Help, I just found out my child is taking drugs!

This is probably every parents nightmare, it is the moment you dread finding out about. But however painful it is for you to accept, you have got to face up to it, confront it and take remedial action immediately. This will not be easy, that’s for sure

For starters, your child will probably try to hide it, even though you already know about it. Then he will probably deny it or try to play it down with comments like, “it’s only cannabis”. Even though he may have tried something more serious such as ecstasy.

So you have to act straight away. Leaving it, even if it is just for one week more, could be allowing your child to slip deeper into the habit. So, what can you do?

Firstly you need to sit your child down in a relaxed environment. This could be at the dinner table one evening, or when you have just finished watching a film together. In any case, you have to find the moment, so think hard how and where you can raise this issue.

Being angry or indignant, won’t help the situation or the action you are going to take, so stay calm and try not to raise your voice. If you lose your cool, your child will clam up and won’t talk openly to you about it. It may already be a problem to get him to open up, so being calm will certainly help you.

Ask open ended questions such as:- “What do you think about drug taking and young people?”, or:- “What do you think the appeal of drugs is to young people?”. These are general questions to start the discussion off. Then you can start asking more direct questions, but always make sure they are open ended.

Tell your child that you know he has tried drugs, and ask him why he has done this? What is the reason he is doing it? Who is he doing this with? It is very rare that he will be doing it on his own at such a young age. Also ask him where he does it? And how does it make him feel?

Once you have started off the discussion, and you start to understand why he is doing it, then you can agree a plan of action. If you feel you cannot resolve the situation on your own, don’t be afraid to consult and take professional advice. It is not a weakness to enlist the help of others who have experience in handling these types of situation with young people. So do seek help.

If you address the issue, you will eventually find a solution, but don’t try to ignore it and hope it will go away. If you act as soon as you find out, you will be able to rescue the situation, however difficult that may be. But you will succeed.

 

 

Am I a Boring Dad to my Children? How do I know if I am, and how do I stop it?

Do your children find you boring? If so, and you will know whether they do, you have to ask yourself why! There is always a risk that parents lose the ability to remain relevant to their children as they are growing up. This becomes particularly acute when your child becomes a teenager. So, the question is, how do you avoid this? Can you avoid it, or is it inevitable?

The answer is yes of course you can avoid this! It just takes effort and commitment, and a real desire on your part. The key to remaining relevant and avoiding becoming boring is to stay interested in what your children do, and become tolerant of their developing tastes.

This isn’t always easy, as their tastes in clothes, music, films and friends can be so different from yours. But you have to try, because if they perceive you as being boring and uninterested in what they do, they will stop communicating with you. The moment they do this, you will become irrelevant to their lives and just a peripheral figure floating around the edge of their existence!

This is to be avoided at all costs, as your children need you perhaps more than at any time in their lives when they become teenagers, as their points of reference are changing so quickly. You become the constant, but you have to adapt with them. But it is possible, so never give up trying …..

Does your Child sulk if she doesn’t get her own way? What can you do to prevent this?

What can you do when your child sulks? It will normally happen when she doesn’t get her own way, so you need to teach her that it is not good to do this. It may lose her friends or opportunities in the future so it is vital for you to change this behaviour.

As soon as your child starts to sulk, you need to distract her. Do this by talking about or doing something positive and enjoyable which your child loves hearing about. Make sure she sees and hears what you are doing.

If she doesn’t react at first, keep going, as the more she hears about what you are doing and saying, the more interested she will become. Eventually she will forget all about what she is sulking about, and become engrossed in what you are doing and saying.

This is a very important lesson that you can teach her. She will learn that there is always something else positive and enjoyable just around the corner. This will help her as she grows older, and she will be able to overcome disappointment and move on.

Once she is old enough, around 4 or 5, you, as her father, should start to explain to her why sulking is not good. She will understand, although it may take you a while to get the message across.

If your Child asks you a question, you must always listen to them.

If your child asks you a question, it is because it is important to them at that particular moment and they need an answer from you. As it is important to them, you must listen carefully to what your child is saying and then give them an honest answer.

How many times have you heard your children say “You never listen to me”, particularly when they are teenagers. Well you can help avoid this frustration in those later years, by starting early. Always make the effort to stop what you are doing and listen to your child and then answer them.

Of course your answer has to be appropriate for their age, but don’t make the mistake of lying to them. It is very important that you are always honest with your children. They need to know what really goes on in the world they are living in.

By always responding to your child’s question, you will be letting them know that their contribution to the family is valued and important, and this will pay enormous dividends when they get older.

It will also convey the subliminal message to them that they need to listen to you when you ask them a question. The dynamics in your family will improve and you will have a much more harmonious family unit as a result.

 

How do you find out what goes on in your Children’s lives when they are not with you? Introduce a simple routine at supper time for the whole family.

I’m sure that you have wondered about what happened today to your child. Why is he/she so quiet this evening? Why whenever you ask “how was your day?”, he/she says “fine”, and that’s the end of it! And it doesn’t matter what age your children are…….

I always thought this was a serious problem to solve, and I believe I have done this. It will definitely work for you with your children. This strategy helped me hugely when my children were younger, and it can help you. If you start right when your child is very young, it will continue to work for you as your child gets older and into the teenage years.

To start, you need to be very disciplined and encourage your child to participate. Every supper time when you all sit down together, play “Best and Worst”. This is when you all describe to the other family members the best part of your day and also the worst. Everyone is relaxed, so everyone is happy to do this, including you as their Dad.

While you all sit together, there is a captive audience, and you will be amazed at what you learn. I learnt about bullying at school, and my children learnt about what happened at my work. Your children are eager to know what you do, and love sharing with you what they do with you. Try it, and see what happens, and let me know what unexpected things you learn.