A large part of the teen population is always striving to be a part of the newest trends. Girls might want the newest floral print dress from Forever 21 or want to download Miley Cyrus’ “Bangerz.” Boys might be into Nike and have the desire to go out and buy the newest version of Call of Duty. This longing to want what everybody else wants is not necessarily a bad thing. It helps teens feel comfortable with their peers and they have something to do in their free time. But some trends do more to harm teens than help.
An issue that has been around forever is drugs and alcohol. Teens are well aware by now that drugs and alcohol are “bad.” There is not another pamphlet or presentation in the world that will get teens to really notice the consequences of even the simplest drugs. It’s important to notice that this all starts with a trend. It starts with a harmless dress or videogame and it might even stop there; but for some, to really fit in, the best trend for them is to smoke and drink whatever their friends are using. As long as teens continue searching for new trends, that is how long drugs and alcohol will be around.
Yes, I am well aware that drug and alcohol use is far more complex than this simple article. But look at where the addictions mostly start: high school. The best way to stop this problem is with each individual child. A child can most definitely buy the newest Nikes and wear what his friends are wearing, but it is so important to teach him/her the value of self-confidence. Self-confidence is the key to turning away from the negative trends. If a child learns early on that they are special, smart and unique, parents will most likely not have to worry about their teen eventually giving in to bad influences. Instead of lecturing your child about how terrible drugs are, tell them how wonderful he/she is and that people will like them for who they are and not for what type of drink they have in their hand.
CV Alliance Board Member