Last year’s poll from the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital finds that parents look at their children with blinders on, while looking at other children accusingly.
As reported by the New York Times:
Only 10 percent of parents nationwide believe their teenagers have used alcohol in the last year, and half that percentage believe their teenagers have used marijuana. Yet when the National Institutes of Health polled teenagers recently, more than half (52 percent) admitted to drinking, and nearly a third (28 percent) said they have smoked pot.
The report includes useful tips for parents about communicating with their children:
- Talk to your teenager about substance use in a non-threatening way.
- Carefully monitor teenagers when they come home and look for signs of substance use.
- Try not to overreact to a single instance of substance use. Instead, use the opportunity to talk to your teenager in a non-judgmental way and be available as a resource for resisting peer pressure.
- Talk with your teenager’s friends and talk with other parents. Sometimes others will share information that your own child won’t.
- Read information from resources such as the National Institute on Drug Abuse to become educated about common signs and symptoms of substance abuse.