Have the conversation

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.

Click here for action steps that go beyond communication.

What to do when things go sideways?  We need to admit that we are not perfect and neither are our kids. It’s easy to think, “My kid would never do that.” The reality is that given the “right” circumstances/risks our children “will do that.” As parents we need to be prepared for these difficult situations.  Here are some tips:

  • We all have good kids – recognize and praise their good decisions often! This helps when they do make mistakes and helps us not judge them so much.
  • No one is immune to the risks of drugs, alcohol and peer pressure.
  • Make sure your kids know that they know they can come to you with anything and together you will get through everything.
  • They will all lie…but will eventually tell you the truth.
  • Have consequences and try to have them in-line with the infraction. Have your child/teen help set them in advance and then follow through.
  • Remember you are the parent, not the friend.. It’s important to build mutual respect and offer compassion and understanding even if you are very upset inside.
  • You don’t have to talk about it immediately. It’s ok to wait until morning or when anger subsides to talk about things. We all need breaks sometimes.
  • Pick them up when needed, no questions asked (they will eventually come around and tell you).
  • Communicate to your kids that under no circumstances will they drink and drive and or get in a car with someone who has consumed alcohol. Period. Communicate this often.
  • Offer options of taxi, or a safe person to transport kids.

Bonus Tip:  Healthy Lamoille Valley has hosted several workshops by world-known speaker, Michael Nerney.  In one of these workshops he shared the importance of giving your teen a way out.  He and his family had created a safety system around a fictional family member.  If their teen called and brought up that family member it was their subtle cue that they needed to get out of a tricky situation without making a scene.