Tween and Teenagers
Can Drug-Sniffing Dogs For Hire Replace Parental Duties with Teens?
When it comes to my kids I’m a pretty tough mom. Love those boys like crazy, but when it comes to disciplining them, I’m pretty strict. When it comes to allowing them their freedoms, especially when it comes to my teen, I operate off a “prove to me you are trustworthy” ideology and even still I don’t fully let my guard down.
I was once a teen who used to surround herself with other teens and know what can happen. What I remember about being a teenager who knew other teens who were doing things they weren’t supposed to be doing – like having sex at their parents’ house when they weren’t there or doing drugs bought with money they got from their allowance – isn’t that they were oh so clever, but that their parents were oh so distracted and clueless. Some others were in denial, you know, the typical “my children would never” type.
It’s been a few years since then but I keep those experiences in mind while raising my own kid. That’s not to say my teen hasn’t done some sh*tty things, like host parties when I am not home, or lie to me, or be disrespectful.
Yet, I don’t think I would ever consider hiring a drug-sniffing dog service to come into my house and sniff my son’s room, or our house, if I suspect that my son was doing drugs. I would, however, have a serious talk with my son, with my son’s friend’s parents and, if needed, search for drugs in my own house myself.
It seems that parents who recruit professionals and their dogs to come into their teen’s room to sniff around for drugs are looking for “proof” before they sit down to deal with the situation face-to-face. It’s as if they would rather not confront the situation unless they have evidence that something needs to be confronted.
I have had mom friends who have dealt with their teen having a drug addiction – the lying and deception is a twisted, confusing game that few parents can keep up with – and I can understand how if in a situation where you suspect your child is doing drugs you might feel inclined to want evidence, because it’s too hard to admit, but I personally would avoid the passive aggressive tactics best left for environments such as schools and other public spaces where administrators must juggle between student privacy and liability, not to mention the wrath of protective parents.
When it comes to my teen and my suspicions, I take those on myself, directly, and with full force. I certainly don’t wait to have suspicions before I address the issues that most concern me about the challenges and choices my teen probably faces on a daily basis. The conversations on drugs, sex, smoking, drinking, education, money and a number of other topics are ongoing, almost daily in my house. We never give up. We never stop. We never rest. We are incessant. We don’t always like it and it is exhausting and at times even uncomfortable.
I may not be the best mom, and I don’t always get it right, but I certainly won’t wait for a dog to tell me that it might be time to talk to my teen about drugs or that he might have a problem we need to address as a family.
** Catch the premiere of the all-new gripping series "Teen Trouble" on Friday December 28 at 10/9c. Hosted by teen behavior specialist, author and motivational speaker Josh Shipp, in each episode Shipp serves as the last hope for troubled families desperate to save their out-of-control teens and give them the critical help they need to avoid catastrophic tragedy.