Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,--Hebrews 12:1

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Parents: Talk to your teens before New Year's Eve!

Saturday night is New Year's Eve, a night when even many who never party any other time indulge. It's almost expected that everyone gets trashed to usher in the New Year, even high school kids.

Parents, start now talking to your kids about the dangers of drinking and drugs. Talk to them every day, as often as you have the chance, before they leave the house on December 31. Tell them about the dangers of teen drinking and drug abuse.

It wasn't New Year's Eve, but less than a year ago, on January 15, 2011, our 17-year-old daughter was murdered by a drunken, stoned, underage fool. The booze and the weed he had taken in that night combined to impair his judgment and fuel his anger that night. In his stupor, he pulled out a sawed-off shotgun and fired, ending the life of Amanda Marie Allison only four days before she would have turned 18, only four months before she would have graduated from high school.

She was gone. Only a few minutes earlier she had texted a friend to tell her she was "having fun," then she was dead.

Most everyone knows the dangers of drinking and driving, for teens and adults. But far fewer ever consider the lesser known dangers like those that took my daughter's life last January. Honestly, we didn't take those dangers seriously either, before Amanda was murdered.

Drinking and drug abuse among teens can have drastic, permanent consequences. We learned this the hard way. It's not harmless fun, not a rite of passage, not excusable behavior to be laughed off and grown out of. Even if your kid never gets behind the wheel under the influence, even if he doesn't get in the car with another who does, EVEN IF YOUR KID NEVER TAKES A DRINK OR SMOKES A JOINT, the danger is real!

Too many think they can control themselves under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Maybe they can and maybe they can't. Too many, even those who don't take a drink or take any other drug, think parties crowded with drunks and druggies are fun and cool places to be. Too many think drinking and drugs only hurt the person indulging.

All wrong! So very wrong!

We learned the hard way. Please don't believe and fall victim to those lies. Talk to your kids before it's too late.

Amanda was somewhere she shouldn't have been. She thought she could handle herself, and she thought there was no danger that night. Remember, only minutes before her death she was "having fun." She never saw the danger posed by a drunken, stoned, underage 19-year-old. She never considered his impaired state of mind would lead him to do something so irrational, so violent, so deadly. She thought she could handle herself and control the situation.

Now she's dead.

It wasn't her drinking that killed her and the young man who took her to the party says she wasn't doing drugs. She thought she was okay, that she was in control. But she couldn't control the fool who killed her.

Don't let your teenagers leave this New Year's Eve without warning them. Do everything in your power to keep them from falling prey to the dangers of underage drinking and drug abuse. Don't think these parties are just part of growing up. Don't think they're harmless.

Underage drinking and teen substance abuse is not harmless and not just a stage to be grown out of. Some kids don't survive to grow out of it.

"Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it."--Proverbs 22:6

I used to think of this scripture every time we caught one of our kids doing something wrong. I thought about all of my bad decisions and all the lessons I learned the hard way, and how I'd grown up and learned from them. Amanda wasn't a bad kid. She drank some and so did I when I was her age. I always thought the day would come, looked forward to it actually, when she would grow up and grow out of thinking it was fun and cool. She didn't.

She never had the chance because that fool killed her. There's no guarantee that any kid will get old, but their chances are reduced by drinking, drugs, or even attending parties where these activities take place when they don't participate. Amanda never had the chance to grow old.

Talk to your kids. Tell them. Warn them. Convince them.

I promise you don't want to walk a mile in our shoes.

Talk to your teens before New Year's Eve. Please!



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3 comments:

  1. I remember last year when my daughter attended vilonia high school what a sad time it was the loss of such a beautiful life . I pray for all our children that they all make good decisions.

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  2. Thank you I needed to read that this morning. I miss her everyday there is not a second or day go by that she is not on my mind.. Thank you for all the hard work your doing. God Bless you.. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

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  3. Thank you (John and Janice) for showing the love of Jesus to others even through your pain! You are such caring people and you are surely glorifying God! I continue to pray for your family.

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