Now, let’s talk about ways you can get out of the situation if that happens. What do you think you should say?
Remember, you can always blame me and say, “My mom would kill me if I tried that!”
I think it must be really difficult to live a celebrity life and stay away from that stuff.
Being in the public eye puts a ton of pressure on people, and many turn to drugs because they think drugs
will relieve that stress. But a lot of famous people manage to stay clean – like [name others who don’t do drugs] –
and hopefully this incident is going to help [name of celebrity] straighten out his life. Of course,
people make mistakes – the real measure of a person is how accountable he is when he messes up. It will be
interesting to see how he turns out, won’t it?
The thing is, when a person uses drugs and alcohol—especially a kid because he’s still growing—it changes how
his brain works and makes him do really stupid things. Most people who use drugs and alcohol need a lot of
help to get better. I hope [name] has a good doctor and friends and family members to help him/her.
You must be so excited about starting high school… it’s going to be a ton of fun, and we want you to have a great time.
But we also know there’s going to be some pressure to start drinking, smoking pot or taking other drugs. A lot of people feel
like this is just what high school kids do. But not all high school kids drink! Many don’t, which means it won’t make you
weird to choose not to drink, either. You can still have a lot of fun if you don’t drink.
You’ll have a lot of decisions to make about what you want to do in high school and you might even make some mistakes.
Just know that you can talk to us about anything – even if you DO make a mistake. We won’t freak out. We want you
to count on us to help you make smart decisions and stay safe, okay?
“The response should be measured, quiet and serious--not yelling, shouting or overly emotional,” says parenting expert Marybeth Hicks. “Your child should realize that this isn’t just a frustrating moment like when he doesn’t do a chore you asked for; it’s very big, very important, and very serious.”
Say, “I’m really upset that you’re smoking/drinking. I need to get a handle on how often this has been happening
and what your experiences have been so far. I get that you’re worried about being in trouble, but the worst
part of that moment is over – I know that you’re experimenting. The best thing you can do now is really be straight
with me, so for starters, tell me about what happened tonight…”
I know you’re off to start your own life but please know that I’m always here for you.
I respect that you’re old enough to make your own choices, but if you ever want another perspective on things,
give a shout. I’ll try my hardest to help you out without judging you for your decisions.
Amelia Arria, senior research scientist at the Treatment Research Institute, also suggests:
There are certain things that you can count on in life and one of the things you’re going to be able to count on is me.
As your parent, I am always here for you. Remember, I am your support. I’m the one who can guide you.
Before you work with your child on this issue, there’s one thing you need to know: kids don’t usually get drugs from strangers.
They get drugs from their friends. And that’s the toughest issue of all: teaching your kids that it’s okay to say no to their
friends--the people they look to for validation, recognition, and fun. Strongly encourage your child to avoid friendships with kids
who use drugs.
A great way to help kids prepare for drug-related situations is by acting out — also known as role playing — scenarios with them.
It’s important to practice these scenarios with your kids before these situations really happen.
Remember, teens rarely verbally pressure or chastise each other into drinking or doing drugs. Rather, the offer is usually casual.
“Peer pressure” is more internal than you probably think. For example, your child sees other teens that she wants to be friends with
enjoying a drink or a drug and she feels like she wants to be part of it too. Or, she may be afraid that the other teens will think
she is less cool if she doesn’t join them. Try to include this dynamic when you act out scenarios with your teens.
Use the following two scenarios as a starting point, but create new ones based on your child’s life:
Teens have the common misconception and false sense of security that abuse of prescription medications is somehow safer than use of illegal street drugs. Listen to experts discuss this important health issue and get helpful tips on how to talk with your kids about the risks, as well as how to safeguard your medications at home.