Just say no

By Staff
Melissa Cason
Columnist
As a mom, my biggest fear is to have my children use drugs.
I’m afraid one day that I’ll find out one of my angels has been using drugs.
I used to live in a candy-coated world. I thought if you teach your children about the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse, then they would be able to resist the temptation to try them. Then, I started working at this paper, and my world was completely blown a part.
In some cases, children have to learn the hard way. These children turn into adults who eventually get arrested numerous times, and serve time in jail or prison.
And, that’s just if they survive the experience. There are so many dangerous drugs out there that will kill you the first time you ever try them.
If they don’t kill you, they will destroy your life. As a parent, that is devastating.
The second thing that keeps me up at night is the thought of my children getting a sexually transmitted disease.
When I was growing up, there were a lot of teen girls in my school having babies. I never was afraid of a baby. I was more afraid I’d contract an incurable disease, and it would haunt me for the rest of my life.
Since becoming a mother, I have that same fear for my boys. I could handle becoming a grandmother early better than I could learning my son has HIV or another disease that could have been prevented by him making better choices.
I am so afraid of these things, we have already begun teaching our boys about the dangers of drugs, and other behaviors.
While they are a little young for specifics on the topic of sex, we answer any questions honestly.
I tell them it’s okay to just say no. It’s okay to love yourself more than you love your friends when they are asking you to do something harmful.
If they are your friends, they will still like you, and if they don’t, you need new friends.
I hope my boys will listen like I did.
They may not. They may have to be punished for drinking alcohol while out with friends.
They may try drugs some day. I hope not. I pray they will just say ‘no.’

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