Sure, it's a loaded question—especially when you factor in: genetics, circumstance, peer pressure and availability.
But according to expert , who presented Tuesday night in Hastings, parenting undoubtedly comes into play in determining which teens are most at risk for abusing drugs and alcohol.
Throughout his presentation, Nerney stressed the importance of setting zero-alcohol tollerence rules, finding out where kids are going at night and even calling ahead before teens go to parties to make sure they'll be supervised and not supplied with alcohol.
Near the end of the presentation, HHS 12th Grader Eliza Cadoux asked: "But isn't it also true that if parents keep their kids on a tight leash, they'll go even crazier when they get to college"—and drink more?
Nerney responded that the two most dangerous types of parenting are:
- Laissez Faire parenting—in which parents assert too little authority
- Helicopter parenting—being too rigid and restrictive
What do you think: What type of parenting is most effective at keeping teens from engaging in dangerous and unhealthy risk-taking activities? With all the factors that are out of parents' control, is there really anything they can do?