This week at school is red ribbon week. A week that if you are in the public school system are most likely familiar with. It’s the week the schools focus on teaching kids to say no to drugs and find creative ways to spread the word. Yes, this starts in elementary school.
On Monday, 7yo won a backpack raffle at school and the backpack had small gifts that all said things like “just say no” etc. As I opened the van door to let her out of the car, she asks ” mommy, what are drugs?” uhhh..well…hmm.. “let’s just go inside and we will talk about drugs.
The whole thirty seconds it took to arrive at the front door felt like an eternity as I racked my brain on how to answer this important question for my 7YO!!! we get in the house and I just go for it! I start explaining the reaction to drugs and how they are bad for you. I explain that they cause addiction and people to behave in ways they normally would not. next thing I know she is holding her hand up and says ” just stop.” I still do not know what a drug is!!!! Well.. damn.. let’s see.. a pill, a powder.. liquid.. herbs.. bath salts pick your poison.
I was overwhlemed and caught off guard. I honestly didn’t know how to anser this question for her in ways that she could understand or relate to. I think like a nurse, so i tend to rely on those experiences from my career to explain the horrible outcomes of drug addiction and overdosing. Someone should write a manual on how to answer this stuff!
The truth is, drugs is not one concrete thing. It is many things that can alter one’s perception and mentation. it can cause death and suffering like nothing i have ever seen. Worse than cancer and other physical illnesses out there. Drugs can break up homes and relationships and cost many their lives way too soon. How do i make a child understand this topic? How do you explain drugs to your children? I need simple terms that my daughter can understand. Any thoughts?