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Your Kids Do Listen To You



This essay written by a teen in NY is an inspiring read. One of the teens parents is a recovering alcoholic who has been a part of the Chemical Recovery Fellowship for decades. This is a great example of how our children do listen to us and if we are consistent in the message we teach, they will be in a better place to make the right decisions when called upon to do so.

Teens

In today’s society where the use of alcohol and drugs have become a rite of passage for youth ages thirteen and older, it is not uncommon to hear horror stories about teen substance abuse. The peer pressure to join in these activities is greater than ever. At friends’ homes, at parties, and even in the school parking lot, teens consistently compromise their conscience in order to fit in or to be popular. Yet, despite these unfortunate truths, there are still teenagers and young adults today who choose to hold on to their values, to not conform, and to avoid the use of alcohol or drugs. These young people are focused on pursuing their goals of education, athletics, career, etc. I am proud to be one of them.


Being a three-sport athlete and a well-known person at my school, I have often been in situations where my friends would pull out drugs or alcohol, and I was left to make a decision about what I was going to do. At times I would struggle with the question, “Am I going to look like a punk if I say no or am I going to be courageous?” Usually, I chose the latter by just walking away or going home. Then I faced one of my biggest challenges on a party bus last year. Feeling invincible to the temptations and peer pressure of doing something I did not want to do, I decided to go. I assured my parents that nothing was going to happen because all the guests would be checked for alcohol and drugs. Midway into our trip, one of the girls pulled out marijuana from her shoe and then alcohol appeared out of nowhere. Suddenly, people began drinking and the marijuana was passed around. I looked around the bus in hopes that I would see someone who would say no; but no one did. This time, I could not just walk away.


As the alcohol was being passed around, my turn to smoke was up next. My friends tried to convince me that it would not hurt me and that no one would find out. I now had to make a decision about whether or not I wanted to lose “cool” points with everyone and give in to the peer pressure because everyone was watching me, expecting me to “take the hit.” It was not an easy decision, but I had to stand my ground. I could not afford to throw away my values and morals for the sake of fitting in and impressing my friends. It was not worth it to me. Plus, I knew that one time could turn into multiple times. So, I decided to challenge the status quo and turned down the marijuana.


Soon after, some people on the bus called me nasty names and made fun of me. But, I assured myself that if compromising my upbringing and my values were going to gain me respect by those people on the bus, then it was not the type of respect I wanted. I knew I had done the right thing. After I got off the party bus, I spoke to some of my friends about my decision and explained that I didn’t need drugs or alcohol to have fun. It was then that I realized I had, in turn, gained the respect of my friends and they did not treat me any differently. After that night, I felt more empowered to continue to stand up for what I believe in, even if it makes me unpopular.

This essay written by a teen in NY is an inspiring read. One of the teens parents is a recovering alcoholic who has been a part of the Chemical Recovery Fellowship for decades. This is a great example of how our children do listen to us and if we are consistent in the message we teach, they will be in a better place to make the right decisions when called upon to do so.


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