Children and Drugs

One of the things that children value most is the trust and respect of their parents. However, when they think they will not get caught, they do not feel their bond of trust is ever in jeopardy and they do what they want. It’s easy for well balanced children to make bad choices.

Parenting decisions are only as sound as the facts on which they are based. Unfortunately, parents often make decisions based on fantasy rather than facts.

Too many parents get lulled into a false sense of security because their kids play sports, make good grades, and have “nice” friends. That’s a fantasy and is not what happens in the real world.

Speaking factually, about half of all school children at senior schools have tried illegal drugs. These figures are much higher if you include the students who have used alcohol and tobacco.

From the time children are very young, they are taught to “just say no” to drugs. I’m convinced that the peer pressure usually gets worse when they do because teens don’t know what to say next.

An emerging trend offers parents direction and hope. Drug testing kits now exist that can be administered at home and provide instant results for a fraction of the cost of a lab, without sacrificing accuracy or privacy. Parents who follow through with such an approach give their teens a socially acceptable excuse. The words “My parents test me” stop pushy peers in their tracks. Additionally, teens’ poor behavior and choices can be made to change when teens know it’s a certainty rather than a remote possibility that their drug use will be discovered.

Question: Should parents talk to their kids more often about the facts and possible problems ahead?

Answer: “Wise is the man who fixes his roof before it rains.” I suggest that parents would be well served to sit down with their children and start talking about the dangers of drugs as early as when their children are in middle school.

While a conversation about the dangers of drug use is an important first step, it is simply not enough to protect your child without a plan to follow through.
Trust should be earned rather than bestowed and an approach eliminates potential misunderstandings by creating a contract that spells out specific rewards and consequences tied to home drug test results.

It’s no wonder so many teens think their parents won’t find out. They’re right—until it’s too late.


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Ann.Marie said...

great post!

alicia27 said...

A+++ article! You know, one thing I find very interesting from my own life... my oldest son started drinking and smoking pot on occasion (his dad does both in front of him). Although his dad allows, and almost promotes these behaviors, my son would rather stay with me... the stricter of the two parents. Many people think it's BS when you hear therapists, etc. talk about how a child NEEDS structure and discipline, and I think my son is a great example of how true that is. He knows, without a doubt, that I'm not strict about these things to be a monster, it's simply because I love him.

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