Build Family Relationships to Lower Likelihood of Substance Abuse
Having an open relationship with your children may deter them from using drugs, according to a study published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence. The study observed interactions between 675 parents and children of Latino families. It focused on Latinos due to cultural differences and the fact that Latino adolescents have a higher risk of abusing substances.
The researchers observed students in the 5th grade, and then again in the 7th grade. This age range is when adolescents begin experimenting with drugs, and also when parents are least likely to have a close relationship with their children.
The study found that parents can greatly influence their children’s choices by communication with each other and developing solid relationships. Parents can also influence each other’s views in regards to drugs and alcohol. Having a united front on the subject while talking to children has more of an impact than differing views.
A great way to have open and honest communication within your family is having family dinners whenever possible. That time together has proven to develop meaningful relationships, leading to more trust.