Is my child too young for a discussion about drugs?

Although pre-school children may be too young to fully understand the negative effects of drug abuse, they are not too young to understand that we become and stay healthy by putting healthy things into our bodies. Discuss how a person can become ill by putting “bad” things into their bodies. Discuss what some of these bad things might be, such as a lot of junk food, chemicals, or medicines that you don’t need. If your child is ill and has to take medication, discuss with him the useful properties of some drugs. At the same time, you can explain why the doctor tells you exactly how much medicine to use and when to use it, helping you to use the drug properly. If your child sees you taking medication, have a discussion about why you are taking it. Even though it may not be the time yet to discuss drug abuse, it is never too early to begin discussions of good health and personal choice.

Adapted from:
How to Talk to Your Kids About Really Important Things:
Specific Questions and Answers and Useful Things to Say

Charles E. Schaefer, Ph.D. and Theresa Foy DiGeronimo, M.Ed.
Jossey-Bass Publishers
San Francisco
1994

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