Time to be shared

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By Juan Fernandez Translated by Carol Alfonso

When young people have a good relationship with their parents they are less likely to engage in dangerous activities. The more you participate in your children’s lives, they will feel better and most likely they will listen.

So try to dedicate time regularly by sharing with your children. This will help you strengthen your relationship with your teens and make sure they can lead a healthy life.

Make a specific time to share with your teens and let them know that their health and safety are what matters most to you. The National Anti-Drug Campaign offers the following tips to encourage parents to remain interconnected with their teenage children, during the always-rushed holiday season.

Talk with your teen

Talk to your teen(s), know what’s going on in their lives. Be honest with your child and make sure you listen carefully. Find a space to talk about triumphs, grievances, projects, questions about discipline and other topics of interest for each family member. You may even consider regularly scheduled meetings and hold them at a time when everyone agrees.

Establishing rules during meetings helps a lot. Each person must have the opportunity to speak out without being interrupted; everyone listens and only constructive criticism is allowed.

Setting up time

Set up a weekly routine to do something special with your children, even if it’s only going for ice cream, watching a movie together or going for a walk. Just a few minutes while you clean up after dinner or before going to bed can help the family establish a good communication, which is so important to get the kids to stay away from drugs.

Know your teen’s whereabouts

Make sure you know where your teenage child is during the day and with whom. Set deadlines for them to get back home and regulate the use of the car when weather conditions aren’t good.

Have dinner together when possible. Meals are a good opportunity to talk about daily events, ease tensions, reinforce important things and to create a sense of unity. Studies have shown that younger people from families who eat together at least five times a week are less likely to get involved in drugs or alcohol.

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