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A Parent's Influence

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Sometimes it is good for parents to be reminded they really do matter – that they have an ongoing and profound influence on the lives of their children, especially teenagers who may be susceptible to using drugs.

The latest reminder comes from sociologists at Brigham Young University who surveyed 5,000 junior high and high school students. Not surprisingly, the researchers quantified what common sense has suggested for years: involved parents make a difference, in this instance, among teens considered at high risk for using marijuana. Some of the conclusions:

-Teens who feel close to their fathers are less susceptible to peer influence to smoke pot.

-Teens’ perceptions that parents would catch them for breaking “house rules” matters more than how much parents actually know about their children’s friends and activities.

-If parents are aware of rule violations, they should confront their teenage children rather than let them think they are getting away with something.

-The most effective parenting approach combines love and support with clear rules and consequences.

It has been reported that 35 percent of U.S. high school seniors used marijuana in 2003. Considering the magnitude of the threat, KSL believes parents should never underestimate the role they do and must play in the lives of their children.

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