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Home / Parenting

I'm worried I'm losing my son to drugs

 Photo; Courtesy

My son is in Form Two in a day secondary school in Nairobi. He has been performing well in school and was formerly a well behaved boy until this year. He has changed and spends most of his time locked up in his room, he does not take care of himself. He has become disobedient and rude, not to mention that some valuable items are now missing from the house. I suspect he is taking drugs but I don’t know how to ascertain this. Please advice on how I can deal with him to put him back on track. He is the firstborn, so I am scared his siblings might follow his footsteps.{Helena}


Your take:

Where is that boy’s father? What is he doing to guide him through this phase? His father or a close relative such as an uncle or elder cousin are the only people who can help him. They may identify with him much more than you would. Encourage them to talk to him and give him the advice he needs, otherwise, he will get it from all the wrong places.

{Mercy Kagwiria}

He may be a troubled young man and you should try and break through to him. Try and get close to him so he can share his problems with you. You may also want to involve a professional counsellor to sort out this matter.

{Tasma Charles}

Yes, you are right to be worried but beware that he may be doing more or less than what you think. Make an effort to know who has access to his room. He may not be spending all his time there alone but also research on the characters of his friends.

 He is going through adolescence and he is bound to go to extremes. Find out if he is happy and satisfied but also check to see if you are giving him too much pocket money.

This is a big challenge to many parents and you may be spoiling him in the process of loving him. Try and understand his concerns and he may be the best son you ever had.

{Ouma Ragumo – Sifuyo}

Your son is already in the wrong group of men and the sooner you seek counselling for him, the better, it will be for all of you. The fact that he sells small items in the house is a clear sign that he is looking for money to buy hard drugs.

 Refer him to a counsellor or a spiritual leader and if possible, take him to a boarding school. He may be having too much freedom by being in the day school. You should be very strict when handling him so as to set an example to his other siblings since he is a firstborn.

 If he has a drug problem, you may also seek help from the responsible government agencies for correction purposes.

{Onyango Outha – Jauduny}

Your son is now a teenager on his way to adulthood. This is the stage that will make or break him. Start by investigating him and his friends to ascertain their behaviors and characters.

You may also want to get his father or uncle to play a more active role in his life in an attempt to understand him better. He needs your guidance.

{Atsiaya Wilberforce}


Counselor’s Take:

Helena, my assumption is that he is around 15 years of age, which automatically outs him in the teenage bracket. This is often a difficult phase especially for your first child because you are not really sure how to deal with him.

It is also different with girls as they get to this phase somewhat later in life. Nonetheless, there are quite a number of transformations taking place, which you ought to take note of so that you equip yourself to deal with them well.

One, at this age he is searching for his identity and personality. What this does, is that it sends him off behaving in totally different ways that may puzzle many especially a mother. In this search he will sometimes opt for solitude and will find everybody else a bother.

 You are also likely to notice a difference in the way he perceives rules where rules that were formerly followed will now generate resentment.

By so doing, be his not becoming a criminal, rather he is on the path of self-searching in an attempt to understand who he really is. This is also characterized by a push towards greater independence.

Two, his body is also undergoing changes both physical as well as hormonal. At this stage, his testosterone levels are relatively high and as such, he will have this urge to discover his sexuality often triggered by wet dreams and untold curiosity about sex.

He is also likely to engage mostly in masturbation as well as casual sex. Three, he may be experiencing peer pressure which is a common risk with teenagers but this can be easily addressed through counselling. Four, beware that he may also be desperately seeking your attention.

How do you deal with him? For starters, make deliberate effort to reaffirm his status as a growing and responsible young man. Give him greater independence and encourage him to be self-reliant. Further, encourage the elder men in his life (father, uncles, cousins) to pay more attention to him.

With them, he can share more about what he is going through than he would with you. Lastly, get documentaries about drug and substance abuse, HIV and delinquency in youth. Do not compel him to watch, rather leave them lying around and he will surely indulge himself. Many times, it is better to lead someone into discovering his ways than to tell them what their ways should be. This is the independence he desperately needs. {Taurus}

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