Your role as a parent
DrugRebels is as much for you as parents as it is for your teenager. We believe that parents play a big role when it comes to young adults, alcohol and drugs. You can help set the frame and boundaries, but you can also help influence the young people's view of alcohol and drugs, by having continuous and open dialogues in your home.
On this page, we have collected some good advice on how to initiate the conversation, start the conversation and set boundaries. If you want further help with dialogue, download DrugRebels’ parent-app (under DRUGREBELS in App Store or Google Play Store) or send an email to our mailbox firstname.lastname@example.org.
Report: Young people and drugs
With help from the AP Møller Foundation and in collaboration with LG Insight, DrugRebels has investigated Danish teenagers’ relation to alcohol and drugs, and the results show that the teenagers want dialogue, but to a lesser extent experience having a dialogue at home. You can read more about the study and its results here:
Take the initiative and start the conversation
Take the initiative in conversation
The earlier you start having these important conversations with your child, the better. Although you may find that you have made it clear to your child that he/she can always come to you, it is important that YOU take the initiative to have a dialogue about difficult topics such as drugs. All research indicates that parents do have an influence on their children when it comes to the use of alcohol and drugs. Therefore, it is important that you pay attention to how you communicate with your teenager about it. There will of course always be a difference in each parent/child relationship, but here you will find some of our suggestions for a good conversation about alcohol and drugs.
Talk to your teenager
Whether your teenager is already experimenting, is considering it, or currently has a clear attitude of not wanting to try any drugs, we believe it is very important that you have the dialogue about alcohol and drugs. Your most noble task is to build a trusting space of confidentiality where your child has the opportunity to tell you about all his/her thoughts on the topic and ask you questions.
Your intention with the conversation
Before talking to your child, we recommend that you ask yourself the following questions: What is my intention with this conversation? What is it that I really want? What messages will benefit my child?
If you are angry or scared, it will usually shine through which could result in the conversation turning to punishment or “being right”. You may also end up trying to make peace instead of having a healthy conversation about the core of the problem. Every time you feel yourself moving away from your intention with the conversation, take a pause and ask yourself again: What do I really want from this conversation?
Prepare for the conversation and listen to your child
It might be a good idea to decide for what you want to say. We have some suggestions on how to start your conversation: “I love you and I'm worried about you because…”
Be loving, concrete and set boundaries
Communicate your opinion clearly and precisely. Have a clear intention and accept in advance that the conversation may not be perfect. Maybe you need to talk about it many times. As a parent, it is also important to remember that boundaries can be a way to show your child your care and love. You can read about setting limits by pressing Read more.
You can be a parent and set boundaries at the same time. Boundaries create security for children. Many young adults have the experience that a lack of boundaries can be experienced as indifference or a lack of love from their parents.
Also, make your child aware that he/she is responsible for all his/her actions. It is not okay to do something wrong because you have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs. All actions have consequences - positive or negative - and your child must learn to make the right choices for himself.
Remember: Silence is not golden - it is tacit acceptance!
Book a PARENT SHOW
Whether your teenager is already experimenting, is considering it or currently has a clear attitude of not wanting to try anything, we believe it is very important that you have the dialogue about alcohol and drugs. Your most noble task is to build a trust and a space of confidentiality where your child has the opportunity to tell you about all his thoughts and ask you questions. Our PARENT SHOW also features a mother who talks about her teenager's path into and out of abuse and gives good advice on what to do as parents.
Read what other parents have taken away from our parenting shows:
“DrugRebels ROADSHOW was an incredible experience. It was with folded arms and a slight resistance towards the subject that I showed up at school. But I will promise you, that the resistance and the parades away quickly. Over 2 hours, we laughed and got moved and touched by the most beautiful, loving people who stood up to tell their story.
I could vividly imagine why it is so easy to fall in and how hard it is to be a standby as a relative. But also, how easily it can affect EVERYONE and how important it is to be open about the subject. There wasn't one raised finger during the show, which made it super easy to talk to my teenager about it afterwards, as he had heard almost the same lecture on the same day. Thank you so much for this loving eye-opener!”
“I was at a DrugRebel PARENT SHOW one evening, and my daughter in 8th grade had seen the student version in the morning. "Yes, it had been good and thought-provoking", she said. I didn't get much wiser from my teenager's explanation, but at first glance the story of an addict is perhaps also a bit of a worldly scenario in which you can't quite see your own child.
But the lecture was thought-provoking. Both to hear the doctor's experiences and chemical explanations, but also about the addict's completely ordinary childhood, which took an unfortunate turn. How as parents you can do everything "right", and still end up with a child who is going astray. I was surprised to hear that the selection of drugs is increasing, the price level is decreasing and how social media makes accessibility easy like never before. Unfortunately, this can happen in any family, and therefore I would recommend that you prioritize the opportunity to see a similar event at your own school".
“Fundamentally, I think it is important to tackle the taboo about drugs among young people. DrugRebels are making a fantastic effort to do just that, by informing about the factual aspects and at the same time facilitating a dialogue about what we, as parents, can do about it.
The most important thing for me as a parent is that there is a dialogue between the adults. Breaking the taboo is about being able to talk about the fact that there is - and what is - in circulation, where young people go. It is important that we as adults dare to talk about the seriousness when it affects "our" children - not just our own, but also those around us".