Have you ever had the opportunity in your past to do something that you knew, at the time, was illegal, unsafe or would break some rule and you didn’t do it because you knew that if you did you would risk losing something that was more important to you than what you had the opportunity to do?
Can you think of a time when this was true for you?
If so, then you had “Idealism!”
Idealism is having a vision for yourself and your future and believing that risky behaviors will get in the way of what you want in your future.
Research has found that kids who have idealism are more likely to NOT participate in risky behaviors. Idealism is one of the five most effective prevention strategies you can use to influence the attitudes of middle and high school students if you don't want them to drink alcohol, use tobacco or illicit drugs, fight or engage in early sexual activity.
The important question to ask yourself is...Do ALL of my students have idealism?
If you were to ask your middle school students what they would like to be, do, have or achieve in their future, would ALL of them have ideas to share with you?