It is known and proven that humans have a tendency to get attracted to danger and the unknown. Teenagers pick up on smoking and consuming alcohol, in the company of their friends. However, don't get devastated and think that it is the end of the world. Instead, try to go to the root of the problem; try to understand why your teen has fallen into the trap of substance abuse; why he/she finds it to be so alluring, and search for ways of taking them out from this bad habit.
Ways of Dealing with Child's Substance Abuse Habits
Handle the situation calmly:
On recognizing your teen's unappealing habits, you are likely to get disappointed and angry. However, try talking to your child about it in a calm and composed manner. Build confidence in your teen about you so that he/she reveals the real reason of consumption of alcohol/drugs.
Don't go overboard with lecturing:
In a situation like this, understand that your teen is also going through mixed and complicated feelings. It won't be right to keep on lecturing your child about what is right or wrong. Instead focus on the current situation and find out ways you can help your child. Be more understanding and maintain the calmness in your voice. Avoid being sarcastic.
Pay attention to the surroundings:
Other than friends at school, a family member who consumes alcohol or smokes cigarettes can also be an influence on the child. It is important that you reduce contact of your child with that family member. Even when you have guests at home, make it a point to inform your guests that smoking and consuming alcohol is not allowed in the house, in the presence of kids.
Ask for help:
If you notice that you are not able to help your child come out of the habit of smoking or drinking alcohol, seek for help from other family members. Take support and help from close friends, relatives and in extreme cases, visit a counsellor or take your child to a rehabilitation centre.
Don't give up:
It will not be an easy road to deal with your child who is involved in substance abuse habits. There will be situations when you will feel, you cannot do anything much about handling it. However, don't let that feeling take over you. Remember that you will need to keep up with your courage and hope. Never give up. It is your child you are dealing with and you can never ever give up on him/her.
At many instances, these substance abuse habits are just a passing phase or a ‘fad’ that has caught up on the teen. It may eventually stop, as the teen himself starts recognizing the ill effects as he grows into an adult. The bottom-line is that, parents need to keep their cool and deal with the situation, keeping a matured point of view.