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by: Jamie Cruise
If you have an issue or a problem, take a pill. That’s how American children are being raised. We tend to grow up with the absolute understanding that drugs are a valid solution to many of our problems or issues. Children find it easier to justify their own usage of drugs. A child when he is young tends to imitate their parents and problems arise when their parents have alcohol or drug related problems, or when they readily turn to drugs or alcohol to solve their problems.
Many a children take wild chances, accept dangerous dares and will be proud of burning the candle at both ends just to prove their courage. This may be one of the reasons why so many teenagers boldly take up smoking tobacco where as older people are striving to give it up.
But there are several other reasons why children start using drugs or alcohol. Let’s discuss a few.
Curiosity – It’s a common reason to try drugs. Especially among young people, curiosity is a natural phenomenon that easily leads to experimentation.
Pleasure – Another reason for using drugs is pleasure. Many of them simply like the feelings they receive from drugs or alcohol. In one survey of high school seniors, 49% indicated that they used drugs “to feel good or to get high”, 41% “because it tastes good”, and 23% “because of boredom, nothing else to do”.
Peer Influence – Many young people use drugs to gain peer acceptance or approval. Rates of alcohol consumption by fraternity and sorority members were found to be significantly higher than those of non-Greek-affiliated college students.
Advertising – Kids tend to get drawn to those ads which feature celebrities enjoying various activities while drinking and/ or smoking.
Now, how can we prevent drug use by children?
As we all agree, good parenting is absolutely imminent. However good parenting alone may not prevent young people from using drugs or alcohol. In this case, the preventive value of character education cannot be ignored. Character education as it always comes in varied forms, generally attempts to mould the moral person. And of course, these Character education programs often highlight the need for parental involvement as well. It seems pretty clear that character education can be an important means of preventing drug abuse and other undesirable behaviors. In fact, for younger children, character education may be the most appropriate means of prevention.
This suggests an important conceptual shift from focusing on the behaviors to be reduced or prevented to focusing on the person engaging in those behaviors. Once this shift is made, then the whole person becomes the focus and the developmental causes of the problem come into sharper focus. In other words, one important approach to preventing unhealthy behaviors is to build healthy people through character education. This indeed has long been the focus of character education.
About The Author
Academic instruction isn’t the only responsibility teachers have in today’s classrooms. More and more, teachers are being called on to teach students about values. It’s a responsibility that could be overwhelming, considering the limited hours available in a school day, the number of kids in the classroom, and the diversity of backgrounds and personalities each child represents. 'Character Education by Just Do The Right Thing' is a practical and powerful tool that equips educators to tackle values training with confidence.
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