Talking about home drug tests and a home drug testing program might be awkward at first. How can I bring it up tactfully?
"There's something I want to talk with you about that is very important. Before we begin, I want you to know that I love you and that I am very proud of you. You're getting to the age where other kids, if they haven't already, are going to start exposing you to things like drugs, alcohol and tobacco. I know that you know better than to mess with that stuff and it's part of my job as a parent to make sure that you don't. Having been a teenager once myself, I know what kind of pressure friends can apply. So, I want to give you an excuse that will help you get rid of the pressure. All you have to do is tell them that you can't because your parents have home testing kits for those substances and that they test you regularly.
When you get older and apply for a job or want to join the military, you'll have to take drug and sometimes alcohol tests. You're at the age now where it's time we start doing them randomly at home too. Here’s why we’ve decided this and here’s how it’s going to work.
Life is about choices. If you make good choices you get rewards. If you make poor choices, there are consequences. When it comes to drug use we are going to have the same deal. When it comes to this stuff, we are going to test randomly and agree that there will be worthwhile rewards for your ability to resist peer pressure and make good choices as well as significant consequences if you don’t. I totally expect drug free results and it’s my hope that you look forward to test days since you’ll end up getting some cool stuff that you wouldn’t have gotten otherwise and I’m glad to get it for you in exchange for my peace of mind. Fair enough?
Step 1. Suggest and agree on appropriate rewards: Examples might include, CD/DVD/Xbox game/Cell phone privileges/Driving privileges/Internet privileges/Movie tickets, etc.
Step 2. Suggest and agree upon consequences and timelines for earning privileges back: (First offense, second offense, third offense)
Step 3: Put it in writing (Unnecessary misunderstandings and miscommunications won’t be helpful and can easily be prevented)
Step 4: Order your tests and launch our “TestMyTeen Randomizer” (which is a free service that randomly emails you when you are supposed to administer a test according to the test frequency parameters you decide are appropriate.
Note: To set up a proper home drug testing program, click here to view a checklist.
* For extremely volatile, irrational, and troubled teens, we encourage parents to seek counseling since substance abuse may be just one of many other significant problems.