“The Parental Grapevine!”
A Cluster of Transformational Parenting Practices
Is Your Teen Getting “High” After School?
Teenagers are notoriously curious. All teenagers! Curiosity can be a good thing, but if parents DO NOT guide and feed the curiosity of their sons and daughters, someone or something else will. No parent wants to believe their son or daughter is involved with Drugs. But the reality is this.
Teenagers are Getting High After School!
Parents … Know This!
No matter how excellent your parenting skills are and no matter how vigilant you are, your teenager will be exposed to ideas, attitudes, language and behaviors that you oppose.
Most teenagers have some knowledge of Drugs. This includes the Drugs they and their friends wouldn’t be caught dead using … and the Drugs either they or someone in their group believes are harmless enough to: “Just try once!”
Whatever the case may be, it is important that you know all this up front because certain Drugs are specifically aimed at teenagers.
Start the Conversation!
The way things are today, it’s never too early for parents to start having ongoing conversations with their children and teen-children about anything that can jeopardize their health and wellbeing … or threaten their lives.
Age is an important factor when planning to start having critical conversations with our children about any topic. But I think it’s important that parents also consider a child’s Stage of Development and Level of Curiosity about a topic.
My personal view is that using only the “Age-appropriate” Rule does not apply if your child is maturing beyond the scope of his or her years or is clearly curious. Vigilant parents know this about each of their children and wisely begin those talks based on their child’s Development and Curiosity … and not on the Calendar alone.
Teens are Getting High After School!
I use the word “Drugs” collectively – to refer to ALL Substances of Abuse. “Drugs” is an “Umbrella” word that covers all of the following:
Street Drugs, Club Drugs, Prescription Drugs, Over-the-Counter Drugs, Inhalants, Bath Salts, Marijuana (and other “Gateway” or “Bridge” Drugs), Alcohol, Nicotine Products (Cigarettes, Chewing Tobacco, etc.), Steroids, and all other mood-altering substances that change the structure and function of the brain.
All Substances of Abuse, such as those above, have Chemical Properties that impact the human brain and behavior!
The Importance of a Parent’s “Voice”
Where the critical issues of life are concerned, teenagers should first hear the Voices of their Parents … before anyone else can get a word in.
Your “Voice” must reach your teenager before someone with a self-serving agenda speaks into your son or daughter’s life.
Your “Voice” must be loud, bold, firm, and emphatic about Drug use. The language you use must be clear and unequivocal.
The impression you leave in the mind of your teenager must be that YOU are establishing an eternally active “Zero Tolerance” policy on Drugs in their life and in your home … and then stand behind your words!
The policy you impose should extend to:
Every member of your family
Anyone who resides in your home
Anyone who frequents your home
Say it LOUD and Say it LONG
“In our Family … We Do Not Do Drugs!”
Then start the conversation!
Teenagers are Getting High After School! That’s reason enough to be vigilant and pro-Active about talking to your teenager. Your son or daughter may say something like, “Don’t worry. I got this!” Don’t get ticked off. Respond with something thoughtful like …
“Oh I’m sure you do. But you haven’t heard what I think
about Drugs so I want to share that with you now.”
You should not postpone talking with your teenager about Drug Abuse. You DO NOT need to know everything about Drugs before talking with your son or daughter. That would be a huge mistake! Time is NOT on your side! A parent whose son or daughter is curious about Drugs … may be tempted to try a “gateway” Drug like Marijuana … “just to see what it’s like!”
If some of your son or daughter’s friends are experimenting with Drugs, there’s always a chance he or she may be curious enough to “Just try it once!” Vigilant parents know this and act quickly.
Start the Conversation with your teenager … Casually, so it doesn’t sound like you’re delivering a sermon or a lecture. The word “Conversation” means there are at least two people talking in turn and sharing their thoughts.
Make sure your teen participates in the Conversation!
If you see the Conversation is going to run long, divide it into sessions. Make an appointment with your teen to talk later … but Sooner rather than Later.
Here’s my official DARE
I “D-Double Dare you” to leave me a message below!
Until next time … Hang In There!
Your Teenager is Worthy of all your Love and EXTRA Effort!
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For a more information about teenagers and Drugs, get a copy of my soon to be released eBook titled : “Mom and Dad Don’t Know I Get High!” Join the email list here at Parenting Your Teen for Life to get the publication date Announcement. The Sign Up form is on every page of this website.