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Time to text

School presents challenges for many young people - new teachers and friends, more difficult classes and new experiences. Students can also be presented with added pressure from friends when it comes to tobacco, alcohol and other drug use.

Research has confirmed increases in use of the drugs that teens are most likely to encounter at parties and in other social situations. Surprisingly, teenage girls are more likely than teenage boys to perceive potential benefits from drug use and drinking, making teen girls more vulnerable to drug and alcohol use. This can also expose them to other risky situations, like having unprotected sex or being a victim of physical violence.

Texting is an opportunity to talk to your teens on their terms. Surveys show that more than half of teens who text message think it has improved their relationship with their parents, and 51 percent of parents who text with their teens agree that they communicate more often.

Talking to teens is never easy, and it can be tough to find the right words. Text lingo is its own language - one with no punctuation and lots of abbreviations. When you text your teen, it helps to show you know the ropes. To help you get started here are some messages you can use, or create your own:

  • If u wanna get together and talk, pizza's on me
  • U stressing about school? Let's talk
  • Let me know how things go 2day
  • Just wanted 2 say hello. Hope ur having a gr8 day!
  • I'm always here if you need to talk

As your teen navigates their world, show them how much you care. Let them know you are there to help them handle new situations and stresses in a healthy way. Talk to your teens in their language.

Tools and tips for starting - and continuing - the conversation with your teens about drugs and alcohol can be found at www.timetotalk.org. Take Time to Text your teens!

Source: The Partnership at Drugfree.org

Written by: Lisa Callaham, Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist
Posted: Jan 16, 2013 by Lisa Callaham

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