The Center for Parenting and Youth Understanding pointed to recent research by the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada on the correlation between drug and alcohol use and sexual activity among adolescents. The report and statistics are fascinating and sad at the same time. When you read this it will break your heart and make you realize again that we need to engage our kids with the gospel.
The report introduction includes the recommendations of the researchers:
- Parents are the primary educators, helping teens articulate and integrate values in everyday decision making.
- Family members should be aware that one risk behaviour may be symptomatic of a larger profile of risk behaviour.
- Parents should be encouraged to treat teens, not problems. Parents should strive for a parenting style that is warm, caring and communicative. Sufficient parental supervision, expressed expectations and limits help teens transition towards becoming healthy, autonomous adults.
What I want you to see is the centrality of the role of the parent. As parents you have a significant voice, the first voice, in the world and life of you child. Your words and actions speak more loudly and more clearly than anyone else in their life. The parent needs to engage with their child on every level with these core issues.
My challenge to you is this: Will you be the voice in your son or daughter’s life or will you abdicate this to their friends, teachers, or media?