Children often hold a special place in their hearts and minds for grandparents. Oftentimes, they feel like they’re able to have open conversations with their grandparents without judgment, criticism or punishment they may receive from parents.
It’s for that reason that grandparents may be able to make headway in tough conversations where parents might otherwise be unable to. They can help surround a teenager with support, love, and reinforcement towards a life without the damage of illegal substances.
Here are a few tips for grandparents:
Get Involved In Their Life
- Connect with grandkids in their world by attending their events, spending quality time together, or sharing the kids’ interest. The goal is to build a strong bond and good memories.
- Expand interest in their life by joining their social media circle as invited. Grandparents can have a Snapchat account too!
Listen, Don’t Judge
- Show interest in the child’s life by listening, asking good questions, and offering love and encouragement.
- Grandkids might share stories involving questionable behavior, about a friend who got ‘wasted’ or someone who was ‘grounded for a month’. In such cases, it’s important to listen without expressing judgment.
Share Your Wisdom
- Once a good relationship is secured, grandparents can share opinions of disapproval of illegal substance use without using a condescending tone.
- If something is shared that needs to be reported back to the parents, grandparents can suggest ways of sharing the news and offer encouragement and support in the process.
While they may not be on the front lines of parenting, grandparents can be strong allies in helping kids avoid underage drinking or other drug use. Parent Up encourages grandparents to leverage the influential role they play in their relationships with their grandkids to empower them to make smart choices.
To learn more about how to prevent underage drinking and the use of other substances, visit our collection of online tools and resources.