Thursday, August 11, 2016

College life...drugs, sex and alcohol

This week I saw quite a few moms commenting on social media that their kids would NEVER indulge in underage drinking or drugs. They were responding to Malia Obama's alleged pot smoking at the Lollapalooza concert in Illinois. My immediate reaction was GTFOH!

Parents need to stop attaching their self-worth to their children. If your kid makes a good decision you're a good parent. If your kid makes a bad decision, then it stands to reason that you're a bad parent. That's just sad.  My husband and I did the best we could with what we knew and we realized a long time ago that our children are individuals who will mess up from time to time. That doesn't make them or us bad. It makes them human. How do they learn if they're not allowed to make mistakes? We're there to love, inform and guide. The rest is left to them. Hopefully, the lessons you imparted upon them in their early years would be a strong influence on their young adult lives. And of course, prayer still works.

Now back to alcohol and drugs. Most kids are introduced to drugs in High School. So if you have HS kids and you haven't had discussions with them on the topic, you're behind the 8 ball. Open dialogue is very important and a very open mind. Most importantly, you must be honest. Don't sugar coat the negative effects. When my kids talked about pot and alcohol at the dinner table and how many of their friends used, I wanted to pull their behinds out and homeschool them immediately. That thought lasted about 2 minutes. I don't have the temperament to teach, especially teens. So back to school they went and we kept an open line of communication and have an ongoing conversation especially now that they're in college.

If you have young adults who are about to embark upon a college career, please take your head out the clouds and talk to them about drugs, drinking responsibly and protective sex or abstinence. It's a public health issue. I can assure you that most of them indulge in one, if not all. You should not send them off without equipping them with the information needed for their protection.....and please be honest!!! If you need help in starting the discussion, click here.

When my daughter was leaving for her first year, I kept reiterating to her to not let ANYONE mix her drinks and don't leave her drinks unattended. I told her be sure to drink lots of water and limit herself to one drink.  Sure it was uncomfortable, but I had to ensure that she had the information because I know she would be drinking. Get to know your kids. I have a zero tolerance about drugs and my kids know that. However, if they choose to try it, there's nothing I can do to stop them. Luckily for me, the one who tried it, didn't like the feeling and decided that there is no way that they would ever do that again. Whew, one less thing for me to worry about. I'm also grateful that in trying it no harm was done. Even though I was happy that that child shared with me, It was also frightening. So before you go judging other kids and their parents, think back to your college years and guide your college kids accordingly. Get information so that you can be knowledgeable on the topic and can guide them openly and honestly, equipped with facts.

Be prudent, be open minded, be loving and embrace your journey.


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