No one said raising young teens today was easy. They
wear different fashions, listen to different music -- even speak a
different language. Although you may not feel like you can relate to
your young teen, studies show that you do influence his/her decisions.
Here are some tips to help you talk to your child about the dangers of
- Play a "what would you do if....?" game.
Create a hypothetical situation where your child has to make a
critical decision. This will give you the opportunity to praise your
child's decision-making skills, while educating him/her about healthy
- Discuss an article with an anti-drug message from your child's
favorite magazine (Sports Illustrated for Kids, YM, Teen) and talk
about how it relates to your child.
- Design a contract on which your children pledge to stay away from
marijuana. You then sign a similar contract, rewarding them for their
commitment (coach a team, teach them to drive, etc.).
- Take time to listen. Young teens will confide in their parents if
they feel they can talk openly, without their parents getting upset or
interjecting an opinion. Helping your children develop strong
self-esteem will strengthen their ability to make difficult
- Talk with your teen. Anytime is a great time to talk, whether
you're out for a jog, watching TV -- even doing dishes.
Hawaii Department of Health
Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division
601 Kamokila Blvd. Room 360
Kapolei, Hawai'i, 96707