Keeping children safe from the exposure of drugs is more daunting than most parents are willing to fathom. Drugs in the teenage generation are as easy to find as Coca-Cola in your local grocery, and are becoming just as affordable. Many parents and guardians believe that a great neighborhood, private schools and a stupendous upbringing have the power to halt drug abuse, addiction or even sales. This couldnâ€™t be further from the truth.
As a professional member of the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), an Intelligence alumni from American Military University and a Narcotics K9 Detection Instructor, Trainer, and Handler; I have prepared a list of outside-the-box strategies to help ensure a safer life for your children from Americaâ€™s number one terrorist: drugs. I am no counselor, nor a doctor. I am a frontline warrior of the war on drugs and fully ascribe to the motto concordia cum veritate or in harmony with truth.
Eight Ways a Parent Can Help Defeat DrugsÂ
Be honest with your children. Â If you have tried drugs (most of us have), and you or the law happens to catch them experimenting, be straightforward. Who are we to teach children that drugs can alter or destroy a life if we are not capable of being forthright in the first place? Teenagers enjoy learning from minds that have experienced what they are preaching. This is part of the rebellious phase. The worst thing a parent can do is allow their children to believe that they are the only one in the family who has ever made these choices.
Positive Reinforcement. Â So you have a child who you are 100 percent positive has never dabbled with drugs? Have you commended them properly? You were willing to purchase that new gorgeous SUV sitting outside, but why did you not invest in rewarding your child for their tremendous behavior? Super Bowl winners want to go to Disney World after a big win. Donâ€™t you think your child would like the same? Vacations are normal; do not make these rewards part of something else. Make this event or gift JUST about your child and JUST for that specific good behavior i.e. not doing drugs, passing a drug test for months consecutively after being caught with drugs. Every living creature on this planet mimics behavior that rewards them. It is as simple as that.
Music Awareness. Â Music is 75 percent, if not almost 80 percent, of the issue in America today. Sure television, social media outlets and the Internet destroy our childrenâ€™s minds, but what most parents do not realize is that all of the shows they watch, social media jargon they begin to follow, and their internet habits lead back to their favorite kind of music, somehow or someway. I suggest keeping your children away from any and all forms of music that speaks of drug usage or drug sales. Music is the way we express our feelings. If your child enjoys listening to narcotics themed music, their issue is obviously not a clandestine one. As a former musical production engineer and studio owner, I can guarantee you that music is repetitive enough to implement feelings and desires into your childâ€™s mind (brainwashing). Why do you think our nation has so many street level gangsters in upper-class neighborhoods these days and has so many low-income areas still fighting off the same issues? It surely is not due to parenting – or is it? Stop letting your children grow up to destructive music, and introduce them to music that is positive at a young age. The belief of letting our children â€œfind their own pathâ€ is a statement referring to when they reach maturity. It is up to us parents to pave their way as teenagers, show them right from wrong and to persistently keep them aimed in a progressive direction. A song that teaches your loved one that it is cool to smoke weed, snort pills and sell heroine is not music at all; it is an instruction manual. Be aware.
Keep up to date. Â If you know the world that your teenager lives in, then that means you know them. It means you understand how to connect with them, the issues surrounding them on a daily basis, the obstacles standing in their way, the names of the narcotics creating an epidemic in their schools. This does not mean you need to dress like them, speak about how Kanye and Kim are doing or install chrome rims on your car; however, it does mean that you need to know how to talk the talk. If we know how to converse with our children, they feel comfortable to openly convey their lives to us. Communication is the key to understanding.
Keep them busy. Â Any parent that allows their child to sit around the house, not have responsibilities, play video games all day, refuse team-oriented activities or interests is no parent at all. You are just a babysitter. This kind of behavior always leads to drugs. Ask any inmate in jail or prison why they keep getting in trouble, and their reply will be, â€œA bored person can only be bored for so long.â€ Keep them propelling forward, and their futures will too.
Keep them physically fit. Â Create a workout plan for you and your children to abide by daily. As a family, work out together. This includes but is not limited to jogging a few laps, then exercising the bodiesâ€™ cores with pullups, pushups and situps. These four types of exercises build an extremely healthy body, healthier than any gym could produce (these days they are known to teach your children the easy way: steroids). Allow competition, as it engages and builds the foundation of leadership mentalities. Working out together builds stronger relationships with parent and child, which in return ensures that you know how healthy their body truly is. Why is this important? If a child is willing to create a healthy body, daily, they already have a healthy mind.
Quit being afraid to show them who is boss. Â There is a leader in every family, pack, group, circle and herd. Why is it that humans are all of a sudden so afraid to have a household leader? Someone who will not allow his/her â€œpackâ€ to die off or become victims of predators lurking in the shadows. Why is it that we rely on public servants to be our household leaders – when in reality they have enough on their plates or possess just as many issues at home? Paying attention to the issue, not allowing it whatsoever and actually creating effective punishment if it does occur, shows leadership. Be a leader, and you will teach your children to do the same. Leaders do not end up drug addicts, followers do. No ifs, ands or buts.
Proactive, Proactive, Proactive. Â Being a parent is one of the hardest tasks on the planet because even when we are doing it right, we could always do it better. If your child is showing red flags of drug abuse, hanging with the wrong crowd, getting in trouble in school or with the law, what are you doing to stop it from consuming their future? Hire The Last Chance (TLC) K9 Services and have them sweep your childâ€™s room and car for drugs with one of their Narcotics Detection Dogs (NDD). It is less than $100, and everything remains confidential. No police, no questions, just answers. Then stick a TLC K9 magnet on your fridge, showing them you have 24/7 parental support just a phone call away. You can also contact your school principal or superintendent, and order them to sweep your childâ€™s school for drugs everyday. You do have the power to do so. Most importantly, know all of your childrenâ€™s friends, and especially their parents. Be in touch with all of them, and create a circle of parents who are willing to work as a unit to keep drugs out of the friendship circle. Share analysis and feedback with each other, and sniff out the parents that may allow drug usage at their home i.e. the cool parents house. These kinds of approaches are rarely taken into consideration. They are also the most effective. Proactive, Proactive, Proactive.
ContentÂ sponsored byÂ Michael Davis,Â TLC k9 Services