\"\"The one thing that I feel had the greatest affect on my kids is those years I was an active drinker and drug user.  That time, which lasted for over 20 years, turned from an enjoyable pastime to an overpowering addiction.  It ended when I was forced to realize that in order for my life to change I had to stop.  That realization came almost 19 years ago and with the help of a great support group and GOD, I have been able to remain drug and alcohol free.

My oldest son is the only one of my kids who lived through those years.  He was 6 or 7 when I stopped.   The other three kids will hopefully never see me as a drinker or drug user.

I bring this up to highlight the fact that in order to be a positive parent, that parent should not be under the influence.  The effect of this can be a destructive thing on the family.  In my own case, my addiction kept my mind in a constant fog and all my decisions revolved around getting the next feel good.

There is no way a parent can have sound thinking while under the influence.  We hear of the many stories of kids getting hurt or killed while riding with a parent under the influence.  I cringe with the thoughts of my past when I did the very same thing and am very thankful that no harm was done.

There is another powerful drug that can be equally dangerous to our kids, That drug is nicotine.  My oldest son, also, was the only one to see me smoke cigarettes.  It didn\’t dawn on me the damage I was doing to my kid until after I stopped.  This kid kept colds and ear infections.  My other kids remained very healthy.  It was the second hand smoke that was doing the harm.

In order for me to be the best positive parent I can be, I have to be constantly aware of those things that may bring me back to that life.  I love the life I\’m living now and I want to make sure that I can stay around to see my all my kids become positive parents.

This is my opinion.  I\’d love to read what your opinion is.  Don\’t forget this week\’s poll.


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