Talking is “the anti-drug,” says a new study. But warnings about drugs and alcohol won’t have any effect unless parents have a long history of talking to their children, and listening to their mundane problems.
Teenagers who thought their parent wasn’t listening, or taking his or her concerns seriously, were far more likely to turn to dangerous substances. The parental plea that they not do so was not taken seriously by the teen.
“I think what happens is if the parents show the teenagers that when an issue comes up, it’s OK to withdraw and not really talk about it, teenagers pick up on that and they see that as a legitimate way to deal with an issue,” (University of Illinois Professor John Caughlin says. “They will turn around and do the same thing to the parents.”
Ignore your kids, and they’ll ignore you.
I also suggest teaching kids to think about the consequences of their actions when they’re toddlers.