Vanessa’s Note: I read this amazing article by researcher, Nancy Darling at Psychology Today and got her permission to repost it here for our readers. Enjoy:
Karen Bogenschneider of the University of Wisconsin Madison, wrote a piece called “Other Kids Drink, But Not My Kid.” She found that although all the high school students in the study drank, only one third of parents were aware of it. More surprising, many parents knew – or suspected – that teens in general drank and that many of their own child’s friends drank. But not THEIR kid.
Knowledge mattered. Mothers who knew their kids drank talked to them more frequently about the risks of drinking – particularly about drunk driving.
The double bind of parental trust
Parents are in a bit of a bind when it comes to trust. It is important to kids that their parents trust them. In fact, it’s one of the markers of a good parent-child relationship. In addition, feeling trusted seems to inspire kids to behave in ways that will maintain parental trust. Good kidsnare trusted. The more they’re trusted, the more they try to live up to that trust, and the more trustworthy they become.