Yesterday I blogged about a new book by my friend and colleague Glenn Williams entitled, Talking Smack. I thought I’d add a few additional thoughts on this important topic. Not only is Glenn a psychologist and writer, he is also a substance abuse expert who offers solid advice on how to talk to your kids honestly and openly about drugs. Based upon years of training, Glenn can help you steer your youth toward making healthy decisions when temptation and peer pressure come knocking.
It’s possible you may feel as if you’ve already failed. Maybe your young people are well into their teen years and, if not using drugs or alcohol themselves, have formed wrong opinions about these substances—based on negative input from their peers and youth culture. I’m happy to report that if that’s you, there’s good advice for you in this book, too. It’s not too late to intervene and to guide your child in a more positive direction.
As you become intentional in modeling healthy behavior that aligns with the parental advice you’re sharing, you’ll be sending consistent messages that will impact your children as they wrestle with their own decisions over drugs and alcohol.
We all make mistakes as parents. If we extend grace to our children when they veer from the straight and narrow, our kids will extend grace to us when we’re transparent and honest about our mistakes. Even if you’ve missed opportunities to talk to your kids about drugs in the past, or if you’re worried that your attempts to broach the subject have fallen on deaf ears, this book will encourage you to not give up.
In many ways, talking to kids about drugs and alcohol can be even scarier for parents than talking to them about sex. Sometimes we’d rather just gloss over a subject than bring it out in the open. We might fear introducing mature subject matter such as sex and drugs too early. Perhaps we’re afraid our kids will ask us questions that we can’t answer.
The beauty of this book is that it will leave you, as a parent, feeling empowered, confident, and informed when it comes to talking to your kids about drugs and alcohol. Will the conversation be uncomfortable? Possibly. Just remember that this is a topic that will confront your children at some point, if it hasn’t already. It’s so much better to get the issue out on the table now and to talk honestly and openly with them, rather than to wait for their peers, or their favorite music or movie stars, to “educate” them.
I have a vested interest in this subject because my wife, Jean, and I have two boys at home who, as of this writing, are aged nine and seven. We desperately want to help them do the right thing when it comes to the issue of drugs and alcohol. I have known Glenn Williams for more than sixteen years, and we have talked at length about our desire to apply the How to Drug Proof Your Kids principles to our own homes and families. That’s why I’m so thankful for this book.
There are no guarantees, of course. Sometimes parents who make every effort to instill positive virtues and values in their kids must endure the pain of seeing them reject those principles later on. As I have already noted, Glenn has provided some practical insights and resources for those who find themselves in this heart-wrenching position.
At some point, we all have to realize that we don’t have complete control over the choices our kids make. Nevertheless, this book will go a long way toward giving you the confidence and information you need to help steer your kids in the right direction.
Talking Smack is a timely resource for every parent. I’m grateful to Glenn Williams for his friendship and for his willingness to share this important work with me as well as with mothers and fathers all over the world who long to see their children avoid the seductive trap of drug and alcohol abuse. To order your copy online, click here.