As a parent I have a similar and growing list of what I do not want my kids involved in. Today’s dangers can seem far more threatening, the losses far more serious and sometimes very permanent and even more tragic. When I read the news I am terrified by stories of children with household inhalants, the internet’s myspace pages and sexual predators, school shootings, prescription drug abuse, cough syrup abuse, date rape drugs, sorting out the potential threats to your children is downright frightening.
Add on to this the firsthand experience seeing a number of the brightest minds of my generation lost to addiction, death or more subtle still, the individuals stifled by recreational drug use slowly eroding their potential, stealing their ambition and drive, and ultimately undermining their character development therefore weakening them for the challenges life naturally brings.
My desire for my children to be free from these dangers only grows.
- How do we protect them?
- How to we let them know how important is it for them to stay safe from these dangers?
- How do we tell them that listening to us on this subject is so very important?
- How do we warn them that ONE foolish decision, that only takes a moment to make, can affect them for the rest of their lives?
- How do we alert them to a world with these dangers without instilling unnecessary fear?
As much as I distinctly remember the “silver platter threat” I also remember thinking, “Geez I can’t do this, I can’t go there, I can’t stay out with my friends … what do I get to do!”
In retrospect, I wonder if my parents had discussed topics such as drug use and sex in terms of what they wanted for me, instead of in terms of fear and what they didn’t want for me?
Instead of saying: “If you are caught doing drugs I will serve your head on a silver platter.” What if you shared your dreams for your child and made it repeatedly clear that drug use and risky behavior can and will steal it all away.
I don’t want you to ____(smoke pot for example) because:
- I want you to be healthy.
- I want you to have friends who encourage you to be the best that you can be.
- I wish for you to be truly free.
- I want you to develop the gift of self-discipline (defined as the ability to take action regardless of your emotional state).
- I want you to be proud of who you are.
- I want you to be truthful (especially with yourself).
… just to name a few.