From time to time, I come across issues in the news that I think are significant, especially as they relate to at-risk children and teens. Being knowledgeable about these issues can give insight into how to compassionately care for and guide struggling youth, along with building awareness of what temptations they most likely face.
When to Talk to Kids About Alcohol – It might be sooner than you think. Within an urban context, I would bump the age even lower. In an urban setting, kids are exposed to much more at younger ages.
How Poverty Affects Brain Development – The University of Wisconsin has completed a study on how extreme poverty affects children’s brain development. The article bears this out, but it is really the social factors typically associated with extreme poverty in America that contribute to this: a high-stress, unstable home environment; violence; poor nutrition; and limited experiences and stimulation.
Marijuana. It’s already legal in Arizona for medical purposes. There is a strong push to legalize it recreationally as well. Here are some articles that I believe are worth reading.
The Legalization of Marijuana: What Christians Should Know (by a former LA police lieutenant)
Marijuana, Teenagers, and Youth Ministry (by Greg Stier of Dare 2 Share)
Study: Daily Marijuana Use Among College Students at Highest Rate in 35 Years (what is happening now that young people view marijuana as “safe”)