Kids that struggle in school, that have a difficult time understanding concepts like reading, writing, and arithmetic; kids that struggle with issues of low self-esteem or lack of confidence in their abilities are at an increased risk to engage in unhealthy activities, including substance abuse. Children with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) are also at risk to engage in drug abuse as an attempt to calm their restless minds and bodies.
For this reason, if parents recognize that their kid is having a hard time making friends at school or their kids are getting picked on or harassed, it may be helpful to work with them and get them involved or engaged in activities in which they can excel and make friends. You may notice that your child has athletic ability, would excel in team sports, or may thrive in other physical activities such as tennis, golf, wrestling, or even dance. Cheeer-leading, drill team, softball or volleyball are additional physical activities that engender a sense of belonging and camaraderie. Artistic kids may thrive in drama, painting, sculpture, or photography.
If your kid will never excel in or show any interest in sports, encourage them to be physically active, take swimming classes, or even ride bicycles together as a family. But endeavor to find an activity that your child really enjoys. If your kid is a whiz at playing computer games, consider enrolling them in a class where they can learn and study computers. Perhaps they may create an app that improves the computer experiences of others. They may create a new computer game. They may show significant talent in graphic design. You may uncover a sincere interest and ability in math, science, arithmetic, or physics, simply by approaching it in a different manner.
Every child has something they enjoy doing and in which they can excel. They often do not know what it is and need your guidance to steer them into something that will enhance their experience, inspire an interest and creativity, discover a talent, and gain a sense of pride.
This activity can also be fun and enjoyable for you as a parent. Adolescence is typically the time when drug use begins and this is the stage when the child begins to form their sense of of identity. Kids that have goals, dreams, and desires for the future, who know what they can do, and who know their strengths; will be more engaged, happier, and less likely to involve themselves in harmful or risky activities that could derail their long-term plans and goals. The Bible states that “with no hope, the people perish.”
Give your child a sense of hope for the future. Foster within them a sense that life is exciting, I can contribute, I can make a difference. This is so important in the life of your child.