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EDITOR’S NOTE:

Globl Grind has asked Chaz Williams, CEO of BlackHand Entertainment to write a weekly column answering questions from our users about how to deal with some problems that we all face.  As profiled on BET’s American Gangster, Chaz has a long criminal history, but turned his life around and is now one of the most successful executives in the music industry.

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I have a 13 year old daughter and I thought she might be smoking weed. I went into her bedroom the other day, and found a whole bunch of weed in her underwear draw. The problem is I also smoke weed and she knows it. Felicia, Bronx, NY

At least, you wrote in your question, “The problem is…”, which to me says you realize whether consciously or unconsciously that you are part of the problem, if not the first step forward to a possible solution.  Recognizing that parents are their child’s first significant other, first teacher, first nurturers, and first role models, its important to be the message that you bring and not be their first hypocrite. You have a responsibility and duty to mold and assist in the socialization of your child, and must be ever mindful of the influences and the examples that you set.  Society has many mixed messages from just as many sources. From the White House to former presidents regarding the non-inhaled use to the legalized use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, you have to be cautious of the message that you bring to this package. Your child is watching! The do as I say, don’t do as I do theory has never worked and certainly does not in the new millennium. You need to start by changing your behavior and become the message that you want to bring. Then work toward the proper communication by setting the right example, living it, and begin your move toward altering your daughter’s behavior. She’s still very young, only 13, it’s early but it’s never too late for change. Get busy!

My brother never comes home at night. I know he is hanging out with the wrong crew.  I don’t want to tell my moms but I am not sure what I can do. He is starting to wear lots of red.  Derek, Biloxi, MS

OMG!  I have been wearing lots of blue and orange lately. Hope I’m not becoming a New York Knick fan!!!

On a serious note, everything you see is not always what you get. But you must be observant of certain behavior that can be considered a red flag. (no pun intended) Your concern is admirable, but you need to validate your suspicions before moving forward. Be sure the facts are what they are, and talk with your brother.  If the conclusion is potentially leading to a destructive path, then move to intervene. If you can’t alter that personally, then your first stop should be in-house, and if you don’t want to tell your moms, then tell your dad! Keep family first.

I can’t seem to get through to my son. His grades are slipping and he has been staying out later while I work all day. How can I get him to focus on his studies and get back in school? Jon, Detroit, MI

You really have to determine the cause, to be on point with finding a solution. The behavior you’re describing sounds like the symptoms. In order to get him back on track you have to determine the cause (distraction) and then move eliminate it. Another alternative to elimination is to make the reward for doing right stronger than the reward for doing wrong. ( behavior modification)  Again, in either case, you have to determine the cause, whether its as simple as a new girl in his life (which may not be simple in some cases), or as complicated and dangerous as the introduction of an illicit drug in his life. Other conflicts may have to do with sudden emotional traumas, such as lost

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