It’s the holiday season and here at Parent Up, we are intentionally celebrating the joy, creativity and resilience of area youth. We also celebrate YOU, the parents, guardians and other caring adults who are following along, learning, listening and taking action, even though it isn’t always easy.
With the threats of deadly fentanyl, new discreet nicotine products, and the now more available than ever potent-THC packed cannabis posing risks to young brains, Parent Up is starting out the new year with some encouragement and tried-and-true tips for Keeping Our Kids Merry & Bright All Year Round:
- Let’s make sure kids know we care about their health and well-being. Youth substance use harms the developing brain and puts youth at higher risk for problems with mental health and addiction throughout life. Set no-use expectations when it comes to vaping, alcohol, marijuana, and other substances.
- Be curious and keep the dialogue about substance use open. Ask youth what they think or have heard about alcohol, vaping, and other drug use. We can let them know they can come to us adults for help with peer pressure, stress, or anxiety.
- Help youth gain confidence to say “no” to alcohol and other drugs by practicing scenarios and brainstorming what they might say if they’re offered to them.
- Watch for early signs or symptoms of substance use which could include: changes in appearance, changes in friend groups, grades dropping, and/or secretive behavior. We know our kids best, so if something seems off, we should take action.
Kids are resilient and they are better off with your support. We wish you well this holiday season and into the new year.
The Parent Up Team