Many parents worry about trying to keep their kids and teens safe in a world where drugs are so accessible.
We live in a world in which kids and teens hear about drugs and sex on a daily basis. The internet provides them with all kinds of imagery, their friends talk about subjects 11 year olds in the 80's would never have heard of and it's increasingly difficult to protect children and teens from adult content. Many parents worry about this - and so do I.
But there is one huge, significant benefit of being a parent in this kind of world:
We don't have to bring up the topic.
Fifty years ago, if a parent wanted to discuss the topic of casual sex and contraception - it would have been up to the parent to introduce it awkwardly, without any kind of context or triggers. Today, a parent that watches any M rated (and even sometimes PG!) movie with their preteen can casually say, "so what do you think is a good age to have sex with someone".
Fifty years ago, if a parent wanted to talk about drug use, they would need to initiate the conversation - and it would be patently clear that this conversation was directed at the teen. Today, a parent that is following any celebrity news online, or on the news, can easily ask "I wonder what makes them want to take drugs? What do you think"
There are so many potential triggers for important conversations around us every day. The news, celbrity gossip, what students at their school are doing, twitter feeds, facebook streams, billboards, magazines - they all provide fodder for amazing, meaningful and useful conversations.
Our job is just to be brave, refuse to bury our head in the sand - and just ask questions about what is all around us.
And we don't have to randomly binging up the conversation out of the blue. At least in some ways, this makes it easier than it was for our grandparents.
Thank heavens for small mercies. :)