According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA), parents are indeed the key to helping kids be drug-free. CASA research shows that the more involved parents are in raising their kids, the more they establish appropriate rules and standards of behavior, and the more they monitor their teens, the lower the teen’s risk of substance abuse.
“Involved” or “hands-on parenting,” according to CASA, means parents who consistently take 10 or more of these actions:
- Monitor what their children watch on television
- Monitor what their children do on the internet
- Put restrictions on the music their children buy
- Know where their children are after school and on weekends
- Expect to be and are told the truth by their children, especially teenagers, about
- where they are going
- Are “very aware” of their children’s academic performance
- Impose a curfew
- Make clear they would be “extremely upset” if their child used pot
- Eat dinner with their children six or seven times a week
- Assign their children regular chores
- Have an adult present when children get home from school.
In terms of drug use, the CASA survey found that teens whose parents would “not be too upset” about their pot use are three times more likely to use drugs than teens whose parents would be “extremely upset.” Additionally, the survey found that children with “hands-on” parents are much more likely to have excellent relationships with their parents than those with “hands-off” parents.