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Becoming Your Daughter's Ally in Responding to Peer Pressure to Drink, Smoke, and Use Drugs

Written by Sharon HershAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Sharon Hersh

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On Sale: August 11, 2010
Pages: 256 | ISBN: 978-0-307-55135-1
Published by : Shaw Books Religion-Business-Forum
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ABOUT THE BOOK ABOUT THE BOOK
ABOUT THE AUTHOR ABOUT THE AUTHOR
PRAISE PRAISE
READER'S GUIDE READER'S GUIDE
Synopsis

Synopsis

Help Your Daughter Resist Peer Pressure–
Even When You’re Not Around.

A national survey in 2001 indicated that in the U.S. one-fourth of the high school seniors have problems with drugs and alcohol, nearly two-thirds of teenagers experiment with drugs before finishing high school, and fifty-six percent of seventeen-year-olds know at least one drug dealer at school. Studies also indicate that when a girl chooses to use substances, peer pressure is the biggest reason why.

Many parents believe the best they can do is to teach their daughters right from wrong and hope for the best. But there is more that you can do. Because while peer pressure may be the biggest influence for girls who choose to use substances, parental involvement is the single most important factor for those who decide not to.

The dangers of substance abuse can actually bring you and your daughter closer.

Whether you want to help your daughter resist the overwhelming pressures to drink, smoke, and use drugs; have discovered or suspect that your daughter may be using substances; or want to help her develop a strong and positive identity in response to negative peer pressure, this book shows how the lure of today’s teen “party” culture puts you in your most powerful position ever to connect with and influence your daughter.
Sharon Hersh|Author Q&A

About Sharon Hersh

Sharon Hersh - Mom, everyone else does!
Sharon Hersh is a licensed professional counselor and the director of Women’s Recovery & Renewal, a ministry of counseling, retreat, and support services for struggling women. She is an adjunct professor in Addictions Counseling at Reformed Theological Seminary, Mars Hills Graduate School, and Colorado Christian University. She is the author of several books, including Bravehearts, “Mom, I Feel Fat!” “Mom, I Hate My Life!” and “Mom, Sex Is No Big Deal!” She is a sought-after speaker for conferences and retreats. Sharon lives with her family in Lone Tree, Colorado.


Author Q&A

STUDIES INDICATE THAT WHEN A GIRL CHOOSES TO USE SUBSTANCES, PEER PRESSURE IS THE BIGGEST REASON WHY.  WHAT OPTIONS ARE LEFT FOR ME AS A MOTHER WHO WANTS TO PROTECT HER DAUGHTER FROM THE DANGERS OF DRINKING AND DRUG USE?

FIRST OF ALL, DON'T USE ALL OF YOUR ENERGY TO ENGAGE IN AN ALL-OUT WAR AGAINST YOUR DAUGHTER'S FRIENDS.  SHE MAY JOIN HER FRIENDS TO FIGHT YOU.  
OFFER YOUR DAUGHTER AND HER FRIENDS AN OPEN MIND, AN OPEN HEART, AND AN OPEN HOME.  THESE IDEAS ARE DEVELOPED IN CHAPTER 3 OF "MOM, EVERYONE ELSE DOES!"  JUST AS PEERS CAN NEGATIVELY INFLUENCE GIRLS, STUDIES INDICATE THAT A GIRL WHO MAKES GOOD DECISIONS ABOUT DRUGS AND ALCOHOL RELIES ON HER CLOSEST FRIENDS FOR SUPPORT.  WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ENCOURAGE AND FACILITIATE YOUR DAUGHTER DEVELOPING GOOD FRIENDSHIPS.
FINALLY, IF YOUR DAUGHTER HAS FALLEN IN WITH "BAD COMPANY" (CHAPTER 9), DON'T LOOK THE OTHER WAY.  YOU CAN SET APPROPRIATE CONSEQUENCES AND TAKE "EXTREME MEASURES" IF NECESSARY TO USE YOUR INFLUENCE TO KEEP YOUR DAUGHTER FROM DESTRUCTIVE PEER INFLUENCES.


WHAT STEPS CAN I TAKE TO KEEP MY DAUGHTER FROM DEFYING ME AND HANGING OUT WITH FRIENDS I'VE TOLD HER I BELIEVE ARE BAD INFLUENCES?

FIRST, DON'T LOOK THE OTHER WAY.  STRESS TO HER THAT YOU UNDERSTAND THE VALUE OF FRIENDS AND THAT JUST AS YOU WOULD NOT LOOK THE OTHER WAY IF SHE BECAME ATTACHED TO DESTRUCTIVE SUBSTANCES SUCH AS DRUGS OR ALCOHOL, YOU WILL NOT IGNORE HER FRIENDS IF THEY INFLUENCE HER TO MAKE BAD DECISIONS.
SECOND, DON'T MAKE HER FRIENDS THE ENEMY.  INSTEAD, FOCUS ON THE BEHAVIORS YOUR DAUGHTER AND HER FRIENDS ENGAGE IN TOGETHER.
THIRD, DO SET APPROPRIATE CONSEQUENCES.  WHEN YOUR DAUGHTER GETS INTO TROUBLE WITH A PARTICUALR FRIENDS OR GROUP OF FRIENDS, IT IS APPROPRIATE TO SUSPEND OR REGULAR ACTIVITIES WITH THE FRIEND OR GROUP.  LET YOU DAUGHTER KNOW THAT SHE CAN REESTABLISH THE RELATIONSHIP AS SHE WORKS TO BUILD TRUST WITH YOU BY MAKING GOOD CHOICES.  
fINALLY, DO PREPARE TO TAKE EXTRAORDINARY MEASURES.  PEERS CAN HAVE AN EXTRAORDINARILY POWERFUL GRIP ON AN ADOLESCENT, AND PARENTS MUST SOMETIMES TAKE EXTREME MEASURE TO LOOSEN THE GRIP.  YOU'LL FIND STORIES AND IDEAS IN CHAPTER 9 OF "MOM, EVERYONE ELSE DOES!"


MY DAUGHTER DOESN'T THINK I UNDERSTAND HER WORLD.  HOW DO I KNOW I'M GETTING THROUGH TO HER WHEN SHE SEEMS TO DISMISS EVERYTHING I SAY?

START BY ACKNOWLEDGING THAT YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND HER WORLD.  BE CURIOUS -- NOT JUST IN TIMES OF CONFLICT OR CRISIS, BUT AT OTHER TIMES -- ABOUT HER FRIENDS, THE PRESSURE SHE FEELS, THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY ABOUT HER WORLD.  EDUCATE YOURSELF SO THAT YOU KNOW MORE ABOUT THE REALITIES OF DRUGS AND ALCOHOL IN THE ADOLESCENT WORLD THAN SHE DOES.  YOU CAN USE THIS INFORMATION IN MOMENTS OF TRUTH WHILE TALKING WITH YOUR DAUGHTER.  MOMENTS OF MEANING CAN COME WHEN YOU ACT ON THE TRUTH YOU KNOW.  CHAPTER 4 OF "MOM, EVERYONE ELSE DOES!" GIVES LOTS OF INFORMATION AND IDEAS FOR USING MOMENTS OF TRUTH AND MOMENTS OF MEANING TO HELP YOUR DAUGHTER GAIN THE RESOLVE TO SAY NO TO PEER PRESSURE AND TO DEVELOP HER OWN IDENTITY AS SHE MAKES CHOICES.  THESE ARE MOMENTS THAT MATTER.  THESE MOMENTS CONFIRM TO YOUR DAUGHTER THAT YOU ARE COURAGEOUS ENOUGH AND COMMITTED ENOUGH TO HANG IN THERE WITH HER NO MATTER WHAT SHE SAYS OR DOES.

HOW SHOULD I RESPOND WHEN MY TEENAGE DAUGHTER ASKS, "MOM, HAVE YOU EVER TRIED DRUGS?"

YOU NEED TO OFFER YOUR STORY CAREFULLY.  IF YOU SENSE THAT YOU DAUGHTER IS WANTING TO GATHER FURTHER "EVIDENCE" TO SUPPORT HER CASE TO USE DRUGS OR ALCOHOL, YOU MIGHT SAY, "I WANT TO TELL YOU ABOUT MY OWN EXPERIENCE, AND I WILL WHEN I SENSE THAT YOU ARE READY."
OFFER YOUR STORY TO FORM AN ALLIANCE -- TO GIVE YOUR DAUGHTER A SENSE THAT SHE IS NOT ALONE, AND THAT YOU UNDERSTAND HER STRUGGLE.  OPFFER YOUR STORY TO GIVE YOUR DAUGHTER HOPE -- THAT YOU HAVE LEARNED FROM YOUR EXPERIENCES.  
YOU WILL BE READY TO OFFER YOUR STORY, WHEN YOU ARE CERTAIN THAT YOU ARE A WOMAN OF EXPERIENCE, WISDOM, COMPASSION, AND STRENGTH.  WHEN YOU TELL YOUR STORY WITHIN THAT FRAMEWORK IT WILL BE POWERFUL IN FORMING AN ALLIANCE WITH YOUR DAUGHTER.

WHAT DEFINES "HAND-IN-HAND MOTHERING"?  WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BECOME MY DAUGHTER'S ALLY?

AN ALLY IS ONE WHO UNDERSTAND THE BATTLE, WHO KNOWS THE ENEMY, AND WHO IS WILLING TO TRY ANYTHING TO STRENGTHEN THE ALLIANCE.  THE HAND IN HAND MOM USES KNOWLEDGE FOR THE PURPOSE OF UNDERSTANDING HER DAUGHTER.  SHE CREATE LOGICAL CONSEQUENCES THAT GIVE HER DAUGHTER HOPE THAT SHE CAN SURVIVE HER PRESENT TROUBLES AND HAVE A CHANCE TO BEGIN AGAIN IN THE FUTURE.  SHE HELPES  HER DAUGHTER FIND THE RIGHT HELP AND IS INVOLVED IN THE PROCESS.  SHE USES HER PAST MAISTAKES AND GROWTH TO HELP HER DAUGHTER FEEL LESS ALONE AND TO GIVE HER A MOMDEL FOR LEARNING FROM HER OWN MISTAKES.  SHE PERPETUALLY OFFERS HER UNCONDITIONAL PRESENSE TO HER DAUGHTER WHILE ALLOWING HER DAUGHTER TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR HER OWN ACTIONS. SHE PRAYERFULLY DISTINGUISHES BETWEEN HER RESPONSIBILITY, HER DAUGHTER'S RESPONSIBILITY, AND GOD'S RESPONSIBILITY.
YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE TO BANISH DRUGS AND ALCOHOL FROM THE ADOLESCENT WORLD, TO MAKE EVERYTHING BETTER FOR YOUR DAUGHTER, OR TO ERASE HER TEMPTATIONS AND STRUGGLES.  YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE TO BE WITH HER, AND IT IS POSSIBLE TO BE PRESENT WITH GRACE, COURAGE, CREATIVITY, HOPE AND VISION, EVEN IN THE SCARY CONTEXT OF SUBSTANCE USE.
"MOM, EVERYONE ELSE DOES" OFFER SUPPORT, IDEAS, AND ENCOURAGEMENT.

Praise

Praise

Praise for “Mom, Everyone Else Does!”


“Real issues, true stories, and wise advice by a counselor and mom who’s “been there.”
If you have a teenage daughter, RUN buy “Mom, Everyone Else Does!”. The mother-daughter questions throughout each chapter are worth the price of the whole book!”
–Susan Alexander Yates, author of And Then I Had Teenagers: Encouragement for Parents of Teens and Preteens

“My wife and I have been raised by two daughters and one son, and each struggled with the power of peer pressure. For that matter, we do too.  The perspective of one’s community is a powerful force for good or ill, and this book is an honest and wise walk through the minefield of adolescent temptation.  Sharon Hersh is the guide I’d most want to help me name the war and encourage me to live well in the face of the struggle.  She has walked the same miles with her children, and as a brilliant therapist she has guided others like us with bold love and fierce compassion.  If you have daughters or sons, this is wisdom you cannot afford to miss.”
–Dan B. Allender Ph.D., President, Mars Hill Graduate School and author of The Wounded Heart, Bold Love, How Children Raise Parents, and To Be Told

“Sharon Hersh, a trusted counselor, author, and mother, offers a wise, courageous, and practical guide for connecting and shaping the hearts of mothers and their daughters. If you are a mother of a teenage girl, this book will change you and your relationship.”
–Scott Coupland, Associate Professor of Counseling, Reformed Theological Seminary

“I read everything Sharon Hersh writes. As the director of a large Christian counseling agency, I make her books a standard resource. In "Mom, Everyone Else Does!" Hersh dispels the myth of protection Christian parents cling to and helps us confront the realities of today’s addiction-prone world. By speaking to both moms and daughters, Sharon seeks to build a strong relationship in sound, practical ways that work. When it comes to teenage peer pressure, this book will help you become your daughter’s strongest ally!”
–Gregory L. Jantz, Ph.D., Certified Eating Disorder Specialist and Founder of The Center for Counseling & Health Resources, Inc.
Discussion Questions

Discussion Guides

1. Chapter 1
A Call to Courage


Suddenly all of the statistics and stories come home — literally. Even if your daughter does not smoke, drink, or use drugs, many of her friends do, and that means she is impacted by substance use.
As you read the statistics and stories about substance use, what are you most afraid of? Why?

2. Have you believed that substance abuse is something that happens to other people? What makes you and your family immune? What makes you vulnerable?

3. One thing is certain: Help for girls who abuse substances is found among women who understand the unique female vulnerability to drugs and alcohol and who live authentically powerful lives that model how to say no to the overwhelming peer pressure teens face.
Do you trust yourself in mothering a girl facing peer pressure to use drugs and alcohol? Why? Why not?

4. How would a change in perspective — believing you are the perfect mother for your daughter — change your mothering?
What makes you and your daughter a “good match” for one another?
What makes you feel like you are not a good match?

5. Hand-in-hand mothering is simply a willingness to learn as many ways as you can of responding to your daughter out of a heart filled with limitless love for her.
Talk about your willingness to learn and grow as a mother. What kind of mother do you long to be?

Share some of your heart’s longings for your daughter. Ask another mother to pray for you specifically with regard to one of your longings.

6. Do you see mothering in the midst of peer pressure a holy calling?

How have you viewed mothering? Calling? Duty? Burden? Privilege?
How did your mother view mothering?
How do the people in your sphere of influence view mothering?

What would change in your heart if you viewed mothering in the midst of the unique challenges of adolescence as a holy calling?

7. How does your view of the teenage challenges of peer pressure impact your mothering?

8. Chapter 2
Becoming Your Daughter’s Ally


However you characterize your mothering, one helpful way to evaluate it is to notice where you place yourself in relationships to your daughter.
After reading about the mothering styles from above, beneath, at a distance, and hovering, what do you think is your primary mothering style?

Share some of your favorite motherisms.

What do you like about your style of mothering?
What would you like to change?

9. Do challenges with regard to drugs and alcohol use change your mothering style?
How? Why?

10. But don’t forget the final resting place for the hand-in-hand mom is in your relationship with God.
Do you believe that God stands above you, judging and condemning you? How might this perspective affect your mothering?

11. Do you believe that God is beneath you, unable to help in the overwhelming problems of your life? How might this belief influence your mothering?

12. Do you believe that God is distant — unmoved by your needs and struggles? How might this belief translate into your mothering?

13. Do you believe that God is hovering to immediately undo our misdeeds or take over? How might this perspective of God influence your mothering?

14. Chapter 3
You, Your Daughter, and the Peer-Pressure Cooker


Peer pressure is a power that overrides family values, disregards legal consequences, and pulls at every teenager in America.
How does the power of peer influence make you feel? Afraid? Angry? Hopeless? Why?

15. How do you feel you compare to your daughter’s peers? What could make your influence more attractive? More powerful?

16. Girls are especially susceptible to peer pressure.

What have been some of your daughter’s response to peer pressure?
What have been some of yours?

How did you respond to your daughter’s behaviors?
How did she respond to your response?

17. The longing to be cool and the willingness to drink or use drugs to obtain cool status reveal a need to be special.
What response does the previous sentence provoke in you?
Talk about ways at different ages that your daughter has demonstrated a need to be special.

Brainstorm about some ways that you can offer your daughter affirmation and support that tells her that you think she’s special.

18. Adolescents use drugs and alcohol for a number of complex reasons, but there is one reason that permeates them all: Teenagers want to belong.
What are some ways that your daughter has tried to belong?
What are some ways that you have tried to belong?

19. Talk about some ways that you can offer an open heart, mind, and home to your daughter?
Pray together that you will be able to give these important gifts of belonging to your daughters and that they will receive them.

20. Of all the factors related to peer pressure, the most powerful one is the hunger to feel okay with oneself.
What contributes to your daughter’s self-esteem? What diminishes it?
What contributes to your self-esteem? What diminishes it?

21. Have you believed that others were responsible for your self-esteem?
What is your response to the idea that you have to give self-esteem to yourself?

22. How can you help your daughter look for and develop her own self-esteem?

23. Chapter 4
Entering Your Daughter’s World


Moments of truth — you might not feel brave, but ignorance will certainly not give you greater courage. Once you are not afraid to know what is going on, you will be ready to look at why it’s going on.
How have you been afraid or ignorant of the adolescent culture and the pressure to use drugs and alcohol?
How has your daughter been impacted by your perspective?

24. Confronting the truth about drugs and alcohol in the adolescent world and cultivating compassion for the meaning behind the substance use is a powerful combination of truth and empathy.
Talk about your response to the previous sentence.
What has kept you from being compassionate toward teenagers? Toward your daughter?
How do you respond to people who are not empathetic with you? How do you respond to people who empathize with you?

25. A mother who wants to be her daughter’s ally in confronting and overcoming the temptations to use alcohol and drugs must be willing to hang in there.
What tempts you to give up on your daughter?
What inspires you to hang in there?

26. Talk about ways that you can encourage one another when the going gets tough.

27. Do you believe that your daughter needs you to confront and overcome peer pressure? Why? Why not?

28. How can you demonstrate your commitment to your daughter — no matter what?

29. Rather than throwing our hands up in despair over the power of peer pressure or locking your daughter in her room until she turns twenty-one, you can respond to the reality of peer influence in ways that can strengthen your relationship with your daughter rather than tear it apart.
Do you take your daughter’s bond with her peers personally?
If so, how can you check yourself and stop doing this?

Share some of the positive peer influences you’ve seen in your daughter’s life.
If there are none, how could you help her to meet more positive peers?

How have your daughter’s peers influenced her attitude about substance use?
Is there any way you can direct that influence — positive or negative — for your daughter’s good?

30. Chapter 5
“Mom, It’s No Big Deal!”


I prayed that God would enliven my heart and soul to know — really know — why it is such a big deal for our children to use drugs and alcohol.
Have you ever been confronted with the question, “Mom, why are you making such a big deal out of this?” What was your response? How did your daughter receive your answer?

31. Why do you think it’s a big deal for your daughter to try/use drugs and alcohol?

32. Using drugs and alcohol is a big deal because it kills faith.

When your daughter was a little girl, what were her dreams for herself and her life?
What has altered those dream? Why?

33. What has diminished your faith in your daughter?
How does your faith/lack of faith impact her?

34. How can you help your daughter recapture faith for herself and her life?

35. Using drugs and alcohol is a big deal because it distorts hope.

Hope is what pulls us forward. What is your hope?
What is your hope for your daughter? How do you communicate this to her?

36. When you are disappointed, stressed, or hurting, where do you turn for hope?
When your daughter is disappointed, stressed, or hurting, where does she turn?

37. How can you communicate your hope in God to your daughter?
Pray together that you will be hopeful mothers, trusting in the God of all Hope.

38. Using drugs and alcohol is a big deal because it limits love.
Why do you think using drugs and alcohol is a big deal to God?
Read the quotation from my pastor on pages 99-100. What is your response to his answer is to why sin is a big deal to God?

39. Has your sin ever hurt your relationship with God? How? What restored the relationship?
How could this give and take love relationship with God influence your mothering?

40. Do not allow the Enemy to win twice in this war on drugs and alcohol. Do not let the Enemy of love keep you from giving love to your daughter, no matter how far she has wandered.
How is the Enemy tempting you to withhold from your daughter?
Pray together that you will be able to give love to your daughters — no matter what.

41. Chapter 6
“Mom, I’m Only Smoking Cigarettes!”


Helping our daughters develop a positive body image and using the mother-daughter alliance to come up with healthy strategies for weight control can help our daughters stay away from smoking.

What is your body image? What has contributed to the development of your body image?

What do you think is your daughter’s body image? What influences her?

42. The truth is that many parents have given up on being any sort of an ally for their smoking teenagers.
Have you given up in this battle? Why? Why not?

43. What makes this a battle worth fighting?

44. So how do we get from here to there — from freaking out over cigarettes to setting our daughters free to love and be loved?
Are you embarrassed at the thought of your daughter smoking? Why?
How does your shame influence her?

45. Have you been courageous in asking your daughter about the temptation to smoke? Why? Why not?
Pray together that God will increase your courage.

46. Brainstorm about creative conversation-starters about the subject of smoking.

47. How curious are you about why your daughter is or isn’t tempted to smoke? What hinders your curiosity?

48. When you see smoking teenagers, are you compassionate? Why? Why not?

49. Read Cathy’s letter on page 121. What is your response?
Consider writing a similar letter to your daughter. Read your letters to one another in the group.

50. If your daughter smokes, the best thing you can do is to quit smoking yourself.

Have you tried to quit smoking? Talk about the difficulties of quitting.
Brainstorm about ways that the group can help you.

Ask another mother to pray for you with regard to this change.

51. Chapter 7
“Mom, It’s Just a Beer or Two!”

Many girls develop a relationship with alcohol.
What is your response to the above statements?
Have you ever felt like you had a relationship with a substance, behavior, or experience?

52. How can you connect your story/experience to your daughters?

53. Tell your stories to one another and brainstorm together about how your experiences can be powerful in connecting with your daughters/

54. When you merge the promise of connection, the relaxation of inhibitions, and the peer-pressure invitation of girlfriends and boyfriends, you have a potent concoction that lures many girls into the beginning of a relationship with a potentially life-altering, even deadly substance.
What is the state of your daughter’s relationships? Might she be vulnerable to alcohol to enhance or improve her relationships?

55. Have you ever used alcohol to ease relationships?

Talk about a fear, longing, or hurt that your daughter might be suppressing. Brainstorm about ways that you could help your daughter to get her feelings out.

56. When a girl learns that alcohol makes her a part of “the club,” that she can talk to anyone more easily, that she feels at ease in all sorts of situations, it’s difficult to convince her that prayer or meditation or positive self-talk is a better solution.
Does your daughter’s personality type or past painful experiences in relationships make her vulnerable to alcohol?

57. How can you influence your daughter to endure awkward or painful moments in relationships?
What helps you?

58. Do you believe that enduring hard times and waiting for more is worthwhile? Why? How can you communicate this to your daughter?

59. Our brains were wired to crave and chase, but God intended for us to crave those things that bring us life (relationship with Him and others) and chase them as we seek meaning, generosity, wisdom, compassion, and creativity.
Remember when your daughter was little and she craved you?

60. What keeps you from demonstrating a craving love for your daughter?

61. Remember when your daughter was little, she didn’t just crave you. She chased you.
How can you give your sometimes annoying, corny, pesky, loving, creative presence to your daughter

62. Brainstorm together about craving and chasing behaviors in mothering. Commit to share next week your renewed attempts at these behaviors with your daughters.

63. Chapter 8
“Mom, Everyone Tries Drugs!”


Teenagers who use drugs are seeking something spiritual, which is both good and bad news.
How have you observed your daughter’s spiritual hunger?

64. Have your daughter’s choices made her particularly vulnerable to the influence of the Enemy? How?

65. Take time right now to pray together for your daughter.

66. The stigma for drug abuse from family, friends, and church can keep our daughters from healing and developing self-esteem and true spirituality.
Does use of or experimentation with drugs hold a stigma for you? Why?

67. Have you ever thought, “You can’t do this to me?” when your daughter has experimented with drugs or alcohol?
How might this perspective impact your relationship?

68. Your daughter’s drug use is an opportunity to build your own faith, to trust in a Power greater than you are, and to wait for God’s deliverance.
What is your response to the previous sentence?
How can your daughter’s choices build your faith?
How can you demonstrate that your are trusting God with your daughter?
Share a story about a time when you left your daughter in God’s hands.

What is the most difficult part of waiting while your daughter experiments with drugs or alcohol?
How can other mothers pray for you during this difficult time?

69. Read the Establishing Clear Consequences on pg. 162.

What have been your consequences for drug or alcohol use?
What has been effective about these consequences? Ineffective?
What changes does this chapter prompt you to make?

70. Chapter 9
Bad Company

It will be impossible to connect with your daughter until she is disentangled from toxic influences.
Talk about your daughter’s toxic influences. What has been your response to these relationships?
What has been your daughter’s response to you?

71. Has your daughter ever claimed that she hated you? What was your response?

Consider that what she really hates are the choices that she is making?
How does this consideration change your attitude toward your daughter?

72. How do you respond when your daughter threatens to move out as soon as she turns eighteen?

Consider that what she is really saying is that she needs to get out of the way she is living?
How can you help her now without judging or condemning her?

73. Read about Stacy’s transition from her old friend group to a new one on page 182.

How could you translate this threefold “plan” to your mothering and your daughter?

74. You can watch for clues that your daughter is being influenced by peers who might lead her in a dangerous and destructive direction.
Read the Evidence of Bad Company on page 183. Discuss what is applicable to your daughter.

75. How can you let your daughter know that you are observing these warning signs?

76. Share a story about a time when you befriended your daughter’s friend.

77. How can you focus on the behaviors or troubling friends and not attack them personally?

78. Peers can have an extraordinarily powerful grip on an adolescent, and parents must sometimes take extreme measures to loosen that grip.
How will you know if your daughter’s friends have an “extraordinarily powerful grip on her?

79. What lengths have you gone to to help your daughter stay away from toxic friends? What lengths are you willing to go to?

80. If you believe that your daughter is in this “extreme” situation, share your concerns with the group? Ask for their prayer. Brainstorm together about ways that you can help your daughter.

81. Chapter 10
Addiction

Read the External Evidence of Addiction on pages 192-196.

Have you ever experienced any of these in your own life?
How did you respond to this evidence of a potential developing problem?

Have you noticed any of this “evidence” in your daughter’s life? What has been your response so far?

While your teenager may laugh about the predicaments their substance use gets them into, believe me that in the middle of the night, when no one is around, they wonder if they are crazy.

82. Has substance use ever resulted in your daughter doing something “crazy”?
What was your response?

What else could you communicate to your daughter besides “you’re crazy”?

When you have done something shameful or stupid, what has been helpful to you?

83. It’s shame and denial that keep us locked into thinking that no one can forgive us.

What has locked you in the prison of believing you are unforgivable?
What has imprisoned your daughter?

Have you had a difficult time forgiving your daughter? Why? Why not?

Do you believe that God has forgiven you completely?
How could this knowledge translate into your mothering?

The addict so completely believes she is alone that if you try to hang in there with her, she will work even harder to push you away to prove that she is alone.

84. Have you observed substance use causing your daughter to isolate?

85. What behaviors has your daughter used to try to push you away? Have they worked?

86. Has your daughter’s problems caused you to isolate? Why? Why not?

87. Ask the group to support and pray for you during this time. How can they encourage you that you are not alone?

88. Because of the components of addiction we talked about earlier — of trying again and again to stop and promising again and again to stop and not succeeding — an addict believes she is hopeless.
Has your daughter tried to stop drinking or using drugs? What happened?

89. How do you respond to your daughter’s broken promises?

90. Do you believe that addiction is stronger than you are? Stronger than God?

91. Consider praying together: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Commit to say this prayer daily for a week. Share in the group how this prayer is impacting you.

92. Chapter 11
Treatment


Read the quotation from Carol Kent on page 203. Have you ever faced the “unthinkable” with your daughter? Share your experience and how you let go?

Are you in the midst of the “unthinkable” right now? How can the group pray for you and support you?


93. Preemptive intervention lets your daughter know that you notice what she’s doing, that you have a plan to help her, and that you hope she’s listening.Read the examples of preemptive intervention on pages 206-207. Have you tried a similar approach?
What in this approach makes you afraid?
How do you think your daughter would respond? How do you hope she’ll respond?
Pray together about your intervention and her response.

94. To what lengths are you willing to go to help your daughter deal with her drug and/or alcohol problem?
What is in the way of your going to any lengths? Finances? Reputation? Job concerns?

95. Preemptive intervention requires patience, consistency, and consequences. Radical intervention requires planning, support, and courage. God’s intervention requires nothing from you.
What is your response to the previous sentence?

96. Share about a time when God intervened on your behalf. On behalf of your daughter.

97. We are going to be far more powerful in our children’s lives if we trust God’s work in and around and through all our problems. If we surrender first, then we can truly be allies in helping our daughters with their battles against drugs and alcohol.
Share your story of surrender in response to your daughter’s struggles. What do you still have left to let go of?

98. What is your daughter’s struggle producing in you of faith, hope, and love? Ask the group what they see.


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