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Talk Sooner

As teens enter high school, they are faced with lots of challenges including being curious or pressured to try drugs and alcohol. There will be many opportunities for parents to have open, honest conversations with their teens about this topic. TalkSooner is a local youth substance use prevention resource endorsed by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Service serving up useful tips and techniques to help parents feel more confident when it comes to having the drug talk.

Most parents want to start talking, but just don’t know where to start. So what does the conversation look like?

1. Listen, really listen!

Give your teen your undivided attention. Allow them to freely share their opinions, questions, concerns and feelings.

2. Recognize and respond.

Stay in the boundaries of the current conversation. It’s easy to jump to a prior agenda or allow your agenda to take over. Seize the opportunity to embrace your teen’s viewpoints.

3. Keep it casual.

Allow for these conversations to happen in the car, over dinner, or during game night. Remember these conversations should not be a one-time thing.

4. Watch your language.

Use open ended questions to get your teen thinking critically. You can also discuss scenarios or ask them to share things they have seen or heard and coach them through how they would respond.

5. Show support and offer help.

During every conversation with your teen about drugs and alcohol, let them know they can always come to you for information and advice.

For more tips, ice breakers and more, visit www.talksooner.org