Lakshmi (mother of 2): We do talk about drugs because they come home and tell me about a video they watched about drug education at school and they said ‘Mum,’ you know, ‘how scary it was,’ you know, things like that. And [my son] has mentioned to me that there’s a lot of drugs that he sees around Parramatta, because he takes a bus from Parramatta to school. And he said ‘Mum, I see that all around me.’ And I said ‘Well, how do you deal with it?’ and he said ‘Look, I just ignore it.’ He said ‘There are people who have come and asked me if I want to buy.’ Things like that have happened to him, but he knows that he just has to ignore it. And he knows that it’s not good for him. He also, so far we’ve told him you always have to say ‘No’ for the first time. We’ve made that very clear to both of them.
Trish (mother of 2): We often go to talks about parenting teenagers, adolescence, alcohol. And we come home and discuss it. So there’s a lot of information around here about it.
Sam (age 13): We’ve watched lots of programs on drugs and alcohol and stuff, and it doesn’t seem, like, that embarrassing to talk about that with them.
Trish: I think he sees us being quite responsible and we do talk about alcohol use and drug use, and the fact that it might be cheaper to buy drugs than it is to buy alcohol; and that he could be put in that situation.
Sam: They’d obviously be worried about it in a way, but I don’t think they’re that worried about me, like, getting into things like that.
Mary (mother of 3): The neighbours up here [pointing up the street] are 16 and they don’t smoke, or drink alcohol or anything like that. Not visibly. So I think we’ve got some quite good role models just a few years ahead. So hopefully that helps.
Ted (father of 3): I suppose it’s just looking at what we do. It’s really observational at this point. How much do Mum and Dad drink? They’ll notice Dad has a beer occasionally; Mum will have a glass of wine or two. We don’t overindulge.
Mary: I would like to think that we’d be a family where kids would come here when they are 18 and have a party here, than me think the boys are out somewhere else, umm, so I like knowing their friends as well, so that they would have their drinks here. And not be out somewhere, smashed on the street and, you know, being worse behaved than if they were here.
Kristin (mother of 1): I worry that, you know, because kids do stupid stuff, when they’re out drinking and things like that. Like chucking rocks or running in front of cars or things like that, so I worry about that.
Trish: My biggest problem is that other parents just start condoning it at such a young age, just a ridiculous age, which then puts pressure on people who want to do the right thing, to feel that they’ve got to follow their lead. So, no means no, and there are good reasons for it.
Lakshmi: There is no question that they can ask me ‘Can I have it?’ before they are 18. They know the answer is no, and I will not let them, so they know that. And even when they went out, they know ‘Oh Mum won’t like it, Dad won’t like it. I’m not going to have it.’ And it’s not just because I don’t want it, I have sat them both down together and explained it to them why they shouldn’t be having alcohol.
Smriti (age 14): So it’s not because I’m scared of what my parents will think, I really believe that I should not be having alcohol before I am 18.