Marketing to Kids – Why I Don’t Do Energy Drinks

Kids and Energy Drinks

When energy drinks first came out, I decided they’d be off-limits for my middle-school and elementary-age kids. They had enough energy as it was, why woulddo you let your teens drink energy drinks you give them more?

From experiences teaching and counseling teens, I see inerrant dangers when kids use unnecessary substances to alter behavior. It sets a precedence for using something outside of yourself to cope, something of which can become addictive.

I’m sensitive to addictive behavior because I’ve spent a lifetime undoing unhealthy behaviors I learned as a teen. At fourteen, I learned food and dieting helped me cope with adolescent struggles. It turned into years of addictive behavior dealing with any emotion or struggle I had. It’s taken years to completely undo the addictive nature of learned behavior.

That’s why I’m the weird mom who doesn’t give my kids energy drinks. It’s also why I was bothered when my college student received his textbooks from a popular textbook rental company accompanied by an energy drink. It was wrapped in bubble paper, looking all shiny – the answer for late night homework.

It’s one example of sinister and sneaky marketing that’s stealing healthy behaviors from our kids and young adults.

It’s a current fad on college campuses to use prescription medicine to get work done. A friend’s son told his parents he needed ADHD medicine so he could concentrate better. Against his parent’s wishes, the honor student went to his family doctor and got the prescription without question.

Never before was he diagnosed with ADHD.

We’re in the third and forth generation of drug use in the country. Today’s kids have addictive substances handed to them for any slightly discomfort of life by responsible professionals and adults. They’re begin robbed of the opportunity to persevere, work through discomfort, and use sound judgment.

Are addictions the acceptable way of life in 2014?

I work with families plagued by addictions. I’ve fought hard to live addiction free so I can be healthy. That’s why my kids don’t do energy drinks. I want them to find healthy ways to balance life’s struggles rather than reaching for something that alters their natural capacities.

What are your thoughts? What’s been marketed to your kids? What ways do you help your child steer clear of addictive behaviors? How can we help our children’s generation to break the addiction cycle?

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Brenda has a Masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a BA in education. She's a speaker, freelance writer, author, counselor and teacher who's spent two decades working with and raising teenagers. She's a mom of four, from middle school to young adult, and lives with her family on a farm in Indiana. She writes about life, faith, and parenting beyond the storybook image at Life Beyond the Picket Fence at brendayoder.com.

Brenda Yoder

Brenda has a Masters degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a BA in education. She's a speaker, freelance writer, author, counselor and teacher who's spent two decades working with and raising teenagers. She's a mom of four, from middle school to young adult, and lives with her family on a farm in Indiana. She writes about life, faith, and parenting beyond the storybook image at Life Beyond the Picket Fence at brendayoder.com.

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