"My kid is going to do it anyway . . . might as well let him drink at home."
How's that for high expectations and strong guidance?
This pessimistic and enabling perspective isn't as rare as you might think. I've
heard it from numerous parents-even in the church.
After decade-long declines, drug and alcohol use among high school students spiked
in 2009. In 2008 "only" 35 percent of ninth-to-twelfth graders surveyed drank alcohol
in the thirty days prior to when they answered the survey. In 2009 the number jumped
to 39 percent. In the same twelve months, marijuana use jumped from 32 percent to
38 percent, and the use of the synthetic drug ecstasy jumped from 6 percent to 10
Robyn Vanover, coordinator of Martin County's (Florida) Safe and Drug Free Schools
program, is one educator who has watched this trend. After noticing a similar shifting
in her county's 2008 Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey, she said the spike could
be attributed to the low expectations of parents.
Many parents are giving up and letting their kids do whatever they want. These low
expectations give kids permission to try at-risk behaviors, rendering them susceptible
to drugs and alcohol.
It doesn't have to be this way!
Vanover said that knowledgeable, engaged, attentive, and communicative parents can
make a huge difference. She believes that parents need to set the bar high. "The
number one reason kids give as to why they don't use drugs and alcohol is ‘my parents,
Vanover said. "The main reason is always, ‘My parents have an expectation of me.'
Where do you set the bar?
I admit, it's hard to set the bar high today when...
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A MUSIC DISCUSSION
While culture (and media in particular) tells our kids that consequences are a thing
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