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Drugs & Our Babies

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I guess you can find anything on, so I don't really know why I am surprised.  What a wake up call.  What ever happened to the "Just Say No" campaign?

I don't have a teen, our guy is only 9 months old and I know for a fact that he doesn't smoke.  I hope that I will be as sure of this fact for the rest of his life!   I want to know without a doubt, just as I know right now.   I'm going to  read up on parenting blogs to see how moms & dads of teens handle that experimental stage these days.  I've got 12 years to prepare myself.  I hope it's the teen years that I need to be concerned with...Sadly, it's probably grade school & preteens starting earlier than from what I remember as a youth. Alcohol & drugs were not a part of my teen years, but I did start noticing during middle school that some kids smoked cigarettes and drank alcohol.  Personally, I feared my folks, didn't have access, and simply wasn't interested.  When our son is a teen I will be in my 50's and nearing 60 years of age.  I wonder how many other "late start" first time moms that are out there...

Is loving our children, keeping them busy with sports and such, and leading by example enough to keep them from being exposed to drugs and all of the negatives out there?  Such scary things to think about for our baby boy...but a necessary evil to contend with.  I will not pretend that the problem is not there. For his sake.

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  1. HI Cynthia,
    (Got to you through Surviving Motherhood blog.)
    I worry about the same thing and my kids are only 6 and 9. I think it is a realistic concern for parents, even parents of young children, especially if the parent comes from an alcoholic/addicted family, as I did. Statistically the odds are not good, so I have to do everything in my power to put as many fences as possible between my kids, young as they are, and the teens that they will become.
    I have already told them matter-of-factly that they have an allergy to alcohol so will not drink it, just like someone has an allergy to peanuts. On top of that this sounds extreme but I have a zero-tolerance policy - and have already let them know this. When they are teens, it is illegal to drink alcohol - until they are 21, so I will also use the "following the law" approach too. I do not drink, and my husband only drinks a glass of wine once in a blue moon so at least there is no active addiction in our house.
    I have just put my 18 year old nephew in rehab.
    It's a reminder of how sinister the family disease of alcoholism is. He is a lovely boy - it just got him. The same could happen to my children.
    Frankly the whole thing scares the shit out of me (both my parents died of alcoholism - I do not plan to go through that kind of heartache again).
    But like they say in Alanon: I didn't cause it, I can't control it, and I can't cure it - if it does happen.

    Anyway - sorry for the long response but I think this is a really important topic, and you are not worrying unnecessarily, esp. in today's culture.

    Bye for now -

  2. I know my kids will have much more free agency when they are older and it scares me to death, mostly with my 7 year old. She has been rebellious since birth!
    I would definitely test my future teenagers if I suspected there was a problem.
    I'll also be the mom that reads my kids' journals. :)

  3. @Ado, please do not apologize for the length of your comment. I hung on every word and appreciate your insight. At first I thought I may be premature in my worry. But I love our child and will do my best to educate myself in order to protect him. No mother wants to believe that their child will become addicted, but an ignorant one will not even think of the possibility. I am sorry about your folks and hope for the best for your nephew. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your comment. It helps, I like your approach & will adopt them too.

  4. @Grumpy Grateful Mom Thanks for stopping through. I hear you on that one! I will test our kid too, then call his friend's parents to have their kids tested. If they are that close as friends they will ALL go to rehab together! Praying it doesn't come to that. I will definitely be an involved parent no matter what. RE: Journal reading - once upon a time I would "plant" stuff in my diary/journal hoping my mom would read it. Usually when I was upset at her. I'd vent via diary. I don't think she ever read it.

  5. Thanks Cynthia! I don't feel so bad for blathering on...

    One thing I forgot to mention is it helps enormously if you do not have any alcoholism/addiction in your family history, so if you don't that in itself is a positive. And if anything like this ever does happen to your family, there is a safe haven for families who have to deal with the wake of addiction: Alanon. (-: Sure saved my ass! (-:

  6. I think you have to start thinking about these things early - but you also have to realize a few things.

    1) It starts sooner than you'd like to think
    2) You never react the way you think you will, no matter how many scenarios you go over in your brain.
    3)No matter how much you do everything 'right', it can still happen in your family.

    My daughter started 6th grade this year. There are kids in her class that frequently drink and get stoned. A whole group of kids was suspended for smoking pot on the class camp out. We don't live in a big metropolitan area - we live in a small-ish city ion Montana.

    I've always talked to the kids about drugs & alcohol. I'm open with them about it. I think it's irresponsible to tell a kid that drugs are completely bad. Now hold on - they ARE bad but sin wouldn't be so tempting if it didn't have an element of fun, would it? Drugs are generally fun the first bit that you do them. That's why people get hooked. People don't get hooked because it feels like crap to get high! Kids feel like they've been lied to when they're told drugs are terrible and then try them only to find out that they're actually kinda fun. So, I think it's important to say, "Hey - sure they're fun at first but every time you do them you are sliding down a slope with no brakes." The same goes for drinking. Although drinking is approached differently from the legality standpoint. When my kids move out and are adults, if they want to drink that is their call - but while they are minors and living in my house, they will not be drinking.

    I think part of talking to your kids about drinking, drugs, sex, etc is honesty.

  7. @Heidi Thank you for commenting. I guess it's going to be tough road as our kids to grow up! As early as 6th grade?! Really?! Sigh...What?! SEX?! Ugh...I didn't even think about that one yet. Time to buckle up. :) Oh the adventures we'll have! Cynthia


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