There’s been a lot of stories in the news lately about the vaping epidemic with adolescents. You’ve probably heard or read them yourself.
It’s very concerning. It’s likely why my recent blog, Vaping Surges…Largest Year to Year Increase Ever Recorded was one of the most highly read blog posts among my readers. It’s a concern of many. And, it should be. A 2018 study indicated that one in five 12th grade students vaped nicotine in the last 30 days.
I recently came across an online story from NBC News about how vaping is hurting teenage athletes and dashing their futures in sports. You can read the full story yourself, but it was another reminder to me of how vaping (and other risky behaviors for that matter!) is changing the course of kids’ futures.
The NBC News story introduces Cade, an 18-year-old student in Newburyport, MA. Cade fell in love with the sport of hockey at a very young age. Hockey was his life and his future. Hockey coaches and recruiters had their eyes on him starting in middle school.
Cade was introduced to e-cigarettes at a sleepover in 8th grade. Within a year he was addicted and it affected his hockey performance. He couldn’t stay on the ice for more than 90 minutes as his lungs hurt and he couldn’t get enough air into them to play.
Cade was eventually caught vaping in school and was stripped of his role as captain of the school hockey team and had to sit out a quarter of the season his senior year. The result? Missed opportunities to be recruited by a college and advance in the sport. His dreams of playing hockey beyond high school were shattered.
Cade’s story makes me think about the blog series I have also been writing these past several weeks about instilling hope with your students.
Cade had been dreaming and visualizing a future in hockey since he was a little boy. He was doing what he needed to do to make it happen – going to practice, working hard and getting good grades. Until…
He made the decision to start vaping in 8th grade.
Having kids dream and visualize what they want in their future and set goals and develop a plan of action to get it is important for instilling hope. But, what happens when one decision undermines everything they wanted and were doing to get it – like the decision to vape? It could easily lead a hopeful student, like Cade, towards a future they did not want or dream of. Or worse yet, a path of hopelessness.
I believe if you are going to build hope with your students you need to also integrate a bit of prevention into the process. If you don’t, then you can have a lot of kids with big dreams and plans for their future, but who are one drink, one e-cigarette or one sexual encounter away from losing it all. Keeping your kids from engaging in risky behaviors is important if you want to increase the likelihood their future aspirations will be fulfilled.
There is a prevention strategy that research has identified as having a strong influence on middle and high school student behavior when it comes to risky behaviors. It’s a strategy that encourages kids to dream and plan for their future while also thinking about how risky behaviors can either help or hurt them and their future. It challenges their sense of invincibility and need to do risky things to fit in with their peers.
You need to know what this prevention strategy is. Why? Because it can make a BIG difference in whether your students engage in risky behaviors AND get the futures they most want!
So, I have a brand new (and free!) masterclass!
In my “One Thing You Can Do To Instill Hope AND Prevent Vaping With Your Students” Masterclass, I will…
- Give you a deep understanding of what the strategy is all about and the benefits to your students when you integrate it into your work with them.
- Showcase research-based activities you can do with your students that incorporates the strategy. Best of all, these activities are hands-on, highly engaging and easy for you to integrate into a classroom setting or any community-based setting, like an afterschool program, recreation or faith-based program, community center and so many more!
- Offer tips & insights to increase your effectiveness with the strategy. For example, what do you do with a student who can’t imagine a future for themselves and says, “I don’t know”, when you ask them what they want for their future? We’ll tackle this question (and so many others) in the class!
So, here’s the deal…
If you’re willing to invest just 60 minutes of your time to this masterclass, I promise you will walk away with hands-on ideas, practical tips and insights you can use with your students and that WILL make a positive difference in their lives. Most importantly, give them hope for the future and reasons to not engage in risky behaviors – like vaping!
The masterclass is especially important if you work with middle and high school students! So, if this is you, then I can’t wait to see you in the class!
P.S. One more thing…If you want to start the new school year with a sense of energy, purpose and hope, then this masterclass is also for you!