My Friend Has a Child Who is Struggling with Addiction. How Can I Help?
You don’t have to be affected by drug addiction to support a friend whose kid is struggling, or have to know exactly what to say. You just have to be there.
The Partnership produced 26 print ads last year. One of them in particular seems to really be resonating with parents lately. It's called How to talk to your kids about drugs if you did drugs. The fact that you've had experience may actually be an advantage.
The piece goes on to list 12 short, straightforward suggestions for parents on talking to kids about drugs. As a parent of two teenagers, the one that strikes me the most is number 10: DONT JUST TALK. LISTEN.
Everyone knows I talk a lot. And like most parents, I try to impart my worldly experience and infinite wisdom to my offspring…which usually results in a lot of blabbing. But when I do stop, sit back and bite my tongue, amazing things happen. My girls actually open up. (Of course, this isn't always the case — things like timing, mood, hunger-level, among other things, play a role.)
Turns out there's quite a lot on their teenage minds, not excluding the topic of substance abuse. I find that when I give them the chance to vent, it's often hard to get them to stop. But no matter what, its always enlightening.
For me, this ad is an important reminder to not only talk to my kids about drugs, but to keep asking questions and really tune into the answers.
Take a look at the ad and tell us which part speaks to you? We’re all ears.
P.S. If you're just starting to talk to your kids about drugs and alcohol with your child, visit our Parent Toolkit for some helpful tips and advice.