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It’s easy to think of substance prevention as something complicated… however it’s really in the simple moments.  The moments that build relationships with our kids.  It’s seizing the opportunities to invest in quality time….

It’s the: “Oh you’re still awake, do you want to play a quick video game?” special moments.

It’s the: “Let’s go for a quick walk… hey this is fun let’s keep going…” 4 miles later conversations.

It’s the: “Let’s go pick some berries” sweet moments.

It’s in the: “Do you want to go to the store?” car-ride moments.

It’s in the: “Let’s have a snack and you can tell me about your day” moments.

It’s in the: “Here, let me help you with your stacking wood” chore moments.

It’s in the: “Let’s go fishing” silences.

It’s in the: “That looks like a lot of laundry to fold, let me help” moments.

It’s in the: “Let’s go play ball… nice catch!” moments.

It’s in the ….  The list could go on and on….

It’s so important to take time to build quality relationships with our kids.   To allow space for natural conversations.  These times let our kids know they are valued and create opportunities for deeper level conversations when needed.  It’s in these moments that our children/teens learn that who they are and what they do matters.  You don’t need an agenda to build relationship, find what your kids like to do and do it with them… or find what they don’t like to do and help them out once in a while!

Keep conversations low key… know the data and weave it into your conversations as it fits. Visit Parentupvt.org and healthylamoillevalley.org for more resources and conversation-starters.

Did you know 73% of Lamoille County high school students think their parents feel it would be wrong from them to use marijuana but only 54% think it is wrong for someone their age to try it?  Or that 84% of Lamoille County middle school students think their parents feel it would be wrong for them to drink alcohol but only 62% of Lamoille County high school students think their parents feel the same?  Do your children and teens know that you think it would be wrong for someone their age to use these substances?  Have the conversations.  Even if you choose to use these legal adult use substances…. let your kids know that you do not think they should use while their brains and bodies are still developing.  Check out the latest Youth Risk Behavior Survey from the Vermont Department of Health and get the facts on your region.

We’d love to hear your “It’s in the … moments.”  When and where do you connect with your kids (and teens)?

Want to join your community to learn more about the results of the latest Youth Risk Behavior Survey, what it means for your kids and how you can get involved?  Join Healthy Lamoille Valley and other local families, educators, service providers, and community members on Tuesday, September 25th as we come together around a common topic: preventing youth substance abuse.  RSVP now on Eventbrite.com.