Parents and Caregivers
It’s never to early to consider your child’s safety. Lock your medicines – prescription and over the counter. Teach your children to ask before eating unknown substances or food offered by others. If you have alcohol in your home, make sure it is not left unattended where your child can accidentally ingest. Start now to really listen to your child, this will create an atmosphere of openness that will allow your child to ask questions when they do arise.
School Age Child
Your child is transitioning to spend more time with teachers and peers. Find ways to be involved – volunteer in their classroom or after-school program, introduce yourself to their friends’ parents – walking them to the door when you drop them off at a friends. Just as with the younger child it is important for you to model and talk about safe use of substances. When you take a medicine – talk about how you’re taking it as directed/prescribed. Secure the medicines when not taking. Talk about why you don’t share prescription medicines (It’s illegal, you’re much more likely to get addicted, the dosage may not be right for your condition or body type, etc. ) If you have alcohol in the house, keep track of it and model safe usage.
Pre-teen and/or Teen Child
Your child is growing up, but boundaries are still important. We recommend visiting parentupvt.org for resources to help you navigate these years.
Young Adult and/or College Aged Child
Your relationship has definitely changed, but you still have the opportunity to lovingly support your “child.” Talk to them like adults. Seek their input. If something seems off, check in with them regularly. Resource: collegeparentsmatter.org.