Talk to Teens about Drugs & Alcohol using Justin Bieber’s situation.

Here we go again. Another high-profile drug and alcohol scandal…however this time it’s not Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (not today anyway!). It’s our beloved young-hip-hop-totally-cool-locally-grown… Justin Bieber. The Biebs has got himself into some real trouble.

You may be dumbfounded by Justin’s downward spiral over the past year.  It may be hard because you actually felt like you knew Justin. His posters may have been plastered all over your daughter’s walls OR your son may have been imitating his moves. Either way… a role model your kids admire has been arrested.

Justin Drew Bieber, 19, smiles for his mug shot in Miami Beach on Jan. 23. (Miami Beach Police Department)

This time it’s not small potatoes, or should I say eggs? He’s been arrested for some pretty bad stuff, including driving under the influence. The reports also say he was street racing on a residential street going over 100km/hr.

It’s upsetting to know that the lives of innocent people were in jeopardy because of the choices he made. It’s not all about his self-discovery or exploration. The choices he made could have ended disastrously for himself AND OTHERS. I’m glad that no one was hurt.

Understanding that the teen brain is still under construction until age 24 is important as you prepare to speak to your teens about drugs, alcohol and the ability to make good decisions. Be open with your teens as you have this conversation, ask them their thoughts and feelings about Justin’s situation. It’s a great starter.

Parents:

 Be clear that you don’t approve of binge drinking or using drugs.

  • Your teen actually does care what you think. Teens consistently rate parents as the biggest influence on their lives.

 Nurture your teen.

  • Tell your teen how much you care. Show an interest in their life.

Monitor what your teen is doing.

  • Get to know their friends. Ask where they are going, what they are doing, and who they will be with. Set limits.
  • Help your teen plan ahead for situations where they may be faced with alcohol or drugs.

 Talk about the dangers of driving under the influence.

  • Make sure they know it’s illegal & unacceptable.
  • Make sure they know never to get in a car with someone who’s been drinking or on drugs.
  • Let them know they can call you any time for a ride, no questions asked.
  • Tell them their safety is the most important thing to you.

Don’t assume that your kids know your thoughts and feelings or that you know what your kids are thinking. Have the conversation with them, keep it ongoing and be that positive role model.

Do you have any thoughts to share?

  • Leave us a comment below
  • Talk to us on Twitter: @haltonparents
  • Email us at haltonparents@halton.ca
  • Call  HaltonParents by dialing 311 or 905-825-6000 for parenting information or to speak directly to a Public Health Nurse (every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)

About Cynthia Lindsay RN

Hi everyone. My name is Cynthia Lindsay and I work as a public health nurse with the school years program. I've been a nurse for almost 20 years (wow time flies!) with the last 10 years focused on what I've discovered to be my passion... Parenting. I now have many parenting accreditations and enjoy connecting with parents in the community through Triple P, parenting groups & social media. "Je parle aussi le français" and I love working, making connections, and raising my teen son & pre-teen daughter with my hubby in Halton.
This entry was posted in Mental Health, Parenting, Physical Health, school health, School-aged Children, Teens and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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