I read a rather disturbing article today about the latest and greatest substance abuse craze among kids in this country. Apparantly they are drinking hand sanitizer to get drunk from the small amount of alcohol present in it.
They aren’t drinking it straight, for the most part, because they’ve figured out how to distill the alcohol out of the hand sanitizer and drink that.
This joins other things such as huffing aerosol fumes, drinking mouthwash, and other fine activities that way too many kids do.
And for every accidental death of a kid who ‘ran in the wrong crowd’ there is one that didn’t … one who’s parents never thought their child would engage in that kind of activity.
Way too many parents these days think they’re supposed to be their kids friend. And that will come with time. I’m friends with my folks, because that relationship has moved from a parental relationship to a friend relationship.
Parents are responsible for children. Parents provide boundaries for children. Parents raise children from infancy to adulthood, teaching them along the way. You will not be effective at this if you’re a friend instead of a parent.
It’s our job to teach our kids, and to guide them. Nobody will dispute that.
But as a parent we can’t be afraid of confrontation, and we can’t be afraid to be aware of what our kids are doing through whatever means necessary.
Do not shy away from doing what’s right in a tough situation, just because it’s easier to do or you don’t want to make your kid upset or angry.
So guard your children. Be involved in their life. And be their parent, not their friend.
Yes, that means it’s ok for you to invade their secrecy. Note that I used the word secrecy, not privacy. Everyone should have an expectation of privacy. However, there are no secrets in my house. The kids all know that we may go through their room, or check their electronics, etc at any time.
And we do. Not often, and usually only when our spidey sense tells us something is off.
I know what I’ve said here is something many of you will have a hard time with. It’s a message most of us don’t hear nowadays.
But I’d rather be a parent who occasionally upsets a child for “invading their privacy” and knows what’s going on, than one who is “friends” and wouldn’t ever consider it, ending up oblivious to what is REALLY going on in their kids life.
And then reaps the consequences of that down the road.
Many problems are avoidable, but only if you’re aware of them. And I suppose that’s a general life and even a preparedness lesson too, not just part of my parenting rant today.
Back to prepping content tomorrow…