Before spring break, I took my 6th visit to Webster and talked to the kids about marijuana and peer pressure. It was the day after open house, so it was fun to see all the kids works on display. Here is a summary of my lessons with the 4th and 5th grade.
4th Grade: Don’t Let Your Dreams Go Up In Smoke
I spent the first part of the 4th grade class answering questions that immediately popped into the kids head regarding what they have heard about marijuana and THC. I also discussed the idea that no drug is actually good or bad, but the reason why a person uses a drug might be good or bad.
After that I had the kids read a story about a boy that started using THC in middle school and the problems that caused him in school and sports. Some of the points i emphasized were:
- Marijuana is not a vitamin and its not a benign food.
- Marijuana is a plant that contains the drug THC.
- THC makes your heart beat faster and affects balance, vision and coordination, reaction time and motivation.
- THC makes it hard to remember things and negatively impacts learning.
- Smoking/vaping MJ is just as bad for your lungs as smoking/vaping tobacco.
I think its important to talk to the kids about marijuana in depth at least once a year, and story we read is the start of an annual talk I will do with the kids from 4th through the 8th grade (check out the previous blogs from older grades to see what is covered).
Please talk to your kids about their experiences and interactions with their peers. Every one of them will be making choices (such as whether or not to try drugs like THC) as they progress through middle school and high school. The more guidance they get from parents and the more fore-thought they put into these decisions, the more prepared they will be to make decisions for themselves.
5th Grade – Peer Pressure
I talked to the 5th graders about peer pressure. I first started talking about peer pressure in the 4th grade during the Under Whose Influence lesson, and I followed that discussion up by talking about specific techniques for dealing with pressure from friends and peers.
The concepts we talked about were:
- Saying No
- Walking Away
- Acting like a Broken Record (repeatedly saying No)
- Stating the Facts (about why its a bad idea)
- Making an Excuse (which every kid is good at, right?)
- Steer Clear
- Reverse the Pressure
It’s important that the kids understand that every time they are faced with peer pressure, they always have a choice. It might be awkward or hard to say no or come up with an excuse for why they have to go, but if they can’t gain some confidence in making good decisions in peer pressure situations they will eventually find themselves in some sort of trouble.