Harm reduction and parenting.

My mom and I attended an annual Christmas get together today with all of my childhood friends and their mothers. We spent a great deal of time this afternoon reminiscing about the shenanegans we were up to as teens. The parties. The underage drinking. The sibling rivalry. I am not going to get into the details because its not fair to my friends to air the dirty laundry of our past. Most of us have kids… Some preteen. We are now about to experience what we put our mothers through.

So….. What Im hopping on to discuss is how should we approach hot topic issues with our kids? Sex…. Drugs…. Partying….. Drinking….

These are all issues our parents faced. These are all issues we will face. Approaching these life events with the attitude…. Theyre going to experiment with sex…. Theyre going to try drinking…. Theyre going to go to parties…. Heck they might even try drugs…

#1 Have the ‘theyre going to do it’ attitude.

Next I think its so important to make sure our kids are well informed… Once my kids are age appropriate I will be teaching them about the risks and benefits of engaging in these ‘life events’ . Building their knowledge.

If a teenager is fully aware of the after effects of using meth maybe they will say NO. Maybe they wont be curious. You have already ensured theyre full knowledgable. They are capable of making an informed decision.

If a teenager knows the risks of unsafe sex. STIs and unwanted pregnancies. They will choose to wear a condom. Especially if they have access to it. Its not giving them permission to have sex. Its ensuring theyre protected when they do.

Drinking. Frig if we are open and talk to our kids about making responsible decisions with alcohol we are doing our job. Theyre going to do it.

#2 empower them with knowledge.

My last point for the night…. Be available. Be the mother (or father) who can receive the 0300 “can you come get me mom” phone call and jump in the car in a minute no questions asked. Be the parent who they come to with questions about sex drugs and alcohol so you have the capability to empower them to be safer in their choices.

#3 Be there when they need you no matter how or when it is.

Have a good week.

Holly

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