Parents and caregivers may want to keep the kids in their care drug-free, but sometimes there can be confusion about how they can go about it. Making kids aware of drugs and their dangers is one step you can take to help prepare kids for the day when they’ll be exposed to and possibly lured by drugs. Although you may not be able to protect your kids 24 hours a day from exposure to illegal drugs, you can certainly arm them with knowledge.
Peer Pressure Essay
Ask the kids to read the scene in chapter 16 of the book “Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain in which Huckleberry Finn offers Tom his pipe. You could also read the scene aloud, which will ensure that all the kids are familiar with the scene. After discussing the effects of peer pressure described in the scene, talk about other forms of peer pressure, such as the pressure to “fit in” and do the same things that others are doing, even if they’re dangerous. Have the kids write an essay about their thoughts on peer pressure. You could have the kids read their essays and have a discussion afterward. If the kids are young, they can simply write a few sentences instead of a longer essay.
Break the kids into smaller groups if the group is large. Present a decision-making question such as “What do you do if you heard gossip about a classmate using alcohol and marijuana?” Depending on the age of the kids, you can change the wording to fit the age group. Tell the kids to use paper and pen to chart out possible outcomes from their decisions about how to react to the question. For example, the children may decide to do nothing, in which case one of the outcomes could be that the classmate in question gets no help and suffers. Make sure the kids understand that the gossip may or may not be true, or it may possess a kernel of truth but be misleading. Bring the groups together to present their decision-making trees.
Take the kids to perform volunteer work. If the kids are older, you could attempt to help an organization devoted to helping people whose lives have crumbled from the effects of drugs, giving them first-hand experience in seeing how drugs affect people. Younger children can also perform community service activities, and an ensuing discussion can center on how helping people is more rewarding than the self-centered abuse of drugs.