Snorting Smarties

Posted on 04/14/2014 by John Poland CEO, Town Hall Foundation

What we say and what we do matters. Many parents coach their kids to behave in a particular manner according to the parent’s rules and values. Our kids listen and hopefully internalize the new data. But children are sharper than we think; they also watch adult behavior and use the monkey-see-monkey-do process of acting out on behaviors.

When we tell our children not to smoke and as adults we light up and inhale, our children see and hear mixed messages. When we tell our children not to do drugs and then smoke marijuana or snort a line coke at home, our children become conflicted. When we tell our children not to bully the other children and dad hits mom, the children don’t understand. When we tell our children to embrace all races and religions and we use hateful words and show the face of bigotry, our children are confused.

As adults we need to walk the talk and be role models for our children. So why talk about snorting Smarties?

Students at Portsmouth Middle School were caught snorting Smarties candy, a trend that reports show is increasing. It might sound like a joke, but State Behavioral Health Care Administrator Rebecca Boss says the matter is just as serious and dangerous as most inhaled drugs - the threat of irritation and infection.

But why are the kids snorting anything. Who are the teachers and what are the expected outcomes by the children? If mom or dad snort a white powder and feel “good”, is that enough for children to snort smarties? If our music artists talk about snorting drugs, maybe our children are smarter than we think and link the two behaviors. Our parents are doing it and our music role models do it, so why not figure it out and we can do it too. Monkey see, Monkey do.

That’s the message for today,more coming.