There is no magic combination of checklist items that are sure to keep your kids from choosing alcohol and drugs. While no one can provide a sure-fire solution into preventing addiction, research shows that participation in sports and group activities can help prevent kids and teens from falling into addiction.
There are several reasons for the effectiveness of activities in preventing drug and alcohol misuse. Team sports encourage an atmosphere of teamwork and camaraderie, amongst other strong character traits such as hard work and trustworthiness. As kids learn not only the sport-specific skills, they gain life skills that allow them to make good decisions. In addition, with this teamwork and camaraderie comes friendships and relationships. Theoretically, these friends will also possess the strong character traits learned during the activity to encourage safe fun and healthy friendships.
Another aspect of sports and activity teams is competition. Sports and clubs such as mathletes and chess allow kids to have a competitive outlet to transfer energy. For some, these things provide a healthy place to release anger and stress. At times, the experimentation into drugs and alcohol comes when kids are bored and are trying to find something to fill their time. With sports and clubs, much time is required for practice, meetings and competition, disallowing an abundance of free time to be filled with mischievous activities. Overall, sports and activities are not a one-stop solution, but parental education and encouragement provides a solid groundwork for kids and teens as they battle peer pressure.
What sports and activities do your kids choose?