Parenting Tools for Promoting Prevention Plus Wellness Lifestyles for Kids

Today’s youth are exposed to a greater number and variety of risks to their physical and mental health, well-being, and success than ever before in modern history. Unfortunately, typical parent substance use prevention programs are unrealistically long, negative in their content and tone, narrowly address drug abuse while excluding wellness, and emphasize drug facts instead of strategies for how to successfully motivate kids to avoid drugs and increase positive lifestyles and self-identity. 

That is why there is a critical need for easy to use, evidence-based parenting tools and training to help kids avoid substance misuse, foster a protective wellness lifestyle, and develop a positive identity and self-regulation skills to set and achieve life goals.  The Behavior-Image Model (BIM) is a theoretical road map that parents can use to create brief messages for their kids that connect wellness behavior and positive image promotion with substance use avoidance. 

BIM is a two-step process using: 1) positive images to increase youth motivation to change their lifestyle, and 2) multiple behavior goal setting to increase self-regulation skills and positive self-image.  Positive youth images of peers and of themselves in the future engaged in wellness habits are powerful and effective tools for shaping youth habits.

First, youth are likely to use an intuitive versus an empirical approach in making health decisions, and images play a key role in influencing intuitive decision-making.  Second, the use of appealing images is supported by decades of successful image advertising by major Fortune 500 companies to influence individual’s buying behavior.  Lastly, research has shown that setting measurable goals and signing a contract to monitor habits are effective strategies for developing self-regulation skills and changing behavior.

The bottom line is that what parents say and do plays a critical role in their kid’s lifestyle and decision-making.  One essential thing parents can and should to is to regularly remind their kids that: “Avoiding alcohol, tobacco and drug use, while getting regular physical activity, eating healthy, getting plenty of sleep, and practicing relaxation increases looking and feeling good, active and healthy.”  Providing this and similar messages, and having youth set concrete goals to avoid substance use AND increase one or more healthy habits, will kick-start them on the road to living a more fit, active and drug-free lifestyle this summer and year-around. 

Want to learn more?  We are hosting a free 30-minute webinar for parents and professionals on: Parent Tools for Promoting Prevention Plus Wellness Lifestyles for Kids.  Find out more and register for the webinar today: http://preventionpluswellness.com/free-webinar/

Also, check out the quick and easy to use evidence-based parent tools on this website, including: 1) Parent Prevention Plus Wellness Flyers, and 2) Prevention Plus Wellness for Parents Lessons.  We also provide online and onsite training for parents to learn how best to implement these tools for creating fit, active and drug-free lifestyles for kids.  Call today for more info: (904) 472-5022.

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