I stopped posting for awhile but I 'm going to continue with this blog because I think it's important.
Since January 2nd, the last time I posted, much has happened. My son took a drug and alcohol treatment class required by the county in order to get his record expunged because a bunch of kids got caught at a party drinking. I attended the second class with him because a parent was required. His other parent never asked what happened after he went to pick him up at the party at 2:30 AM. I suppose he thought he had done his part.
So what was it like? One of the local hospitals that works with teens on drug and alcohol issues holds the class at a Macy's in a local mall. There were probably 40-50 kids and their parents (some grandparents) who came. They were required to bring a parent to the second and final class.
I thought the curriculum was quite good. It was all about the science of alcohol and how it affects teenagers' bodies - a subject that I wrote a book on over a year ago. The kids tried to look cool and bored, the parents were a combination of mad at their kids (ditto) and trying to pay attention as the lecturer droned on and on. He did try to engage the kids and did at some points with questions like "How many of you have. . . and then something they would never admit too in front of their parents," but mostly it was him talking.
What I found the most disturbing was the kids. Two local high schools had kids who were caught drinking at parties and had more alcohol in their blood than they were supposed to - as in some. My kid was a .07 which is not legally drunk for an adult but for a teenager it's .02. And it's basically if there's any alcohol in their system at all, they're liable. Plus they can get busted simply for being at the party where alcohol is used. That's why he's not going to any more parties.
Anyway, a number of the high school kids knew each other and the first week when I dropped my son off there were exchanged glances, a few hey man how you doings. When the parents were there, not a word, just an uncomfortable glance.
The worst part? A 13 year-old girl from our neighborhood who used to hang out with my other child, was busted for marijuana and so was another kid from our local middle school. They're in 8th grade. The expression on her mother's face - indescribable.
Talk to your kids - monitor them. Trust is a beautiful thing but this is not the age for it.