How to Talk to Your Teens about Drugs

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This week on Homeschool Highschool Podcast: How to Talk to Your Teens about Drugs.

How to Talk to Your Teens about Drugs

How to Talk to Your Teens about Drugs

Are you wondering how to talk to your homeschool high schooler about drugs? Many of our homeschool kids are not going to be directly exposed to drug use. It is not going to be a rampant thing in their communities or experiences. However, they are going to run into it out in the work world when they go to college. 

They may have friends that may have some issues, and they will have to make their own decisions once they are out there on their own. Knowing how to talk to teens about drugs is an extremely important topic. 

Talking To Your Teens About Drugs

One of the things to think about is that while we have our teens pretty sheltered in lots of homeschool situations, our teens will have exposure to drugs. They need to have some idea of what is going on in the world and how to handle it. 

One of the things to do is just start with a good health curriculum. 7Sisters has a health curriculum where we gently talk about drugs, drug use, abuse prevention and more called High School Health for the Whole Person. This is a no-busywork, no-nonsense, not-preachy approach to talking about all aspects of health:

  • spirit
  • soul
  • body
  • social
  • cultural pressures and more. 

Make An Intentional Plan To Talk

Every family should plan to have that the uncomfortable sex talk with our homeschool high schoolers, but we should also have a talk about drugs and our culture regarding them. 

This does not mean you have to know all the things drug related. It just means that you need to actually talk about the substances in general, what your family norms are and what you want them to be.

Alcohol and drugs are pervasive in our culture. There are drugs that are illegal. And then there are drugs that are not really illegal, but they are very addictive.

Just sit down with your teens and let them know there are mind altering substances out there. Alcohol is the most common. Also, once they are in college, they might have opportunities these days to go down to a dispensary to try marijuana. Talk about this, what would be the risks and realities of experimenting?

Melanie Wilson talks more about this in her Homeschool Sanity podcast episode on preparing teens for college.

Explain Your Family Norms and Rules

Let your teens know what your norms are in your family, and then talk about what your family rules are. Be open and honest because it is extremely important when you have the talk. 

Be Genuine

Approach it in a way that is very authentic to you. Do not lecture and do not act like you know more than you know. Also, do not cover up your discomfort if you feel uncomfortable talking about drugs. Be genuine in how you feel and let your teen know if it is weird for you too.

Deliver The Talk In Five-Minute Chunks

One way to deliver this talk is in five-minute chunks. Find a way that is going to be congruent with you, whether it is a spread out little talk or a one big sit-down-together talk. It can be for fifteen minutes or be for an hour. 

Talk about what you understand and what your expectations are in a non-lecture approach. Also, be sure you include why you think about things the way you think about them. 

Listen To Your Teen’s Opinions and Questions Calmly

One of the most helpful things is to let teens ask you questions and give their opinions. If they have a question or an opinion, listen to it calmly. Even if they ask a snarky question because sometimes teens are snarky and ask curious questions about the things they do not know. 

Research Information About Drugs

You can find information about drugs at several legitimate sources:

Tell your teen that you are going to learn about it together. 

If they are exposed to a negative role model in some aspect of their family or friends, talk about that and let them know what they can learn from that.

What to Do If They Have A Friend Who is Using Drugs

When talking to your teens about drugs, let them know what to do if they have a friend they are concerned about. Teens do not want to be tattletales, so help your teens to start formulating a plan if they see their friends making a mistake. That way they will know how to handle it.

Help them understand the value of a gentle confrontation. Also, discuss what to do if they are afraid somebody is in danger. 

Leave The Door Open For Future Conversations

Just as important as talking to your teen, prepare for the future by leaving the door open for future conversations. Sometimes teens will talk to you about uncomfortable topics and sometimes they won’t. Keep that door open regardless.

Every teen does their own development and as they go off to college, they are going to have their own experiences. So if you have talked enough ahead of time, they will be more comfortable about knowing what to do if they have a concern about something like this.

One of the most useful episodes we have at the Homeschool High School Podcast is an interview with Seth and Caroline Tillman, my youngest son and his wife, called College Safety and Fun for Homeschool Graduates. Seth and Caroline went through the whole state-college experience with their friends. Some of the topics they shared on the podcast episode is not just about what to do when you run into a drug use situation at a friend’s party, but also how to keep safe in general.

How to Talk to Your Teens about Drugs

Drug use is not our favorite topic to be talking about, but we live in a world where it is just a real problem. And not talking about it doesn’t help – it hurts, not helps. It is critical to know how to talk to your teens about drugs. Then discuss it with them because when your teens are out on their own, they will be prepared. They will be ready to manage life for themselves and if they have questions, they know they can come back and talk to you.

Our 7SistersHomeschool Facebook group is such a good place to ask questions and have a discussion with your 7Sisters and the 7th Siblings. We have got lots of homeschooling moms and dads who you can throw a question in the group and people will share their experiences and ideas. And that’s why we want to do this homeschool thing together – to support each other. 

Thank you to Richie Soares with Homeschool and Humor for writing this blog post!

Join Vicki for tips on talking about drugs with your teens.

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