Are your kids approaching the age where you feel it’s time to talk to them about the dangers of drug and alcohol use? Are you trying to figure out the best way to help them make good decisions about not using and drinking, but you feel like a hypocrite because you experimented with drugs and alcohol?
There are many variables involved in the study: has the eighth grader discussed substance use with a parent before, has the eighth grader tried cigarettes, alcohol, or other drugs yet, and have the parents discussed any of their own past with their eighth-grade child?
It seems that if an eighth grader’s parent, or parents, had mentioned regretting drug and alcohol abuse in the past, and shared negative consequences that came from substance use, the eighth grader had less anti-drug attitudes. The study’s lead author, Jennifer Kam articulates it as a “Mom and Dad used, and they’re still here” mentality that seems to give kids permission to experiment with drugs and alcohol as well.
Talking To Your Kids About Drugs
So how can you approach the alcohol and drug conversation without telling your kids about your experience with substances?
Jennifer Kam does not recommend lying, but she does suggest that you do not volunteer information about your past. Instead, operate as a positive role model, especially when it comes to alcohol consumption.
Stanton Peele, the author of Addiction Proof Your Child, was also involved in the study and believes that a large part of the problem can stem from prescription drugs. If a parent is prescribed an opiate for pain, for example, and the kid knows this and sees the parent taking the prescription regularly, then the lines are blurred for which drugs are okay and which one are not.