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To talk about drugs with my 5 and 7 year olds?

(14 Posts)
SummerNights1986 Sun 22-Nov-15 13:52:00

Not purposely, but if the conversation comes up?

Yesterday a Whitney Houston song came on the radio as we were driving. Ds1 was asking who sung the song, then does she make lots of music, is she from this Country - typical questions from a seven year old. So I said well sadly she's died now. Next question 'How did she die?'. My answer was she took drugs.

Which opened up a huuuge can of worms and invited lots of questions from both ds's. Including: What are drugs? Why are they bad? Where do you get them from? Why do people take them? What do they look like? Is it tablets? - you get the picture. I don't think the conversation has ever come up before.

So I answered their questions. A quick summary of what I told them in response to their questions was that 'bad' or illegal drugs can't be bought in shops and criminals and bad people sell them. That sometimes people take them because of peer pressure (which opened up a whole side conversation about what peer pressure was) or because they're just very, very silly. That no illegal drugs are safe because they don't come with leaflets like the painkillers and things you can get from a shop so you don't know how much to take or what's in them, which is why people die.

We touched on addiction briefly, that sometimes once you take drugs once, even if you don't like how it felt, your body becomes addicted so you have to keep taking them (I think this bit went straight over their heads).

Then, the 'controversial' bit (which DH feels I was bu to tell them) - about how you take drugs. I didn't volunteer this information but they kept questioning and questioning, so have gone away with the knowledge that there are lots of different bad drugs. And that some people smoke them like cigarettes, some people take tablets or put powder up their noses and some people use injections.

Dh feels that I should have skirted their questions more and there's no need for them to know this much at this age...especially for ds2 who is only 5.

I think the information was age appropriate and, whilst not a conversation I would have chosen to introduce quite yet, has done them no harm at all. They've both resolutely declared that they'll never be so stupid as to take bad drugs and are fairly horrified at the thought that some people would actually choose to have an injection voluntarily...which isn't a bad starting attitude really IMO.


ilovesooty Sun 22-Nov-15 14:04:50

I don't think you were unreasonable. They asked questions and you seem to have answered them in an age appropriate way.

MingZillas Sun 22-Nov-15 14:07:38

I don't think YWBU.

Enjolrass Sun 22-Nov-15 14:08:41


Dd is 11 we have had this conversation a few times. It was actually prompted by a child at her school stealing her mums tablets and was found trying to give them to the younger kids.

It comes up periodically. I never shy away from the discussion. I don't think achieves anything

SoWhite Sun 22-Nov-15 14:12:38

I think you handled it perfectly.

Prettyinblue Sun 22-Nov-15 14:34:46

A very age appropriate response. When they are older it is probably an idea to say that drugs make you feel great, and that lots of people take them and have no problem with them but many people are effected negatively.

I grew up in an area with lots of drugs and my parents 'drugs kill' and make you feel shit didn't Ring true to with the experiences of kids around me.

MrsTerryPratchett Sun 22-Nov-15 15:17:05

The only bit I would question is the 'bad' and 'good' drugs bit. In the States the first addictive drugs kids take are out of their parents' medicine cabinets. Prescription drugs are a scourge and turning into an epidemic. Partly because of the legal/illegal message to children.

Apart from that, all good.

IwishIwasinNewYork Sun 22-Nov-15 15:24:53

Of course we should talk to our kids about drugs - and all the other realities of life - in age appropriate ways. Very silly mistake not to.

You did fine.

GreenSand Sun 22-Nov-15 15:45:18

The kids started the conversation, you gave age appropriate answers. Don't see a problem there.

If you'd say them down, and forced the conversation, that's unreasonable.

mommy2ash Sun 22-Nov-15 15:56:59

I think everyone will have an idea of what is age appropriate for their kids. I don't think it matters if we think you were unreasonable but your dp felt the discussion was not appropriate for them.

ValancyJane Sun 22-Nov-15 17:30:22

YANBU, better to answer questions sensibly than to build mystery into it and make it something taboo. Sounds like you handled it really well!

CoraBeth Sun 22-Nov-15 17:32:41

My youngest children were educated in the US. They are taught drug awareness from kindergarten. I think you handled it just fine.

BertieBotts Sun 22-Nov-15 17:34:39

YY. And what PrettyinBlue said.

DarthVadersTailor Sun 22-Nov-15 17:41:05

Sounds like you handled it well OP and am defo taking a leaf out of your book on this. My 10yr old hasn't really asked about drugs at all but it's only a matter of time I guess.

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