As a former preventionist, I have been exposed to a number of different strategies designed to curtail adolescent drug and alcohol abuse. Some focus solely on building children's self-esteem. Some are all about cracking down on kids; creating tougher laws and school policies for those who use. Some drug and alcohol programs are fear-based, designed to scare kids with statistics and simplistic messages like alcohol kills brain cells, marijuana is addictive, and drugs can kill you. And speaking of simplistic, years ago, children were told the solution was to "just say no."
I've got a theory about how to prevent our kids from engaging in reckless and harmful behaviors. How about men stepping up the the plate and learning how to be good fathers? How about dads understanding their God-given role and being actively involved in their kids lives--spending time with them; listening to them; loving them; taking every opportunity to show them that they have value; teaching them, as the Proverb says, to choose the right path.
Instead of telling our kids to "just say no" to irresponsible behaviors, perhaps we should be teaching men to "just say yes" to being responsible fathers.
I'm thinking it just might work.