Prevention-Smart Families

Think about how you would rate yourself out of 10 in the following areas.

Family support

Provide high levels of love and support.

Use words, actions, and attitudes that show you love and care about everyone in the family.

Positive family communication

Encourage your child to seek help and advice from you.

Be a good listener and encourage your child to offer points of view.

Model good communication by communicating in a positive way between parents.

Family boundaries

It is important that you establish clear family “rules” and consequences of breaking them that are known and respected by all members. Write down the rules and consequences and discuss them together as a family. Where possible, develop the rules in discussion with your children so they can appreciate the reasons for the rules and be part of making and agreeing them. Get them to think about “terms and conditions” rather than rules.

As a prevention-smart parent, monitor the young person's whereabouts as far as possible. Also tell your child your whereabouts.

Time at home Mentor Family watching TV together

Encourage your child to spend time at home with the family and be involved in family evening activities when not doing homework.

If a parent is working or must be away from the home during this time, try to arrange to have another trustworthy adult check in on your child. If this is not possible, see if you can arrange for your child to attend a supervised activity center, library, or other place such as the home of a trusted adult where he or she can use the time to study or socialize in a safe setting with people you trust.

It is not an asset to have your child out a lot of the time with peers "with nothing special to do."

Reading or Viewing For Pleasure

Promote reading or viewing for pleasure to fill your child’s unscheduled time. You can encourage this when you read books, newspapers and watch TV and discuss this together. Discuss what you read and view during family time, and ask your child to talk about what he or she is reading or enjoys watching. Exchange books and DVDs with other families. You might even ask your child to read a book to you or read one to them. Watch TV together and discuss what you watch.

Family Activities

Plan ‘family night’ activities; include a night or weekend afternoon going shopping eg for the “food shop” at the supermarket or going to a sports game together or for a walk or to the gym or doing exercise.

Prevention-Smart launched for initial evaluation on June 26th 2009. If you have any comments or feedback, please email us via the contact form.