Hudson Valley Parent

HVP April 2018

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14 Hudson Valley Parent n April 2018 A series answering parents' toughest questions when raising a teen Keep the conversation going. See the complete article and tips to help raise your teens at Dr. Paul Schwartz Professor of psychology and education Patrice Athanasidy Mother of three from Westchester You are your child's most important role model and their best defense against drug use. Behind the voice telling us to get out is the child that still needs guidance, love and compassion. We started as their number one fans; this is no time to back down! By talking openly with your teen about drugs, you can strengthen your relationship with them. Once you build a strong relationship, communication will be easier. You should start the conversation early and ask your kids what they know about drugs. Coming from a place of inquisitiveness may make it less likely for teens to be defensive or lie. Talk regularly and talk often. Many "mini-conversations" about drugs are better than long boring lectures. My children went through the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program as fifth graders. That gave me an opportunity to begin a dialogue about tough topics when my children were still young enough to want to talk to me about them. I have to walk a fine line between being clear about rules and being available to my teen if things go wrong. We talk about how to keep beverages guarded and how to be sure they are not given anything without their knowledge. I tell them to watch out for their friends and never get in a vehicle with someone who has taken any drugs or been drinking. I make sure they know whatever time it is or wherever they are (and whatever state they may be in), I will be there. I am always clear that safety comes first. How do I talk to my kids if I suspect they are experimenting with drugs or alcohol? Summer Pre-College Experience campus life and earn college credits! Health Tips for Infants, Toddlers, ' Tweens & Teens 24/7 on our website 9 Local Oces 845.452.1700

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