Parent's Guide

(Management & Control)

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7. Communication Tips

Effective communications between parents and children is not always easy to achieve. Children and adults have diffferent communications styles and different ways of responding in a conversation. In addition, timing and atmosphere may determine how successful communication will be. Parents should take time to talk with their children in a quiet, unhurried manner. The following tips are designed to make communication more successful.


  1. Pay attention.
  2. Don’t interrupt.
  3. Don't prepare what you will say while your child is speaking.
  4. Reserve judgment until your child has finished and has asked you for a response.


  1. Be aware of your child’s facial expressions and body language: Is your child nervous or uncomfortable; frowning; drumming fingers; tapping a foot; looking at the clock? Or does your child seem relaxed; smiling; looking you in the eyes? Reading these signs will help parents know how the child is feeling.
  2. During the conversation acknowledge what your child is saying: move your body forward if you are sitting; touch a shoulder if you are walking; or nod your head and make eye contact.


  1. “I am very concerned about x” or “I understand that it is sometimes difficult...” are better ways to respond to your child than beginning sentences with “You should,” or “If I were you,” or “When I was your age we didn’t...” Speaking for oneself sounds thoughtful and is less likely to be considered a lecture or an automatic response.
  2. If your child tells you something you don’t want to hear, don’t ignore the statement.
  3. Don’t offer advice in response to every statement your child makes. It is better to listen carefully to what is being said and try to understand the real feelings behind the words.
  4. Make sure you understand what your child means. Repeat things to your child for confirmation.
The preceding sections have outlined some general guidelines for talking with children about alcohol and other drugs. We can make these messages more effective by taking into account the knowledge youngsters have and their readiness to learn new information at different ages.


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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 :