Educators: Arm parents in the fight against drugs

Schools that have effective programs for preventing students from using drugs succeed because they have the help of parents. But to get parents’ help, schools—and the agencies they work with to create a safe and drug-free program—must provide parents with encouragement and strategies for influencing their children.

Foremost, parents need advice in two areas: how to clearly communicate values of right and wrong, and how to help their children resist peer pressure.

In parent meetings with teachers, counselors and other professionals, as well as materials sent home and posted on your website, offer parents these recommendations. Parents should:

  • Teach by example.
  • Encourage self-discipline by giving children regular chores.
  • Be clear and consistent about standards of behavior concerning drug use, curfews and unsupervised activities.
  • Know their children’s friends and communicate with parents of their friends to ensure they share the same rules and expectations.
  • Know school and community rules, and hold their children accountable when they break a rule.
  • Know where their children are and what they are doing throughout each day.
  • Make time to talk with their children about their concerns and interests.
  • Know what the most common drugs and alcohol products used by young people are, and their effects.
  • Know the extent of drug use in their children’s peer groups, school and community.
  • Know the signs of drug use, and watch for changes in behavior.
  • Know how and where to get help if they suspect drug use.

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