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Tabano Law
Family Law

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Talk Sooner - A Hand From The Health Project on How to Discuss Drugs With Your Kids

It's one of those awkward conversations that parents have to have.  How do you bring up the dangers of substance use and abuse to your kids?  How do you address topics that you yourself might have been guilty of at one point or another?  Don't the schools have programs for that kind of thing?  Aren't they learning all they need to know on the internet?  Um....it's not that easy....but...it's not as difficult as you think either.

First off, if you're a regular reader you know that I am a very thankfully recovering alcoholic.  What began for me at 12 because I couldn't sleep ran it's course until I was 33 and completely bottomed out.  In that time, I went from half a beer to get me drowsy enough to sleep to a couple gallons of whiskey a week.  Back then, they relied on the "scare tactics" to try and keep young people away from things, and as I sat and listened to talk after talk, it was always with the mindset "that will never be me."  Well, guess what, it didn't work.  Hindsight being 20/20 in my case, there probably wasn't much anyone could have done and that's a really hard part of addiction.  The helplessness that those who love the addict feel because there's literally nothing they can do or say to change things.

Learn More About The Health Project

It doesn't mean though that parents shouldn't try.  But how?  Do you just sit down one day and say "Look kid....this that or the other thing is bad and you shouldn't do it!"  or do you sit and spill your guts about all the stupid stuff you survived in your younger days?  Probably not a great idea to tell the young people your're trying to mold into someone that you barely avoided jail a couple hundred times.  Too bad no one wrote a book on this kind of thing.  Well, there might not be a book, (although I am sure there are plenty), but there is an app for that.

Talk Sooner is an app developed for parents to give them the essential tools they need as to how to communicate the dangers and pitfalls possible when it comes to substance use and abuse.  Research has show that young people and teens want this kind of information to come from their parents.  So as difficult as it might be to reveal some of yourself to them YOU are the most important person to communicate effectively what can happen both in the short and long term of substance use and abuse.  When is the time to start the talk?  How do you approach the subject?  What kind of drugs are kids exposed to today and what are their effects?  Trust me... a look at the app and you'll see some things we never even thought of back in our day that kids are facing today.  It's a free app and it's designed to empower you to begin to shape their young minds as early as birth to develop a relationship that can be more comfortable when it comes time to talk about the tough stuff.

I met up with Missy Gallegos and Rachel McCoy of The Health Project of Mercy Health in Muskegon to talk about this app and how it can benefit your family.  You can even catch the PSA that Muskegon's own "Isabelle" did to help spread the word.  Take a listen.

It's not an easy chat for anyone, but...let me tell you from experience.  21 years of addiction is no picnic either.  I look back and as I said at the beginning, the hardship and anguish I put myself and family through was probably unavoidable, but I am just one case.  Parents... I implore you to know the facts....know what your kids are facing and know how best to talk to them in a manner that isn't confrontational, demeaning or makes them feel like somehow they are the only kid who's ever faced this kind of thing.  There's a link to the website in the photo below.  Click on that and get the app and the know how.  They are our most precious commodity.  Know how to talk sooner to your kids.

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