We are starting a workgroup for parents and caregivers to share tips that are helpful in raising teens and tweens!

Our connections with other parents/caregivers are valuable as we set our kids up for success in both the short and long term. When parents/caregivers work together to address the issues that present stumbling blocks for our kids, our outcomes get better. One of these stumbling block is substance misuse. There is not a comprehensive manual that outlines how to support our kids and prevent substance misuse, but there is a lot of power in parents/caregivers coming together to address the risk factors.  Healthy Lamoille Valley coalition member Deb Schoepke will be co-facilitating a monthly parent workgroup to support parents in identifying and addressing issues that contribute to youth substance misuse.  Join us on the 4th Wednesday of each month at 7:00pm.  Click here to register! 

We’re launching our parent/caregiver workgroup on April 28th at 7:00pm and focusing on the foundation of strong communication.  Click here to read five tips for successful communication about substance misuse.

Communication is great, but talk alone doesn’t prevent/solve everything. What we do as parents /caregivers matters, our kids are watching.  Here are a few tips for action steps you can take with your kids:

  • We all have good kids – recognize and praise their good decisions often!
  • Kids are smart. Model good behavior from the very beginning, when they are very young. They are always watching!
  • Keep your kids busy, especially in sports, theater, music, dance or job. Find (or help your kids find) fun things for kids to do on a Friday and Saturday night.
  • Know your kids’ friends and their parents (introduce yourself, call to confirm that a parent is at home, etc.)
  • Set expectations with your child and stay open minded – include your child/teen in this process. “You’re getting a phone, what should we expect from you related to responsible use?”  Set limitations early in their life but be flexible – build up trust.  Have consequences and try to have them in-line with the infraction. Be consistent and fair. Can consequences be predetermined with help from your child/teen?
  • Make sure adult use substances like alcohol and marijuana are not left around the house. Secure and monitor any adult use substances in your home.  If you host gatherings with alcohol, have separate coolers for alcoholic /non-alcoholic drinks and put them in separate places, and have an adult in charge of monitoring the alcohol.
  • Have dinner with your kids as often as possible, even if it’s just two of you.

More Resources!

It may not seem like it at times, but parents are a child’s No. 1 influence. That means it is up to us to address tough topics with our kids like substance use and mental wellness. ParentUp is here to help and provide guidance about how to do this as supportively and effectively as possible.

Talking to Teens Ep 115: Beating Substance Abuse and Addiction
Podcast from Talking To Teens: Richard Capriola, author of The Addicted Child and a seasoned addiction counselor, gives us the details on vaping, marijuana use, and drug abuse in teens. Go in depth on what to do if you suspect substance abuse and how to start a successful recovery.

Alcohol: What Families Need to Know to Help Protect Young People
Guide for families from the Partnership to End Addiction, breaks down the facts and action steps.