Get involved in your child’s life
• Allow for together time daily
• Value your child’s accomplishments
• Motivate your child through positive feedback
• Use informal family meetings to share concerns, ideas, and opinions
• Watch for signs of stress
Why is it important for you to get involved in your child’s life?
Children who know that their parents are there for them, no matter what,
will have more strength to get through the tough times.
Having involved caring adults in their life is an important factor in
preventing children from turning to alcohol and drugs.
Parents who are active in their children’s lives are better able to see when
the children are stressed out or unhappy, and therefore at risk of alcohol
or drug abuse.
Children who have a strong and warm relationship with their parents take
better care of themselves, are more independent and are more able to make
decisions on their own.
Allow for together time daily
How you spend your time with your children is more important than how much
time you spend with them. Children like having even 15 minutes a day where
their parents share time with only them. This times does not have to involve
big plans. It can be as simple as talking while preparing dinner, going to
the library, taking a walk, working on a craft project, telling jokes, or
getting an ice cream cone.
Value your child’s accomplishments
Watch your child at what he or she likes to do and join in if you can.
Praise your child’s basketball skills or performance in a concert. Ask to
try out your child’s new video game. Your participation and encouragement
says that these activities are worthwhile and that you acknowledge what is
important to your child.
Motivate your child through positive feed back
Recognize good behavior consistently and immediately. Praise tour child even
for ordinary efforts such as getting up on time, helping to set the table,
or finishing homework without being told. This positive feedback motivates
your child to continue following the rules and perhaps even to exceed your
Use informal family meetings to share concerns, ideas, and opinions
For some families, mealtime is the perfect opportunity to have discussions
and to teach children the value of self expression through lively but polite
conversation. Car trips and walks together are two other good opportunities
for talking over family issues. It’s helpful to plan specific times for
family meetings, but also be open to unscheduled discussions as needed even
if they occur at busy or inconvenient times.
Watch for signs of stress
Here are some signs:
• Low self esteem
• Low energy, depression
• Crying easily
• Changes in eating habits
• Being irritable and short tempered
• Rejecting advice, authority, or assistance
• Falling grades
• Mood swings
• Changes in personality
If you see signs of stress, talk to your child, let your child know that you
care, and work together to solve the problems that create stress. If the
stress continues, seek outside help.
When your child is under stress…
Children under stress are more likely to turn to alcohol or drugs to find
relief from stress. These suggestions can help your child’s stress from
building to unsafe levels.
• Allow your child to express their feelings and concerns. Listen actively
• Step in and take action if your child becomes overwhelmed by schoolwork or
too many activities
• Make sure they have healthy eating, sleeping, and exercise habits
• Tell your child that feelings like anxiety, fear, and anger are natural
and everyone must learn to cope with them
• Look at your own coping skills and see if they are setting a good example
• Teach your child ways to relax
• Set goals based on your child’s ability not on your or someone else’s
• Help your child express anger in positive ways, without violence
• Show confidence in your child’s ability to solve problems and tackle new
• Suggest that your child take a break from stressful situations by
listening to music, talking with a friend, drawing, or doing some other
• Talk to your child about ways of relieving stress
• Help your child accept mistakes and learn from them