How to talk with elementary students.

If your child’s school does not offer drug and alcohol education, or you think what they provide isn’t enough, you can lead the conversation about making smart, healthy decisions. Elementary students are like sponges and will be more receptive to what you have to say than a teenager, for example.

Starting the Conversation

One way to begin the conversation about drugs, alcohol, and other risky behaviors is by asking your child what they already know about the topics.

Starting slow and having a respectful, two-way discussion can help create an open space for the child to come to you with questions – right away or in the future. It also prevents you from moving too fast or sharing too much information all at once.

Here are some simple questions you might want to ask:

  • Do you know what cigarettes or alcohol are?
  • Do you ever see people smoking or drinking? What do you think about that?
  • Do you and your friends ever talk about drugs and alcohol? What do they say?
  • What do you think is a smart decision about using alcohol?
  • Do you have any questions?

After that first conversation, be on the lookout for teachable moments anywhere during your daily life. While your child sees you as a parent and an authority figure, you can empower them to make good choices by talking through their thought process together.