I am the loving parent of a teen and my experience is not unusual.Parenting teens in this day and time is outrageously difficult.
Firstly, we need to talk to our kids about drugs long before they hit their teen years. Studies show that children are using their first illegal substance at ages as young as 6. Yes, you must talk to your teen about drugs and all the downfalls that come with them without talking down to them.
However, the "understanding" and "right to passage" garbage is just that! Our kids still need to understand that they are just that,kids, and we are the parents.
Our Kids are lost.
Teens are lost today and they face single parent households with one income and they have time on their hands with no supervision. I'm not suggesting anything different than went on in my own household. Over the years we've begun to feel guilty about having to earn a living and not being the "stay at home" parents from Leave It To Beaver. We've helped ease our guilt and our stress by being our teens "friend" instead of their "parent".I am a responsible parent, who loves my child,has set boundaries,used discipline and would put myself in front of a train for my child.......as any normal parent but... I DID IT TOO!I changed my views on this approach to parenting when my teen was introduced to and became addicted to "Meth"( today's most popular drug).
Don't believe the lies.
Yes Parents....DON'T LET ANYONE TELL YOU "Weed" is Not a gateway drug! Through my teens tragic experience I have learned from drug treatment professionals all about the effects of drugs on endorphins and brain wave patterns.
Counseling, drug treatment facilities, incarceration,NA meetings,MA meetings, locking windows and doors so no one can "sneak out at night,discussions and promises, theses are all the things my household has experienced due to my teens drug abuse.
What you can do.
The bottom line is, and here is the scary part....... Sometimes you do all you can physically, emotionally and spiritually, but if someone doesn't hit bottom...they don't know which way UP is. When this is the case, make sure there is a way for them to get out of the hole, as in my teens experience all you can do is...
1. NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR KID!
2. KNOW ALL of the signs and symptoms of all the newest drug fads (I will be writing on those right from the horses mouth soon) and ACT as soon as you see a symptom!
3.Let your teen know YOU CARE by Having Rules and ENFORCING THEM (I know...easier said than done....but do it)
4.Try to get your teen Hooked on something else that they are interested in (again easier said than done...most kids don't want to do anything except hang out)
5.MONITOR THEIR FRIENDS! (remember?...when you're a kid you want to fit in)
6.CHECK UP ON THEM!(are they really at Bob's house)
7. Know their friends parents... (are they really the kind of people you want supervising your teen)
8. Take care of your emotional needs. (you can't help anyone if your a wreck)
9. Pray and seek Good Professional advice
10. HANG IN THERE AND DON'T GIVE UP ON YOUR KIDD!