Parenting in a kit is as absurd as it sounds

By Jeff Schumacher | Aug 15, 2012

There is no doubt in today's world that we are more aware of drug abuse and its negative affect on society. The media organizations have shown us plenty of true life stories depicting people who have either killed, been killed, or committed some sort of crime while on drugs...or in order to fulfill a drug habit.

There are also the stories of the children who watch this every day of their lives, then grow up to find themselves doing the exact things that got their parents in trouble to begin with.

I have been told there is some kind of new fad going on now where teenagers grab their parents' prescriptions and take them to a party. They then throw them in a bowl and start popping whatever is in the bowl. It has led to deaths, permanent mental in capacities, as well as ruined families along the way.

Now, I'm not here to tell you that I was a saint growing up. I think we all experience different levels of peer pressure, and we all cave into it at some point. I'm just shocked at this level of pressure becoming so commonplace among our children. Are we really that asleep at the wheel as parents?

The whole reason for my column this week came from an observation I had while waiting for a prescription to be filled at a local pharmacy. I was sitting in a chair glancing at the boxes of everything from making you "go', to stopping you from "going". And, that could be number one or two!

But the most intriguing boxes of all were the ones labeled, "Home Drug Testing Kits" What? They make kits you can take home and test for whether or not a certain drug is in your blood stream? I had never even heard of such  thing. Pregnancy tests, yes. Drug tests, huh? They even have them for each drug. one for marijuana; one for cocaine; one for methamphetamine; opiates; and the list goes on.

Anyway, it took me back to my days as general manager of The Fayetteville Observer in Fayetteveille, NC. We used to send people for drug tests if we felt like they were working on the clock under the influence of drugs. I'm sure there are companies around here that do the same. So, I naturally thought this was a clever way for someone like that to beat the test.

But, as I discussed this with a few younger writers in our newsroom, they enlightened me that these kits were being used primarily by parents who are trying to see whether or not their child has been doing drugs.

I've got to tell you that was an eye-opener for me. Are we really that far out of touch with our children that we have to make them pee in a cup and run a drug test on them? What happened to sitting down with them and discussing the dangers of drugs and alcohol? Talking to them about the peer pressure that will be coming their way as they make their way through high school? Are we really to the point that we are letting a box be the disciplinarian in our households?

I pray each night that I have done a good job of raising my children. Now, they aren't saints, and by no means am I the worlds greatest father. But, it will be a cold day "you know where" before I get to a point where I have to use a kit to tell me whether or not my child is doing drugs or not.

So, if nothing else, let's start talking about this with our children. The police force have people who are constantly preaching the dangers. There are countless resources out there for you if don't know how to approach it. Hugs and praise also go a long way in building trust between a parent and their child.

But, for the sake of the family, and especially for your child(ren), let's not be a society that resorts to "kits" to raise our children.