Do you know where your children are?
As it turns out most parents in Stettler do.
Last June, the Highway 12 Communities for Drug Prevention did a survey of close to 700 Stettler and area students between Grades 6 to 12.
Among the findings were that nine out of 10 students said parents know where they are and who they’re with when they aren’t at home, and want them to call if they are late. Nine out of 10 students also said their parents have clear rules about alcohol and drug use, school attendance and household chores.
Siobhan Atkey, the co-chair of the Highway 12 Communities for Drug Prevention, said she hopes the results from the survey encourage parents that they are on the right track.
“What we’re hoping to do is reinforce some of those good parenting skills that parents are already doing, so that they know they’re not alone in this and this is par for the course,” Atkey said.
She said they also hope the survey dispels the idea in parents’ minds that they are the only ones enforcing a curfew or other rules.
“Parenting is probably the toughest job out there,” Atkey said. She said parents also have to deal with technology and the constant stimulation that children have from it. She said it is all a matter of setting boundaries and expectations.
The survey was done by Parents Connect, a subcommittee of the Highway 12 Communities for Drug Prevention. The committee received $5,000 from the group formerly known as the Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission (AADAC), but is now Alberta Health Services — Addiction Services.
Research done by Alberta Health Services — Addiction Services suggests parental monitoring and family connections are the strongest factors in youth avoiding substance abuse.
Atkey said the idea that parents give adolescents and teenagers clear rules and keep track of where they are may sound like obvious stuff, but parents can sometimes doubt themselves. She said having local numbers will help in the discussion and she hopes families sit down and talk about the findings.