From the Christian Parenting Corner




Many Children Learn Drug Use from Their Parents What Are YOU Teaching?

by Sylvia Cochran

The Traditions
“Drugs are quite frequently bad, but there are also some good drugs that are not really dangerous.” “It is hard to know why anybody would use drugs.” “Some people have found out that drugs boost their creativity.” “Marijuana is not as dangerous a drug as some people claim over and over.”

The Smooth Talk
These statements exemplify the common knowledge about drugs, and what makes them so dangerous is the fact that they are all erroneous! Flabbergasted? You should be! After all, the pharmacological companies that are advertising their commodities on television and via glossy magazine ads go to great lengths to persuade us that we should solicit our doctors about prescribing their substances – never mind the side effects that more often than not include death, stroke, and other unattractive outcomes.

So lulled into complacency from an early age, children have become conditioned to see drugs as a many splintered thing, some of which is good and some of why may not be. The dividing line grows gradually more unclear, especially with the debate over medicinal marijuana and raids of establishments providing it being on the evening news quite frequently. Thus children (and the adults whom they grow up to be) naturally view drugs as every now and then harmless.

As they become more reliant on their peers for the development of self esteem and a sense of self worth when compared to others, the contention that a principally hip and “with it” friend is using drugs to amplify creativeness (or sexual performance, or the capability to concentrate in school, or to stay awake and work two jobs to make more money…) in due course leads the individual to further distort the lines between acceptable and non-acceptable drug use.

Knowing the Truth
Drugs are poisons and more often than not are harmful if they are not dispensed in precisely controlled quantities. (Why else would there be drugs for which a prescription is needed?) Use them in excess for a long period of time, and you will most likely end up at a drug rehab center getting addiction treatment. A small amount of a drug may speed up your metabolism, heart rate, and thus your breathing and your pulse as well. A larger quantity may have the opposite effect. A larger amount still may speed up your heart to such an extent that it can kill you. A perfect example is caffeine which almost everyone consumes on a daily basis. A little may be a pick-me-up while a very large measure will kill you

Drugs may be taken to alleviate boredom, pain (physical or emotional), or a state of unrest. As parents, we are modeling the use of uppers (“I can’t function without my first cup of coffee,” “Not until I have my morning coffee,” “I’ll take some of those don’t-fall-asleep pills before making that overnight drive home.”), downers (“I’ll just take a sleeping pill,” “My mind is racing, I need something to relax so I can be fresh for the field trip tomorrow,” “I have that big presentation tomorrow, I need something to help me get a good night’s sleep.”), and maintainers (“I had a rough day with the baby, I need something to help me to calm down before daddy gets home,” “I just constantly feel on edge, I need something to relax a little,” “I don’t know what it is, I just don’t feel like myself unless I take that prescription the doc gave me,” It’s Miller Time!”) on an almost daily basis and don’t even realize it.

Knowing God’s Truth
The Bible unmistakably brands drunkenness a sin (Deuteronomy 21:20-21; I Corinthians 6:9-10; and Galatians 5:19-20), and by extension other methods of dulling the mind and soul are included.

The Truth Will Set You Free
The odds are good that as parents we have set a standard that has elevated drugs to a position of provisional fix for life’s little (and bigger) problems. Instead of addressing the root cause of the problems (lack of sleep, failure to exercise, failure to learn and use relaxation techniques such as yoga or prayerful meditation, a revamping of our food intake to reflect better fuel choices for our bodies, powerlessness to appropriately prioritize incoming work and thus adding daily stress, and ineffective or out-of-date discipline measures for our children) more often than not we are slapping a drug laced Band-Aid on it.

Are you surprised our children are learning at our knees how to take drugs from the moment they are old enough to understand?

The problem with the temporary fix is, well, its temporary nature! The frustration, pain, nervousness, lack of sleep, anger, and unhappiness eventually catch up with us again, necessitating another bout of drugs.

The answer to this cycle of drug use is surprisingly and heartbreakingly simple: if you do not want your children to take drugs, then learn how to deal with life’s ups and downs yourself first and then model appropriate behavior to your children.

  • * Show them how to make a tension headache go away not with pills but with relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, and chamomile.
  • Help them to learn how to get a good night’s sleep by showing them how a warm lavender infused bath will soothe the body and how deep breathing and active relaxation techniques will help to loosen up tensed muscles. Mind association games will help channel thoughts into more restful patterns, and there is nothing wrong with some music to help relax!
  • Explain and then model about the natural “runner’s high” that does not rely on booze or uppers to be achieved.
  • For creativity development, how about the use of brainstorming, free writing, doodling, or open ended story telling? It beats the use of hallucinogenic drugs and kids who know about these tools early on will not perceive the need for any drugs that might make them more creative later on.


Sylvia Cochran

Sylvia is a writer, born and raised in Germany. Having been exposed to a variety of religions and traditions due to travel and study, Sylvia has been a student of the Bible for more than ten years and has for the last four years taught in small groups about Biblical principles, practical Christianity, Christian parenting, as well as the spiritual use of money.

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