Wed Dec 30th, 2020
Tags: Acting All Some How Show, Create healthy habits, different parenting styles, drugs and alcohol, Forward Together Colorado, Native Connections Program, Precious Collins Native Connections Program, Speaking to youth about drugs and alcohol, Suicide Prevention Training- Question, Suicide Prevention Training-Question Persuade Refer (QPR)
First off, everyone is different and has different parenting styles, different aged youth who have different individual personalities and ideas. For that reason, in this article we will help provide information, tips, and suggestions.
What do you know now that you wished you knew when you were young?
We all have some “aha” moments in life and sometimes those realizations come with learned lessons. It’s important that as adults we try to be empathetic and understanding of our youth and how they are growing up. Try to remember when you were young and how conversations with adults were for you. Maybe you were nervous, curious, or maybe it wasn’t fun. We want our youth to be comfortable and feel safe enough to talk to us about drugs and alcohol.
Why is it important to start the conversation with youth about drugs and alcohol?
Research has shown that youth are healthier and more successful when they have engaged and supportive adults in their lives. While it’s never too early to start talking with kids about substance use, misuse and abuse, the types of conversations you’re having will change as your child grows.
How can you start the conversation?
First, we need to be clear on what having a “conversation” means. A conversation is defined as an informal way of exchanging ideas, getting to know the other person’s thoughts, and sharing your own. It’s important that, when we have these conversations with our youth, the dialogue is open and that we have the conversations more than once.
It’s important to initiate a conversation with your youth and let them know you want to talk with them about drugs and alcohol. Ask them what day and time is good for them and where they would feel most comfortable to have this talk. We want to create a “safe space” for them to express their feelings and thoughts about drugs. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Create healthy habits for success. One way to create healthy habits is to help them create an Action Plan. Here are the stages of an action plan on how to avoid drugs and alcohol and create positive behaviors and outcomes.
At the end of the day, we want nothing but the best for the youth in our lives. We can help by encouraging and supporting them. For more information, please contact Precious Collins with the Native Connections Program at 970-563-2487. We have handouts we can mail to you with suggestions and tips on how to talk to your youth ages 9 – 20 years of age.
The Southern Ute Behavioral Health Division is also available to help aid these conversations with your youth if desired. Or you can check out the Forward Together Colorado webpage at ForwardTogetherCO.com for tips and resources for parents and for youth. Remember it’s never too early or too late to have these conversations with the youth in your life.
Want to help and be a part of the change?
Looking for community members and youth to join the Prevention Coalition tasked to reduce youth substance usage, eliminate mental health stigma, and start the discussion around suicide and prevention.
Upcoming Prevention Coalition Meetings: We are going virtual! For more information please contact Precious Collins, Native Connections Program Coordinator for more information 970-563-2487.
Upcoming Training: FREE online Suicide Prevention Training-Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) for Southern Ute tribal employees, and Southern Ute tribal members. Let’s all learn the warning signs and what to do if someone is experiencing a crisis. Please contact Precious Collins at 970-563-2487 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
Upcoming Community Events: The Southern Ute Native Connections Program will be hosting monthly “Acting All Some How Show” via Zoom. These shows will have guest speakers, both locally and nationally and we will be focusing on mental wellness and substance use prevention. Please contact use at 970-563-2487 to sign up for our email notifications.
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