This blog is not for the light-hearted or easily offended. If either one of those descriptions applies to you, i would suggest you start drinking before you read this blog. A sense of humor is suggested. If you don't have one that sucks for you … find one and get a life!

In which i have no answer

 

NOTE TO READERS:  To the people out there who read this that I know personally, this is NOT about your child.  You don’t know this person so don’t ask me about it.

 

Yesterday Andie asked me why parents don’t do something when they KNOW FOR A FACT that their child is in trouble.  I pondered this and honestly, I don’t have a really good answer for that.  You see I’ve run into this roadblock more than once.  You would think that as a parent that all you would want to do is make sure your kids are all right, no matter how old they are, but sometimes that’s not the case.

 

I personally would rather know the cold, hard truth about my child and then DEAL with the situation rather than sit around in denial but you would NOT believe the amount of parents who don’t feel this way.  For whatever reason, many parents choose to believe that either the problem isn’t “that big a deal” or they assume that their kids will just “grow out of it.”  This is true whether the problem is with drugs, alcohol or even eating disorders.

 

In my experience, that seldom happens.  I know this because I’ve seen or known peripherally at least 10 kids who have had problems with drugs.  What’s upsetting is that sometimes the parent knew there was a problem and just assumed it would clear up.

 

Let me state this to you clearly parents out there.  IT WILL NOT!  These drugs are NOT the drugs that you and I (well, definitely me) took when we were in college.  Even pot is MUCH more potent than it was and the drugs now are so chemically enhanced that they are incredibly addictive.  Not only that, many of them can really fuck up your brain after only a few times.  A FEW TIMES.

 

I know this because I can see the wreckage all around me.  Prescription drugs are being terribly abused now.  Adderall, Codeine, Percoset, Oxycontin, you name it…these drugs are readily available to be abused and abused they are.  They are also incredibly addictive and self-destructive.

 

What is really upsetting is that I know of many parents who find out about this and just assume their kid is dabbling and they’ll stop.  I’m not saying that never happens…I’m just saying that I now know of a fourth kid who is being pulled out of school because of drug abuse and these aren’t kids from bad backgrounds.

 

No, they’re good kids who went to good schools and for whatever reason, they figured they could handle what they were doing.  Drugs, however, are like my eating disorder was.  They are insidious and addictive and sneak up on you.  One minute these kids think they’re having fun and the next thing they know, EMS is being called because they’ve mixed lots of things with alcohol in their bloodstream.  The tipping point is razor slim.

 

If they’re lucky, their parents hop all over it and put them in rehab; if not, the parent lectures them and puts them right back into the EXACT SAME environment where they were in the first place.  HELLO?

 

I just don’t get it.  Don’t they realize that the ultimate end game is often suicide and drug addiction?  Many parents just don’t want their kids to screw up their college careers and I can understand that but honestly, isn’t that better than death?  Because this has happened to some kids I know.  It’s sad really.

 

Now as I was discussing this last night with Kevin, he pointed out that some of these kids are of legal age and there’s only so much you can do.  Although he TOO believes in immediate intervention, I suppose that he has a point.  Sometimes the parents feels a sense of hopelessness themselves; that the situation is beyond their control.  In many instances, if the child is 21, there’s not as much as you can do legally but to me, intervene as early as possible.  I realize that pulling a kid out of school is a huge issue, but trust me; it’s a much smaller issue than when the child dies.

 

I have seen both scenarios and trust me a living child is better.  So people out there, I realize that it’s difficult to get involved.  Both with your child and when you see somebody else’s child in trouble.  I have done it twice (intervened and talked to another parent about their child) and it wasn’t a pretty situation for me either time when I tried to talk to a parent.  For me however, I have to live with myself at the end of the day and if someone hates me for telling them the cold hard truth, well what can I say?

 

And if you think your kid has a problem, check it out.  Talk to their friends.  From what I can see the friends notice the problem long before the parents and really want to talk about it but don’t know how to go about it.  I’ve often seen a profound relief for the child’s friends when the parents FINALLY take over.

 

I told Andie it was complicated and it’s not always easy trying to decide what to do as a parent but doing nothing and relying on luck is never a good idea.  After all, luck swings both ways.  This is just my opinion of course and

 

ONCE AGAIN PEOPLE THAT I PERSONALLY KNOW.  THIS CHILD WHO CAUSED ME TO WRITE THIS POST IS NOT SOMEONE THAT YOU KNOW!!!  This post is about a LOT of kids all around me so please don’t contact me and ask if this is about YOUR FAMILY!

 

I’m just saying …

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

36 Comments

  1. Grammy@gram-cracker.com
    October 7, 2011

    Nicely done Lynn. Ironically my post today is also about Kids in trouble. Must be something in the air that has our Mom Radars up…

    • Lynn
      October 7, 2011

      Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner…I’m out of town. Sometimes, I just have to be serious

  2. Katja Brown
    October 7, 2011

    Is this a problem of a society of kids that have all the “needs” and most of their “wants” covered? I have observed the same problem in the affluent suburb of Plano, TX, north of Dallas, where we have lived for 11 years. Also, this article from a suburb in Atlanta highlights that people that live in this wealthy suburbs seem to ignore the fact that it can be a problem in THEIR neighborhood: http://www.ajc.com/news/north-fulton/heroin-overdoses-rattle-suburbs-946156.html

    I am going out on a limb here. Just as teachers are underpaid and don’t enjoy the status that they should deserve in our society, the stay-at-home mom has no lobby at all. Working parents think it is all fun and games for the stay-at-home mom but in reality she is the “chief problem solver” of the family. While two income earning families are busy creating more wealth and hopefully stimulating the economy, a household with one breadwinner will certainly be poorer in material wealth but richer in interactions with their children!!!

    This month’s issue of the National Geographic highlights the way teenagers think in the article “Beautiful Brain.” Even though their brains are fully developed, the put a higher value on the outcome and are willing to take more risks than adults. For teenagers it is all about the novelty of the experience!

    And finally, somebody has written a handbook on “How to be a good parent.” Hallelujah!!! http://www.wikihow.com/Be-a-Good-Parent

    • Lynn
      October 7, 2011

      I don’t think this has ANYTHING to do with who works and who doesn’t. It has to do with really opening your eyes and dealing with difficult issues

      • Name *
        October 12, 2011

        I agree with Katja. I grew up in a nice upper middle class town in Michigan and drugs were rampant there. We had great award winning public schools, plenty of after school activities, etc. but there was still a major problem with kids using heroin, cocaine, pot, and anything else they could get their hands on.

        From my experience, it does have a lot to do with whether both of the parents are working or if one stays home. In the homes where both parents worked, kids were usually home alone after school and bored. I also know first hand that with both parents working a kid can feel like he/she isn’t getting any attention from them. That can cause other problems too. Both of my parents worked full time and then some and I was always by myself after school got out and I got into mischief at a young age which turned into smoking pot and dropping LSD in my teenage years, then partying and being irresponsible in my college years. This was the same with the rest of the people I hung out with who had no parents at home. I suppose it would be a similar situation in a home with a single parent too.

        The people and friends I knew that had a parent stay home either didn’t get into drugs at all or experimented a little but had no problem giving it up for college or other reasons. They seem to be more well adjusted and have better relationships with their parents than the other kids too.

        Of course there are kids with a stay at home parent that become drug addicts and alcoholics. Of course there are children whose parents both worked and were barely around that didn’t ever do drugs or start drinking. I’m just saying that from what I’ve seen and experienced, it does make a difference when a parent stays home.

        It scares me to think that one day I will have to worry about my daughters using drugs. When I was young, no one could have said anything that would have made me not do what I felt like doing. The only way I know how to prevent that is to be around for my children and not make the same mistakes my parents did with me. They did the best they could but they just weren’t there enough. The good side of that though, I’ve seen it all, and done it all, so my girls won’t be able to get away with anything.

        Allison
        (writer of Role Model)

        The kids and friends I knew that had a parent that stayed home

        • Lynn
          October 12, 2011

          that’s a good point…i’ll have to think about that. I’m sure that would be a very controversial post. It is true that if you work and your kids are ALONE that there is a better environment for doing drugs.

          thanks for the comment…just having your eyes open (which you do) will make the BIGGEST difference. I think sports help too!

  3. cprocton
    October 7, 2011

    thanks for caring and sharing…it is scarey, we are just beginning to have these conversations with ALP…there is a line between having fun socially and endangering yourself and are you mature enough to know where that is? There are at least 3 kids in our immediate space that did not go to college cause they are in rehab…amazing…

    • Lynn
      October 7, 2011

      Yeah…I’ve always talked about it…

  4. By Word of Mouth Musings
    October 7, 2011

    Good for you … hiding your head in the sand til it all ‘blows over’ is never the way to go!
    I would rather tell someone, or have someone tell me if my child was in trouble/up to no good/ being bullied/ being a bully … but this is not the popular opinion these days.
    When you become a parent you have a title, a job … yes, parent actually involves parenting.
    Have a great weekend in the Big Apple btw!

    • Lynn
      October 7, 2011

      I’ve actually had a horrific time telling other parents that there’s a problem but like I said, I have to be able to live with myself.

  5. Julie
    October 7, 2011

    I don’t think you know this about me, but since 1986 I have worked with drug addicts and alcoholics. I took my daughter to work with me often enough to give her the opportunity to educate herself. Probably one of the best perks of my career. We sometimes have lunch together and at 19 (almost) she still comes to my office and “chat’s” with my patients (I am the Director of a Medical Stabalization Unit [formerly known as detox]) asking them questions and getting answers from real drug ‘experts’.

    Your post is one that should be on every parents required reading list. Well said!

    • Lynn
      October 7, 2011

      I didn’t know that…it’s a universal problem. People need to open their eyes and stop thinking that this is somebody else’s problem. It’s not

  6. mark @ yelling near you
    October 7, 2011

    Nice post on an important subject. Ultimately I think it’s people taking the easy route – denial, because confrontation and actually doing something is hard work. It may be hard, but it’s critical and the sooner it happens the better.
    mark @ yelling near you recently posted..Bad Lip ReadingMy Profile

    • Lynn
      October 7, 2011

      Yeah…plus it’s scary admitting something is wrong and out of your control.

  7. Just_Erin
    October 7, 2011

    This struck home – and I’m glad you mentioned something about eating disorders. I had a best friend in high school whose Mom always made negative comments about her size/eating habits (she was a petite girl only a size 4/6 in her healthy days). We went off to college – I don’t know what did it, the change, the pressure – but something in my best friend changed – and she was suddenly a walking 70 pound skeleton. I went to her Mom and said she’s sick and she needs help – only for her mother to tell me that she [my friend] was just watching what she ate and that I wouldn’t understand that.

    I couldn’t believe my friend’s mother refused to recognize the problem. I lived with my best friend during this time – and the stress of watching her slowly kill herself got to me – to the point I had my own mini nervous breakdown – and she just wouldn’t talk about it – wouldn’t even admit it was a problem. I finally lost it one day – and picked her up (kicking and screaming) and carried her to the student mental health center – I said you don’t have to talk to me about it, but I need you to at least go in the door and make an appointment because if I do nothing and something really terrible happens to you, I’ll never forgive myself.

    Its hard – its always hard – but when something seems like its spiraling out of control – that’s exactly when parents and friends and family should step in and be honest – but how it hurts both parties.

    • Lynn
      October 7, 2011

      Good for you. It’s a rare person that intervenes…UNFORTUNATELY

  8. Mara
    October 7, 2011

    My friend’s son went through this at the age of 15. Halfway through Grade 11 he stopped going to school, but the administration didn’t notify his parents for weeks. He attended a high risk program at the local hospital, but ended up having a substance induced psychotic break due to withdrawal from the crazy drugs out there today and their interactions with his depression, ADHD, and Anxiety. His whole family has been on a roller coaster for months including 6 weeks in the psych ward and 3 months in a rehab facility. My sister is an addict, starting with bulimia, moving on to alcohol, then cocaine, and finally crack. She became a prostitute to feed her addictions.

    Drugs, alcohol, eating disorders-these are no joke, they are not something to ignore. Its scary to face your children’s problems, but easily spiralling out of control, they are best confronted with strength and courage. I hope the child you know gets better, and that your blog helps some people to recognize that they aren’t doing anyone any favours if they are in denial.

    • Lynn
      October 7, 2011

      OMG…that’s horrible. It’s amazing the blinders that these parents put on.

  9. Amy
    October 7, 2011

    now that the tingling sensation has left my body! Powerful message…

    I have two young kids; I do not have personal experience as a parent of a child suffering from addiction but I am very experienced at being on the giving side of the hurt.

    I caused my parents, family members and friends lots of turmoil over the years! If and I plan on making it to the 21st of this month, I will pick up my 10th consecutive chip from a 12 step program. I am open about my sobriety but will always protect the anonymity of the group…now that my business is done; living Sober has been the most incredible Gift I’ve ever received because without it I am of no use to myself or others.

    I will tell you from my own personal experience and the experience and knowledge I’ve lived and gained over the last 10 years…I’ve seen lots of people relapse — getting sober for someone with an addiction is so incredibly difficult. The best way to describe it — I take it (whatever alcohol or drugs)…it takes me! I tell a lie and one day I live a lie.

    I lost count how many times I tried to get sober…I recall the first time I tried was at 17. I was down on my hands and knees praying that if I got through the night I would never do it again…my dry period lasted 3 days! I do not blame my parents…although I will tell you this much — I know what I am going to do differently with my kids. Not only will I have my eyes wide open I am very active in their lives and will continue to be until the day I die! Both my parents worked and were away from home a lot, not that that has anything to do with the WHY. But, how can you possibly know what is going on in your child’s life if you’re not there! Most of my partying was during the week after school…by the time my parents got home from work I was showered, feed and ready for bed.

    I have met people and known parents over the years that mortgaged everything for a child or loved one…I knew this one lady she mortgaged her business and lost it, she mortgaged her home to the hilt and sold her personal belongings to put her child in rehab after rehab — she died of Ovarian Cancer two years ago…her son is still active in his disease.

    I fucking hate ADDICTION.

    I cried reading your post…addiction is powerful, baffling and cunning it will take you to the gates of insanity…and death!

    BUT, DOING NOTHING is not the answer! Even for Parents of kids that are of age can have a professional intervention. And, parents of underage kids are FOOLS if they don’t educate themselves on addiction. There are even programs if you are uninsured.

    I do not have personal experience with eating disorders but I’ve seen it with people that have dual addictions…so that is something I’m educating myself on now and my kids are 3 and 6.

    Addiction does not discriminate…it does not care who you are! what you do! who you know! or what you know! Make sure that your Child knows that they can talk to you no matter what, that they understand age appropriate consequences, keep ’em active, loved and when appropriate allow them to feel the pain from their mistakes (they all do it their kids) and let them take responsibility for it! And, if your child is on medication for Mental Illness make sure you understand how it effects the receptors in the brain (VERY,very important). So, that by the time they turn 13 you will be better prepared because by the time they reach 17 – 21, it becomes so much more increasingly difficult to reach them…sometime impossible, at-least that was my experience. I was 32 when I got sober and by then there was nothing my parents could do…I had to hit *MY* bottom. I am so friggin frackin grateful that I was Sober when my Mom died.
    Amy recently posted..Smiles, They Make Me Smile: This Moment ~Friday RitualMy Profile

    • Lynn
      October 7, 2011

      I don’t even know what to say…what a powerful comment. It brought tears To my eyes.

      First, good for you. Second, i know it’s difficult to admit your kid has a problem but this denial thing is awful. I’m so proud of you. I really am. Lots of love.

      Lynn

      • Amy
        October 7, 2011

        I haven’t had a post hit me quite like the way this has…the timing of it — WOW! With my 10 year anniversary coming up I am reminded of the power of the disease! I agree…denial is so awful! Coming back to respond to your reply I was taken back by the length of my response — oh my…Thank you for your kind words. I am touched!
        Amy recently posted..Smiles, They Make Me Smile: This Moment ~Friday RitualMy Profile

        • Lynn
          October 7, 2011

          You know it’s funny…I don’t know how long you’ve read this blog but I’m all over the place.
          Occasionally I’ll want to write a serious post about how people really piss me off when they don’t deal and it makes me so mad how people can be so stupid, and I just throw this stuff out there.

          But then, I get a great comment like yours…and lots of others today…and I’m happy I said it because
          IT NEEDS TO BE SAID..
          So really, thank you.

          For responding…for your honesty. And just because…

  10. Suzy
    October 7, 2011

    Considering that the highest rising drug use for methamphetamine is stay at home moms, I can only imagine some of these parents look away because they too are using. The prescription drug most abused is any variation of Lorazepam (Valium, Xanax) and it’s, once again, over- used by moms.

    Of all the parents I know, only one had a kid who became an addict and is now clean after rehab. As to my friends? Ask them for a Xanax and they break out a huge pill box.

    The biggest convergence of marijuana distribution is in Columbus Ohio, as it’s the city the trucks pass through after loading docks down south. I know, I was shocked too.

    Why do I know all these facts? I was once in rehab. Although not for drugs. I can take them or leave them so I leave them. Vodka was a whole different story. And the drinking that goes on in homes across America – and that children see on a regular basis – guilts the parents into thinking, “Well, I abuse, how can I tell my kid to stop?” And they might have told their kid to stop and the kid MIGHT have replied, “If you stop drinking.”

    End of chat.

    • Lynn
      October 7, 2011

      Wow…it’s just getting so bad. I mean, if even kids are asking why adults don’t deal…I’d rather be open and honest personally

  11. Dazee
    October 7, 2011

    I work with a guy that’s wife is addicted to pain medication and he has begged her mom and dad for help, but they won’t admit she has the problem. It’s really scary too because they have a 4 and 2 year old that most of the time she totally ignores all day long.

    I so agree with you on this post.

    • Lynn
      October 7, 2011

      God that makes me so sad…and mad. It s a huge problem.. The inability to admit a weakness

  12. becky
    October 8, 2011

    What a powerful piece. It is so true that there are many parents who just don’t want to hear about their children unless it’s good news. As a middle school teacher in an urban school, I met many parents who blamed everybody else for their child’s problems and refused to take responsibility for themselves or their children. I’ve even had parents accuse me of ‘picking on their child’ or lying about the problem. I also met many parents who were actively involved in their child’s lives, wanted to know when there was a problem with their children and acted on it immediately, getting the child help, talking with professionals, whatever it took to make sure their child got the help they needed. I admire you for talking to the parents of children with problems. It’s definitely not an easy or comfortable thing to do, but I agree with you that you have to be able to sleep at night.

    • Lynn
      October 8, 2011

      Thanks for reading and commenting. The two times I’ve talked to parents it has completely blown up in my face. After the first time I SWORE I would never interfere again vut then I did.

      That one didn’t go very well either…BUT eventually the second parent thanked me and said “you were the ONLY one who cared enough to say something”

      That kid went to rehab and is doing great and the mom and I are friends now. You gotta take the risk.

      Thanks for commenting.

  13. Julie
    October 9, 2011

    I know someone who is in debt because she was in complete denial about her 15 year old son and his drug use. Despite the fact that she earns a almost 200k a year, she has wiped out her retirement and savings accounts. Rehab/boarding school, after several failed attempts at home, became her only option. Her son is thousands of miles away and her life is shattered. Parents! Wake! Up! I would handcuff myself to my teen if I even thought they were experimenting with anything. The good news? They know that. The bad news? It would so fookin ruin my day.
    Julie recently posted..A Remarkable LifeMy Profile

    • Lynn
      October 9, 2011

      once the process has started, it is incredibly difficult to stop. I feel bad that she’s in that situation. How is she in denial if she’s put him in rehab though?

  14. Spilling Ink
    October 9, 2011

    It has to start A LOT earlier than just intervening when your child has a problem. You have to stay interested and engage them all the time. By the time they’ve started binge drinking or using drugs it’s just that much harder to turn them around.

    We have to ask ourselves what it is that makes so many kids turn to drugs and alcohol in the first place. It’s not just boredom or a case of young and stupid. What are they trying to escape at such an early age?

    • Lynn
      October 9, 2011

      true…it’s all about communication and being aware about what’s going on… also, it takes luck and a lot of it

  15. Missy | The Literal Mom
    October 9, 2011

    I have chills. Parents like this make me crazy! I think you start seeing the signs when kids are very young from this type of “ostrich” parent (one that sticks her/his head in the sand and pretends a problem isn’t there).

    I will never, ever, ever turn a blind eye to issues my children encounter or bad situations they engage in. Ever.

    • Lynn
      October 9, 2011

      good for you…i remember when Daniel had issues how the school was so happy that we dealt with them rather than pretending they didn’t exist

  16. Name *
    October 9, 2011

    He started abusing minor drugs two years ago….then alcohol….then it went from there. It was considered by this friend that it was “the actions of a normal kid experimenting.” She realized he had a problem about eight months ago when he was caught stealing his father’s car (yes, 15 yr. old, no license, driving the streets at 3:00a.m. with friends). He now attends a boarding/rehab school that costs 8k per month. He was in a “wilderness” camp over the summer that costs 35k. Yes….that is what she paid.

    • Lynn
      October 9, 2011

      That’s so awful…I feel bad for them. I hope he can get it together soon

Follow Lynn on Facebook Follow Lynn on Twitter Follow Lynn via RSS Follow Lynn on Pinterest
Enter your Email

Recent articles


Follow Lynn on Facebook Follow Lynn on Twitter Follow Lynn via RSS Follow Lynn on Pinterest




Go to All Fooked Up Store 

Lynn MacDonald Art