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Tips for Parents
Educate yourself about alcohol and other drugs
. Call the Prevention Office (1-410-758-1306) for free parent prevention guides. They also have free informational brochures and a video loan program. A staff member will be happy to recommend the best resource for your needs.
Talk with your child about alcohol and other drugs
. Open a question and answer session. Discuss the myths and the facts. Explain the harmful effects. Choose a time when your child is open to learning.
Be a good listener
. Help your child feel comfortable and safe about asking you questions or talking over concerns with you. Pay full attention and don't allow your anger to end the conversation. If your child is not starting conversations with you, take the initiative and ask about school or friends.
Set strong no use rules to protect the well being of your child
. Remember, you are the authority. Make sure your child knows that alcohol or other drug use is strictly forbidden. Don't hesitate to protect your child by enforcing the rules.
Be a good role model
. If you expect your child to grow up drug free and to be a responsible drinker as an adult, then teach them by example. Children copy their parent's behavior.
Help your child deal with peer pressure
. A good way to do this is by play acting or "role playing" situations where they are pressured by their friends to use drugs. Help them practice how to say "no" and mean it.
Communicate values openly
. Talk with your child about the importance of honesty, responsibility, trust and other values. Help them to understand that strong values will lead to good decisions.
Support healthy activities
. Allow your child to attend recreational or social activities that are alcohol and drug free. Encourage them to be creative with their free time. Keg parties should be off limits even if a parent is supervising. The fact is: It is illegal for people under 21 years old to drink alcohol in Maryland.
. Join with other parents to prevent alcohol and illegal drug use in your neighborhood. There is definitely power in numbers. Invite your children to get involved too. Take the time to get to know your children's friend and their parents.
Know where to get help in case your child needs it
. If you suspect a problem, know ahead of time where to get help and don't hesitate to talk to an expert.
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