Youth today are on the front lines in the war against drugs, Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, said Saturday at the fourth annual conference of the Utah Federation for Drug-Free Youth.
Addressing a Symphony Hall audience composed mainly of youths from high schools throughout Utah, Hatch told the young people, "You have the toughest battle. We all know that one of the most difficult things in life is to not go along with the crowd, to say no when you are told it is cool to say yes."Hatch, who was given an award at the conference for his service to the youth of America, told the youths that when they say no to drugs, they are saying yes to life and are giving themselves a chance to live life to the fullest.
"Every time you say no to drugs you are also saying no to cancer, mental impairments and premature aging. Every time you say no to cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, you're also saying no to lung cancer, heart disease cancer of the mouth, strokes or to years of struggling to breathe because of emphysema," Hatch said.
"And every time you say no to drugs, you're also saying no to higher health insurance costs, higher life insurance costs and the needless waste of money," he said.
Earlier Saturday at a workshop session, Dr. Victor B. Cline, University of Utah clinical psychologist, discussed "How to Make Your Child a Winner."
He said parents must have courage. He said too often in his clinical practice he sees parents who are afraid to do what needs to be done in raising well-adjusted children.
"In the face of their children's manipulative behavior they are immobilized, so they do nothing. Parents inability to take action can create serious problems with the children. Being a parent is not a popularity contest. Parents have to do what's in the best interest of their children. Sometimes this means tough love," Cline said.
He advised parents to refuse going on guilt trips, which he said can hamper them from being effective in loving and disciplining their children. Also he advised them to discontinue punishing themselves endlessly for mistakes made in the past, and he strongly advised couples to place each other first in their home even if it means giving up things for the children.
Cline also placed strong emphasis on the need for families to have fun together, saying time should be made for relaxed vacations, games, fishing trips and sleeping out under the stars together.
"The children need to see the parent in the role of friend, good guy and companion. They need to understand that we may work hard together, but we also play hard too," Cline said.
The psychologist advised both parents to follow the same rules in raising their children, and to support each other in discipline matters and to resolve their own differences in private.