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Starting a supportive conversation is the most important thing to do with your young person so that you establish a foundation that can be revisited in the future.
Below are the main things you need to plan your conversation. The Alcohol Drug Helpline can offer extra support if needed.
An opportunity to start a conversation can emerge naturally. For example if drug use is shown on TV, ask your child or young person what they think of it. This works well for children. It helps them understand what they see around them without giving too much information for their age. Otherwise you might need to initiate a conversation. Do this during an uninterrupted time and give your full attention to what your young person is saying.
Make a note of when you plan to have this conversation
People usually leave a conversation remembering one or two main messages. Write down what you would like yours to be. Give clear and encouraging words and let them know you care. Hint: A common message is, "I care about you, and want to help you make choices that will help your future"
Make a note of your main message.
Choosing additional points to reinforce your main message helps your young person leave the conversation understanding your central message. This avoids the conversation being side-tracked by other issues and your main message getting lost.
Make a note of any other points you plan to raise.