Top 5 Tips for Parents from the Botvin LifeSkills Training Program

1. Make a point of talking with your children every day. Find time for both family and one-on-one talks. Plan your day so conversations can happen regularly, such as while eating family meals together.  When your child wants to discuss something, make sure you listen carefully.  If you can, stop whatever else you are doing so your child knows you are really listening.


2. Keep in mind that your habits influence your child. Research tell us that as they grow up, children tend to develop the same smoking, drinking, or drug use habits as their parents.

3. Have rules that spell out your expectations for your child. As much as possible, use “Do’s” rather than “Don’ts.”

4. Tell kids about the bad things that can happen now. Always let kids know that there are immediate and short-term risks to using substances.  Adolescents are more likely to be concerned with things that can affect their lives now, rather than the distnat future (for example, say that smoking can affect one’s performance on a sports team, rather than that smoking may eventually cause cancer).

5. Be a good listener. Ask questions to encourage your child to talk. Ask their opinion about things. Show that you are willing to listen. You do not have to agree with everything your kids say, but listen irst and give your opinion second. This way your kids will know they can talk with you about anything, including drugs and other problems.


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