Start with resolutions that show you care

January is always a time of resolutions that many times go unfulfilled before February gets here! I am calling on all parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and anyone who cares for a young person to make a commitment to a new kind of resolution— a New Year’s resolution to talk with your kids about drugs and alcohol.

Resolving to talk more often with your child about healthy decisions and choices is a great idea for 2010. Prevention First celebrates the positive influence of parents and adults who care and can help you start the new year with “10 Resolutions That Show Your Kids You Care.”

Ten Resolutions That Show Your Kids You Care:

• Teach your children to trust you by seeing you as a role model

• Teach your children about ethics, values and principles they can apply in choices and decisionmaking

• Be understanding when they have a difficult time and let them know you will love them no matter what

• Be diligent. Have ongoing conversations with your kids about the risks of drugs and alcohol

• Learn what your child’s school is doing to promote substance abuse prevention

• Get street smart! Look at pictures of drugs and drug use paraphernalia. Educate yourself about street lingo associated with drug use. Contact Prevention First or your local police department for information

• Create strong bonds within your family; set aside time for weekly family meetings (perhaps at the dinner table); find opportunities for your child to help make family decisions

• Talk to your kids early about drugs and talk to them often. Discuss the negative consequences of drug use and make sure they know how strongly you feel about their welfare

• Show your child that you care every day: Set limits and enforce them; make clear to your child that alcohol or other drug use are not allowed

• Answer your teen’s questions and be consistent. When you notice behavioral changes in them, make yourself available and encourage them to talk about what is going on in their life.

You can make a positive difference and help your child remain healthy, safe and drug-free in 2010! For more information, contact Prevention First at 732- 663-1800, ext. 216, or check our website at www.Prevention-

Mary Pat Angelini

Executive director

Prevention First