Prevention As A Tool For Parents
Prevention should be considered the main strategy in responding to the risks that affect adolescents. This is because it is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them. This approach not only saves resources but it is best for reducing the cost of dealing with a problem and the suffering associated with it.
However, we all tend to dismiss the problems unless it affect us directly, but we should take note of the saying, ‘He who does not prevent a crime when he can, encourages it’.
Parents should focus prevention on constructing healthier and safer environments for children and this includes knowing each child, staying close to each child and knowing their friends.
Parents must play an active role and face the risks that affect their children. Ignoring the problems that affect our children does not make them disappear.
Parents therefore need to be empowered to accomplish the goal of preventing at risk behaviour in children.
This calls for educating one self on key issues and the strategies to deal with prevention and this can be done by getting involved in community based parent education and support systems designed to enhance parents' knowledge.
Parents should engage more and more actively with family organisations and establishing synergies through networking.
Families are weaker when they work in isolation. Parents may feel alone and bewildered by the range of risks that their children face today, and they may feel unable to respond to these risks in an effective manner.
Networking and group work will help teach them strategies to reduce risk, helps to create alliances and reduces feelings of isolation and powerlessness.If parents can build a network with the parents of their children’s friends, they can be empowered to prevent at risk behaviour.
As a network, parents can work towards targeted objectives. With the knowledge that alcohol and drug use is the centre of a wide range of risks that affect minors (risky sex, driving under the influence, and other violent or criminal practices), a basic objective can be to eliminate or delay as long as possible the introduction to alcohol and drugs.
This requires action both within the family home as well as in those environments where consumption takes place and families will benefit from strong networking with other to achieve this purpose.
Providing information to youngsters is not enough to prevent the risks that affect them. Action is needed ranging from establishment of norms and limits, critical questioning of environments that facilitate use and the cultures that promote this consumption.