I Introduced My Kids To Meth
I made a conscious decision when my children were young teenagers that I would be the person to introduce them to drugs.
The key is that I didn’t introduce them to the fun parts of drugs.
What I did is I took them to a close family member of ours who was deep into the meth lifestyle. It was quite a long drive – over 12 hours. But I used that time to slowly start implanting in their brains the dangers of drug abuse. The only person that knew the true motive behind our trip was my wife. Our kids and the family member we were visiting thought this was going to be fun family catch-up time. And it was.
After the long drive, we spent the night in a hotel. We got up the next morning and had a nice breakfast and drove over to my family member’s house. Well… House might be an overstatement. It was more like a storage unit. It barely had running water and a terrible bathroom in it.
Before we went inside, we sat in the car for a little bit and I told my kids what to expect. I let them know that we were going into a drug house. They were not to eat or drink anything unless they asked my permission first. We brought our own water and a bunch of snacks to share with everybody. This gave me the opportunity to control what they were going to be eating and drinking and where they would be eating and drinking from. I told them that the house was going to be messy inside, likely have a terrible aroma, and this is a common living situation for people that abuse drugs.
We went into the house and it was exactly everything that I told them it would be. There were piles of garbage you could tell that somebody had attempted to clean up. There is a very strong odor in the house and the majority of the furniture and toys the kids would be sitting on or playing with were broken. The only part that I left out was the strange guy sleeping the entire time on the couch. This person was using an electrical cord as a belt to hold up their pants.
After spending the entire day there – mainly outside – I could tell my kids weren’t comfortable anymore. We headed back to the hotel but I did not talk about our day at all. I wanted to let the process their experience on their own terms.
On the 12-hour trip home I started to ask my kids questions. I asked them questions like:
- What did you think about the house?
- What did you think about all the things that were broken?
- What differences are there between that house and our house?
- Would you want to live that way?
- Do you think that it’s a tough way to live?
- Do you feel bad for the kids that have to live there?
- How do you think that person got to that place in their life?
I asked all of these types of questions without any type of agenda behind it. I wanted them to think for themselves. The final thing I did when we got home and sat in our driveway was to ask them if they liked the way that we lived a little bit more than the house that we had just visited. Both my kids gave me a resounding, “Oh yeah!” Of course my kids are glad to be home to their electronics and comfortable beds.
I knew if I just continued this conversation that was all I would need to do to help my kids be drug-free.
Someone Will Introduce Your Children To Drugs. Make Sure It’s You.
Sooner or later your kids will be introduced to drugs.
I find so many parents who try to protect their kids from drugs by never mentioning them or shelter their kids from drugs. I always think to myself, “Wow that is so dangerous. Do these parents expect their kids to go their entire lives and are never been offered a beer, e-cigarette, or something even worse?”
That’s why I made sure that I was the one that introduce my kids to the ugly, disgusting life-draining, hardest part of drugs. I wanted to shape the conversation around drugs and my children’s experiences before one of their friends offered them a drug at a party and it seems fun and harmless.
Three Steps Parents Can Take to Keep Their Kids Drug Free
Here are three things I’ve found actually work to keep your kids drug free:
1) Talk To Your Kids About Drugs.
According for the Center of Alcohol and Substance Abuse, the biggest influence that keeps kids from trying drugs is their parents. As parents, we talk to our kids about not playing with matches, not talking to strangers, or how to safely cross the street. But for some reason we forget to talk to them about drugs.
You need to have a conversation with your kids – not a lecture. You need to ask your kids questions about drugs even though you may not have all of the answers yourself. You need to ask questions in such a way to help them think and come to their own conclusions. Don’t give them the answers. But remember, that you are the person that is guiding the conversation.
2) Introduce Your Kids To The Downsides Of Drug Abuse.
The way I introduced my kids to drugs made a huge impression on them. I continued to reinforce this by using people on the street that we saw who obviously were intoxicated or high. I would just ask my kids little questions like, “Do you think they enjoy their life? Would you want to live that way?” The obvious answer is always no. I was not going to allow their friend to introduce them to the fun party part of drugs.
3) Ask Your Kids Questions.
Ask your kids a lot of questions about a lot of things. If you constantly ask your kids questions this helps your kids to learn how to hold a conversation.
I get so many parents that tell me when they asked their kids what kind of day they had they get a one-word response like, “Good.” The parents wonder why this happens. This happens because most parents don’t teach their kids how to have a conversation. I find that most parents continually just lecture their kids by telling them what to do.
My kids woke me up to this situation. I started to go down this road. My son told me when he was younger that I was starting to sound like a parrot repeating the same phrases over and over again: “Clean your room.” “Do your homework.” “Put the dishes away.” At first I was mad when he pointed this out but I realized that he was correct. From that point on, I’ve made a point to change the way that I spoke to my kids and started asking a lot of questions. I realized that it started to train them on how to have conversations. In turn I was able to have conversations about many things from who they are dating all the way up to the importance of full coverage on your vehicle and saving for retirement.
My son is now 24 and my daughter is now 21. Both of them have been tempted to try drugs but remembered what they saw at that impressionable age. I credit it to the fact that my wife and I were the one that introduced them to drugs.
Have you had conversations with children about drug abuse? How did it go?