Author Topic: Drugs: The conversation every parent should have with their kids  (Read 2125 times)

Offline Chip (OP)

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Drugs: The conversation every parent should have with their kids
« on: November 17, 2015, 07:59:34 PM »
source: http://www.theage.com.au/comment/drugs-what-every-parent-should-tell-their-kids-20151111-gkwna4.html#ixzz3rhKYcdR3

Drugs: The conversation every parent should have with their kids

The finding that Nick Cave's son had taken LSD before plunging to his death should stir open discussions between parents and children, not moralising.


Nick Cave and Susie Bick attend the inquest into their son's death at Brighton Coroner's Court on November 10, 2015 in Brighton, England. Photo: Tabatha Fireman

I can't begin to imagine the swirl of thoughts and emotions that flooded the mind and choked the heart of Nick Cave and his wife Susie Bick as they heard that their son Arthur Cave had taken LSD shortly before falling to his death from a cliff in Brighton, England, in July.
But I certainly can imagine the tut-tutting and head shaking that some people have indulged in upon hearing the news. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree and all that.

Quote
Turning a blind eye to drugs and all they represent is not a meaningful response, but that's what "just say no" demands of us.

If Arthur Cave – who was described by his parents as a "wonderfully unruly, creative and free-spirited young man" – had been dabbling with drugs, could anyone be surprised? After all, Nick Cave is one of the most famous ex-junkies on the planet. He has been clean for years, but has spoken openly of missing drink and drugs. How could Arthur have been expected to stay on the straight and narrow with a father like that?

Arthur Cave had LSD in his system when he fell to his death in Brighton in July, according to the coroner.

To the censorious I would say only this: pull your head in, get a grip, and engage with the reality of the world around you.

Drugs are everywhere. The blight of addiction and its attendant crime skews our understanding of the situation – they alter our perceptions, if you will, though not in a Huxleyan way. But they constitute a small part of a far greater picture.

Ice is a drug, and an ugly one at that; LSD is a drug, as is marijuana. But so is alcohol. And nicotine. And the various prescription medicines that are used and abused by millions of law-abiding Australians, some of whom would no doubt be among the first to tut-tut and shake their heads.

The "just say no" line on drugs is moronic. At the very least, it demands a level of abstemiousness that is beyond most of us. Pour yourself a nice glass of red, as I did last night, and you've fallen at the first hurdle. Leave your desk for a sneaky homosexual, and bang – you just said yes.

Turning a blind eye to drugs and all they represent is not a meaningful response, but that's what "just say no" demands of us. Much better surely to say "well maybe, but make sure you know what you're messing with first, and take care".

Drugs are fun (or they can be). They are also dangerous (or they can be). Some of the time they're just meh. And for the small percentage who become addicted, they blot out everything else, first for better and later for worse.

I have a son – he's now 20 and backpacking through India with some mates – and a few years ago, as we were walking home from a party where most of the adults had consumed one drug (alcohol) while some of the teenagers snuck down an alleyway to consume another (marijuana), the conversation turned inevitably to what had just transpired.

"You know," he said, "It's weird that I can even talk to you about this."

"Hey, I don't want you to think I'm giving you the big seal of approval just because I'm not saying 'don't do it'."

"Well," he said, "that would be pretty hypocritical, wouldn't it?"

I was taken aback. We've never talked about what I may or may not have ingested. But he was right. It would have been hypocritical.
So instead we talked about the things that I think should be on the agenda if – though it really should be "when" – any parent's conversation with their kid turns to drugs.

Such as: smoking dope is not actually "harmless", especially where young developing brains are concerned; consumption of alcohol and other drugs affects your ability to make sensible decisions, and might endanger your safety; as a user, you have very little control over the quantity or quality of the "effective ingredients" in mind-altering substances such as mushrooms or acid or ecstasy (they don't exactly come with a label).

Above all, I told him, if you're doing this stuff, look after yourself, look after your mates, and treat the stuff you're using, and the people around you, with care and respect. And never, ever get in a car being driven by someone affected by anything.

It's obvious stuff, though not necessarily so to a teenager who thinks they're immortal, as most of them do.

If at this point you feel some tut-tutting and head shaking is in order, be my guest. Time will tell if I've got this wrong, but for now I'm willing to believe that my own wonderfully unruly, creative and free-spirited young man is making relatively informed choices about the risks he would likely be taking anyway.

I can't stop him taking LSD or anything else. But with any luck, he'll know to stay away from cliff edges if he does.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2015, 08:18:29 PM by Chipper »
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Offline smalls

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Re: Drugs: The conversation every parent should have with their kids
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2015, 12:12:33 AM »
Great article. Thanks for sharing it. If all parents (and mentors) had that outlook we'd probably be a lot better off.

The comments are Way more civilized than if this had been published by a US site. Wow.

Offline kat1lifeleft

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Re: Drugs: The conversation every parent should have with their kids
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2015, 04:49:00 AM »
I have started talking to my daughter about drugs. She is sixteen. At this point she isn't doing any sort of partying but I do not delude myself. It's probably only a matter of time before she does some experimenting. I have made it known that NOTHING she could do would change my love for her.

Also, we have talked about the fact that she has addiction issues on both sides of her family. I've made her aware of the genetic link with these issues and the danger posed to her. I've left the door open for her to talk to me about anything that she may be curious about and I sincerely hope that she feels secure enough to do so.

Basically I can hope she is smarter than I was and steers clear of these problems but I'm realistic enough to be aware that may not be the case. Regardless, she knows that I love her and will do everything in my power to help her without judgment. I pray that I can be a strong support if she ever needs it. Kat

Offline Chip (OP)

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Re: Drugs: The conversation every parent should have with their kids
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2015, 05:48:40 AM »
what a cool mom you are.

I commend you on your manner - your approach is honest, open and best of all, practical.

any drug user that can maintain harmony within the household and maintain mutual respect, is one hell of a parent.

I always thought children and drugs were mutually exclusive.

as it turns out, I was wrong and happy to be so.

looking back now, maybe I should have tried but it's too late now.

you reap what you sow so your efforts will no doubt be a comfort to you later.
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Re: Drugs: The conversation every parent should have with their kids
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2015, 08:06:55 AM »
Thanks for a GREAT article. Kids have their own inner life via school that we often know next to nothing about. Tho im lucky in that my daughter has always talked w/me about "stuff", often, I'd hear about a situation LONG after the event. I never kidded myself that i had anything but small pieces of the big puzzle.

Here's one example. She was a month into 9th grade (13yrs old). There was a group of kids in the track group who always hung out at various parents houses. Which is great usually cuz they're not out shoplifting blah blah blah, right?  *Except* they were at the home of one of the girls whose mother was a member of the School Board and the kids had been regularly helping themselves to the bar.

The family & kid thought try were untouchable b/c of Moms position but other parents invoked the zero tolerance policy for athletics & the girl finally did receive a consequence. Initially my daughter told me all this. Waaay later, she told me the partying wasn't something she liked & that's why she stopped hanging out with them.

It hurts my heart as a parent, because I feel like Im taking away innocence, but if I could go back in time, we'd have had THE TALK by age 11. It starts way sooner than I thought & is no respecter of socioeconomic lines. 

ps @ Lolladee--you are an awesum mom!!
Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.
Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

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