A third of American teenagers have attended parties where parents were at home while alcohol or illegal drugs were used, according to an annual back-to-school survey on teens' attitudes that paints an overall portrait of a generation of parents clueless about their kids' vices.
The study did not suggest that parents were aware of what was happening when teenagers were partying in their homes. To the contrary, only 12 percent of parents see drugs and alcohol as a problem for their children, while 27 percent of teenagers ranked it their biggest concern. Fifty-eight percent of parents cited social pressure as their child's biggest issue.
Another interesting -- and scary -- finding: for the first time girls are as likely to use drugs and alcohol as boys. I'll be honest, statistics like these scare me as a parent. They make me take a hard look at how I am raising my kids and whether I am equipping them with the tools they need to make the right decisions when they are confronted with choices about drugs and alcohol. They also cause me to think -- for a moment -- about fleeing to the hills. Mary DeMuth, on her blog Pioneer Parenting, addressed this topic last week. You might find her perspective interesting.
There was a splash of good news. Kids that eat supper with their family and attend church regularly are at a much lower risk. I'll take that, run with it, and pray that when the time comes, my children are strong enough to stand.