Preschoolers | Parents LEAD


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My Preschooler

It may seem premature to talk about using drugs with preschoolers, however the attitudes and habits they form at this age will have an important bearing on the decisions they will make regarding alcohol use and underage drinking when they are older. At this age, children are eager to know and memorize rules, and they want your opinion on what's "bad" and what's “good." Although they are old enough to understand for example, smoking is bad for them, generally they are not ready to take in complex facts about alcohol, tobacco, and using drugs. Nevertheless, this is an ideal age to introduce and discuss your family values regarding healthy behaviors whenever the opportunity arises. This can be done by not only role modeling healthy behaviors, but encouraging our children to engage in these activities.

Substances in your preschoolers's world can include:

  • Tobacco
  • Alcohol
  • Prescription Drugs
  • Over-the-Counter Medicines (including vitamins)
  • Cleaning Supplies

Influences in preschooler's world:

  • Parent/Caregiver
  • Older siblings
  • Other youth
  • Media (TV, radio, etc.)

To learn more visit, "Tips & Tools" or "What do I say" to your preschooler.

Sources: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Intergovernmental and Interagency Affairs, Educational Partnerships and Family Involvement Unit, Tips for Parents on Keeping Children Drug Free, Washington, D.C., 2003.; The Partnership at

You Should Know...


  • Discuss family values
  • Role-model healthy behaviors
  • Encourage your child to participate in healthy activities