There is an estimated population of 26.8 million children of alcoholics currently in the United States, according to the National Association for Children of Alcoholics. For the recovered alcoholic or drug addict, making the decision to talk to your children about drugs and alcohol can be a difficult decision to make. Parents may feel uneasy about their children when addiction runs in the family. They may feel that their children will always be tempted. It is important that you do speak to your children, however. Here are a few things to consider when you do decide to have that talk with your children.
When you are talking to your children about addiction and alcoholism, the best thing that you can do is listen to your children and answer any questions that they may have. Also, you want to remember not to become angry if your children admit that they have tried drugs or alcohol. You want to foster an environment of openness and honesty where your children feel like they can come to you with any concerns they may have.
Drug use and drinking can affect your child’s health and development. It’s essential that they understand all of the implications with using drugs and alcohol. However, it’s not only the typical dangers associated with drugs and alcohol that they have to deal with. They will also have the added difficulty of having addiction and alcoholism in the family.
It’s also important to keep your eye open for other addictive behavior with your children. Video games, food, and computers can also be things that your children can develop addictions to. Though not as destructive from a physical health standpoint, when it comes to mental health, a video game addiction can be just as bad as a drug addiction.
You can also help by giving your children the tools to stay away from addictive behaviors. Don’t be afraid to set rules and limitations for your children. Also, you want to talk to them about the various ways they can avoid peer pressure, and you want to help them with their self-esteem so that they will not be tempted to engage in addictive behaviors.
Drug and alcohol prevention for your children begins with an open and honest conversation. The best thing that you can do for your children is to be honest with them and answer any questions that they may have about drug use and addiction.