How to talk to your children about drugs and depression

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Sometimes communicating with children can be hard, especially in today’s times where there is an influx of external factors that impair our lives. Over exposure at an early age, the use of smartphones and unregulated internet use causes long term damage if used inappropriately.

The need of the hour is to prepare the young generation and enable them to deal with it wisely. If certain precautionary measures are not taken, then it will cause major mental and emotional havoc in years to come.

There are certain factors that make children try drugs. Peer pressure, curiosity, depression or growing up in a home where there is substance abuse.

Here are some ways to have a healthy discussion

 

Don’t wait for your child to grow older

You should start talking to young children about falling into bad company or getting under peer pressure. You should explain to them the repercussions it has maybe by showing them some videos or by examples.

Talk positive

Don’t alarm your child by stark realities. It does not mean you need to sugar coat it, but using a more age appropriate approach in explaining it will help them understand the repercussions. A healthy and positive discussion will make the child more comfortable.

Set realistic expectations

As parents we need to ensure that we do not put unrealistic expectations. Pressurizing the child to ace in exams or pushing them to do beyond their limits causes frustration and can lead to depression which in turn can push the child to try drugs. We need to understand our child’s capability and capacity to study or excel in sports.Encouraging your child to work hard is great but make sure your child is doing something that makes her/him happy.

 

Be a good listener

Do not lecture relentlessly, badgering them or being suspicious all the time. Encourage two way conversations. The child will feel that they can approach their parent if they find themselves in any dilemma without worrying about punishment or your reaction. They will be more open and share with you in case they are struggling with any emotional stress.

 

Provide comfort and a loving atmosphere at home

 A home which is replete with laughter and happiness can provide a secure and healthy environment. A child who feels loved and understood will seldom resort to outside comfort, instead will turn to family when confused or disturbed or when they feel they are not able to cope with pressures at school.

The good news is that most kids recover from depression. Still the occurrence of it happening again when they are older persists. Corrective timely steps need to be taken with the help of family and loved ones.

 

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