Teaching Your Kids About Drugs and Alcohol

Post contributed by Amanda G.

There is a lot of debate out there about the best time to start teaching your kids about drugs and alcohol. Some parents believe it is best not to scare younger kids and that teaching them about stranger danger is enough; that it is better to wait until kids are older, like middle school aged, to start teaching them about drinking, drugs, the dangers of addiction, etc.

Guess what: by the time your kids are heading off to junior high school, most of them have already been exposed, at least peripherally to drinking, drug use, addiction and the whole lot of ideas and behaviors you’d rather they not know about until they hit 40. They learn about these ideas and behaviors from television, movies, music, other kids at school and, most of the time, from their own parents. Even if you aren’t expressly talking about drug use over dinner, they pick up on things by listening to you talk to each other, other adults, etc. There is a lot of truth to that whole “the walls have ears” cliche.

In fact, like teaching your kids about giving, dating, death, etc., teaching your kids about drugs and alcohol abuse is something that you shouldn’t leave up to others.

When to Start the Conversation

The earlier you start the conversation the better. Some parents start the conversation as early as pre-school. In fact, Kids Health says that talking about medicines prescribed by a doctor are a great way to open the conversation about when to take things to feel better and how medicines work. They also recommend using “teachable” moments, like seeing someone on television smoking a cigarette or drinking a beer, to talk about what they are doing and what affect it would have on the body.

As your kids get older, you can start asking them questions about what they think when they see someone taking a drink, smoking a cigarette, etc. It’s a fantastic way to lay down a solid foundation of open and honest communication so that, by the time peer pressure and “real” issues surrounding drugs and alcohol start to crop up, your kids will feel comfortable talking to you about them.

An All or Nothing Approach

One of the biggest mistakes parents make when teaching their kids about drugs and alcohol is to take the approach that all drugs, drinking and smoking are terrible and that the people who do it are terrible losers and that there is a zero-tolerance policy in the house as far as drinking and experimentation are concerned. Period.

The reason this backfires so often is that it encourages kids to see drinking and drug use as a sort of forbidden fruit. And, as your kids grow up and start to rebel against you, they will gravitate toward the things they know will offend you the most. This isn’t just true for drugs, by the way, it is true for lots of other behaviors you’d rather they avoid.

Give Your Kids a Script

When they are very little, saying “no!” loudly and running away is a perfectly fine reaction to being offered an illicit substance. As your kids get older, you will find that simple “No” isn’t a good enough reason for them to not do something even (or especially) when you are the one saying it!

As they grow up, give them better and more socially acceptable things to say when someone offers them a drink, etc. Phrases like “I can’t, my parents will kill me.” and “Nah, that’s just not my thing” carry a lot more weight than simple “No.” When someone is a teenager, “no,” is more of a challenge than an absolute. Setting your kids up with scripts and instructions to follow will help them deflect offers and pressure that they will get from their friends and schoolmates.

When Experimentation Happens

Your kids are going to experiment. That is a given. How you handle it is going to spell the difference between successfully keeping them clean and accidentally pushing them toward abuse or addiction. Of course, even if you are relatively lenient with their experimentation, abuse and addiction can happen. Tucscon Transitional Living, a young adult rehab program recommends that parents learn how to recognize the signs of addiction and abuse so that you can watch for them and identify them when they happen in your house.

Finally, remember that every parent and family will have to deal with the existence of drugs and alcohol eventually and that you will make mistakes along the way. If you keep trying, though, you should recover from those mistakes and help your kids stay clean and sober.

Post contributed by Amanda G.

Do you have ‘comfort socks?’ Gold Toe Oh. So. Soft.

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Gold Toe. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

Two of my favorite memories of my Grandpa are related to socks. Maybe that’s why I love my collection of socks so much, but I’ll take a gift of them any day! Even in the summer, especially because my husband keeps the house too cold for me, cozy and soft socks are the best.

Relax

My grandpa used to ALWAYS tug at the end of my socks—every time he’d walk past—to give my toes room to breathe, he’d say. When I was younger, I am sure it annoyed me. Now I find myself doing it on my own, in his place. And when you weren’t looking? He’d take a random sock and hang it from a ceiling light. We always knew when Grandpa had been around!

Ya know how you have comfort foods? And your favorite cozy sweatshirt? I have comfort and cozy socks—they’re a necessity for curling up on the couch.

Gold Toe socks

I grew up with Gold Toe socks. I remember my mom buying those classics for my dad! Now they’re a brand name I trust and buy for my own family. Just a few weeks ago I needed new socks for our excursions in Alaska and I made sure to pick up new Gold Toe socks before we left.

happiness quote

The Gold Toe ‘Oh. So. Soft.’ socks are seriously oh so soft. I could do a blind test and pick out my Gold Toes easily. They’re light, which is nice for this warmer weather, and super soft and cozy for curling up on the couch, relaxing after a long day, and feeling comfortable.

gym bag

In my after-work gym bag, feet up in the porch on a rainy day, curled on the couch with a book… my Gold Toe Oh. So. Soft. socks are usually with me!

Did you grow up with Gold Toe socks? Do you buy them now for your family?

You can find Gold Toe socks for the whole family on their website and follow them on Facebook and Twitter, too.

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Gold Toe. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

Pregnancy Tests: newly redesigned First Response Early Detection

I participated in a Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for First Response. I received product samples as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

The moment you find out you’re pregnant is probably a moment you’ll always remember. Maybe you even took a photo of the positive pregnancy test, a memento to store in the baby book. I have pictures of both of my positive pregnancy tests!

The first time I got pregnant, it just took one test. It was very clearly positive, but I was also about

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Potty Training Tips with Pampers Easy Ups

This post was written in partnership with Pampers.

Potty training is… frustrating? stressful? a lot of work? fun?! We’re right in the middle of potty training with our 3-year-old daughter. Our son was easy—granted, he was almost 4 by the time he potty trained, but he basically just woke up one day and decided that was it. No more diapers. He rarely ever had an accident. Potty training? A breeze! This “training” stuff is nonsense, I thought.

My daughter is proving to be a bit more difficult. She turned 3 about 4 months

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4-in-1 GB Evoq Stroller & Travel System

I’m familiar with the GB brand (we have their wonderful, lightweight Zuzu stroller) so I know they have trustworthy and quality products backed by 25+ years of design and development experience. If you’re looking for a great stroller to last through multiple children, there are many reasons the GB Evoq travel system is wonderful. We were sent one to review.

First, it comes with everything you need to get started: the Asana 35 infant car seat, the car seat base, the Evoq stroller that allows the

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Tomato Basil Pasta & Baked Goat Cheese: Bring Tuscany to Your Table!

This post is promoted by Bertolli®.

Do you have plans for this summer? I love having our kids home from school, the fresh air outside, and the sunshine bringing friends and family together all season long. We have a wonderful backyard for hosting parties during the summer so I’m always looking for recipes that are not only delicious, but are quick and easy for feeding a lot of people!

Pasta is always a safe bet and meal prep is easier with Bertolli®. To help celebrate Bertolli’s 150th

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Summer Camps Help Kids Affected By Cancer

“I have had some unforgettable experiences at camp… during those weekends the people did not just become friends, they became part of my family. I would personally like to thank everyone who helps run this amazing camp. It changes lives!” – Kim (a former camper and future counselor)

Summer is just around the corner and while both kids and parents anxiously await a much-needed vacation, there are a few others who need something more… a break from the heart-wrenching challenges they face every day as a result of a family member who is battling,

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