Learning from Experience
The statement that kids learn best from experience is the truth! We must give them lots of opportunities to learn from real experience. That being said, I also believe that we must have some limits to when we allow them to “learn by doing.” A few critical times when we must not let kids simply learn by experience are when the activity is illegal, immoral, or life threatening. At those times we must be the adults in the situation to protect them from self-destruction. We absolutely must teach them howto make these critical decisions BEFORE they are in the situation. We cannot allow our children to "learn from the experience" of making the wrong decision!
Drugs, alcohol, sex, violence, and driving or riding in a car with someone who has been drinking would be the most obvious situations that come to mind where it could be fatal to let kids "learn from the school of hard knocks". Lately, I have come to believe that unsupervised use of unfiltered Internet access might be another specific situation I might throw on that list as well. We cannot wait until our children have tried any of these things to teach them how to make good decisions! Most of the time these things do not allow a second chance.
In every one of those cases, the danger of the first experience is too great to allow them to learn by experimenting. The way that I always tried to keep it straight in my head while raising our sons was by imagining one of our kids running toward the street with a truck approaching at a high rate of speed. Would I act to stop my kid from running in front of the speeding truck? Absolutely! Would I be particularly concerned at the time if I offended my child by acting on their behalf? Absolutely not! Would I care if the neighbors or their friends were disapproving? Not in the least. I would act to save my child first!
Drugs will destroy our children even more certainly than a speeding truck!
I include alcohol as a separate item on the above list, even though it is a technically just another drug. It receives special and separate mention simply because it is viewed so differently by society. It is also different because alcohol is legal for adults. But, a more important distinction is that alcohol is lethal to young people.
In my experience, alcohol has been the #1 killer of kids who sat in my classroom, 47 of whom are now dead. 4 died of natural causes that probably could not have been prevented but the other 43 were ALL either stoned or drunk or both at the time of their death! Most were drunk! The overwhelming drug involved in all but two of the rest of the cases was the legal one… Alcohol.
I just cringe every time I hear a parent say, "Oh, well, it's just alcohol!" My gosh, would they casually watch the truck rushing toward their kid and say, "Oh well, it is just a truck!"
Please subscribe to this Blog or keep checking back on this Blog because I am working on a six-part article about the new threat that is now killing thousands of American kids… this threat is called Methamphetamine or Meth for short. Meth is rapidly becoming the most perilous “Speeding Truck” that is heading for your children. You owe it to your children to become completely informed about Meth and the danger it poses to your children. You better start today, putting a plan in place to prevent your children from even experimenting with that terrible substance because most people who try it just once, never again can live without it.