Home > Teens > Teen Health and Safety > Drugs and Alcohol > Daughter's Email Mentions Drugs
|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Daughter's Email Mentions Drugs

Toddler and Teenager Expert Advice from Carleton Kendrick, Ed.M., LCSW

Q: In emails she writes to her friends, our 17-year-old daughter talks about buying and using drugs, but she denies that she really does it and says the emails are nothing.

We feel the situation should be taken seriously.

A: I agree with you. This situation is serious and demands action on your part. In making your decision, you might be served by the old adage, "If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it is a duck." Your 17-year-old daughter's e-mails about buying and using drugs are about precisely that -- buying and using drugs. I don't know how you came to be able to read your daughter's e-mails -- whether you were snooping on her or casually passing by while she was writing her friends on the computer. In either case, she has sent up a red flag to you about her taking drugs.

I am not surprised that she has denied the truth of her own e-mails. Denial is usually the first response when we are caught doing something wrong. If you approach her with a willingness to understand why she is debating using drugs or has been using drugs, as opposed to coming at her with anger, blame, and shame, you will open the door to what could become honest, meaningful, vital discussions about her drug use.

I doubt that she will continue to write or give you access to any of her drug-related e-mails. If she remains firm in her stance that these e-mails mean "nothing" and you cannot penetrate this shield, I would recommend family counseling and/or individual counseling for her. If you know the parents of these e-mail friends, you also need to decide whether or not to tell them what you have seen.


More on: Expert Advice

Carleton Kendrick has been in private practice as a family therapist and has worked as a consultant for more than 20 years. He has conducted parenting seminars on topics ranging from how to discipline toddlers to how to stay connected with teenagers. Kendrick has appeared as an expert on national broadcast media such as CBS, Fox Television Network, Cable News Network, CNBC, PBS, and National Public Radio. In addition, he's been quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, USA Today, Reader's Digest, BusinessWeek, Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, and many other publications.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

7 Tips for Reading Aloud to Babies & Toddlers
The AAP advises reading aloud to babies and toddlers because it boosts brain power and has many other benefits. Get some tips for making the most of story time with your tot!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

How to Survive Summer Boredom
When the kids are home all day, every day, summer boredom strikes hard and fast. Learn the best summer boredom busters and tips for surviving until September.

12 Birthday Party Favors that Won't Get Thrown Away
The next time you're planning a birthday, forgo the penny candy and cheap toys. Send your guests home with one of these fun and creative party favor ideas!