Addiction and Teens: Reality Check for Parents

AddictionParenting teens can be challenging. No matter how many times we talk about just saying no to drugs, there will be a teenager that will cave to peer pressure. Parents need to stop being in denial and start educating their kids about the dangers of addiction which can follow drug abuse. Stop saying, “not my kid!” Yes, it could be your kid! Parent denial only delays treatment.

3 Reality Checks for Parents:

  1. Myth: We try to keep our home teen-friendly because if our teen(s) hang out here – even if they’re drinking – we know they’re safe.Reality Check: There is nothing wrong with making your teen and his/her friends comfortable in your home. But teenage drinking is never safe even when they are being “supervised.” Not only is alcohol bad for their health and development but it also impairs their judgment. The media has reported on scenarios where teens in these situations have wandered off and died in a preventable accident, driven drunk and hurt themselves or others and committed a violent act against a peer.
  2. Myth: It’s better for my child if he/she considers me a best friend.Reality Check: Part of your job as a parent is to set and enforce rules. Trying to be their best friend is only confusing and gives mixed messages.
  3. Myth: My husband and I have different parenting styles. What’s the big deal?Reality Check: It’s critical for all caregivers to be on the same page whether they are married, divorced, nannies, grandparents, etc. Consistency is key to raising a healthy and responsible teen who understands and respects boundaries.

 

Teen Alcoholism: What is the Mentality Behind It?

Teendrinking6It the the time of the year when our teens are off to prom and graduation parties.  They may be faced with the decision to have a drink.

The Pre-Game
Teens often indulge in a “pre-game” drinking binge before parties or sports events. Large quantities are consumed quickly in order to sustain a sense of inebriation over many hours. The point of a pre-game binge is to achieve inebriation before an event where access to alcohol and drugs will be restricted.

Pre-gaming is especially dangerous in that it often occurs in a vehicle. Although drinking can occur during the drive to the event, teens may also drink in the parking lot of the event venue. Alcohol can also be smuggled into venues, disguised in water bottles or hidden inside large purses or jackets.

The Parent Game Plan: Before parties and big events, be involved as your teen prepares. When possible, drive your teen and his friends to the venue. As always, be honest with your teen about the dangers of drinking and your stance on the issue.

Working for the Weekend
Some kids work hard all week on academics and sports, but see the weekend as a time to partake in illicit activities and party behavior. This mindset is especially prevalent at competitive high schools. This attitude toward drugs and alcohol equates recreation as something that is rebellious against responsibility and is seen as a reward for good behavior. After working hard, they feel as though they deserve to play hard. This type of attitude can lead to a dependence on drugs or alcohol as a means to relax.

The Parent Game Plan: Explain to your teen that responsible behavior throughout the week does not warrant complete independence. It is also important to teach your teen positive ways to relax. Positive recreational activities and hobbies not only occupy a teen’s time, but they also offer a sense of accomplishment and self-worth that alcohol and drugs can never provide.

Social Lubricant
Let’s face it. Being a teenager is difficult, and social interaction can be awkward. Many teens drink to feel less inhibited and more secure in social settings. Unfortunately, some teens will drink in response to anxiety about a crush, which heightens the risk of poor sexual decisions. Forming these habits during formative years can have a drastic effect on a teen, potentially making it difficult for her to socialize without alcohol or other substances.

The Parent Game Plan: Teens needs to learn how to face the fears and risks of social interaction in a substance-free environment. Host co-ed movie nights or game nights for your teen’s friends and serve as a chaperone. Sometimes teenagers turn to illicit activities because the peer group doesn’t accept wholesome activities as fun. It is your job to provide your teenager with a healthy example of “adult” fun.

Another option is to introduce your teen to an older mentor. Encouraging your teen to spend time with mentors with similar interests can help him adapt to a more mature standard of behavior. This will also give your teen the opportunity to talk about embarrassing or difficult situations he may not be able to come to you about.

For the Win
During unsupervised parties, many kids participate in drinking games popularized by college students. While these games can seem as harmless as table tennis to teenagers, the truth is those who participate in drinking games are at a higher risk for developing alcoholism. Once teens accept the rules of these games, the height of tolerance levels is tantamount to strength. These teens think they are winning at a game, but they are actually exposing their brains to toxic levels of alcohol.
Essentially drinking games are a way for teenagers to bond while participating in binge drinking behavior. Unlike pre-gaming, there is no time limit in drinking games. This means that many teens will drink until their physical limits are reached. Alcohol poisoning and black-outs are two immediate effects of binge drinking.

The Parent Game Plan: Teenagers who binge drink will be unable to hide the effects from their parents, which means they will most likely “crash” where the party was thrown or they will stay with a friend who has lenient or oblivious parents. Parents can discourage binge drinking by confirming plans with other parents and enforcing curfews. Let your teenager know that you expect him not only to behave responsibly, but to look out for his friends who may be affected by this social behavior.

How to Stop Teen Alcohol Abuse

Be involved.

Parents who are involved in their teenagers lives – offering support, encouraging questions and providing wholesome outlets for socializing – are following the #1 rule to keeping their children safe from alcohol abuse.

Contributor: Lauren Bailey can be reached for comments at Lauren at blauren 99 @gmail.com.

Parenting At Risk Teens: From Home to Homeroom

Parenting teens is a challenge today.

Schools and parents today need to work together to help prevent teen drug use.

Fast Facts: Preventing Teen OTC Cough Medicine Abuse – From Home to Homeroom

A Wake Up Call for Parents

  • Thirty-three percent of American high school teens know someone who has abused cough medicine, a wake up call for those parents who think that their teen is not affected or being exposed to the issue.
  • Six percent of high school teens admit to abusing cough medicine containing dextromethorphan, or DXM, to get high in the past year.

Cough Medicine Abuse Does Not Happen By Accident

  • While safe and effective when taken as directed, teens looking to get high from cough medicine take excessive amounts, sometimes 25 to 50 times the recommended dosage. This translates to multiple bottles or packages of medicine at one time.
  • Teens often abuse cough medicines with other prescription drugs, illicit drugs, or alcohol.
  • Even the best kid in the world doesn’t have the same ability as adults to assess risk because the part of their brain that processes risk, the frontal cortex, doesn’t finish developing until their mid 20s.

Parents Have the Power to Keep Teens Drug-free

  • Research shows that kids who learn a lot from their parents about the risk of drug abuse are up to half as likely to use.
  • Parents are not alone in their fight to prevent medicine abuse; reaching out to the school nurse can help parents learn more about the issue and access local resources.
  • Parents can learn more about the Home to Homeroom campaign by logging onto www.StopMedicineAbuse.org

Parents can interact and help raise awareness by joining online communities including:

Join me on Facebook  and follow me on Twitter for more information and educational articles on parenting today’s teenagers.

Summer Party Time: Teen Drinking Risking College Rejection

School will shortly be out for the summer which means the “party season” will shortly commence.

While it’s natural for teens to want to have a good time during their summer break, those that are college- bound should really be careful about what kind of “fun” they engage in—any sort of illegal activity that results in a misdemeanor or worse, a felony, can jeopardize their chances of getting into the university of his-or-her-choice.

Getting a mark on their record even after college acceptance can still come with great consequence. For example, it will most definitely affect their eligibility for Federal Financial Aid and can hinder job prospects, making it hard to pay for school. While there is an array of crimes that a teen can commit, one of the most common offenses is underage drinking.

To help remind your teen of the several drinking-related crimes that can affect their future, read the list below.

1. Minor in Possession. Like the name suggests, anyone who is a “minor” (under the legal drinking age of 21) can get in trouble if he or she is in possession of an alcoholic beverage. This can include actually being caught red-handed drinking, “appearing” to be intoxicated, or simply holding an empty bottle in a public place. Even blood alcohol content of .01 percent is enough to book and issue a $500 fine to minors in some states. In addition to a possible maximum six months in jail sentence, most first-time MPI offenders are required to enroll in an alcohol awareness program and/or be placed on probation.

2. Driving Under the Influence. Arguably one of the most frequent (and not to mention most lethal crimes) is driving while intoxicated. Punishment varies substantially.  It heavily depends on whether your teen’s blood alcohol content is .08 percent or higher and whether he or she harms anyone.But if you don’t, still expect to have to challenge the most maximum punishment, which includes up to 30 days in jail, up to 1 year of a driver’s license suspension, up to $1,000 fee, an ignition interlock device installed on his or her vehicle, and community service. Repeated offenders punishments will greatly increase. If your teen is 17-years-old or younger, his or her license suspension will be extended.

3. Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor. Lastly, some parents think that it’s “safer” for their teen to drink inside their home rather than on the streets. But allowing your teen (or his or her friends) to host parties and drink in your home can not only get them charged with an MPI, but you can get charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Those who are of the legal drinking age and voluntarily serve minors an alcoholic beverage or gives them “easy access” to alcohol is committing a crime. This includes 21-year-old college students giving their underage classmates beer. It happens quite often but if caught, there could be great consequence, such as up to a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail if someone is injured.

Special contributor:

This guest contribution was submitted by Samantha Gray, who specializes in writing about bachelor degree online. Questions and comments can be sent to:  samanthagray024@gmail.com.

Join me on Facebook  and follow me on Twitter for more information and educational articles on parenting today’s teenagers.

Underage Drinking: Ask Listen Learn

April is Alcohol Awareness Month!

Did you know that 83% of youth cite parents as the leading influence in their decisions not to drink alcohol?

Additionally, when compared to 2003, more kids today recall having the conversation with their parents about the risks and consequences of underage drinking.  This is encouraging news and emphasizes the importance of parents continuing these conversations at home.

The Century Council, a national not-for-profit dedicated to fighting drunk driving and underage drinking developed Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don’t Mix in 2003 with a team of educators and professionals.  The program provides resources to start the conversation between parents and kids on the risks of underage drinking.

To kick-off Alcohol Awareness Month, the organization has teamed up with athletes and positive influencers, including Apolo Ohno, Bryan Clay, Mallory Weggemann, and Tyson Gay, to help reach youth and urge kids to take the pledge to say ‘YES’ to a healthy lifestyle and ‘NO’ to underage drinking.

What are you waiting for?  Talk to your kids today!  Never stop talking.  They are listening.  Just look at the statistics – they speak for themselves.

Join Ask Listen Learn on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

Join me on Facebook  and follow me on Twitter for more information and educational articles on parenting today’s teenagers.

Teen Help: Hard Decision for Better Futures for your Teenagers

Yes, your teen is making bad choices.

Yes, your teen is failing.

Yes, your teen is experimenting with drugs.

Yes, your teen is hanging out with less than desirable kids.

Yes, your teen may be having sex.

Yes, your teen is disrespectful.

Yes, your teen needs help!  They don’t need to be harmed!

If you feel you are at your wit’s end and have exhausted all your local resources – therapy isn’t working or your teen simply refuses to go, it may be time to start thinking about residential therapy.

This doesn’t mean you are a bad parent, quite the contrary, you are giving your teen a second opportunity at a bright future.

Need more information? Visit www.HelpYourTeens.com.

Generational Curse and Addictions: What is it?

Addicts.  Addiction.  Intervention. Rehab.  Teen help.  Therapy.  Wit’s end.

We live in a world that has become more difficult than generations prior. The stress levels, the economy, job loss, losing homes, and even losing loved ones to suicide – bullying – or addiction; when does it end?

Guest writer, Christine Kane, gives us some great insights to consider about the generational curse:

What is a generational curse? Well, what is a curse? First of all, we’re not talking about some voodoo, spirituality thing. Curses are real. They are bad habits and wrong thinking. No one curses you; you curse yourself. Or, in the case of generational curses, your family curses you. But curses are not indestructible. They are not eternal or unavoidable. There are ways to break a generational curse.

Let’s talk examples. What are some generational curses that are common? Alcoholism, child abuse, drug addition, spouse abuse, inappropriate sexual urges, laziness, selfishness, divorce. There are many, many more. If your family has no history of this, if you are the only one with these problems, then you are not under a generational curse. However, if your family has a background in these, you are under a generational curse. What do I mean by that?

A generational curse is part nature and part nurture. Your DNA comes from your parents. They decide your color, your race, your hair, your height, and your health. They also affect your disposition and behaviors. How you are raised marks you just as much as whom you were born from. Not only are you born with certain tendencies, you are raised to accept or reject them.

But you’re an adult now. How you were raised doesn’t affect who you are now, right? Wrong. If you don’t comprehend that who you are now is linked to who your family is, you will never be able to break free of the curse. A generational curse is powerful because it is pervasive. If your parents did it, if your aunts and uncles and cousins did it, then it is no longer abnormal or appalling when you do it. It is just a normal part of life. That is how curses work. They trick you into believing they are ordinary, typical, or inevitable. But they are not.

So, how can you break a generational curse? First admit your own participation. Claim your own rebellion, repent of your own contribution. But you don’t want to do that. You want to claim that you’re just like your mother, so it’s not really your fault. Well, okay then, your kids are going to end up just like her, too. You are an adult now. Claim your own involvement in the curse so that you can overcome it. You can’t overcome what you won’t face.

Second, confess your family’s involvement. You will get nowhere by covering up the past. You must dig up the who and why and how and bring it to light. Even if the contributors are long dead and gone, the curse must be brought to the light so that it can be wiped away. It might be from your grandfather or great-grandfather, but it must be exposed and confessed. Only once the source is exposed will the curse be broken. The issue is not whether they are alive, but is their curse alive?

Generational curses can be huge. They can affect entire groups and races of people. They have affects in slavery and prejudice and family structure and it goes so, so deep. Entire countries can be based on generational curses and the problems that accompany them. So never think you are alone in this. This is not easy. You are breaking a chain; a chain that can have many, many links.

Author Bio

This Guest post is by Christine Kane from internet service providers, she is a graduate of Communication and Journalism. She enjoys writing about a wide-variety of subjects for different blogs.  She can be reached via email at: Christi.Kane00@ gmail.com.

Join me on Facebook  and follow me on Twitter for more information and educational articles on parenting today’s teenagers.