Protecting Your Kids From Dangerous Habits

We raise our kids hoping that they will grow up to be responsible, mature people who make good choices that lead them into a happy and successful adulthood. The thing is, the rest of the world is fighting against you and there’s only so much you can do as a parent.


The fact is that the temptation indulge in unhealthy and damaging behaviors is out there, and we as a society aren’t helping. Our kids are growing up in a society that’s worryingly conducive to addiction. The digital age means that we’re not only bombarded with messages on billboards, on the sides of busses and on TV and radio, we also get them in the form of internet pop up ads too. Often lurid, colorful sexually charged images lure us towards fast foods, sugar and caffeine saturated drinks and caffeine. Sure the advertisement of cigarettes and alcohol is restricted but that doesn’t stop advertising from cultivating an allure towards damaging and addictive products that can serve as a gateway for something much worse.


Whether it’s through increased reliance on unhealthy processed foods, cigarettes alcohol or recreational drugs, your children are vulnerable to addictive substances that can lead them into dangerous and destructive habits. Fortunately there are ways in which you can protect them by giving them the tools to make the right choices.

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Lead by example


Keeping your body fit and healthy will give your kids a daily reminder on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. If you smoke or drink to excess you owe it to yourself and your kids to stop. Children are more likely to grow up to be smokers or drinkers if the behavior is normalized by seeing you do it, so even if you can’t or don’t want to quit, the very least you can do is limit their exposure to it. If you lean on fast food as a regular go-to treat then you could be inadvertently predisposing your child to addiction.


Be frank


You can bury your head in the sand or you can face the fact that at some point in their lives your children will be tempted by cigarettes, alcohol or recreational drugs. You can help them by being honest and frank. If you’ve quit smoking explain to them why, if you found you were drinking too much then tell them why you cut down. Being open and honest encourages children to grow up to make informed choices where a puritanical “just say no” attitude can mystify substances and make them alluring to them.


Point them in the right direction


If you notice signs like secretive behavior, erratic mood swings or wanting to be alone for long periods of time then it could be normal symptoms of adolescence or it could be something far more insidious. That’s why it’s best to ensure that they’re aware of the help that’s out there from Alcoholics Anonymous to clinics like the Orlando Recovery Center, helping them forge their own path to recovery rather than leading the horse to water.


Blame the behavior not them


People with substance addictions lie habitually, they’re deceitful, manipulative and will think nothing of stealing from you to feed their habits. They can also be evasive, emotionally hurtful or even physically aggressive when confronted on their behavior. It’s vitally important not to exacerbate things by reacting in anger and blaming them. Addiction alters brain chemistry, forcing them to behave in ways that are uncharacteristic. Only be keeping your cool and helping them to help themselves can you protect your kids.

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