What do you think Parents should be talking to their kids about in elementary school?

Parents should start teaching their younger children the importance of making good choices, standing up for themselves and the power of the word “No”.

Teach them about discipline and basic right and wrong.  Focus on being a good person: kindness, and empathy for others.

They should make sure their child understands that if anything comes up that doesn’t feel right or seems unsafe that they are a safe place to come to.  Also, go deeper than just telling them something is bad.  Kids are naturally curious so Parents could be creative with evidence like visuals/phots, videos, etc. – that might stick with them longer.

What about in 5th-6th grade?

Talk to your kids now about what they might want to get our life and achieve.  I feel that most kids don’t have a plan in life and are simply existing, doing what they are told instead of living for themselves and setting their own goals and aspirations.

Parents should be teaching their kids at this age how to “THINK before they DO”.  It’s so important for kids to learn how to distinguish right from wrong.  I also think it would help if Parents encouraged their kids to stay true to themselves and not fall into doing the same things their friends might be doing.

They should start telling their kids just what is right and wrong.  They should absolutely have conversations about drugs, sex, and the important–taboo issues.  Kids need to know where their Parents stand to help formulate their own values.

Parents should definitely talk to kids at this stage about vaping and drugs.  Kids in middle school I know are vaping.  They record videos and post them to Snapchat and Instagram because they think it’s cool.

They should start talking about substances and the affects they can have.  They should talk about peer pressure and it would help to tell them about their own experiences with these things.

Start talking about peer pressure and the dangers of vaping.  It’s starting at younger ages so it’s a critical time.  Most Parents really don’t know about vapes and how young and widespread it really is.  

What is the dynamic of reaching teens that Parents should know?

Parents need to know that their kids really do want to be able to talk to them freely about these kinds of things (pressure, drinking, drugs, etc.).  Sometimes though, kids are scared because they don’t think their Parents will be open-minded and understanding.  I do feel with the right time and approach, Parents need to address these things regularly to be effective.

It can be as simple as having a dialogue at the dinner table and conversations about each and everyone’s days, leading into those more serious and important conversations.  I have found it’s effective when it comes up casually as my Parents slip it into a conversation, and they usually create a bad connotation related to alcohol and drugs.

Be approachable, comforting and understanding.  Parents should know that if they talk to their kids in an intimidating way, “If you do this then…” it only makes them more rebellious and they won’t wan to talk to you about anything.

Parents need to learn and understand their teens moods because when those moods are happening, it’s likely that their teen just won’t listen and will shut down.

Parents should try to let the conversation happen naturally – it’s better if it comes up in a conversation and is not forced.

Teens are rebellious by nature.  Most teens don’t want to be told or forced to do OR NOT do something.

Don’t probe a lot – it will just annoy teens and cause them to close themselves off.  Try to make it a conversation, not an interrogation.

How would YOU prefer to have your Parents talk to you?

I would prefer to have Parents talk to me about this topic confidently and maturely.  It’s not something they should avoid.  And the more Parents bring up topics like this, and handle it well, the more comfortable kids will feel talking to their Parents.

I would prefer that my Parents just talk to me – about whatever.  Just talk to me in a gentle way, but be firm so I understand their are consequences to my actions.

In a comfortable way.  Right now if I were to tell my Mom all the things happening, there’s a 50% chance she will tell people about it and it just gets annoying to have to deal with that.  So, it would be best if I knew I could securely and comfortably talk to my Parents.

Don’t talk at me or lecture me… because teens have a short attention span – and after a point they stop listening.

I appreciate when my Parents talk to me – especially when they use something that is relatable to my or talk about a situation that could actually happen to me.

When is a good time to talk to you Or NOT a good time to talk to you?

Whenever I am working, studying, it really disturbs me if I am interrupted.  Just ask me when I will be finished or when a good time for me to talk would be.

A good time to talk is when we are both in good moods.  When my Parents have tried to talk to me at the wrong time it frustrated me even more and things got worse.

There is never going to be a “perfect” time to talk with your kids about a tough topic like alcohol and drugs.  But, once you get the conversation started and going, it will only get easier.

The best time to talk to me is on the weekends or when I’m taking a break from working, studying or activities.

When I’m not too stressed or busy is a good time.  When I’m busy with school, homework, studying, work or activities, my mind is in so many places and it’s hard for me to listen and talk to them.

Do you talk to your Parents often?  Do you feel comfortable talking to them about things you are stressed about or worried about?

I talk to my Parents everyday and I feel comfortable with most everything and listening to their ideas.

I talk to my Parents everyday, mostly about school and how my day to day life is going.

I talk to my Mom often because she understands better than my Dad.  Sometimes I don’t feel comfortable telling my Mom everything though.  I do talk to her about most of what’s going on.

I talk to my Parents a lot about things I am worried about – especially with school issues.  We also talk a lot about how vaping and drinking can negatively affect me.

Yes, I talk to my Parents and NO – I don’t feel comfortable talking about things I am stressed about because they stress me out more.  They tell me all the things I should be doing or still have to do – instead of listening and understanding all that I am going through.

I talk to my Parents regularly about my life and stresses.  I feel very comfortable talking about it with them, because we’ve talked often since I was young.