It’s nice and even good when parents and children get along and enjoy each other. Unfortunately, sometimes it’s a parents responsibility to take care of their child even if the child is angry and won’t speak to the parent or locks him or herself away in their bedroom for awhile, when the parent parents. For instance, if your child asks if they can go spend the night with a friend, do you call the friend’s parents to see if there’s going to be an adult in the house? NO? Hmmmm, no wonder so many kids can tell me all about the parties with the alcohol and drugs they consumed over the weekend. Not your child? Don’t be so fast to decide that. I work with kids from good families with loving, hard working parents. Children are children. They are not adults even when they are throwing a fit to convince us they are. Their brains aren’t even fully developed yet. They don’t always exercise good judgement. That’s where you come in. It is your responsibility to make sure your child is safe and your child isn’t safe if he/she is at a party where there isn’t a responsible adult in the house. If parents want to know what drug is a “gateway drug” it’s the emotional drug called “charm” children use to get parents to trust them so they won’t call the other kid’s parents. It’s that desire a parent has to avoid getting the child mad at them. Very often, that’s where teenagers begin substance abuse, in a private home, at a party where there is no adult supervision. Kids are, well just that, kids. That’s why they have parents who are supposed to be taking care of them. It doesn’t matter how well your child is dressed, what kind of sport they play, how many friends they have, or how nice their bedrooms are, if they are allowed to run their lives because their parents don’t want to risk having the child “hate” them. That “hate” so often identified by teenagers as a way to dissuade parents from being parents, goes away as soon as the desired event has past or the parents have been called or whatever it is the child doesn’t want the parent to do or wants to be allowed to do that is unacceptable. It isn’t hate, it’s I didn’t get my way so I’m going to tell you I hate you, behavior. Better to have an angry child than a child who consumed too much alcohol, too fast, and is lying in a coma in the emergency room, parents by the bedside, praying that their child will live. Harsh? No, check the statistics if you don’t believe me.