“Other teens drink and use marijuana but my kids don’t,” do you say this?



Do you believe that your kids/teens do not drink or use drugs only other kids do?

My kids are older now but  at times when they were in High School and even Jr. High this thought went through my head.

I kind of believed that they were drinking but substance abuse… I could not entertain that in my head.

They told me that cocaine and marijuana were readily available. Some students were actually “high” while sitting in the classroom at any given time of the school day.

Now, what I failed to take into account was this: kids may tell you some truths but they usually underestimate what is actually the case and of course they do not implicate themselves. They tell you, the parent, just enough to satisfy your curiosity.  This may give the parents a false sense of security about their involvement in the drinking and drug scene and it makes you stop asking questions.

During those high school years I had friends that were telling me that their children were not having sex and that they were also not smoking or drinking. I wonder if they saw my ears twitching when I was listening to their words.

I also knew parents that were hosting parties in their homes where under age drinking was allowed ….car keys were collected and no one left if they were indeed drinking.These parents thought that they were doing a good thing, at least the drinking was supervised. YIKES!

Some parents dangerously believed that their children were not drinking and driving which was not necessarily the case. They simply closed their eyes to the fact… drinking was routine and happened every single weekend without fail.

Our high school even exacted a pledge from its athletes. “Athletes would not drink or use drugs”.

The High School had no way of following up on whether these athletes were actually adhering to the “pledge”. So in my eyes the pledge was a farce which the students recognized as well. Students had to be caught by the police  drinking or with drugs to actually be in violation of the high school’s Athletic Code.

All of these machinations were simply ridiculous in my eyes because the teenagers knew that they could cross the lines and never get caught.

The Athletic Code and Pledge made the school feel good about itself and the parents were duped into believing that if their child was an “athlete” they were not drinking or “using”.

High schools and colleges do not want the reputation of having a drinking or drug problem among their students so they use pledges without any punch to them.

We want to believe that this helps but…DOES IT?

If schools were to recognize the depth of these issues the school district might lose face and so would the value of living in a particular community. Then there is the domino effect leading eventually to a drop in home values based upon a school district problems. End of rant....

My advice:

  • Read the suggestions printed below.
  • Maintain an open conversation with your teens and pre-teens.
  • Do not think that it could not affect your child or your family.
  • Try to talk honestly about drinking and substance use.
  • Tell your children what you know about alcohol and its effects.
  • If you drink let them see that you drink responsibly.
  • Never drink and drive yourself.
  • Above all be honest with yourself and your kids…they can see right through you if you are not.
  • Never say “do as I say not as I do”.

Good luck…parenting is hard…you are not your child’s friend…so know when to be firm and discipline when you need to do so.

Parents of teens likely underestimate own teens’ substance use, while overestimating marijuana and alcohol use by teens nationally

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The latest C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health from the University of Michigan finds that few parents (10 percent) believe their own teens, ages 13 to 17 years old, have used alcohol in the last year and even fewer (5 percent) believe their own teens have used marijuana in the last year.

Those levels are substantially below what teens themselves reported in the latest Monitoring the Future study, where 52 percent of 10th graders reported drinking alcohol in the last year and 28 percent of 10th graders reported using marijuana in the last year.

What can parents do about teen substance use?
Biermann suggests:
1. Talk to your teenager about substance use in a non-threatening way.
2. Carefully monitor teens when they come home and look for signs of substance use.
3. Try not to overreact to a single instance of substance use. Instead, use the opportunity to talk to your teen in a non-judgmental way and be available as a resource for resisting peer pressure.
4. Talk with your teen’s friends and talk with other parents. Sometimes others will share information that your own child won’t.
5. Read information from resources such as the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to become educated about common signs and symptoms of substance abuse.

Full report: http://www.med.umich.edu/mott/npch/pdf/091211substanceuse.pdf

C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health:




Additional resources include:
Partnership for a Drug-Free America:  http://www.drugfree.org/
University of Michigan Health Library—Teen Alcohol and Drug Abuse:http://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/tp17749#tp17750

via “Other teens drink and use marijuana but my kids don’t,” parents say in new poll | University of Michigan Health System.

Breast Milk Sharing….

Breast Milk Sharing

I am all about passing on good solid information.

So, I would urge any one interested in breast milk sharing to link to this post at  www.phdinparenting.com.

World Milksharing Week

Human Milk 4 Human Babies (HM4HB) is a global milksharing network, a virtual village, comprising thousands of people from over fifty countries. Its mission is to promote the nourishment of babies and children around the world with human milk. It is dedicated to fostering community between local families who have chosen to share breastmilk.

via Breast Milk: Not a Scarce Commodity — PhD in Parenting.

9/11…10 Years Later…Lessons Learned


This past Sunday was the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

The horror of 9/11 will remain.

This year the surviving  families, children and spouses showed us all how life goes on and how they have managed to remember and honor their loved ones who perished on 9/11.

The surviving children that honored their parents at the memorial were inspirational…some knew their parent others did not  as they had not even born yet.

Children are remarkable and in their own way resilient.

Resilience is a word that is used often, but in my opinion it is a characteristic that is not well understood.

Each of us has the capacity for resilient behavior but it has to be nurtured in us.

Resiliency is the ability to spring back from and successfully adapt to adversity. An increasing body of research from the fields of psychology, psychiatry, and sociology is showing that most people–including young people–can bounce back from risks, stress, crises, and trauma and experience life success.

via Resiliency In Action.

It seems that some children function well after traumatic events and this is related to the way their parents’ have reacted to such events and the way they have been brought up to use adaptive coping responses.

It has been found:

When families and mothers ‘did well,’ so did their children. Conversely, families and mothers who showed negative posttraumatic reactions had children who showed similar negative outcomes.

An array of protective characteristics or factors has been identified in resilient children. They are present at the individual, family, and community level and contribute, together, to adaptation following trauma during childhood:

(1) trauma characteristics;

(2) the child’s own resources;

(3) the child’s family characteristics;

(4) the community support (i.e. from teachers, peers, friends, mentors); and

(5) developmental path.

via Children’s Resilience in the Face of Trauma | Education.com.

So the remarkable children and spouses, we witnessed on the anniversary of 9/11 speaking of their lives now, are reflections of their surviving parents and those who perished in the attacks that day in 2001.

Let us all try to foster resilience in our children in this age of uncertainty so that they can call upon it when and if they need to do so.


1. Masten, AS (1994) Resilience in individual development: Successful adaptation despite risk and adversity. In MC Wang & EW Gordon (Eds.) Inner City Educational Resilience

2. Masten, AS, Best, KM & Garmezy,N. (1991) Resilience and development: contributions from the study of children who overcome adversity. Development and Psychopathology, 2, 425-444

3. Scheering, MS & Zeanah, CH (2001) A relational perspective on PTSD in early childhood. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 14 (4) 799-815

4. Hoven, CW, Duarte, CS, Lucas, CP et al (2002) Effects of the World Trade Center attack on NYC Public School Students: Initial Report of the New York City Board of Education. New York: Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York State Psychiatric Institute and Applied Research and Consulting, LLC

5. Ibid, p. 24

6. Terr, LC, Block, DA, Beat, MA et al (1997) Children’s thinking in the wake of Challenger. The American Journal of

Psychiatry, 154 (6)744-751

via Children’s Resilience in the Face of Trauma | Education.com.

Children and Carseats-The 5-Step Test


Carseat safety is really a no -brainer…carseats for infants and children are mandatory and they save lives.

For the newborn, infant, toddler and pre-schooler it seems fairly simple to buy a carseat and have it installed or install it yourself. But as your child gets older things start to become somewhat muddy…like when do you transfer your older child to a booster seat and then to the seatbelt system in the car?

If you have a child not leave this post without linking to the carseat blog for actual visuals of the 5-Step Test and how to do it.

What is the 5-Step Test?

It is actually the only way to make sure that your child is protected by a car’s lap/shoulder seatbelt system and therefore may not nee a booster seat or child restraint system. Weight and age are actually meaningless factors for determining if a seatbelt fits a child correctly.

Here are the five questions:

Taking the 5-Step Test is quick and simple. Have the child buckle up in the vehicle and then answer these 5 questions:

1. Does the child sit all the way back on the vehicle seat?

2. Are knees bent comfortably at the edge of the vehicle seat?

3. Does seatbelt cross the shoulder properly? (it should be centered over the collar bone)

4. Is the lap portion of the seatbelt low – touching the thighs?

5. Can the child stay seated this way for the entire ride, every ride (awake and asleep)?

Bonus step – feet planted firmly on floor

via The 5-Step Test.



Pediatricians refuse unvaccinated kids

Today I heard a disturbing piece of news regarding children and vaccinations.

Apparently, an infant who was not old enough to receive the pertussis vaccine was exposed to pertussis in a pediatrician’s office. This baby wound up extremely sick and hospitalized due to his exposure to pertussis, a potentially fatal, contagious disease.

This situation poses a dilemma.

Some pediatricians are now refusing patients whose parents are not allowing them to be immunized .

Where is the balance here??? I am not quite sure.

Personally, I would not want my child exposed to these diseases because as a pediatric nurse I have seen how they can ravage a healthy child and in some cases steal their life.

I am also aware of  and empathize with the parental fears that surround childhood vaccinations. These vaccinations have been associated with autism. Even though the evidence that at first supported these fears has been sited as flawed, the fear is still there.

So, how do we work with the parents and children who are not vaccinated against these childhood diseases and at the same time protect infants who are not yet vaccinated?

Is refusing to treat the unvaccinated the ethical way to approach this? I don’t think so.

Perhaps, there is a way to separate those who refuse to be vaccinated by making specific office hours when these children can be seen by the pediatrician…this would be expensive but could be an option.

What do you think as a parent…and how does this problem affect you?

Related links: No shot, no doc: Pediatricians refuse unvaccinated kids – TODAY Health – TODAY.com. http://parentingintheloop.wordpress.com/2011/01/08/more-on-vaccines-and-autism-from-march-of-dimes/   http://parentingintheloop.wordpress.com/2011/01/24/a-century-of-vaccine-scares-nytimes-com/

Get the best deals with these 10 free shopping apps …

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All gallery images: 10 free apps for getting the best deals

via 10 free shopping apps for getting the best deals: ShopSavvy.