For many moms, it can be difficult to start serious conversations with other parents when the opportunity presents itself in situations like a sporting event or school program. But I think it’s important to make an effort to talk to other parents about risky teen behaviors so that we can keep each other informed and so that we can support each other through the trials of parenting teens.
To me, the more difficult it is to discuss the topic, the more important it likely is to the health of our children. That is why I feel so passionate about educating other parents on teen over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicine abuse. While it may not come up naturally in everyday conversations that does not mean it shouldn’t be discussed among parents.
For many moms, OTC cough medicine abuse is not even thought of as something that they need to be concerned about. In fact, other drugs and alcohol usually tend to be more top of mind. I was one of those moms. I had discussed the dangers of drugs and alcohol with both of my sons, but before my oldest son was arrested for a crime he committed while high on OTC cough medicine, the thought of cough medicine abuse had never even entered my mind as a possibility.
Here are some helpful tips for getting the conversation started when you’re talking to another parent about medicine abuse:
- Utilize discussions about other drugs and alcohol as an opening to naturally weave teen OTC cough medicine abuse into the current conversation. More often than not, other parents you talk to will not be aware of the issue and will be grateful for the information.
- Use my personal story as well as the stories of the other Five Moms to jump start the conversation. That can help make it less personal and easier to discuss.
- If you have a personal story about how OTC cough medicine abuse has affected your family, don’t be nervous to share it – be empowered. It could make a huge difference in the life of another mother and their teen.
I encourage you to share our educational resources on this topic with other parents. The conversation may be difficult to start, but it could prevent another family from going through what my family experienced.
How do you get difficult conversations started with parents in your community? Feel free to share your tips for starting the conversation in the comments below.