One of the things that confused me and I know confuses a lot of other parents is first of all I think that we believe that when our kids are older, they don´t really listen to us anymore when they are older teenagers. First of all, that´s not true. I mean parents´values matter more than anything else in a child´s life, even if you don´t see it, if it appears that their peers are more influential. And so, the messages we give are really, really important. I hear all the time from parents who are confused. They might tell their kids at a certain point I would rather have you just drink beer, it is okay to smoke a little pot, don´t ever use heroin or something like that. I mean they gives these mixed messages. One of the things I hear parents say a lot is if you go to a party, I would understand. It is okay if you use a little bit, but don´t ever get in the car with somebody who is drunk. Or they might say I want my kids to learn moderation, so I let them drink at home, have a glass of wine or if they are with their friends. As long as they are using responsibly because otherwise when they go off to college, they are just going to be binge drinking and using drugs in way they have never learned how to do that. All the research says that´s wrong thinking. If we are giving permission to our kids to use, then they are more likely to use. Any approval, any conditions that we set, basically what´s underlying that is that we are saying that it is okay, that we are saying that it is okay. We are giving our kids permission to use drugs. In some ways it makes sense. We don´t want our kids getting into the car with somebody who is drinking or is high. We don´t want our kids going off to college and binge drinking. But the problem is that we know now. In other words, those thoughts and arguments make some sense, but all the research says that´s wrong thinking. The earlier someone uses, the more likely they are going to have drug problems. And so, if a child has not used by the time they are 18 and then they go off to college, it is far less likely that they are going to end up being addicted. It is far less likely they are going to have drug problems, they are going to be binge drinking. It doesn´t mean. None of these things guarantee that your kids are going to be okay. All we want to do is give them the best shot.
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