Everyone in your household knows the drill: Cover your cough or sneeze, wash your hands while singing your ABCs (twice!), don’t touch your face and disinfect everything.
You know why and your children know why. Everyone wants to prevent exposure to the coronavirus. But have you considered that by limiting exposure to as near zero as possible, you’re creating a shield of protection for your kids?
You do the same thing when you take steps to limit your child’s exposure to substances like alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and prescription medicine. Yes, each time you offer your kids:
- Examples of modeling good behavior
- Conversations about making appropriate and thoughtful decisions
- Teachable moments about the risks of substance use
- No access to your medications
- Interest in their activities, friends and where they’re going (once they can go!)
- Family time with no cell phones or tablets
you’re protecting those young, still-developing brains from exposure to another disease, the disease of addiction. Did you know that science tells us a young person’s brain isn’t fully developed until their mid-20s?
I read a prevention metaphor recently and I love how it graphically describes prevention and the health of our children. It comes from a writer with Mentor International, an initiative with a vision for “a world where children and young people are empowered to make healthy decisions and live drug-free.” Sound familiar?
Imagine a bucket full of health. This bucket has a hole in the bottom and the health is dripping out (disease). We can mop up the floor below every hour, maybe even squeeze some of the health back into the bucket from the mop. But eventually, the health will be lost because we are not addressing the root of the problem. Instead, we can look for ways to prevent the hole and stop the leak from occurring.
I believe this metaphor describes both the need for preventing the spread of COVID-19 and addiction among youth.
DPR’s mission is to prevent holes in our children’s buckets. Will you help us fill their buckets with health? Tomorrow, May 5, is North Texas Giving Tuesday Now. We’d sure appreciate your financial support. You can find our page here or you can go directly to our donation page.
Either way, please know that you matter and your kids matter to us. Stay safe and be strong.