Dialogue, Personal Example Work Best for Parents in Drug Talks with Teens

Black Issues in Higher Education, March 10, 2005 | Go to article overview

Dialogue, Personal Example Work Best for Parents in Drug Talks with Teens


UNIVERSITY PARK, PA.

parents can more effectively advise teens about alcohol and drug use if they try dialogue before lecture and they set an everyday example, rather than give a one-time drug sermon, according to a Penn State University researcher.

Drug talks can work best when parents and teens routinely share insights on the perceived benefits and risks of drug use, says Dr. Michelle Miller-Day, associate professor of communication arts and sciences. One tactic would be for parents to ask teens what they hope to gain from use of alcohol, drugs and tobacco (e.g. relaxation, especially around the opposite sex; greater peer acceptance). The parent can then suggest wholesome alternatives to achieve the same end.

These tools for a healthy lifestyle include specific, practical advice about drinking and driving, coping with peer pressure and remembering to call for a ride when needed, Miller-Day notes. Once parents and teens learn to communicate on a regular basis about drugs, then the targeted drug talk becomes more helpful, especially before events such as a prom or dance when teens face stronger temptations to use alcohol beverages or take drugs.

Miller-Day and Dr. …

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