Adolescence is a time of change and upheaval. This can be
a challenging time as you watch your daughter grow
independent, make decisions and develop into a young
adult. Some risks that are unique to teen girls, such as
decreased self-confidence, depression and early puberty,
can lead to drug and alcohol use. Even during this
difficult time, parents are the most important influence
in their child's life. You can help your daughter navigate
this exciting, but stressful time. Below are tips on how
to raise healthy, drug-free daughters.
MAXIMIZE time together to build a strong bond with your
Spend time just listening to your daughter's thoughts and
feelings, fears and concerns. Teens who have a close
relationship with a parent are much less likely to drink,
take drugs or have sex.
Really listen to what your daughter is
saying. Make the time to ask your daughter about her
school, friends, activities and interests.
Talk to your daughter about tough
issues, such as the dangers of drug and alcohol use.
Make special time each week to talk and
enjoy each other's company.
MODEL coping skills to manage stress and pressure.
Adolescence can be a stressful process for teens. You can
be a more supportive parent by understanding where the
stress is coming from and model positive, healthy behavior
and coping skills.
Set examples on how to cope with stress,
such as setting realistic goals, learning to prioritize,
getting enough sleep and engaging in physical activity.
Teach your daughter skills to handle
negative peer pressure, such as how to say no.
MOTIVATE your daughter's self-confidence by recognizing
her strengths, skills, and interests.
Research shows that many girls experience a sharp decline
in their self-esteem and self-confidence during early
adolescence. Parents can help their daughter develop a
healthy sense of worth.
Provide meaningful roles for your
daughter in the family. Treat your daughter as a unique
individual, distinct from siblings or stereotypes.
Encourage your daughter to develop an
identity based on her talents and interests; downplay
appearance and weight, and tell her a beautiful body is
a healthy and strong one.
Promote healthy activities, such as
exercising or doing community service. Teenagers enjoy
giving to others, but they need your support.
MONITOR your daughter's activities and behavior with love
Show your unconditional love, but don't be afraid of
setting rules. Parental disapproval of drug use plays a
strong role in keeping teens drug-free. Parental
monitoring has been shown to be effective in reducing
risky behaviors among teens.
Praise your daughter as often as
possible. Show love, warmth and interest in your teen;
but set clear "no-drug" rules, limit time spent watching
TV and using the internet.
Always know where your daughter is, whom
she is with and what she is doing. Know her friends and
the parents of those friends. Have regular check-in
Attend your daughter's school events and
recreational activities. It will make your teen feel
loved, help her maintain good grades and increase her
enjoyment of school.
more information on marijuana and keeping your teen
www.TheAntiDrug.com. The site offers a free brochure
called, "Keeping Your Teens Drug-Free: A Family Guide."
The brochure can also be ordered by calling