Parents have a tough job. They're responsible for one or more human lives. It's important to raise them correctly and provide them with the food, water and shelter they need. Parents also have the job of making sure to teach their children right from wrong, how to live a healthy, happy life and how to take care of themselves. When the time comes, they'll one day be expected to care for themselves and possibly start a family of their own.
It's difficult to know you'll do the right thing as a parent. The worry that your children won't learn from example or take to heart what's right and wrong can cause great stress and anxiety. But, as long as you do your best, teach and guide them in the right direction, there's really nothing more you can do. It's up to our kids to take our guidance, support and life lessons, and then use it to their advantage.
One of the biggest lessons you'll teach your children as they grow up is what it means to say no to drug use. Substance abuse is a serious issue all over the world. Here in the U.S. it can consume us at any age before we even realize there's a problem. That's why parents should start teaching their kids at a very young age what it means to say no to drugs. Discussing addiction, drug rehab and the long road to recovery is also key. You want to make sure they're armed with the knowledge they need to understand why it's essential they steer clear of drug use, so that they might never need rehabilitation and recovery.
This can sound like a great idea, but when it comes down to it, how do we teach them? How do we stay positive, help them understand why drugs are bad, yet also support them when they stray away from the path we've taught them from a young age? What if our kids do end up with an addiction and need drug rehab?
The best first step to ensuring our children know what it takes to say no to drugs is to start as early as possible. Teaching toddlers from the age of two is key. How? Below, you'll find several tips that should help. If your son or daughter needs drug rehab in Asheville NC, please call Legacy today.
Preventing Drug Use During the Early Years
Toddlers learn by example. They rely on their parents to start the foundation of a healthy diet, good hygiene and exercise. Even when you think they're not paying attention, they are. That's where leading by example comes in. Teaching them healthy habits like brushing their teeth twice a day, eating healthy food choices and getting outdoors to exercise at least three times a week is a great start towards building their foundation.
By the age of two, they're able to understand what you tell them and actually have a conversation with you. Between the ages of two and twelve, you'll be able to teach them a great deal of how to lead a healthy, drug-free lifestyle and what will happen if they need drug rehab in Asheville NC.
For ages two to four, use the following ideas:
- Each time your child comes in contact with household chemicals, like cleaning supplies or gardening materials, talk to them about how dangerous they can be. Call them substances, just as you would when you talk to them about substance abuse later on in life. Read them the warning labels and explain to them what can happen if they ingest these chemicals. Help them understand that they can only eat or drink things that are healthy for their body. Also start explaining prescription drugs and why doctors might have to give them medicine from time to time.
- Have a conversation about what it means to live a healthy, happy life. Again, this might seem complicated, but they'll understand more than you think. Talk about how brushing their teeth keeps their oral health in great shape. Discuss how taking care of themselves will allow them to continue to play and have fun.
- Kids this age have trouble distinguishing between real and imaginary. They might have a make-believe friend or assume that what they see on TV is real. Now is the time to talk about what is real and what isn't. Make sure they understand there's a difference. Also discuss violence and other negative situations they might see on TV and talk about how it can hurt people.
- Problem solving skills should be taught at this age as well. If your child is building with blocks and becomes frustrated by the fact that they keep falling, use this to help them learn how to solve the problem. This skill will help them their entire lives.
- Use positive reinforcement when your child does something you're proud of. If they come to you and point out a harmful substance in or outside the home, praise them for it. Then, talk about it. Always keep the line of communication open, no matter what age they are. Later on, it will help them when they're in a situation in which they need you.
- While you're working with them on brushing their teeth twice a day, teaching them about healthy food choices and exercise, try incorporating responsibility as well. Remember, they are very young, and might not be ready, but giving them a few easy chores will help them learn even more quickly. Hold them responsible for remembering to brush their teeth at night. Give them the task of putting their toys away or clearing their dinner dishes. You can make this a fun, exciting activity, rather than one they'll grow to dislike.
- Work on decision-making skills. Let them choose their outfits and other easy, yet effective options that won't affect their quality of living. They'll learn how important it is to make good decisions, like wearing appropriate shoes or putting on a jacket when it's chilly outside.
Raising our children to understand right and wrong from an early age can be quite challenging. But, in the end, it will be worth it. They'll know how to take care of themselves, learn problem solving skills and grow to be a happy, healthy adult. You can take credit for that!
To learn more about preventing drug use at every age, be sure to visit back with us soon. We will talk about the preteen years and how crucial it is to reinforce things they've learned as young children, so that they'll have the knowledge and confidence to say no to drugs.
Quality Drug Rehab in Asheville NC Begins with Legacy Freedom
If your teen son or daughter is suffering from a substance abuse problem, it's time to get them drug rehab in Asheville NC. While it’s easy for them to believe they are alone in this struggle that is the farthest thing from the truth. There are numerous teens and young adults dealing with addiction, all over the world. Regardless of how bad drug or alcohol use has become, help is always available. Contact Legacy Freedom of Asheville if you’re teen needs drug treatment. We are here to help them get back on track to a healthier, happier life.
Visit other blogs in this series, below:
- Preventing Drug Use at Every Age - Pre-Teens
- Preventing Drug Use at Every Age - Teens and Young Adults