Religion and spirituality can be a very touchy subject and I promise to not make this a debate or go into details about what I believe or don't believe. However, I do want to address this topic because it certainly does make a huge impact on kids and teens, especially those who may be thinking about using drugs or alcohol, or those who are environments where they are continuously exposed to drugs and alcohol. What I do know is that teens whose parents don't allow them to explore their own ideologies often reject, resent or even rebel, when a parent or parents push them push their own beliefs or agendas onto their children. If you want your kid to respect your religious or spiritual beliefs, then you need to respect theirs. And in order to do that, you need to give them the freedom to explore different ideas and ways of thinking.
There's no doubt about it that kids who have a strong connection to a god or a higher power or even science, are less likely to engage in risky behaviors. But it's only those who are able to intrinsically come to a conclusion and not what is being forced upon them. Now, you might be thinking, well, I don't force my kids to go to church or to believe in what I believe. And that's fine. But start thinking about this from a little bit of a deeper level. Sometimes it's not just the big picture, like not making your kid go to church are not forcing them to pray, meditate or so on, but more about the feelings that they feel when they don't meet your spiritual or religious expectations.
If they feel shame, because they're not living in the same spiritual space as you then that can cause them to seek out other ways to not feel shame. So the purpose of this lecture is to get you to live look at things from a larger perspective. Let your kid believe that believe what they want and support that belief. When they feel supported. They feel heard and understood and that can make a huge impact on the decisions that they make in regards to drugs and alcohol.