Pubdate: Mon, 22 Sep 2003
Source: Winkler Times (CN MB)
Copyright: 2003 Winkler Times
Author: Ellie Reimer


Winkler Times -- Can I Steer My Child Away From The Use Of Harmful Drugs?

That's the question Winkler police constable Arnie Klassen will try to 
answer in his second How to Drug Proof your Kids program. The program, 
created by Focus on the Family Australia, consists of six weekly two-hour 
sessions. The program will be held on consecutive Tuesdays, beginning 
October 14, at the Winkler Elementary School. Starting time is 7:30 p.m. 
Cost is $20/parent, or $30 per couple.

"The program is designed to equip parents with practical communication 
skills, critical strategies and an action plan to help their children make 
good lifestyle choices," says Klassen.

Sharon Dueck was one of the parents who attended last fall's sessions, and 
she feels it's definitely a worthwhile project.

"I think what I learned was the most important strategy is to keep the 
lines of communication open with your kids," she said. "Keep asking them 
where they are going, where they've been, whom they're going with. Know 
what they're doing."

Last fall's session, says Dueck, included parents with all ages of 
children, from early years to teens.

"There were parents with kids much too young to be involved (with drugs), 
parents who knew their kids were involved, those who weren't sure, and 
those, like us, who didn't think their kids were involved," she said.

"It was a real eye-opener," she said. "You got a basic understanding of 
drugs, and their effects, and what to be watching for in your kids."

Included in the professional course manual are an overview of Canada's drug 
problem, why kids take drugs, how to educate children to make good choices, 
prevention tools for parents, how to intervene and where to get help, and a 
guide to handling relapses.

For more information, call Klassen at 325-0829. Registration deadline for 
this fall's program is Friday, October 3.
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