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Have the Talk

Estherville News Editorial

October 28, 2015
Estherville News Staff , Estherville News

Tonight, Ray Lozano comes to the Elks Lodge to give a free presentation on talking to your kids about drugs at 6 p.m. for parents, guardians and mentors. This is not the talk we grew up with in national public service announcements, like the one where the father says, "Where did you get this?" and the son replies, "I learned it from watching you!"

There was also the egg video. "This is your brain." The egg hits the cast iron pan and begins sizzling. "This is your brain on drugs."

It's not that small snippets like this don't make us think, but preventing drug use in kids goes deeper. It requires relationship. It requires modeling that abusing substances is not the way to get through life. In families that have addiction in their DNA, it can be very difficult to break the cycle.

The reality is, you can be sitting there with your kid, looking at the kid's angelic profile and think, "There's no way this kid will let drugs in." The awkward silence lengthens and you wonder, "So. How do we start this conversation?"

You've told them not to run in the street, not to eat dirt from the sidewalk, not to hold it until it's too late, not to hit people, not to wipe their noses on their sleeves, not to use foul language.

Whether it is your first child to reach a certain age, or whether you have a half dozen kids pushing through the school years, it's okay to accept a little help in knowing what to say to your kids about drugs. Some of us went through scot-free, living rather sheltered with nice-kid friends and were never offered drugs. Heroin and cocaine and even marijuana seemed like a far away fringe thing and we wouldn't have known where to get them even if we'd wanted to.

Others were offered drugs and said "no thanks" and the moment passed.

We would argue that our kids are under more pressure and can be pressured in more ways. We didn't have meth, ecstasy, Molly, bath salts, synthetic marijuana, or even the plethora of energy drinks that seem to be sold everywhere. Our kid culture was different, school was different, neighbors seemed to know each other better, the whole community was more connected.

The message Lozano brings is that things can also be better now. We don't have to get nostalgic; we can be present for our kids and intentional in our talks with them.



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