Parents do so much for their children. Make sacrifices, work overtime, borrow money and do whatever it takes to help their offspring get a good life. However what many parents, if not most don’t do is talk enough to their children. No matter how good the school you are sending them to, and how together you think your child is you really don’t know what’s going on inside their head unless you talk to them.
In the old days parents did more of that, but now with our modern work schedules and everything we are just not able to do the same. This is a crying shame, especially when in the Internet age your children are exposed to information you did not in some cases even have as adults. How would a young mind be able to cope with and process the mountain of information they have to deal with on a 24×7 basisin
Children these days have an extended peer group thanks to the Internet and it is quite easy for them to fall prey to alcohol and drug abuse. It is therefore important that parents start talking to their children at a very young age about how such dangers exist out there and one needs to be aware of them and keep oneself safe.
They should be talked to about coping with loss, anger and stress management like they were individuals in their own right. Like smaller versions of adults. The issues that the kids face as even pre-teens are akin to what many of us faced in our late teens. If you happen to see any major behavioral change in your child, that is usually a sign of trouble and you may need to step in and take charge of the situation; perhaps even get the child tested for substance abuse. If abuse is confirmed you will have to engage with the child on a very close basis for a very long time. You will need to win their trust enough to not let the child feel the old circumstances that compelled them to get tempted in the first place to return.
It is far better of course to have had this conversation before rather than after the problem arose. It may not be easy to introduce such topics of conversation in a seemingly normal situation, but one must. By and by one can let it be known that drinking, smoking and substance abuse are neither acceptable behavior nor good from a health point of view. Let this be ingrained by and by over the years. Let them know that these types of activities is immoral and not acceptable under law. Lastly lead by example. A father or mother who has a drinking or substance abuse issue of their own will hardly have the wherewithal or the moral authority to be a mentor to the children.
Very early on in life let children learn that society lives by rules and that rules are for peoples good. This will instill a sense of discipline in their impressionable minds quite early in life, and they will be better able to distinguish between acceptable and non acceptable behavior. Clearly parents play a pivotal role in pointing their children’s moral compass in the right direction.