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spacer Designed for parents and other adults involved in the lives of 7- to 18-year-olds, the Family Guide Web site emphasizes the importance of family, promotes mental health, and helps prevent underage use of alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs.
A Family Guide to Keeping Youth Mentally Healthy & Drug FreeA Family Guide to Keeping Youth Mentally Healthy & Drug Free Family GuideA Family Guide to Keeping Youth Mentally Healthy & Drug Free
  Talk With Your Child
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  Teach Kids To Choose
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  Monitor Your Child's
Start Talking Before They Start Drinking
The increasing amount of nicotine in cigarettes and new filter designs that increase the number of puffs per cigarette could make it harder for your child to quit smoking once she starts.
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Talk with your Child

It's important to establish and maintain good communication with your child. Get into the habit of talking with your child every day. Building a close relationship with her* when she's young will make it easier for her to come to you when she has a problem and will help you become more sensitive to her mood changes. With a closer relationship to you, she'll be less likely to develop mental health problems and to experiment with alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs. In this section, you will find useful communication tips and other important information about mental health, substance use, and prevention.

More Than 100 Encouraging Words
Series of encouraging words to say to your child.

Featured Site: Make Time to Listen...Take Time to Talk 15+

Latest Articles

  • Back to School Blues
    It’s that time of year again—the carefree days of summer fade and the hectic routine of school begins. Many children, even those who look forward to school, may moan and groan about doing homework. They may worry about friends and what their teachers expect. They may feel discouraged or “down.” They may have what is commonly called the “back to school blues.”
  • April Is Counseling Awareness Month
    April is Counseling Awareness Month. It’s an opportunity to recognize and show appreciation for the counselors and therapists who make a difference in the lives of so many people.
  • Addiction: Defined
    According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences.
  • Praise Is Important to Raising a Child
    Self-esteem is the way your daughter feels about what she believes are her positive qualities, values, abilities, and worth as a human being.
  • Honoring the Honor Code
    Cheating is on the rise in schools across the country. A national survey of 4,500 high school students found that 75 percent of them engage in serious cheating.
  • Beer, Wine, Coolers, Spirits: By Any Name They’re a Brain Drain
    “At least she’s not taking drugs.” This is what some parents may have thought a generation ago if they caught their daughter using alcohol. Back then, their attention was more likely focused on the dramatic increases in drug use. Those days are gone.
  • Know the Warning Signs—Prevent Suicide in Young People
    Suicide is a serious problem among young people. You may be surprised to learn that it is the third leading cause of death for 15- to 19-year-olds in the United States. Only accidents and homicide are more common causes of death for this age group. A far greater number of youths attempt suicide each year. Suicide attempts are not easy to count because many may not be treated in a hospital or may not be recorded as self-inflicted injuries. Survey data from 2005 show that 17 percent of high school students had seriously thought about suicide, 13 percent had made plans to attempt suicide, and more than 8 percent had made a suicide attempt during the year before the survey.
  • Talk With Your Kids About Nutrition
    Parents who talk with their kids about food choices can help their children feel better today and stay healthy for tomorrow. As adults, we are encouraged to talk with kids about the birds and the bees and about alcohol and drugs. Talking about food choices combined with the Nutrition Facts label also makes sense. Nutrition influences growth and development.
  • Who's Using Alcohol?
    Have you ever wondered how much drinking today's youth actually are doing?
  • Helping Children With ADHD Make Friends
    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can affect a child in many different ways. Most people know that ADHD can cause children to struggle with things like sitting still, being quiet, paying attention, and staying organized. But ADHD also can make it hard for children to make friends.

* We refer to a child as "him" in some places and "her" in others. We do this for easier reading. All information applies to both boys and girls unless otherwise specified.

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Last updated on 7/16/08