Intervene When Your Instinct Tells You…
In the past few years, I’ve had numerous conversations with parents of teens and preteens from all over America regarding bullying, underage drinking, drug overdoses, suicide, pornography, and dating. Yikes! Do you have any idea of what is going on in our nation’s neighborhoods and schools?
Most of us, unless we have kids that age, don’t realize the seriousness of the issues boys and girls are facing today. And even if your kids come from a secure and stable home, the kids whom they sit next to everyday in class might be struggling for any number of reasons. A parent in today’s culture cannot be naive, under-informed or intimidated to talk to his or her kids.
I continually think of myself as an awareness advocate. And in this role, I’m growing more convinced that parents must talk to their kids about everything– even if it is uncomfortable.
On one of my most frequented websites, DrugFree.org, I found the following advice:
“If you are at all concerned about a child – or even just have a bad feeling – you can and should intervene by:
* Setting tighter limits with clear consequences
* Getting outside help and support if necessary
* Having productive conversations with a child — remain calm, share your concerns and listen.
* Closely monitoring your child’s behavior and activities.”
In fact, the article on intervention strongly suggested: “It’s imperative that you intervene as soon as your instinct tells you that something is wrong.”
I think parents are often afraid to overreact; they don’t want to confront school administration, nor do they want to embarrass the family name or disrupt a child’s schooling for treatment or relocation. But if you overheard the conversations I’ve had just this week, I know you would be moved to action.
I encourage you to make one little change that will have a big result in a young person’s life: start reading and watching news stories about teens and addiction, depression, today’s drugs of choice (prescription or street) and their rampant availability, to the very youngest students, bullying, alcohol abuse and its relationship to sexual assault on college campuses…and see if you aren’t inspired to do something in your community to change the culture!