Prevention First celebrates the positive influence of parents in the lives of their kids and makes the following suggestions to help you start off a meaningful and important discussion in 2011 with your family!
1. Teach your children to trust you by seeing you as a role model.
2. Be patient, not just tolerant. Apologize when you make a mistake or do something you regret.
3. Ask teens what they need from you.
4. Listen to your teens, a lot.
5. Teach your children about ethics, values and principles they can apply in choices and decision making.
6. Help them discover the feeling of gratitude.
7. Keep the promises you make. If you do not keep your word, acknowledge that. Help your teen understand the circumstances or choices that precipitated the change in your plans.
8. Answer your teen's questions and be consistent. When you notice behavioral changes in them, make yourself available and encourage them to talk about what is going on in their life.
9. Be understanding when they have a difficult time and let them know you will love them no matter what.
10. Be diligent. Have ongoing conversations with your kids about the risks of drugs and alcohol.
For the coming New Year, resolve to talk more often with your family about healthy decisions and choices! Research shows that youth who learn about the dangers of drugs from their parents are up to 50 percent less likely to use than those who do not get those important messages at home. For more information please contact us at www.PreventionFirst.net or call our Resource Center at 732.663.1800 ext. 216.
Mary Pat Angelini, MPA, CPS
Executive Director, Prevention First