Wings to Fly and the Knowledge to Know Better

While watching a CNN interview with Donald Trump and his children recently, I was struck by something. No, not what you would assume one would be struck by when watching Donald Trump. I was struck by a story he told about his brother who died from alcoholism. Trump’s children were on stage with him and they recounted how from the time they were little, their dad would tell them every single morning “no drugs, no alcohol”. When asked why he did this every morning, Trump responded that he was fearful and just wanted to make sure that he didn’t neglect to let his children know where he stood on the subject.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard Donald Trump say he was fearful of anything. Fear in parenting is universal. Why wouldn’t we have fear?

The world seems like such a scary place to send our most precious humans into.

What if we haven’t taught our children everything they need to know?

What if we haven’t said the magic words that will keep them from experimenting with drugs and alcohol?

What if they do know the difference between right and wrong, but the peer pressure is too much?

What if it’s just one time, but that one time is life ending?

What if…

I could go on and on with the “what if’s”, and believe me, I have done so in my head a million times with my son who is embarking on his first year in high school.

I think back to my own childhood. I began to drink and experiment with marijuana at 12 years old. I ran hard and fast for 15 years, not missing a chance to self-medicate. Many parents who have a past of using drugs or alcohol at an early age worry that their children will follow in their footsteps, however, this doesn’t have to be the case. Even parents who chose the right path worry that their children may veer off the path they have laid for them.

But where does “what if” get us? “What if” contains anxiety, lack of control, mindlessness, and irrational thinking. “What if” keeps us in an emotional mind, and prevents us from operating from a wise mind.

As with anything in our lives, we must do our best to prepare, while being mindful that the outcome is out of our control – unless we lock our children in their rooms until they are thirty years old, of course. We MUST learn to trust them and the jobs we have done with them.

Communication is key. Hopefully, you have been building and encouraging communication since your children were small. If not, don’t fear…it is never too late to open that door.

  • Ask open ended questions.
  • Show true interest in their lives.
  • Encourage open conversations about drugs and alcohol.
  • Educate yourself on the fads of today concerning self-medicating.
  • Be honest.
  • Be mindful of the signs, and know where to look for them.

Many of the parents I come in contact with believe that “helicopter parenting” is the way to keep their children out of trouble. They believe that if they hold on tight and shelter their precious beings from the outside world that no harm will come to their children. Unfortunately, many times this behavior results in rebellion. That rebellion can take many forms, and self-medicating is just one of them.

Fear gets us nowhere. Parenting through fear gives us a false sense of control. However, if we stay “in the know” and make an effort to communicate consistently and openly with our children, we can operate with an educated mindset.

They say knowledge is power, and parenting without fear is no different.

Educate yourself on pill parties.

Educate yourself on Molly, Spice, Orange Crush and the like.

Know what a “Syrup Head” is.

Know what “Special K”, “Crank”, and “Triple C” are.

These are the drugs of choice in today’s world. No longer do we just have to think about traditional drugs and alcohol. The world has changed, and we must change with it.

When you were a teen, did you listen to people who don’t seem to know what they are talking about? Did you tune your parents out when they sounded behind the times? Our children are no different than we were at their age.

Be ahead of the game, so you know what to look for and you know how to talk about the dangers, without presenting it in a way that cause your children to tune you out.
When you parent through preparation, communication, and trust, you are parenting the whole child. You are giving them the respect they deserve by coming to them with knowledge, not fear.

Educating your child gives them wings to fly. Make it your goal to have the most educated child in the room when it comes to drugs and alcohol. Then, and only then, can they make the best choice for them.

Remember, knowledge is power. Our children are powerful beings, let’s equip them with wings to fly and trust that we have done our very best job in sending them out into the world.

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  • Cindy Nagle says:

    Kerry …You are an amazing person. I do not know you personally. My daughter in law is Roxy Sutton and I know your sister Wendy. I’m a Hoosier girl. I moved back to Indy after living in Manhattan years ago. I’ve had quite the life and 2 1/2 years ago I received a new liver. Spirit lead me to share my story to hopefully help others avoid my misfortunes and also my life story.I’m writing a book now but i’m finding that perhaps a better solution could possibly be a blog in addition to the book.I’m also an artist and as Roxy would tell you I have way to many irons in the fire. That’s just me. I find your blog to be so enlightening. I guess to get to my question is…Is there a format, company, template, free or pay for service … any advice on the subject. At some time I hope to become a public speaker on donation and possibly sell the book through a blog. Just don’t know what to do but I feel spirit led me to ask you. I know you are a busy woman in all your endeavors. If you have the time and can shed some light I would appreciate your advice.

    Cindy Nagle

    • kforeman says:

      Hi Cindy. I am just now seeing this, for some reason it didn’t go into my e-mail! Please feel free to e-mail me at I have heard a part of your story but not all of it. Roxy keeps us somewhat up to date on what is going on with those she loves! We love Roxy so much. I have many irons in the fire too, as I imagine, my brain works much like yours. Thanks so much for the kind words on my writing!! I will be honest, I don’t know a whole lot about this writing gig….just happened to be picked up and published by some big outlets…..but always wondering how I did it. 😉 I like WordPress, and would suggest BlueHost as your host….in case your blog gets big, Bluehost can support a lot of traffic. Last thing you want is to not be able to support the traffic if you get a viral post. E-mail me and let me know what other questions you have and I will do my best to answer them!! Good luck with your book, it sounds enlightening! What a warrior you are!

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