Parent's Guide

(Management & Control)

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10. Grade 4-6

This is a period of slowed physical growth when typically a lot of energy goes into learning. Children 10-12 years old love to learn facts, especially strange ones, and they want to know how things work and what sources of information are available to them.

Friends - a single best friend or a group of friends- become very important. What children this age are interested in or will be committed to often is determined by what the group thinks. Children’s self-image is determined in part by the extent to which they are accepted by peers, especially popular peers. As a result, a lot of “followers” are unable to make independent decisions and choices.

This age is perhaps the most important time for parents to focus on increased efforts at drug prevention. These late elementary school years are crucial to decisions about the use of alcohol and other drugs. The greatest risk for starting to smoke comes in the sixth or seventh grades.what the school and home rules are about alcohol and other drug use;


Teaching Your Child to Say No

Here are some steps that you can practice with your child to make it easier for the child to refuse an offer of alcohol and other drugs. Tell your child to:

  • Ask questions: If unknown substances are offered, ask, “What is it?” and “Where did you get it?” If a party or other gathering is proposed, ask, “Who else is coming?” “Where will it be?” “Will parents be there?”

  • Say no: Don’t argue, don’t discuss. Say no and show that you mean it.

  • Give reasons:“I’m doing something else that night” or “The coach says drugs will hurt my game” are examples of some reasons that youngsters can use. Also, don’t forget the oldest reason: “My parents will kill me.”

  • Suggest other things to do. If a friend is offering alcohol or other drugs, saying no is tougher. Suggesting something else to do: going to a movie, playing a game, or working together on a project. this shows that drugs are being rejected, not the friend.

  • Leave. When all these steps have been tried, get out of the situation immediately. Go home, go to class, join a group of friends, or talk to someone else.

Research shows that the earlier youngsters begin to use alcohol and other drugs, the more likely they are to have real trouble.

Your child will need a clear no-use message, factual information, and strong motivation to resist pressures to try alcohol and other drugs and to reinforce the determination to remain drug free.

Appropriate new information could include:

  • ways to identify specific drugs, including alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, inhalants, and cocaine in their various forms;

  • the long and short term effects and consequences of use;

  • the effects of drugs on different parts of the body, and the reasons why drugs are especially dangerous for growing bodies;

  • the consequences of alcohol and other illegal drug use to the family, society and the user.


Suggested Activities

  • Create special times when you are available to talk to your child. Try to give your child undivided attention. A walk together, dinner in a quiet place, or a visit to the ice cream parlor after a movie are some ways to make talking togther a little easier.

  • Encourage your child to participate in wholesome activities that will allow the child to form new friendships and have fun. Sports, Scouts, religious-sponsored youth organizations are excellent ways for children to meet others of their own age.

  • Teach your child to be aware of how drugs and alcohol are promoted. Discuss how children are bombarded with messages - from TV, song lyrics, billboards, and advertisements - that using alcohol and other drugs is very glamorous. Clearly separate the myths from the realities of alcohol and other drug use.

  • Continue to practice ways to say no with your child, emphasizing ways to refuse alcohol and other drugs. It is not uncommon for sixth graders to be offered beer and cigarettes and to know other children who smoke and drink alcohol.

Encourage your child to join a local antidrug club or peer assistance group that encourages drug-free activities.

Ask your child to scan the morning newspaper and to circle any article that has to do with alcohol and other drug use. No doubt there will be articles about drug-related murders, strife in other countries due to drug trafficking, and alcohol-related auto accidents. Talk with your child about the tremendous loss of lives and resources because of the use of alcohol and other drugs.

Make friends with the parents of your child’s friends so that you can reinforce one another’s efforts in teaching good personal and social habits. A neighborhood social gathering, sporting events or school assembly are good places to meet.

Join with other parents in providing supervised activities for young people to limit “free time”, which often leads to experimentation with alcohol and other drugs. 

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Did you know...

Drugs Desciptions and Effects

Select a drug from the drop down menu to get more information from National Institute on Drug Abuse at :