Prevention Works In Seattle

Parenting Tips & Tools

Even as teens, children care about what parents say.

Most students who go to NE Seattle schools make healthy decisions.  There are many ways parents can help their children continue to make healthy choices. 

1. Set clear family rules about drug and alcohol use.

Talk to your child by 6th grade about drugs, including alcohol.  Prevention starts early!
~ Tell them how unhealthy decisions, such as using drugs, including alcohol, can lead to poor choices.
~ Explain that misusing medicines can harm them. 
~ Listen to their concerns but stay firm in your rules about teens not using drugs, including alcohol.  
~ Let them know that they can call you at anytime if they are in a bad situation.  

~ Set rules that are clear and easy to follow.
2. Set consequences for breaking rules . . . and follow through!
 Examples of consequences are:

~ No electronic devices or phone for a certain amount of time. 

~ Extra chores.

~ No car usage. 

~ Paying their own car insurance costs. 

Make sure that you are willing and able to follow through on consequences.

3. Set rewards for following rules.
 Examples of rewards are:

~ Tickets to a ball game, concert or other event. 

~ Time together doing something fun. 

~ Paying for their car insurance.

~ Inviting friends over to watch movies, play cards, dance or other activity.  This is a great way to show kids that you can have fun without drugs or alcohol.   

Make sure that you are willing and able to follow through on rewards.

4. Keep lines of communication open.
 ~ Eat at least one meal together most days of the week.  If meals aren't possible, spend other time together as a family. 

~ Learn how to text. It can be an easy way to start conversations. 

~ Whether it's five minutes a day or a full Sunday afternoon, make time to catch up with your teen.   

5. Know who your child hangs out with and connect with their parents.
~ Attend school and other community events where you can meet other parents.  Introduce yourself as your child's parent.

~ Most NE Seattle parents think that youth drug and alcohol use is not okay, even when their kids are in high school.  Talk to other parents about this.  It's likely that other parents think the same way you do.

~ Call or email other parents when your child goes to their home.  If you drop off your child, take a moment to meet the parents.  

6. Safely store and monitor medications, alcohol, and marijuana in your home. 
~ Keep all of your medications locked up.  Lock boxes are inexpensive and can be purchased at any pharmacy. 

~ Safely dispose of unused or expired medications.  Locally, Group Health and Bartell Drugs offer free medicine disposal. 

~ If someone in your household has been prescribed a drug, be sure to keep track of dosages and refills.

~ Store alcohol and marijuana out of plain sight.  Consider locking them up.  This is especially important for products such as baked goods and candy that contain marijuana.

~ Only buy alcohol and marijuana as needed instead of keeping large amounts in your home.  Keep track of how much alcohol and marijuana you have in your home.  
Your teenager needs you.  As they face peer pressure, advertising, easy access to drugs, and other negative influences, you are their anchor.  

Additional Resources for Eckstein Middle School Families

The Strengthening Families Program, for families of youth 10-14 years old, is offered twice a year to Eckstein families.  Strengthening Families is a science-based drug abuse prevention program for parents and their children.  For more information, contact Eckstein's Mental Health Counselor.   

The Prevention WINS Facebook page enables parents to learn more about preventing teen drug abuse, to share information, discuss parenting issues, and connect with one another.  

All Eckstein students are taught the Life Skills Training curriculum.  This science-based curriculum teaches students the social and emotional skills they need to avoid using drugs.

The Prevention WINS coalition is made up of people who live and work in NE Seattle.  Parents are an important part of the coalition.  To learn about how parents may be involved in community prevention activities, please contact the Prevention WINS coordinator.    
Useful Links 
Do you think that your child is using drugs or alcohol and you need help?  Contact the Washington State Alcohol & Drug Helpline: