Pubdate: Fri, 08 May 2009
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2009 The Ottawa Citizen
Author: Harvey Davey


Re: Why I wept for my beautiful boy, May 2.

The agony parents go through when their child gets into trouble with 
alcohol or drug use is like no other. They fear every worst-case 
scenario and they feel terribly alone.

For six years, I counselled parents of children whose use became 
abuse and sometimes addiction. Like the father in the Citizen 
article, they could all identify things that they or others thought 
were the cause(s) of the child's problem.

When a child is injured in an accident, we look after the child first 
- -- before looking for the cause of the accident. When a child is 
injured by drug abuse, the same principle applies.

Kids who get into trouble with any drug, even legal and prescription 
drugs, need help first. A big part of that help is to hold them 
responsible for their behaviours. It does not mean becoming a police 
officer, a warden or a judge. But it means allowing them to safely 
suffer the negative consequences of their using behaviour.

For a parent to be able to allow them to suffer requires a loving 
detachment that is not a usual part of parenting courses.

It requires age-appropriate preparation and education for parents. It 
is not about abandoning parental responsibility. It is about helping 
kids learn from their experience while protecting -- not rescuing -- them.

Ottawa is fortunate to have the services of Rideauwood, The Dave 
Smith Centre and other agencies which offer help and support to 
parents. Many beautiful boys and girls have been "returned" to moms 
and dads through their efforts.

Harvey Davey,

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