Tips for helping kids remain drug-free
March 16, 2012 2:52PM
Updated: April 19, 2012 8:11AM
Dr. Wallace: The destruction caused by fanatical terrorists all over the world has shaken me to the core of my being. I will never get over their evil acts on innocent humans. But my life and responsibility as a parent must continue.
I am a single mom supporting a 13-year-old son. When I was a teen, I was involved in drugs, and they almost destroyed my life. So far, I’m sure my child is drug-free, and I want to keep it that way. Just to make sure, any help you can give me will be deeply appreciated.
Mother, San Francisco, Calif.
Mother: PRIDE (Parent Resource Institute for Drug Education) offers 10 suggestions to help children resist drugs. I know they will help all parents:
■ Always remember that you are your child’s most influential role model.
■ Set expectations and follow through. Be clear that you want no drug or alcohol use, and say what you’ll do if he or she does not meet the expectation. Then do it if necessary.
■ Keep reminding the child about the expectations. Reinforcement will cause the child to realize that you are serious on this matter.
■ Take advantage of teachable moments. Discuss newspaper articles involving people in trouble because of illegal drugs or alcohol.
■ Know what’s going on in your child’s life — at home, at school and out with friends. Most experts feel the No. 1 cause of drug abuse is peer pressure.
■ Know the parents of your child’s friends. Parents must communicate with other parents and need to share what their standards are.
■ Encourage worthwhile activities such as scouting, church and school activities, and participation in athletics. Boredom is one main reason kids get involved in drugs.
■ Be supportive of community anti-drug programs. It shows that you are taking an interest in drug awareness.
■ Know what you are talking about when you discuss drug abuse. Nothing will turn off a child faster than incorrect information.
■ Know and recognize the signs of drug or alcohol abuse, and act swiftly if you suspect your child of involvement.
Dr. Wallace: Our best basketball player has a torn Achilles heel and is going to be sidelined for the rest of the season. I am 16, a female and keep statistics for our coach. I know when someone has a problem with an Achilles heel, it’s a serious injury. I’m Greek, and my father said Achilles was a great Greek warrior. How did Achilles get his name on a human heel? I’d really like to know.
Sophia, Tampa, Fla.
Sophia: Achilles was a brave and famous warrior from mythology. When he was born, his mother dipped him in the river Styx to protect him from all harm. When she held him by a heel, the river water didn’t touch it. Achilles was not aware of this and thought he was invincible. But alas, Achilles was killed during the Trojan War when an enemy arrow struck his one vulnerable spot. Thanks for allowing me to become a teacher again, if only for a few minutes.
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