Children of Seperation and Divorce Center, Inc. / Columbia: 410-740-9553
The beginning of a new year is traditionally a time to reflect on past accomplishments and to make new goals for the upcoming year. That is why we chose January to write about “Healthy Choices.”
Often kids feel like they have no power – like decisions are made about you and for you without giving you input. Kids sometimes begin to feel frustrated and angry. This is especially true for kids who have experienced a separation or divorce. The separation itself and decisions about where kids live and when and how they will transition from one home to the other are often made with little or no input from kids. It is really hard when you want things to turn out one way and have no power to make it so.
All that being said, the fact is that kids do have a tremendous amount of power in how their lives will turn out. Kids are faced with choices every day – “Should I do my homework or watch TV; should I go to this party?; should I fight or walk away?” Even the seemingly small choice of “Should I talk to my parents or should I keep it to myself?” can have a big consequence either way. Maybe you do decide to do your homework and steadily get
Healing Hearts/ Volume 1, Issue 8 / Page 2 of 3
The consequences of abusing substances could be addiction, arrest, hospitalization and worse. There are other, more healthy ways to cope with problems and to fit in with the crowd, like sports, academics, clubs, jobs, exercise, reading, writing, drawing, listening to music, writing songs – whatever you enjoy doing. Talk to your parents, friends, relatives, school counselors and teachers. Let them know that you are tempted to use or that you have already and ask for their support in helping you to stay healthy.
One choice that teens are faced with repeatedly throughout the long, long journey to adulthood is the choice to use drugs and alcohol. Some teens turn to drugs and alcohol to fit in with their friends, other choose them to mask some other pain that is too difficult to bear. Maybe it seems that there are just not enough supports out there and that drugs and alcohol are the answer to loneliness, frustration or trying to fit in. If you are thinking about turning to drugs or if you already have, get some help from people who care about you.
“Sometimes I don’t think before I act. How are you supposed to do that in the middle of a problem?”-R.P. Towson, MD
Sometimes it is hard to stop and think in the middle of an argument or problem. Try giving yourself some time and space from the situation and then begin to think the problem through. No matter what the situation, it is important to think about the choices you have before you. Kara, a peer counselor, says that, “for really important decisions, sometimes it helps if I write down each choice that I have and the consequences.” The “Decision Tree” (left) is a way to visualize your choices and the possible consequences for each one. Try using it and let us know how your decision turns out!
better at a subject you never had that much interest in. Maybe you get a scholarship from a corporation that has an interest in that area. Maybe your parent never knew that you wanted to spend some time together and by talking to them, you open the door to an improved relationship. The point is, you do have the power to make choices that will affect your future.
We hope that you will take advantage of the decision-making chart and columns about making healthy choices on page two. Don’t forget our “Creative Expressions” on page three. As always, we welcome your questions, feedback and contributions. Write to us at the email address on page three.
From Baltimore County’s Drug Prevention Guide
By Daniel, Alex, Sarah, Rachel and Nakia, grade 5
“Friendship Help” by Shelby, grade 4
“Drawing a picture of yourself solving a problem can really help you think things through.” - Shelby