Friday, 3 May 2013

How to talk to your kids when you think they're using drugs

I came across this article yesterday. I thought the title was a little unfortunate, as it just made me think of talking to your kids while they're using drugs, when really the only sensible approach would be 'shall I put some toast on?'

It's also perhaps rather US-centric. 'Get your child treatment'. Really? Might that be a bit of an over-reaction?

It’s key to take your child to see a qualified therapist who specializes in working with teens and young adults. When talking about professional help, don’t negotiate with your child, or take “no” for an answer, Duffy said.
Instead be brief, firm and clear, he said. Duffy gave the following example of what you might say to your child: “It is clear to us that you have been using something, and we are really concerned for your safety. As your safety is our domain as Mom and Dad, we are going to pull rank here and schedule an appointment for someone for you, and all of us, to talk to about this issue.”
Depending on the situation, you can “give [your child] options regarding therapists or treatment centers,” Kaplin said.

I'd be interested to hear the views of other Dads, but this definitely isn't the approach I would take. I like to think that if and when the time comes with my own children, I'll be able to have a calm, informed conversation. Somewhere between the extremes of dragging them to a therapist and chopping out lines on the kitchen table with them… hopefully I've been around the block enough to be clear about the pros and cons.

My own Dad wouldn't have dragged me off to therapy, but being a fan of meditation he did dismiss all recreational drugs with the claim that 'Taking drugs would be like landing on Everest in a helicopter'. With hindsight I see he meant 'cheating', but at the time I just thought 'WAHEY! That sounds COOL!'

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