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        Susan Robertson 
        Substance Abuse and Prevention
        Counselor
        Confidential Voice Mail:  730-2503
        Serving:  Atlee, Hanover High,
        Chickahominy, and Oak Knoll

If you would like more tips on communication and parenting, visit www.theantidrug.com, a Web site designed to help parents help kids stay safe and drug-free. The site offers specific information about marijuana and other drugs and a brochure called "Keeping Your Kids Drug-Free: A How-to Guide for Parents and Caregivers," which may also be ordered by phone at 1-800-788-2800. Or call Susan Robertson (730-2503) or Mary Sisson (365-8043), Hanover County Substance Abuse Prevention Counselors.
 


   Teachable Moments in the Car

      From the work of Katherine Shaver, Washington Post Staff Writer

      Getting stuck in traffic can mean family bonding time. "It's kind of enforced intimacy," "Kids are pushed in so many different directions it's hard to get them to focus on the family. In the car, there's not much to focus on besides you."

      Some busy parents say driving through traffic has become the best way to keep in touch with their children. Gone are the times of discussing their days over the dinner table. If they want to catch up with their children, they usually do it behind the wheel.

      "You're in a confined space. No one can jump up and into the other room to answer the phone or watch TV. It's a time when the parents and children are physically together."

      Billboards and DJ banter on the car radio create ways to bring up uncomfortable topics, such as drugs or sex, in a casual way. Some parents say that driving the carpool for preteens and teenagers gives them a rare chance to be within earshot of their children's world.

      Psychologists and parenting experts say their instincts tell them that the car isn't the ideal place for bonding. The inability to maintain eye contact can make conversations less intimate, they say, and parents may end up using it as a substitute for interacting more at home. But family therapists, while agreeing that bonding in the car isn't ideal, say busy families should take advantage of whatever time they find together, even if it's a few minutes on the drive to school.

      Driving time can be one of those "teachable moments" between parents and children. A television ad for an anti-drug campaign shows a mother and son riding along in silence for about 20 seconds before the announcer says, "Another missed opportunity to talk with your child about marijuana."  Take advantage of these teachable moments to talk with your kids. 
 

 Our Mission:  Hanover County School Counselors provide all students educational services, in collaboration with parents, school and the community, that foster
                       academic, career and social/emotional growth toward lifelong success and effective, responsible citizenship for a diverse and changing world.