Hey Parents! – National Red Ribbon Week is coming soon! At the end of this month – October 23rd-31st – is National Red Ribbon Week 2010! Your parenting tip of the month is to take this opportunity to really talk and listen to your children about drugs, and come up with a plan to keep your kids drug free.
The National Family Partnership, which sponsors the National Red Ribbon Campaign, offered a Red Ribbon Theme Contest which provided an opportunity for many to participate in coming up with a theme for the week. Most of the over 300 contest entries clearly recognized and surrounded the idea of individuality and that drug use is an individual choice.
Although peer pressure can add to, or influence, someones choice to try drugs – it is ultimately the individuals choice to participate or “just say no”, as previous campaigns have shown. Helping your child to make a conscious decision to never try or use drugs at an early age may be one of the greatest gifts you give them as a parent. Whether your child is interested in drugs or not; every parent should educate themselves on drug statistics, local drug problems, and drug use trends and pass this information on to their children. Don’t wait until you get the call that your child is in the emergency room from ingesting too many pharmaceuticals to educate yourself on “pharm parties”, or any number of other teen trends. The more your child knows about the consequences of drug use the better chance they have of making the right choice when offered drugs.
Teens will most likely only hear one side of the convincing argument to use drugs when their classmates are trying to get them to try it. They need to be armed with detailed convincing arguments and stories as to why they have already decided they will not choose to ever experiment or try drugs, prior to being put in the situation to accept or deny the drugs. Parent Contracts that specifically address drug use and the consequences of drug use is a great way to arm your kids with this information.
Use the 2010 Red Ribbon Week theme “See the Connections….Choices = Consequences” and “I AM DRUG FREE” to commit yourself and your child to make good choices when it comes to drugs and help them understand the consequences if they do not make good choices.