How to Prevent a Lifetime Sentence of Nicotine by Reaching Out to Vancouver's Young Children
One of the biggest threats to our children nowadays in Vancouver is the vulnerability of young children to the increasing malice of smoking and doing drugs. Unless taught at a young age, as early as preschool and early elementary, the children are at an increased risk of developing weaknesses towards the peer pressure and dangers of smoking and drugs. An estimated sixty-five percent of high school students regularly use, or have used drugs since the beginning of high school. From this number, about 50% of the students began using drugs as early as middle school. The time to teach children about drugs is not in middle-school or high-school; the time is preschool and elementary school.
The majority of kid’s learning takes place between the second and fifth years of their life. It is here, where children develop independent skills, such as judgment, determination, and self-confidence. These three skills are all essentially important to setting up a mental barrier towards peer pressure and others’ influence on them, especially when situated in an environment where the use of drugs is present, children’s’ brains are configured to believe that the use of these substances is ok. By the time they finish learning these skills, they are already exposed to what they believe is conceptually correct. Although their active years of developing independent skills ends at around five or six years of age, this is time where they are beginning to learn the most educationally.
At about the age of seven, children are at their peak, learning the fundamentals of education, including logic, connections, and reasoning. These three characteristics are three of the biggest influences to a child’s behavior and/or reaction to a situation. By learning what drugs are, what effects they have on you, the harm they can potentially cause others, and the price they might pay, children become aware individually that drugs are a danger. In schools, however, this education is normally provided beginning at about 4th or 5th grade, and most strongly emphasized during 7th and 8th grade. This is not early enough.
Current teaching habits potentially come too late. Fifteen percent of children using drugs state they didn’t know the severity of addiction, and that the addiction prevention information came too late, and an overarching forty percent of teens don’t know the risk factor associated with the abuse of drugs. Teaching the concept that drugs are fatal and poisonous substances at young ages also comes with other benefits. Since drugs might be the first explicit subject discussed with children, they might feel a sense of fear towards drugs. This is because as kids, their worries are fairly immature, and presenting a mature and serious topic with them might give them and ever-lasting fear of drugs, making it less likely for them to ever fall into the temptation.
How is this prevention possible? Simple. By using the children’s imagination, they can create a gateway to a superficial controlled belief that drugs are malicious and dangerous substances, not to be joked around with. This belief, once practiced and reiterated throughout their childhood, will become a long-lasting and permanent mark on their attitude towards drugs. This effect can be achieved, through the Smokefree Kids BC Puppet Shows. Using puppetry and artistic creations, they can easily embed into your child’s head the danger of drugs, all while entertaining your child. Teaching young kids to be smokefree is important, so make your child’s next birthday party a hit, with the best birthday gift of knowledge and fun!
Check out Smokefree Kids BC on Youtube for more information on how to do you and your children a favor!.