Thursday, August 17, 2006

Are You in Denial?

In an article in the Washington Post online today, reporter Lois Romano uses the results of a recent survey of teens to illustrate just how out of touch parents are. To quote:

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.


Sabrina L. Fox said...

Man. As parents we have such a huge responsibility to arm our children with knowledge. And I'm a huge believer in dialoguing with our children. My son is seven and every singe day I ask him what his favorite thing and his least favorite thing about the day was.

It sounds simple, but I'm hoping that we'll keep that communication going and if he has something happen at school or elsewhere that is weighing on his mind he'll feel free to talk to me about it. Just my two cents.

Tricia Goyer said...

You guys are so right, keeping those lines of communication open is SO key. My kids are 17b, 14g, and 12b.

We make sure our house is the #1 Sleepover spot. Between our three kids, here are friends over probaby 1/2 the nights of the week. (It helps that their friends are kids of our friends, and we know what they're like.) The cost of food, videos, and games is worth it.

We also:
1) spend most of our free time with our kids. In fact, last week my husband was recovering from surgery and had to stay in bed all week. I hung out with him . . . and so did our kids. They lounged on the bed too or brought chairs into the room.

2) 99% of all movies we watch WITH them and discuss it. Last night we watched "Walked the Line." It was a little intense for the 12-year-old. Or was it . . . We were able to see what drugs did to a man's life and talk about it.


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