Strict, Loving Parents Have Best Chance Of Raising Drug Free Kids

Strict, Loving Parents Have Best Chance Of Raising Drug Free Kids

This is the seventh installment of a blog series that will dispel the most common and stubborn myths parents believe about exposing children to alcohol. This time we will tackle big, fat myth #8: I am the only parent who is this strict and my child is suffering socially as a result…

Drinking and other drug use will hurt your child socially in a much more lasting way.  Congratulations to you for rolling up your sleeves and digging into this incredibly difficult job of parenting.  You are not alone, I meet parents at every school I visit who are doing everything they can to raise healthy, substance free kids.  It’s inconvenient and disheartening to battle over rules with your teen.  At some point you will be accused of being the “only parent who doesn’t allow _________.”  No, you’re not (and even if you were , that’s when you say, “Sorry, honey, you’re stuck with us.”).  Hopefully, your negotiations are done in a caring, compassionate framework and your teen understands and shares your concern for his or her well-being. I’ve met tens of thousands of teens and most of them are just fine. They need our help thinking about these issues and they are looking for approachable adults who handle the issue of substance abuse with clarity, sensitivity and even humor.  Rules must be established with warmth and love in a family that knows how to have fun.  Rather than deliver the Surgeon General’s Warning, share your fears and show your vulnerability as a parent who would be devastated if your child came to harm.  I still smile when I think of the 8th grade boy waving his hand wildly when I asked his class if they were comfortable talking with parents about alcohol and other drugs.  He had something exciting to share about his father.  “My dad has already told me that if I start doing drugs, he’ll kill me before the drugs do!”  What a great dad – he is talking about it, he means it and he’s funny – the perfect ingredients for a lasting message!  It was clear that this boy liked his dad and felt fine telling all of his peers what the expectations were in his household.  He might have also been putting his friends on notice that drug use was not an option for him…Network with other parents and find out who has similar views to you on substance use and see what you can do to positively affect teen life in your community.

Tune in next week for big, fat myth #9: It doesn’t matter what I say to my child about substances, my voice will be eclipsed by outside influences…


1 Comment

  1. Wow, very powerful post with a great message! Parents need to understand that kids DO listen to them when it comes substance abuse. Thanks for the wonderful message.