Poll: Should you drug test your children?
Wed, 18 May 2011 17:18:37 GMT — A rising drug problem among teens is encouraging some groups to advocate for at-home drug testing, including a former police officer in Arizona who speaks to groups on the topic.Some, however, see it as a break in trust between parents and their children.Studies show that teens aren't getting the message about the harms of drugs and the number of teens experimenting with drugs and alcohol is rising. In fact, by the age of 15, 62 percent of respondents to the survey had tried alcohol for the first time.So we asked you on Facebook if you think parents should drug test their children.Here's what you had to say.
Cat Ostentatious Langford said Yes because my kids have Facebook pages and their teenage friends post ~where TMs the weed TM on their pages and they all reply. So parents, first of all, need to check their kids TM pages to see what is going on and being said. None of us want to believe our children are into drugs at the ages of 11, 12, 13+ but the reality of it all is some of them are."Langford also said she believes drug testing might discourage children from trying drugs, but that it might also help the kids find a new way to get by drug tests.Other viewers weren't so sure about drug testing kids, though.Sharon Pratt Belveal said "And lose all trust with their children? Why? Unless they think they have a drug problem then instead of testing them, get them help."Amy Linhardt Phillips stressed the importance of being involved in kids' lives and knowing who they spend time with. She said parents need to parent their children on the dangers of drugs and alcohol.Two viewers had more in-depth views on the topic. One -- a parent who drug tests his kids; the other -- a parent who believes in trust between parent and child. Here are their views:For drug testing at home:
Deciding whether or not to drug test your child can be a difficult one. Most parents want to trust their child and believe that given the opportunity the child would make the right decision. In many situations your child probably will make the right decision, but there is no discounting the influence peers have on children and their decisions. In researching drug use and teens I have read through numerous books and websites, not to mention my years employed in the Criminal Justice field. They all say the same thing, which is the older your child gets, the more peer pressure affects them. One study reported that nearly 80 percent of high school students interviewed said that they were pressured by peers to drink or use drugs. Think about the influence clothing trends and commercials have on your kids with limited access to their attention span. Now imagine a friend or schoolmate who your child sees on a regular basis. They are probably getting more face time throughout the day with your child than you are. I have two children who became teenagers this year and decided to random drug test them. I sat them down earlier in the year and explained to them my reasons. At first they were closed to the idea but once explained to them I think it was probably a relief. I have chosen to drug test them not because I do not trust them, but because I want them to have ammunition when a peer pressure situation arises. They can easily pass the buck onto dad. When someone offers them marijuana or other drugs, they can decline and place the blame on me. I can TMt, sometimes my dad drug tests me. It is an easy out for them. Trust in your child is a great thing to have, and I do trust my kids will make the right decision, I just made it much easier on them. Even good kids can make a mistake and be dishonest. Think back to your own childhood. Were you the perfect child? Doubtful. Will your kid or my kid be? No. We all make mistakes, If you didn TMt answer no then your are simply fooling yourself. That doesn TMt mean they will use drugs, but it means they are all susceptible to the peer pressure. A parent should be just that, a parent. We are not their buddies or their friends. We have to be the ones to make hard decisions and sometimes unpopular ones. You have to love them enough to make the tough choices that will eventually turn them into adults with values and morality. Some parents tell me they will drug test only if they think there is a problem. Teens are great at hiding things. Usually by the time you realize there is a problem, they are well down the path of drug use. I think this is a problem where a parent should be proactive instead of reactive.-- A concerned parent.Against home drug testing:Should parents drug test their children regularly? It's a story we're working on this week and we want your opinion.As a strict parent. I will not test my children unless they give me reason to do so. I know my children's friends.I have to know all parents and do a check on them before my children can go to their friends home.That is my job as a parent is to teach them right from wrong and to protect them at any cost.No, my children are to perfect but when you teach them right and keep them busy with activities that keep them out of trouble it does help. :)My children are 14, 11,9 years of age. I know all my children's friends and check out their friend parents.To keep them safe from a number of things out in our world. I am very involved in their education and I have them doing activities such as helping in our community at a public service ( they do yard work, walking dogs and checking on elderly in our area), Kids care clubs, church activities, sports, chores and my 14-year-old will be working a job this summer.As a Parent, my job is to keep them busy and way from the things that can and will get them in trouble.I am very involved in my children's live and I will not drug test my children unless they give me a reason to do so. Such as behavior changes in them. Children need to have a regular routine that is structured. Two of my three children have ADHD. As their parent, You read all the books and listen to all the Doctors about children with this. But only person that knows your child is you and each one of my children are so much different then the other. The one thing in this world that can never change is the drugs and peer pressure is always out there for your children. Yes, you can talk to them about it. Yes, you teach your children about the right and wrong peer pressure. Let them know it is okay to say NO. Be involved in your child's life. Support the DARE Programs in your schools. Listen to your children. Let them know that there are consequences for all actions. Show your children you love them.Be the parent your children need you to be. Protect your children at any cost. -- Lerose Flowers-Payne So what do you think? Should parents drug test their children? Would it help give children a way to fight peer pressure? Or does it break trust between parents and kids?