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DARE opens dialogue
January 23, 2012
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by Jenni Sebora

Over the course of the past three years, more than 220 communities have started Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) programs, according to the DARE website, www.dare.com.

This program will benefit millions of school-aged children throughout the world this year.

DARE is led by a police officer and teaches kindergarten through 12th grade children, in their classrooms, about living productive drug and violence-free lives. The officer also teaches them how to resist peer pressure.

Children are met by both positive and negative peer pressure almost daily. Among all of the benefits of DARE is that it opens up dialogue between the school, police, and parents to deal with issues that face youth. In turn, this dialogue opens up dialogue with youth, as well.

It is vital that we talk with our children about risky behaviors and peer pressure. We need to acknowledge the tough situations that they face and suggest positive ways of dealing with these situations.

We should encourage children to gravitate toward those peers who don’t engage in negative risky behaviors, but, rather, those peers who can influence them positively.

It is extremely important that we know who our children’s friends are. Allowing your children to have their friends over or taking them places, ball games, and movies are some of the best ways we can get to know who our children are spending time with and what values those children feel are important.

My own children have their friends over regularly. My husband and I also serve as regular taxi drivers, and I am very fine and grateful for this. It is in these situations, driving in a car, or eating pizza at our home that conversations can take place.

In fact, as I shared last week, I was driving my teen son and three of his friends to a ball game for pep band; they started a conversation about how a few of their classmates were going to possibly be engaging in some negative situations. One of the peers in the car was a female, who poignantly said, “They have all had DARE. They know the risks.”

It was what every parent hopes to hear. It was an extremely good conversation, and they felt comfortable talking about the situations and peer pressure they experience, and I was able to offer some suggestions.

Now does that mean our children won’t make mistakes? That is probably naïve to believe, but if we keep those lines of communication open, talk to them about risky behaviors and peer pressure, and offer ways they can deal with it, then we are giving them tools to help them make healthy decisions and to help them deal with tough situations.

It is important that we know where are children are, as well as who they are with. With cell phones these days, it is much easier to check in with them and to have rules about checking in. We need to give them independence, but set guidelines.

As our children grow, they are faced with lots of different situations, and it is our job as parents to help teach them, listen to them and love them.

This program will benefit millions of school-aged children throughout the world this year.

DARE is led by a police officer and teaches kindergarten through 12th grade children, in their classrooms, about living productive drug and violence-free lives. The officer also teaches them how to resist peer pressure.

Children are met by both positive and negative peer pressure almost daily. Among all of the benefits of DARE is that it opens up dialogue between the school, police, and parents to deal with issues that face youth. In turn, this dialogue opens up dialogue with youth, as well.

It is vital that we talk with our children about risky behaviors and peer pressure. We need to acknowledge the tough situations that they face and suggest positive ways of dealing with these situations.

We should encourage children to gravitate toward those peers who don’t engage in negative risky behaviors, but, rather, those peers who can influence them positively.

It is extremely important that we know who our children’s friends are. Allowing your children to have their friends over or taking them places, ball games, and movies are some of the best ways we can get to know who our children are spending time with and what values those children feel are important.

My own children have their friends over regularly. My husband and I also serve as regular taxi drivers, and I am very fine and grateful for this. It is in these situations, driving in a car, or eating pizza at our home that conversations can take place.

In fact, as I shared last week, I was driving my teen son and three of his friends to a ball game for pep band; they started a conversation about how a few of their classmates were going to possibly be engaging in some negative situations. One of the peers in the car was a female, who poignantly said, “They have all had DARE. They know the risks.”

It was what every parent hopes to hear. It was an extremely good conversation, and they felt comfortable talking about the situations and peer pressure they experience, and I was able to offer some suggestions.

Now does that mean our children won’t make mistakes? That is probably naïve to believe, but if we keep those lines of communication open, talk to them about risky behaviors and peer pressure, and offer ways they can deal with it, then we are giving them tools to help them make healthy decisions and to help them deal with tough situations.

It is important that we know where are children are, as well as who they are with. With cell phones these days, it is much easier to check in with them and to have rules about checking in. We need to give them independence, but set guidelines.

As our children grow, they are faced with lots of different situations, and it is our job as parents to help teach them, listen to them and love them.


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