Drug Testing at Home.
A reader on my blog, who wishes to remain anonymous, asked me how they can drug test their teenage son without starting World War 3 in the home. Here is the thing, you really can’t.
I will answer this question, at the end of this chapter, with a way to drug test your teen without them knowing. However, I strongly suggest that you read this whole chapter and decide for yourself the best path to take with your teen.
I don’t know when “My way or the highway” became a real option in parenting, but it’s simply unacceptable. Your teen needs to know that when it comes to serious situations like drugs, sex, alcohol, and other more serious offenses, that it’s “My way or nothing else until it’s my way!”
If you’ve gotten to a point where you need to drug test your child at home, these tests should not even be presented as an option.
Instead, I suggest that if you suspect drug use and want to test your teen then you use a very simple & direct approach. Sit your teen down in a non-threatening manner and tell them, “I have some concerns regarding drug use. I don’t want to put you in a position to lie to me about it, one way or the other. I need you to immediately choose to cooperate with me and take the test in order to put my fears at ease.”
This statement asks the teen to help you, while at the same time giving them the illusion of choice. If and when the teen refuses it’s important that you know how far you’re going to go with enforcing this. No TV, no phone, grounded, these things only work if you have the ability to enforce them.
Be relentless. Nothing gets done until you get exactly what you want. No exceptions. No compromise. Your teen does not have the choice of compliance or leaving. “Do it or get out.” is ...
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...is done as quickly as possible.
Your teen might question why the water is off, or if the toilet is broken, and it’s your call how to address this situation. Remember, this is likely only going to work one time, so if they become aware of what is going on, your cover has been blown.
This is not a guaranteed way to get results, sometimes the water in the bowl is diluted, sometimes chemicals and cleaners in the bowl will make it impossible to test, but if you’re trying for secrecy, this is one way that I have seen it done successfully.
Personally, I think that there is no need for secrecy when asking your child if they are using drugs. A quick and easy test can reassure a parent, and a simple explanation of why the test is happening in the first place is usually enough to placate an annoyed teen. Hiding your parenting techniques is a sure fire way to build mistrust.
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