Here are two things for parents and kids to do together in order
to learn how not to harm themselves with drugs.
Encourage your child to pursue his or her own interests and hobbies
as an alternative to turning to drugs as a way to feel good and avoid being
bored or lonely. First, talk with your child to find out why they think
people use drugs (to avoid stress, because of peer pressure, to have fun).
Then ask what kinds of things could people do to feel happy and productive
without needing to turn to drugs. Sports, music, drama and hobbies are very
good answers. Work together to help your child come up with three positive
actions to do, such as starting a hobby, joining a sports team, or learning
to play a musical instrument. Encourage your child to share his or her hobby
with friends and classmates during a hobby day at school.
What are they really saying? GOAL: To see the hidden messages
in cigarette advertising. With your child, collect some cigarette ads from
magazines, or check out the billboards along the roadside while traveling.
Write down words to describe the people shown in the ads, and the enviroments
they are in. (Cigarette ads usually depict attractive people in clean, appealing
settings.) Then, the next time you visit a mall, fast food restaurant, or
other public space, sit with your child and politely observe passersby.
Have your child identify people smoking. Talk about what he or she sees.
Are all of the smokers glamorous or macho? How are the ads different from
real life? Talk about what the tobacco ads are really showing. Discuss how
some advertising works by showing people images of what they want to be
like. Then, using what your child has learned about tobacco, create your
own ads to show the reality of cigarette smoking, and how it affects appearance,
breath, athletic ability, and long-term health.
DRUG AND ALCOHOL INFORMATION
National Institute on Drug Abuse
National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information
SMOKING PREVENTION AND CESSATION
Smoking, Tobacco, and Health Information Line
CHILDREN'S MENTAL HEALTH
National Mental Heatlth Services Knowledge Exchange Network