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Raising Drug-Free Kids: 100 Tips for Parents.

Raising-Drug Free Kids

Published by Da Capo Press (2006)

ISBN-10: 0-7382-1074-0, ISBN-13: 978-0-7382-1074-2

Click here for ordering information.

Click here for a list of references relating to the topics discussed in the book.

Click here for information about the Turkish edition.

Click here for information about the Romanian edition.

Endorsements and Reviews

"Raising Drug-Free Kids: 100 Tips for Parents is from attachment-parenting-oriented developmental psychologist and Mothering contributor Aletha Solter. This is not a guidebook for helping kids resist peer pressure, but rather a plan for bringing up emotionally healthy children from the start. Solter's straightforward, no-nonsense advice includes: Let your children express their feelings, don't judge them, and teach them to manage stress."

Mothering magazine

"Raising Drug-Free Kids provides worried parents with a wide range of practical and helpful strategies to create a healthy environment for kids of all ages, which will serve to immunize them against the temptations of illegal drug use for the rest of their lives. This holistic approach to drug prevention is a welcome relief from the simplistic 'just say no to drugs, but ask your doctor if Ritalin is right for you' message that abounds in our culture. I recommend this book highly."

Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D. (author of The Myth of the A.D.D. Child: 50 Ways to Improve Your Child's Behavior and Attention Span without Drugs, Labels, or Coercion)

"Raising Drug-Free Kids is not only a complete guide for achieving the title's goal, but also a fine brief manual for raising children generally. I can imagine parents wanting to review this little manual, so easy to read, often during their child-rearing years.

Elaine Aron, Ph.D. (author of The Highly Sensitive Child)

"Dr. Solter knows the answer to our drug problem, and she provides it in clear, doable fashion. Teaching our kids to 'just say no' isn't enough, and punitive discipline only worsens the problem. The answer is to nurture our children, to give them the skills they need to succeed, and to raise them to be strong, healthy people who have no interest in making drugs a part of their lives. To find out how, read this very important, accessible, inspiring book. Every parent, teacher, and friend of a child of any age will find something of practical interest within its pages."

Karen Miles (author of The Power of Loving Discipline)

"At a time when health professions are relying exclusively on psychiatric drugs to improve the behavior of children, this book provides far better alternatives. Good resource for parents!"

Peter R. Breggin, M.D. (psychiatrist and author of Reclaiming Our Children and The Ritalin Fact Book)

"Dr. Solter has created a fine gift to all parents by blending brilliant philosophy and keen practicality as she addresses a difficult cultural burden in our society: the drug problem. Raising Drug-free Kids is filled with priceless parenting guidance, and is beautifully formatted to provide sincere parents quick focus on any of one hundred valuable tips, all of which will enhance the effort to preserve their children's freedom."

Win and Bill Sweet (authors of Living Joyfully with Children)

"When I became a father, Aletha Solter taught me a great deal through her book, The Aware Baby. When I started challenging the psychiatric labeling and drugging of children, I was hit from all sides with the question, 'What are your solutions, then?' I highly recommend Solter's new book, Raising Drug-Free Kids: 100 Tips For Parents, as 100 terrific answers to that question, beautifully particular according to the age of your child!"

John Breeding, Ph.D. (author of The Wildest Colts Make the Best Horses and True Nature and Great Misunderstandings)

Book Description

Adding to the successful series of Raising titles from Da Capo Press, Raising Drug-Free Kids gives parents 100 tips for keeping children of all ages away from drugs and alcohol.

With adolescent use of illegal substances on the rise, parents are wise to be concerned about setting their children on a drug-free course. While much advice handed out these days focuses on teen behavior and on what to do once drugs have become a problem in the home, Raising Drug-Free Kids takes an innovative approach and focuses instead on preventive measures that can be followed at all stages and ages of a child's life.

In this essential, practical, and comprehensive parenting guide, developmental psychologist and parent educator, Aletha Solter, provides parents with simple, easy-to-use tools to build a solid foundation for children to say "no" to drugs. Organized by age group, from preschool through young adulthood, the handy 100 tips describe an innovative approach to parenting based on current research in the fields of attachment, trauma, substance abuse, and child development.

The five basic principles for drug-proofing your children are:

orange ball Stay connected to your children so they will have a secure home base.
orange ball Use a democratic approach to discipline so they won't need to rebel during adolescence.
orange ball Allow your children to express painful emotions so they won't need to numb themselves with drugs.
orange ball Be a good role model.
orange ball Give age-appropriate information about drugs.

Article which summarizes the five basic principles listed above

Raising Drug-Free Kids differs from most other drug prevention books in three ways:

orange ball It begins at conception.
orange ball It describes a nonpunitive approach to discipline.
orange ball While focusing on illegal drugs, it also includes tips for avoiding psychiatric drug use during childhood.

Excerpt from the Introduction to Raising Drug-Free Kids

The approach described in this book may be quite different from other parenting advice you have heard. Many books suggest that children need more "discipline," meaning that parents should punish their children for breaking rules. However, strict authoritarian control often backfires by causing children to rebel. Although some children may benefit from more consistency and structure (but not punishment), the root cause of most behavioral problems, including substance abuse, is not a lack of discipline but rather a lack of connection. Children who lack a close relationship with at least one loving parent are at risk for substance abuse, no matter how much "discipline" you impose on them. Likewise, children who have a close relationship with a loving parent are more likely to resist drugs.

The one hundred tips in this book will show you how to establish and maintain a close connection to your child at each stage of your child's development. It is never too late to improve your relationship with your child. At the root of this approach is spending time with your child, using a nonpunitive approach to discipline, and accepting your child's emotions.

Copyright © 2006 by Aletha Solter

More book excerpts (sample tips)

orange ball Allow Your Toddler to Say "no"
orange ball Listen to Your Teenager

About the Author

Aletha Solter, PhD, is a developmental psychologist, international speaker, consultant, and founder of the Aware Parenting Institute ( Her books have been translated into many languages, and she is recognized internationally as an expert on attachment, trauma, and non-punitive discipline. The titles of her books are The Aware Baby, Cooperative and Connected (a revised edition of Helping Young Children Flourish), Tears and Tantrums, Raising Drug-Free Kids, and Attachment Play.

Aware Parenting is a philosophy of child rearing that has the potential to change the world. Based on cutting-edge research and insights in child development, Aware Parenting questions most traditional assumptions about raising children, and proposes a new approach that can profoundly shift a parent's relationship with his or her child. Parents who follow this approach raise children who are bright, compassionate, competent, nonviolent, and drug free.


This page was last updated on February 22, 2018. Copyright © 1996 to 2018 by Aletha Solter. All rights reserved. No part of this web page may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical (including copying to other web sites, and including translations), without written permission from Aletha Solter, with the exception of printing copies for personal use and for free distribution to parents.

Warning/Disclaimer: The information on this web page and in Aletha Solter's books is not intended to be used as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. When children display emotional, behavioral, or medical problems of any kind, parents are strongly advised to seek professional advice and treatment.