Parents rear their children, watch them grow, help them take their first steps, play games with them, teach them right from wrong and be there when they need help most. No one is the perfect parent, there exists no manual on how to raise children. There are areas of parenting that are especially difficult to navigate, featuring mercurial teenagers and power struggle arguments. Certain topics can be sensitive and being a “helicopter parent” only blows a child away as swiftly as the debris beneath the aircraft’s blade. We’ve all seen parents who bribe their child with a lollipop to stop the child from crying in a grocery store. Recently, a couple was cited in the news for using a far more dangerous bribe.
On May 4 2015, parents Joey and Chad Mudd were arrested by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office on several accounts of child abuse. They were charged with several accounts of child abuse for bribing their daughters marijuana in return for completing chores. Joey Mudd had given her children marijuana as a bribery tool, while Chad Mudd had also snorted cocaine with his daughters. Joey was charged with two accounts of child abuse and made bond on May 6, 2015. Chad Mudd was charged with six accounts of child abuse and one account for possession of cocaine. He was released May 7, 2015 and neither has been allowed to see their children. At this moment, it is unclear if the Mudds have acquired a lawyer or what the next move will be.
The Parent’s Place
It is up to the parent on how to raise their children and this is usually reflected in the children’s personality and actions. However, many children grow into products of their surrounding — parents and peers who envelop them.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse – NIDA — writes about how positive parenting can help prevent drug use. In the pamphlet, “Family Checkup: Positive Parenting Prevents Drug Abuse,” they give five steps for how to handle the topics of drug abuse. These are based on research from the Child and Family Center at the University of Oregon.
1. Have good communication with the children. It is important to communicate in a calm and clear way that does not involve shouting.
2. Encourage children for positive behaviors on a regular basis. It is recommended to remind them of the times they succeeded.
3. Negotiate solutions with each other to handle problems instead of arguing.
4. Setting limits and following through with them. It is important to not only make rules, but keep them in effect.
5. Supervise their actions. Gather information for where they will be and when they will be home. It is also suggested to have children check in every few hours.
It is impossible to control every factor in a child’s life, especially as they grow up into young adults. NIDA director, Nora D. Volkow, M.D. writes about how it is difficult to speak about the dangers of marijuana use, “In part, because of the mixed messages being conveyed by the passage of medical marijuana laws and legalization of marijuana in some states.” Yet it is crucial drug abuse is spoken about to children. What happened with the Mudd family is unfortunate and shows how addiction and illicit substance use can be passed down to younger generations.
The parent’s role needs to be one of support and not one of anger or judgment. It is important to focus on that line of being too controlling or not controlling enough and realize that the children are on that same line. They see everything the parent’s do, through young eyes that parents used to have. Parents made mistakes when they were young and need to be there for their children when they make a mistake.
Sovereign Health Group in Fort Lauderdale, Florida treats addictions, mental health disorders and behavioral problems. Our facility grants the individual the ability to detoxify, rehabilitate and create a new social life. If you or a loved one needs help or information for treatment, reach out to us on our contact us page or call 866-269-2493 for more information.
Written by Nick Adams, Sovereign Health Group writer
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