Many parents like to think that this talk can be delayed until their child has fully entered their teenage years, but unfortunately more and more tweens are becoming exposed to alcohol and drugs at a young age. So, the sooner that you have a talk with your tween about what these substances are and the real consequences of taking them, the better.
 
Conversation
While as much as we like to think our tweens are clueless about these substances, they are a lot more aware of what’s going on than we would like to think. Have a talk with your child about the different substances they may have heard about and the real side effects of them all. Being honest with your child about alcohol and drugs is a better approach than banning your child from them and not explaining why.
 
Set the rules
Don’t wait till curiosity gets the better of them, set the rules long before your tween even thinks about trying out these substances. Make sure to explain the reasoning behind each of these rules and the real dangers of trying these substances. While alcohol can be a lot harder to discipline, especially if you like to occasionally treat yourself to a glass of wine, it’s better to explain the scientific and health reasons of why it’s bad to drink alcohol underage than simply saying that they’re not allowed to.
 
Talk to other parents
If you’re concerned about your tween’s peers and how they may influence your tween's decisions, it may a good idea to talk to their parents. It can reassure you if your child will be properly supervised or not and more importantly if they have the same stance as you when it comes to underage drinking and substance abuse.
 
We unfortunately cannot be there for every dilemma that our tween will face, especially the many pressures surrounding alcohol and drugs. But by having an honest talk with your tween about the realities of underage drinking and drug taking, you will not only prepare them for every scenario but also show how much you really trust them to make the right decision.

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