Resource & Discussion Guide
SECTION VII – FAMILY AND PARENTAL DISCUSSIONS
Introduction to Activity
A solid relationship with parents and family provides teenagers with a support network. Parents were once teenagers and have experienced many of the same issues. They can often be a helpful resource if you are honest and open.
Some teenagers think that if they talk with their parents about drugs or alcohol, their parents will suspect that they are using the substances. Parents, however, say they would just like some information about what is going on in the schools and their child’s life.
Look for an opportunity to discuss one of the following subjects with your parent/teenager and report on what you have learned from the experience.
- Look for an appropriate time to talk about how you feel about the use of steroids in sports. Continue the discussion with what you may or may not know in terms of other drug and alcohol usage.
- Let your parents/teenager know that it is important for you talk about drugs and alcohol with them because drugs are a fact of life and you want to know how they feel about them.
- Ask your parents what it was like when they were teenagers. Did they have more or less freedom? How were your parents lives affected by peer pressure and the media messages you see daily.
- When surveyed, parents say they want to know their kids are not in danger from using substances; that their child is in control and not at risk of harm and to know that their kids understand what drugs can do to them. Talk about what you feel they/you need to know.
- If you are well informed, you should be able to hav e a proper discussion with your parents/teenagers about drugs and alcohol. You might find your parents/teenagers need more education about drugs so they will stop worrying. Alternatively, perhaps you will find they know quite a bit and have some useful things to say. Look for opportunities, like television programs, commercials or magazine advertisements to open a conversation. Then, set ground rules such as no lectures, no leaving the room angry, and no accusations. Engage in an open discussion about drugs, tobacco and alcohol.
This Resource & Study Guide is also available as a PDF document suitable for printing. In addition, there is a supplemental document, Drug Definitions & Symptoms (print).