This week is RED Ribbon Week !!!
Red Ribbon Week is a national tobacco, alcohol, drug, and violence prevention awareness program that teaches children about the dangers of drugs, tobacco, and alcohol. It encourages children to take the pledge and keep themself safe from the dangers of substances and make healthy choices.
Start the conversation early and often. It's important that parents start early in talking with their children about these issues and keep the conversation going at every level of a child's life.
Talk about Family Values. Let your child know that you are 100 percent committed to keeping them safe. Discuss your expectations related to risky behaviors and ways kids can keep themselves safe and healthy. Remind your child you are there to help and answer questions that might arise when faced with difficult situations.
Talk about peer pressure. Help them understand the differences between good and bad peer pressure. Help them to understand how bad decisions can be an obstacle to their life goals and can have long-term consequences like addiction, legal issues, and even death. Help your child understand how making the right decisions can lead them to their personal goals and a healthy life.
Have a conversation about your child's life goals and values. Focus on your child's strengths and values that can buffer against negative influences in their life.
Role-play refusal strategies. Saying NO to bad decisions is easier after practicing! Discuss ways your child can say no in different situations. Talk about a time when you had a difficult situation and how you dealt with it and kept yourself safe.
Provide accountability. Be mindful of your child's peers, social environment, social media, and internet activity. Don't be fooled into thinking your child would never engage in an unsafe activity. Be proactive and educate yourself in the challenges that children face so that you can help your child. Talk with other parents regarding their expectations and supervision when your child is in their care. Don't assume other parents have the same rules and boundaries in place.
Stay connected !!! Eat dinner as a family, and spend time together building relationships. Parents can provide protection for their children by staying connected and building trust. Providing love and guidance as a parent.
We hope that everyone has a HAPPY, HEALTHY & SAFE Red Ribbon Week.