as followed:
If you worry your preteens are subjected to use of any of the substances above, contact Legacy Freedom of Asheville. Our counselors are standing by to talk with you about drug use and how to not only prevent it, but help your children, should they fall victim to using.
Raising our children to understand right and wrong from an early age can be quite challenging. Preventing drug use in your children can be even more difficult. That doesn't mean, however, that it's impossible. Stick with it, offer them the knowledge they need to say no and how to take care of themselves. You'll soon realize that you've done a great job. Your children will be happy, healthy adults before you know it.
Dependable Drug Treatment in Asheville NC Begins with Legacy Freedom
Has your son or daughter already become a victim of substance abuse? Regardless of how bad the addiction use has become, help is always available. Never assume there's nothing that can be done. With the right commitment and support from both family and Legacy Freedom, no one is alone in this situation. Recovery is just around the corner. Help is a phone call or visit away. Contact Legacy Freedom to learn about our drug treatment in Asheville NC that is tailored to fit the needs of your child, so that they're able to learn how to rejoin life, drug-free.
Visit other blogs in this series, below: