Every day it seems that we hear about kids using a new drug, such as K2, Molly, or Bath Salts. Although the drugs change over time, alcohol is still the most widely used substance among teens in America, followed by tobacco and marijuana. Also, kids still sniff glue to get high, but now they also sniff household products such as spray paints and aerosol sprays, shoe polish, gasoline and lighter fluid.
While news on drug trends may be discouraging to you, take heart. Two-thirds of kids say that losing their parents’ respect and pride is one of the main reasons they don’t smoke marijuana or use other drugs.
What can parents do to monitor their teens effectively? The following are some steps you can take to monitor your teen and help protect him or her from risky behaviors:
- Talk with your teen about your rules and expectations, and explain the consequences for breaking the rules. Talk and listen to your teen often about how he or she feels and what he or she is thinking.
- Know who your teen’s friends are and their boyfriend or girlfriend.
- Get to know the parents of your teen’s friends.
- Set expectations for when your teen will come home, and expect a call if he or she is going to be late.
- If your teen does break a rule, enforce the consequences fairly and consistently.
- Make sure your teen knows how to contact you at all times.
Your words and actions DO matter. Remember, silence isn’t golden, it’s permission—have a talk with your kids today—send this message: underage drinking and drug use is unhealthy, unsafe, and unacceptable!