There is a quiet buzz of concern one can hear if one listens carefully enough to the conversations of many parents in our valley regarding the health of our youth. Last year, while on the board for the Valley Partnership for Drug Prevention I tried to start a movement along with the Executive Director, Michael Connolly. We began a Parent to Parent Alliance to empower our community to raise healthy youth.
Together, we put into place impressive committees, coordinated meetings, brought in counselors and educators to answer questions and concerns and created campaigns to change the social norms but without funding and overall general support I had to stop leading the Alliance. Instead, I decided to continue writing over here on Aspen Real Life and soon hope to bring in guest speakers and educators to talk about parenting our youth.
As the word got out about our efforts I heard feedback from parents voicing their frustrations with handling their teens and the angry repercussions they encountered from consequences asserted. Other parents admitted that it was difficult for them to hold their kids back from experimenting as they did the same thing when they were that age.
There is also the common philosophy that kids need to discover for themselves how to become responsible through trial and error, and while I can relate to these sentiments, Baddy and I agree that we need to do what we can to keep our children safe.
Best-selling author and renowned neuropsychiatrist Daniel Siegel states, [su_quote]Adolescent bodies are stronger and healthier than any other time of life but research shows that they are three times more likely to die or get injured by a preventable cause. This is a dangerous period as they take risks to stimulate and release dopamine levels[/su_quote]
Furthermore, today’s scientific studies on the adolescent developing brain reveal information that keep my husband and I on the same page when it comes to being mindful and present as parents and setting parameters for our boys, with their input.
According to VPDP, studies show that a teenager who has his/her first drink at the age of 15 has a five times greater chance of eventually becoming physically addicted and that if kids start using at the age of 14, they are 40% more likely to have substance addiction – add family history and the odds go up.
As I continue on with my mission to keep our boys on the right track, I have learned so much that could be helpful to other parents. Here is my top ten list to get parents started:
If you have anything to add, please add it to my Facebook Page.
Category: parenting, Rough DraftTags: being present as a present, changing social norms, changing the climate of drug use in Aspen, Daniel Sigel, dopamine levels, helping our youth, it takes a village, Keeping teens safe, mindful parenting, Parent to Parent Alliance, Parenting teens, substance abuse, taking care of our children, Teens and the developing mind, The developing mind, top ten parenting list, top ten ways to keep your teen safe, Valley Partnership for Drug Prevention