Talking to your children or stepchildren about certain topics might be uncomfortable. However, it is better for them to get the information from you, rather than other kids at school or television. The misinformation could lead to your kids getting involved with the wrong people and the wrong substances. There are some topics that are tougher to handle than some others, but with a few tips, you are sure to do fine with the conversation.
Drug and Alcohol Use
This is something that you should discuss before your children enter middle school. There is the possibility that some kids might have drugs in middle school if not before these grades. It is important that your kids know how to say no when offered drugs or alcohol. They should also know what certain drugs look like so that they can tell the difference between them and something that isn’t a drug like candy. The consequences of drug and alcohol use should also be discussed. Don’t accuse your children of participating in using these items, but make sure they know the effects of what can and will happen.
Sex is a topic that should be approached delicately. Don’t discuss the topic in an open setting if your kids aren’t comfortable. You should also try to talk about sex with your daughter and son separately to make them feel better about opening up to you. There are books that you can get to help give information correctly. Talk about developments that they will individually experience. Then, you can discuss what happens when two people have sexual intercourse. The ramifications of the decision to have unprotected sex should also be discussed. If sex is a religious concern, then you need to explain that it is best to wait until they get married so that the body is pure.
Driving While Texting
This is a concern that has recently increased in popularity. Teenagers think that they can multitask by driving and texting. In many states, this is against the law. Let your kids know that while you want them to stay in touch with you when they go somewhere, they should not text or call you while driving the car. Some videos show the damage done to cars after accidents when people text and drive, and these may be good tools to use in the discussion.
Whether you are talking about drugs or driving, your kids need to know they can trust you about anything. Remain calm when discussing the important issues. Remember, you were their age once. Don’t accuse your kids of doing anything, but explain to them that the behavior won’t be tolerated and the reasons why.
Rianne Hunter is a wife, mother of three, and a writer covering all things family, health, and fitness. She encourages anyone who thinks their loved one may be dealing with substance addiction to talk to professionals like those at a women's drug treatment center in Fort Lauderdale.