Being a young adult or teenager today is challenging to say the least! And being the parent of a young adult or teenager is challenging as well. Having lived through raising three children in this day and age, there is knowledge that is extremely important to helping our children resist the temptation to “escape” from pressures by using drugs or the internet to withdraw from society.
The question to me is how can we protect the wholesomeness and innocence in our children’s lives? Figuring out ways to influence children to resist pleasure seeking and make the right choices is something every parent struggles with, so I wanted to share some of my experience and resources with you.
In my personal parenting handbook, these are some of the things that I think were important for me to master that helped my children learn to navigate life and make mature decisions.
Active listening is an art I think every parent would be wise to practice. There are a number of programs that parents can participate in to learn the skill. Active Listening 101 by Emilia Hardman is a great one.
LEARN GOOD PARENTING
The importance of knowing how to set good boundaries and teach respect can’t be overstated. One good program is Active Parenting. Having a solid basis for how we parent is so critical.
UNDERSTAND SIGNS OF DRUG ABUSE, INTERNET ADDICTION AND OTHER BEHAVIOR CONERNS
The internet and treatment professionals can be great sources of information on spotting drug abuse, internet addiction and other behavioral concerns. Two or three heads are always better than one.
There’s some great literature available that helps explain how family members unwittingly support young adults and teens to abuse alcohol and drugs. One such book is The New Codependency. Attending some Al-Anon or Families Anonymous meetings may also help parents develop the skills needed to help their children surrounding known or suspected drug abuse.
SEEK FAMILY COUNSELING
Sadly, many times families are hesitant to consult with a professional due to feelings of embarrassment and shame. Remember, you are not alone – our country is currently experiencing a widespread epidemic of addiction and other mental health issues! The best recovery success most frequently happens in a group or family setting led by professionals, and parents who are willing to admit they may need help and reach out for a professional consultation is the best place to start.
We’re living in an extremely challenging time to raise children, but as I said earlier there is hope. Arm yourself with knowledge and don’t hesitate to consult with professionals, as well as with other parents. My hope is that you will in fact never need a professional help you with your children. However if you find yourself in a position to need one, please take the time to research and find a competent individual to help you. You will never regret that decision.
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