Greg: What is going on everyone? It’s Matt and Greg here from Project Unbroken. Make sure you hit the subscribe button and please help us share so we can get the word out about these topics that are very important. So Matt, today we’re going to be talking about how to talk to your child to prevent them from using drugs.
Greg: I think one of the biggest things for me is you got to talk to them, you know?
Greg: I think a lot of parents, especially maybe those who have children who are into activities, like sports of whatever the case, they often just assume it’s not going to happen. Because I know for me and a lot of my friends, I ask them like, “How often did your parents talk to you about drugs?” And they’re like, “Never, really.” [crosstalk 00:00:39]
Greg: I think they just kind of assume. I think step number one is don’t assume and talk to them about it often, you know? I think if someone’s talking to you about something often your constantly aware of it. If that comes up, you’re going to be like, “Man, I don’t know. I just had this conversation.” Whereas if it hasn’t been talked about, it’s more distant and you’re more likely to proceed in that action.
Matt: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, there’s a lot of big points here that come to mind for me. One of them is a lot of times I think parents feel uncomfortable having these talks even with their own children. I mean, it’s funny, but it’s kind of relatable. I know a lot of parents don’t want to have to talk about sex with their kids. It’s awkward. A lot of parents probably feel the same way about drugs. I don’t know if it’s a combination of just being in denial, like you know your kids never going to try drugs or whatever, but the first mistake a lot of parents make is by not kind of making it very clear about kind of what’s going on with drugs.
I know what I was growing up, we had the DARE program. What DARE kind of taught us was there’s marijuana, cocaine, heroin. They were all kind of on the same playing field as far as we were taught, so don’t try any of them ever, and I never, you know? Eventually, I tried smoking pot, wasn’t that bad. I had a couple beers. It wasn’t that bad. Obviously I tried cocaine and heroin, and they were bad. They were a lot worse, but nobody ever really had a realistic conversation with me, like somebody that had maybe experience with pot and that it’s not necessarily a police officer or an authority figure that I didn’t really know well. Nobody had that conversation to explain the differences like, “Hey, not that it’s okay, but marijuana, heroin, there’s a big difference between the two.” But, I think stuff like that, like you said, having conversations often can really go a long way just to make sure everybody’s on the same playing field.
Greg: Yeah, and even there, I mean, what grade did you have DARE in?
Matt: Second grade maybe.
Greg: Right? Then, did anyone talk to you about drugs in the-
Matt: They literally had cartoon joints, like it was a joke, and it … Nothing, none of that stuff.
Greg: Yeah, so I really think, and it’s pretty simple, that you have to have the talk. I mean, really, I don’t think many parents out there do that. I don’t think many parents consistently talk to their kids about drugs.
Greg: Might be every here and there and maybe once a year they’re like, “You’re not doing any drugs, right?” I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it happen with families where the parent’s just like, “You don’t use drugs, right? That’s not good.”
Matt: Having the conversation like that is a little too easy. You have to dig. I mean, because if you go to your kid and you say, “You’re not using drugs, right?” the easy answer … because neither party wants to have this conversation. If the kid is having drugs, he’s not going to be like, “Well, you know what, dad? Actually, I am.”
Greg: He’s like, “Of course I’m not.” They’re going to be manipulative, right?
Matt: Exactly, yeah.
Greg: They’re going to help you believe what you want to believe and they’re going to protect themselves by being manipulative.
Matt: I mean, this, that has a lot to do with individual relationships between parent and childs, but I think parents in general are going to have a lot easier time long run if you do run up against your kid experimenting with alcohol, or marijuana, or whatever it is. Maybe the way you handle that will be a little bit different if you have kind of an eye on what’s happening with your kid. I mean, because I talked to my parents about it. Truthfully, back then, when we got stared with heroin, this was not on the radar. I mean, you know now, parents should be aware of pills, of heroin, of that slippery slope. It was not on the radar 10, 15 years ago.
Matt: People were not like my parents were like, “Heroin? What are you talking … ” like-
Greg: We were like that.
Greg: Even in high school, we were like, “Heroin? What?”
Matt: I mean, now it should definitely be on the radar because, again, kids go through this thing. I think a lot of it is like they try. It’s all very innocent, but they try smoking pot. They have a couple beers. Somebody may have pills at a party. I mean, it’s how it happens. I think kids that have that conversation, or a parent can say like, “Hey, if you had a couple beers and you take one of these pill, it could be enough to stop your heart.”
Greg: It’s a really good point.
Greg: And, explain what we’re explaining to you. You know, look, it can start innocently, but it’s very easy to do it once. Once you do it once, it’s like, “Well, I’ve done it, so I can do it one more time,” and it really cycles. I think kids need to understand that and parents need to start having the conversation with them.
Matt: And again, I would try to frame this conversation in as a nonconfrontational way as possible. I mean, this needs to be a dialogue where you’re talking to your kid. Try not to come off as judgmental, you know, as best you can, but you want to ask your kid questions, I mean, in a way that they feel comfortable responding to you in a truthful manner. I know that’s not easy for a lot of relationships and a lot of situations, but when you’re looking at the long run of your child’s wellbeing, mentally, physically, and across the board, these conversations are going to be really important for addiction and for other stuff.
Greg: Even with my son now, and he’s five, I’ll talk to him about smoking cigarettes. I’m like, “That’s nots no good.”
Matt: It’s yucky.
Greg: It’s disgusting.
Greg: I’m trying to get that in his head now, like engrave that, like say, “That’s not good for you.” You know what I mean? I haven’t talk to him about drugs that he’s only five, but I think in the next couple years I’ll probably start talking about that little by little. I want to make it a constant topic to help prevent that as much as possible.
Matt: And, I mean, it’s also probably a good idea to remember that kids watch what you do all the time.
Matt: I mean, if you have kids that are really young, I mean, and a lot of people out there are social drinkers and have a handle on it-
Greg: That’s a very good point.
Matt: … but you might not necessarily want to always, them to always see you doing that, you know? It’s-
Greg: If you’re in the kitchen taking shots while your child’s running around, trust me, they’re going to remember that. Then, me and my fiance, we’ll have conversations sometimes, and my son will repeat something we said. We’re like, “He heard that? Like, he was listening?”
Matt: Oh, yeah.
Greg: You know? I mean, they really do pay attention to everything. That’s a really good point.
Matt: Yeah, they are watching when we don’t think they’re watching, and it’s a lot of stuff. It doesn’t have to be verbal. It could just be the way react in certain situations, or the way you get when you drink. They’re going to start making connections there-
Matt: … and you know, with whatever that is.
Matt: I guess, overall, be open with that conversation. Have that dialogue going pretty consistently. I mean, if your kids are at parties, talk to them about it. You know, maybe don’t come off in a judgmental way, but let them know that you’re there to answer questions they might have and make it clear what’s going on.
Greg: And it seems so simple, but again, there’s so many parents who just don’t have the conversation because they just assume that it’s not happening. My kid plays sports, and he works out, and he hangs out with some really good kids, that means nothing when it comes down to it.
Matt: Yeah, absolutely not.
Greg: You got to have those conversations. To bring it up in a way where you were saying nonconfrontational, you can be like, “Look, I heard this story of these two guys. They were into sports and all that, and just makes … You know, I love you, I was worried about you.” You can say that. For me, I’m going to tell my son, “Look, I thought I had everything under control. And then, I used … ” You know, I’ll start having that conversation with my situation specifically. You can do it in ways like that where it’s not confrontational, just, “Look, you know, I love you, and I just want to make sure you’re okay.” That’s it.
Matt: It’s just like saying, “Don’t talk to strangers.” I mean, it’s like let them know the dangers that kind of rise from stuff like that. It would just leave them more prepared. I can be an awkward conversation. You probably don’t want to get into an argument or anything like that, and it doesn’t have to turn into one, but that doesn’t mean it should stop you from the conversation at all.
Greg: Yeah, definitely yes. Simple tip, but very effective.
Matt: Yeah. All right, guys. Well, thanks for watching. Make sure to hit that subscribe button and please share this video. We’re trying to get the word out about Project Unbroken and just help people that are struggling with addiction. We’re hoping that someone out there might kind of be able to get some insight from our experiences. We would appreciate any help that we can get. Thanks again. If you guys want to see us cover any topics, leave us a comment or hit us up on the context session at www.projectunbroken.com.
Greg: See y’all.
Matt: Thanks, guys.