Talking to your teen about experimenting with drugs

If You Have Experimented with Drugs, How Do You Answer Your 12-16 Year Old When They Ask “Did You Do Drugs?”

If you are like most parents, you want to be honest with your children as much as you can be. You want to foster a healthy relationship that calls for frequent and truthful communication. However, you might feel scared and unsure of how to answer your 12-16 year old when he asks you if you have ever done drugs. You might not know what to say if you were actually experimenting with drugs in your past. Here is what you say when your child asks this tough question.

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Honesty Is the Best Policy

Honesty always is and always will be the best policy. Even if your first thought is to lie and say that you were never even tempted to try drugs, you should know that your 12-16 year old might realize you are lying and not trust you ever again. Your preteen or teen needs to know that you are human and that you have been faced with the exact same choices that he faces. If you were experimenting with drugs, go ahead and admit the truth. This will show your teen that you trust him enough to be honest with him and that you respect him enough not to lie to his face. This simple admission on your part can help you build a bond with your child and can open the door to many conversations about drug use. Don’t let this opportunity slip by you without taking full advantage of it.

Take Control of the Conversation

When your child first asks you if you were ever experimenting with drugs, you have to seize the moment and give this important conversation your full attention. Stop whatever you are doing to make sure your child knows that experimenting with drugs is serious business. Then, you need to take control of the situation. Make sure your child knows how tough it is for you to state the truth and that you hope he will be honest with you as well. Ask your child directly if he has experimented with drugs or if he abuses drugs. You might find that your honesty pays off in that your child tells you truth about his drug use. Just be prepared for the answer you might receive.

Talk about It

While you are discussing drug use or abuse, this is a good time to make sure your child is aware of the problems drug use causes. You can talk to your child about how to know if he is addicted to drugs and what treatment options are available for persons experimenting with drugs. You want to arm your child with as much information as possible to help him make good choices when he is offered the opportunity to do drugs. You may not be able to scare your child away from drugs, but you can make him think about what he is doing before he starts experimenting with drugs. The information and knowledge you give your child during this discussion might be what stops him from ever trying drugs in the first place. It is always better to be proactive rather than reactive in a case like this.

The last thing you need to keep in mind is that your child might be asking you this question about yourself because he already has a drug addiction and doesn’t know how to tell you. If that is the case, be prepared to step up to the plate to get your child the help he needs to stop experimenting with drugs. Look inside yourself to find your inner strength because you will need it to help him battle the addiction. You can help your child beat a drug addiction because you love him that much. It is possible.

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