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Don't do drugs, but please don't ask me any questions

October 26, 2012 - Kristy MacKaben
Please tell me how to talk to a first grader about drugs. I have no clue! This week was Red Ribbon week and Julie's school had a myriad of activities. (I'm sure Altoona and Hollidaysburg schools did the same.) Julie wore red ribbons in her hair on Monday, a red shirt on Tuesday, red, white and blue on Wednesday, silly socks on Thursday and today is school spirit day. On Monday she came home with a sticker on her hand that said "I'm voting to be drug-free!" When I asked her about the sticker, she told me: "Everyone got stickers because they did drugs." I had to smirk at that one, but then I realized she absolutely did not understand "drugs" at all. Part of me didn't even want to talk to her about it. Why spoil an innocent mind? At least not yet. I wasn't ready, and I really don't think she's ready. I truly saw no reason that I needed to have a serious conversation with a 7-year-old about drugs. But, the school sent home a little story to read to the kids and they advised talking about it. So I went for it, and I was met with a barrage of questions I couldn't answer. Julie: "What are drugs?" Me: "Well it's kind of like bad medicine that makes you sick and is against the law to use." Yikes! Terrible answer! Why did I just compare drugs to medicine? Julie: "Why do people take drugs?" Me: "They think drugs will make them feel good, but they actually make them feel terrible. When people use drugs they make a very bad choice." I'm so bad at this!! Julie: "Where do they get drugs? A doctor?" Me: "How about we read the rest of your Junie B. book?"


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