PCY 5th – Under Whose Influence

img_9529I returned to PCY for the first class of 2019, and my discussion with the 5th Grade revolved around peer pressure and alcohol. I started the class by giving away some stickers with a riddle game.

After spending a little time talking about drugs in general,  I read the class a short “choose your own adventure” novel called Under Whose Influence. The book tells the story of a middle-school girl that goes to a classmate’s house to study and is unexpectedly peer pressured to drink alcohol. Depending on the choices made by the class (majority rules), the main character might choose to stay in the house or leave, drink or not drink, or keep the incident a secret or tell her mom. The story changes depending on the choice, and the consequences of each choice are described for the students to hear. After we finished the story, I spent the end of the class going through the branches that they didn’t choose.

Most kids see the adults in their lives drinking at least occasionally,  and its important that they understand the difference between an adult choosing to have a glass of wine with dinner and another adult getting arrested, hurt or worse after getting drunk. Most adults that choose to drink manage to do so in a responsible manner without creating any adverse consequences, but when people abuse alcohol it can get very dangerous very quickly. That danger is increased when the a minor chooses to drink. Its important that the kids understand that any time a person crosses the line of abusing alcohol, there could be potentially life changing consequences. Whenever someone choose to drink, its their responsibility to make sure that doesn’t happen.

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