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Drinking & Drugs and Pre-Teens

     More and more children 12 and younger are trying drugs and alcohol. Parents and schools need to start teaching substance abuse prevention before children are adolescents. One bonus in this approach is that children in the early grades have a high interest in health and in the ways their bodies work. They are far more ready to learn about prevention and personal safety than they will be as teens.

     In the meantime, you can talk with your preteens about right and wrong, or things that are safe and dangerous. You can build self-esteem and confidence that will help them say no later. You can teach them about rules and responsibilities. You can develop good family communication and encourage them to talk with you about their ideas, fears, and feelings. You can show your love. You can be a good model. Doing these things now with your preteens will help form the kind of patterns and strong relationships that will help prevent problems later.

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