Heart to Heart Talks

Framing the Conversation

  1. Avoid these two words: “Let’s Talk.” It seems natural to parents, but it sets off alarm bells in our children, and, more often than not, the walls go up. Instead, hang around your child in a non-demanding way, be patient, and look for a chat “window”– your child may even start the conversation!
  2. Respond from your heart. Empathize with your child rather than lecture or reprimand. When we show empathy, children won’t feel blamed, shamed or judged.
  3. Show disapproval of underage drinking/drug misuse – As the #1 influence in your child’s life, send a strong message of disapproval through short, frequent talks.
  4. Show your child you care about their health and well-being – Let your child know you’re on their team and the goal is for them to be happy and safe.
  5. Become a good source of information – Stay informed so you can share reliable information with your child; if you do, they will view you as a trustworthy source.
  6. Build your child’s skills for avoiding drinking/drug use – Provide your child with tools to gracefully exit a pressured or uncomfortable situation, like texting a code word to a family member or practicing ways to say “no thanks.”

Sources: samhsa.gov and ideas.ted.com

For additional ways to talk to your child, please see CTAD’s Resource Guide or visit Partnership for Drug Free Kids.

It’s not one 60-minute conversation.
It’s 60 one-minute conversations.

Comments are closed.