When a kid comes in with alcohol issues one of the first things we talk about is what is going on in his life to make him think alcohol is going to make it better. Because so many times when we think about drugs and alcohol, we think of drugs and alcohol as the problem. In my opinion those are not the problem. The problem is what is causing the drugs or the drinking. That’s when we need to talk to the child about what is going on in their life. A lot of the time the drugs or drinking give them the power to say what they really want to say. The biggest problem is why they can’t have that courage on their own.
First of all, you have to be a parent for your child, not just a friend. You can not be absent and then show up for your child at age 14 or 15 and have the woman be a mom or the man be a dad. You need to have a relationship throughout their lives in order for the kid to trust you. The worst thing a parent can do to their kid is ask them to tell the truth and promise that it will be good, then the kid tells the truth and the parent panics. So you lose your mind when they tell you the truth. So what I will tell parents is that they have to form a relationship with their kids all throughout their lives, then when it comes to asking the hard questions about alcohol and drugs they feel they can trust their parents. So parents have a lot of work to do.