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KEEPING YOUR KIDS SUBSTANCE FREE

Dad, did you know that many kids have their first alcoholic drink as young as 10 or 11 years of age and sometimes even younger? The Office of National Drug Control Policy says that alcohol is still the most widely used substance by teens in America, followed by tobacco and marijuana.  Here are a few tips to help you get started:

Ask open-ended questions that encourage conversation.

Make it clear that you are listening and trying to understand your child's point of view. When your child describes events, repeat what you think your child has just told you.

When your kids use words or slang that you don't understand, ask them to explain.

Establish a weekly "together time" in which you and your child  talk.

For a FREE "Keeping Your Kids Drug-Free: A How-To-Guide for Parents..." contact the National Fatherhood Initiative = 301-948-0599.

Father Fact: 

"...the absence of the father from the home affects significantly the behavior of adolescents and results in greater use of sex, alcohol and marijuana."

 Source: Beman, Deane Scott. "Risk Factors Leading to Adolescent Substance Abuse." Adolescence 30 (1995): 201-206.

 

 

How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?

 Although many factors influence how much sleep you really need, the common recommendation is eight hours a night. But individual needs vary greatly.

 By Michael Breus, PhD

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed By Stuart Meyers, MD

on Tuesday, April 01, 2003

 Although many factors influence how much sleep you really need, most young adults report sleeping about seven and a half hours on weekday nights and eight and a half hours on weekend nights. And the common recommendation is eight hours a night. But individual needs vary greatly. There are so-called short-sleepers and long-sleepers -- those who need as little as five and a half hours to as much as about nine and a half hours.

 How much sleep you require depends on several factors including:

* Your inherited genetic need

* Your sleep hygiene (daily activities you control, drinking coffee, alcohol, smoking and

 exercise)

* The quality of your sleep

* Your 24-hour daily cycle known as the circadian rhythm

   Not getting the proper amount of and the best quality sleep may have serious consequences. Many studies have shown that sleep deprivation adversely affects performance and alertness. Reducing sleep by as little as one and a half hours for just one night reduces daytime alertness by about one-third. Excessive daytime sleepiness impairs memory and the ability to think and process information, and contributes to a substantially increased risk of sustaining an occupational injury.

 The bottom line is that you should wake up feeling relatively refreshed, and you should generally not feel sleepy during the day. If this is not the case, you may have an unrecognized sleep disorder and should see your doctor or a sleep specialist.

 Published April 1, 2003.

 

 


 



 


 

   

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This page was last updated on 09/29/05