If your kids are too young to
be involved with drugs, you're lucky. You've still got time to
do the things that will reduce their risk later. And taking the
time now to enhance your parenting and drug-proofing skills can
cut your own risk of heartache later.
Here are some ideal places to
Talk. Kindergarten isn't too early to start talking with
your child about drugs and other serious topics. Point out the
dangers of smoking, drinking, and drug use, and let them know
your feelings and values.
Be clear about rules. Let your child know that you regard any
drinking, smoking, or drug use as a big deal, and clearly state
your family's rules. If any experimental use has taken place,
ask your child about details and circumstances.
Make communication safe. Open communication is the key to family
drug-proofing and protecting your child from other potential
problems. Learn, if you haven't already, to listen -- not just
talk. Let your kids know that you're always there to talk about
problems, and that it's safe for them to tell you anything they
have to say.
Get to know the parents of
your child's friends. You
don't have to start a major project here, but at least establish
a basis for future communication and cooperation. If you need
to, set up a support system for watching the kids after school
or set common rules about mealtimes, curfews, homework, and acceptable