Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Just Say No To Choking

We teach our kids not to do drugs, and then something like this happens. (link via IMAO)

Kids are creative, and some of them have a rebellious streak in them. If you tell Sonshine, for example, not to hit his sister, he'll kick his sister instead, because you didn't say he couldn't. Oh, he understands that the general principle is that he's not allowed to hurt his sister, but if only a finite set of ways in which he could hurt her is enforced, then he will hurt his sister by permissible means. So when we tell our kids not to get high on Substances X, Y, and Z, they think getting high on Substance W is somehow OK.

It's impossible for us to make a comprehensive list for our kids of things they ought not do to get high, so how about teaching them a general principle instead: don't abuse your body for a temporary high. Getting high, no matter how it's done, doesn't solve your problems. And then we show them ways to solve their problems for real.

The only difficulty with that approach is that it doesn't fit on a bumper sticker and requires large quantities of actual one-on-one time with a child, which is a resource that is sadly in short supply.