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LETTERS: Have healthy holidays with healthy examples

To the editor:

BRiDGES has kept you up to date on meth, bath salts and underage drinking through town hall meetings and more than a dozen educational opportunities in Madison County.

We applaud you for staying informed.

Yet, knowing the facts is just a piece of keeping our youth safe.

Parents have a major role in their children’s safety and health. Mikaela J. Dufur, Ph.D., of Brigham Young University, and colleagues explored how “family social capital” may influence risks of underage drinking and drug use. Bonding, open communication lines and parental engagements are important elements.

Dr. Dufur found that “parental availability and involvement transmitted pro-social norms and reduce risks for adolescent alcohol and drug use.”

The Center of Disease Control and Prevention echoes the importance of parents being “actively involved.” The study, which was published online Nov. 8, 2012 by the Journal of Drug Issues, also discussed positive school social capital.

With good intentions, some parents believe that by permitting their teens to drink at home they can teach them to drink “responsibly” and keep them safe. Most parents know that this is a dangerous myth.

Parents, please consider using these six research supported parenting practices from The Partnership at Drugfree.org:

—Build a warm and supportive relationship with your child

—Be a good role model when it comes to drinking, taking medicine and handling stress

—Know your child’s risk level

—Know your child’s friends

—Monitor, supervise and set boundaries

—Have ongoing conversations and provide information about drugs and alcohol.

Best wishes this holiday season.

Chris Reynolds

Community Organization Specialist, BRiDGES

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