|Wednesday, January 31st, 2007||Kristen DiPaolo | CWK Producer|
“I work with parents every day that are trying to be buddies with their kids. They want their kids to think of them as a friend.”
– Nancy McGarrah, Ph.D., Child Psychologist
Last year, 19-year-old Ashley Rawie broke her neck in a car crash.
She’d been drinking and smoking pot when she flipped her jeep on a country road. Now, she is paralyzed from the chest down.
“I still do have days where I wake up and I want it to be a dream so badly,” says Ashley.
Before the accident, Ashley’s mom and dad sensed their daughter had been making bad choices.
“We had talked that we just need to sit and talk with her - and listen and let her tell us what’s going on,” says Ashley’s mother Tonya Rawie.
But they never had that talk.
According to a survey released by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, almost 60 percent of parents admit they have a hard time talking to their kids about difficult topics like drug use.
One reason? Parents are afraid of sounding mean.
“I work with parents every day that are trying to be buddies with their kids,” says child psychologist Dr. Nancy McGarrah, “They want their kids to think of them as a friend.”
She says parents need to say no, set boundaries, and be a parent - even if your child gets upset.
“They are going to bug you, they are going to cry, they are going to say you are the worst parents in the world,” says Dr. McGarrah. “They are going to say, ‘I hate you,’ they are going to do things that are not pleasant, and that’s not fun. That’s not the fun part of parenting, but it’s the right part of parenting. It’s the important part of parenting.”
Today, Ashley and her parents wish they could turn back the clock.
“Hindsight? We would love to still have her mad at us,” says Tonya, “but have her before she was injured, and have her do all the things that she was able to do.”
*Producer Tom Atwood contributed to this report.