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Substance Misuse: Communicating With Your Teen

When it comes to having successful discussions with teenagers regarding substance use, there is no one-size-fits-all approach, but these tips may still be valuable.

1. Clearly communicate your goals

Setting goals with your adolescent or teenager is essential. The idea is for the parent and child to work together in order to accomplish common goals.

2. Engage - resist the urge to lecture

When we're older, we're eager to share as much wisdom as possible to help young people avoid making the same mistakes that we did. Although, it will be more beneficial if you can tap into your teen’s natural curiosity and urge them to seek answers on their own.

3. If your child has used substances, attempt to find out why

Showing curiosity about your teen’s motivations behind substance usage might enable them to feel less criticised. It may also provide you with a glimpse into your teen's underlying difficulties, guide them in understanding their own conduct, and alert you to the need for assistance from a professional.

4. Find a comfortable setting

A sit-down encounter generally provokes resistance, but a spontaneous, informal approach may reduce your teen’s nervousness and maybe even yours. Find a less restricted, yet not too distracting, location such as the park.

5. It's okay to ask for a pause or break when the conversation gets heated

You are allowed to acknowledge and express your own feelings. It may be necessary to take a break and resume the discussion tomorrow when you have calmed down and reflected on what has been said. This prevents hurtful and harsh things from being said.



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