According to the addiction charity, Addaction, two thirds of parents in the south-west have difficulty talking to their children about drugs. Their research shows that fewer than one in three parents have the confidence to initiate such talks and a similar number don’t think there’s sufficient advice available.
These findings come on the heels of the deaths of teens in Tavistock and Camborne this summer. Addaction’s Karen Tyrell doesn’t believe it’s enough to simply tell teens that drugs are dangerous since they tend to do the opposite of what they’re told. She is of the opinion that regular conversations are the way to go, ensuring that you’re “finding out what’s going on in your children’s life and who they’re talking to.”
Parents who want to talk to their kids about drugs should avoid making it a big deal as that would only make it feel more awkward for everyone. It’s also important to know how to pick the right place and time when everyone feels comfortable. Talking while taking a walk or a drive can work.
Parents should not put too much pressure on themselves as they’re not expected to be experts. They should avoid lecturing and listen more because their teens wouldn’t want to feel preached at or judged.
Perhaps the most important point to remember at all times is to be patient.