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Raising a child is one of the most rewarding and also one of the hardest jobs there is.

When it comes to teaching children about being alcohol, tobacco, and other drug free, the right path isn’t always clear. Our world is increasingly complex and new challenges are arising all the time youth and substance use leading to feelings of frustration and hopelessness. That’s why the Municipal Alliance has created this Survival Tool Kit, equipped with things that parents can use when they face these tough decisions.

Parents Survival Tool Kit 

1. Communication.
Start at a young age and initiate conversations with your child about substance abuse. Creating an open and honest environment can help you to talk about your own values and leaves the door open for them to discuss theirs. The goal is to keep the lines of communication open, so have patience and listen to what your child has to say. Your talks don’t have to be long; use everyday opportunities to talk. And talk often.

2. Establish a clear family position on drugs and alcohol.
It’s okay to say, “We don’t allow any drug use and children in this family are not allowed to drink alcohol. The only time that you can take any drugs is when the doctor or Mom or Dad gives you medicine when you’re sick. We made this rule because we love you very much and we know that drugs can hurt your body and make you very sick; some may even kill you. Do you have any questions?”

3. Use our Resources.
Check out our resources page for local, county, state, and national resources on substance use and abuse.

4. Establish family rules.
Having clear and consistent rules to follow protects children’s physical and mental well-being and lowers their risk of developing substance abuse problems. Rules and consequences should be specific, consistent, and reasonable, and remember to recognize good behavior.

5. Use the 40 Developmental Assets.  
Building Youth, an initiative of the Municipal Alliance, uses the 40 Developmental Assets to develop and nurture positive qualities in youth throughout Bernards Township. The Assets are simple, common sense experiences and characteristics that anyone can use. Click here to view a list of the 40 Developmental Assets.