Everyone has heard the warning signs or so called “Red Fags” to look for which could indicate possible trouble with your child or teenager such as alcohol and drug use, gang affiliations or criminal activities. These include poor grades, mood swings, excessive computer use, acting differently at times, unknown friends and not coming home at the agreed upon time, to mention just a few. But in reality, how likely are we to associate these activities with possible problems with your child or teenager?
Let’s face it, we have all heard the teacher is a pain, math is too hard and who hasn’t missed a curfew? We are all too eager to say that these signs are just normal and the child will grow out of it or that these things only happen to other kids.
But do you really know what your child is doing? A recent interview with parents from a diverse range of households revealed that the majority of the mothers knew little about their child’s activities, from other then what they have been told, and the fathers generally knew nothing of what they were doing outside of home activities.
Things are so different for teenagers growing up in 2011 then they were just 10 years ago. Drug use, gang activity, shoplifting and theft, school shootings and violent attacks are common in today’s headlines. I can tell you that back in the 70”s, when I was a teenager growing up in New Jersey during times of school integration and bussing, I never could have imagined in my wildest dreams these things being so common like they are today.
These days of advanced technology have been fast paced with teenagers maturing quickly, often at a rate that does not allow them to cope with issues. Teenagers also are more sexually active a lot earlier then they were 30 or 40 years ago. Drugs have always been common and most teenagers have had some exposure to them. However, unlike their parents, the drugs available today are far more toxic and addictive then anything their parents might have experienced.
Throw binge drinking into the mix of drugs and advertised and promoted promiscuity and you have a recipe for disaster. Too many young lives are lost in motor accidents or other innocent drivers are injured or killed, which can destroy a teens life forever.
Now is the time to take action to find out what your kids are really doing by putting them first and not jeopardizing their safety. My suggestion is a professional investigator, specializing in teenager and child investigations. Don’t confuse this with not trusting your child. It is often not them, but their unawareness of others who pray on them.
Next, I will outline for you the steps to take without jeopardizing trust and the love you have for your family.

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