Prevention-Smart Relationships

Positive peer influence

Try to get to know your child’s best friends. Encourage your child to invite friends to your home. Observe if these friends consistently show responsible behaviors and choices and if not discuss this with your child as an item of concern.

Try to get to know the parents of your child’s best friends. Share your views with them about the importance of protecting young people from drug use.

If you believe your child’s friends are using drugs, tell your teenager that you do not approve and why. Do not encourage activities where you know your child will be with these friends.

Other adult relationships

It is important for a young person to receive support from other non-parent adults, and for other “important people” to be in their lives who are available for help with questions or problems.

These can be aunts/uncles, step-parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts, caregivers, teachers, coaches, mentors, religious leaders, neighbors; anyone who will provide a positive role model that supports a healthy lifestyle including their behavior with respect to drugs.

Interpersonal competence

Help your child with skills that promote making and keeping friends. Skills important for this are having empathy for another person’s feelings, being sensitive to others’ needs and helping a friend with a favor when appropriate.

Cultural competence

Encourage your child to have friends and be friendly with people of different social, ethnic, and racial backgrounds than his or her own.

You can model this valuable principle by developing relationships with adults from different backgrounds.

Peaceful conflict resolution

Encourage your child to solve problems in non-violent ways and to avoid conflicts that can escalate into a very dangerous problem. When you are resolving a conflict with your child, negotiate different solutions and avoid using aggressive language.