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Q. My oldest child will enter middle school next fall. I'm anxious about a lot of things and one of them is drug use. What can I do?

A. The transition year from elementary school to middle school is full of challenges for both you and your child. The likelihood that kids will try drugs increases dramatically during this year. There will be many new kids to meet and more choices to make. Your role is pivotal.

This is the time when peers mean everything and your children don't welcome your presence like they did when they were younger. In fact, sometimes it might seem like you embarrass them. Nonetheless, they still need and expect your guidance. To help your child make good choices you should:

  • Make it very clear that you do not want her to use alcohol, tobacco, marijuana or other drugs
  • Find out if he really understands the consequences of using drugs
  • Get to know her new friends - and their parents
  • Volunteer to help at school
  • Be sure your kids are supervised by adults after school
  • Practice refusal skills
  • Set curfews and enforce them
  • Offer to drive everywhere you can - and listen while you drive

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Last Updated 05.20.2002 | Email Parenting is Prevention | Privacy Policy