Addiction in Christian Counselling

ADDICTION IN COUNSELLING
Addiction — The state of being enslaved to a habit of practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, such as narcotics, to such an extent that to stop causes severe trauma.

Drugs are simply chemicals that make changes in the body chemistry or internal makeup.
Drug misuse refers to using drugs for purposes or conditions for which they are not suited or for appropriate purposes with improper doses.
Drug abuse is a pattern of harmful use of a substance or habitual activity for the purpose of altering one’s mood. People abuse drugs to forget or not feel painful feelings such as loneliness, anxiety, depression, anger, grief.
Tolerance is a phenomenon that occurs when a substance is used repeatedly and the same dose of the substance begins to have less effect. This is the reason a person who is addicted to a drug must increase amount of drug intake to have the desired effects.
Leads to overdose in relapse from recovery – body does not need the amount for it no longer has built up tolerance. A person relapses, using the amount of drug at height of addiction.
Physical Dependence means that the body has adapted to the presence of the chemical and withdrawal syndrome appears as drug level in system drops – when the person stops taking the drug. Withdrawal syndrome varies from one class of drugs to another.
Psychological Dependence (also called behavioral dependence) is defined by observable behavior, such as frequency using a drug or by the amount of time or effort an individual spends obtaining the drug.

Models of Addiction
Disease Model – Explains that there is a legitimate and verifiable difference between those who are addicted and those who are not. Addiction is viewed as a progressive disease, making people incapable of not using their drug of choice once they start. The drawback of this model is that by claiming it is an incurable disease, addicts are more likely to avoid responsibility for change. “I can’t change; I have a disease.”

Genetic Model – Focuses on differences in genetic and physiological processes to explain addiction. Family, twin, and adoption studies suggest that 40 to 60% of an individual’s risk for alcoholism is genetic. However, this does not mean individuals with certain genes will necessarily become addicted to a particular drug, for it is a matter of susceptibility or genetic predisposition. For example, in some people with certain genes, it is harder to quit once they start than for others.While there are genetic factors, not everyone from an alcoholic family will develop an addiction.

Choice or Moral Model– States that the individual person and his/her choices are the primary cause of an addiction problem. The model is based on the idea that each individual has free choice and is responsible for their behaviors. Alcohol and drug consumption are viewed as choices. Scriptures teach that each person has a moral responsibility to God, as Hebrews 4:13 says, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” However, under the choice model of addiction, addicts are often labeled as weak, with poor willpower or other moral failings. This kind of contempt is destructive and not helpful for their recovery.

Biological Model – Focuses on unique biological conditions, such as abnormal drug metabolism and brain sensitivity to explain addiction. It is known that highly addictive drugs such as stimulants can spur the dopamine pathway in the brain, resulting in a feeling of being high. This causes the body to produce less dopamine. Studies with brain-scanning technology show the difference in brain structure activity between brains that have been influenced by drugs and healthy brains. However, these studies tend to show some of the physiological consequences produced by drug usage and not necessarily the causes of dependence. Science has failed to prove a true biological cause.

Personality Model – Considers addiction as rooted in an abnormality of personality, which may be characterized by poor impulse control, a lowered self-esteem, poor coping skills, egocentricity, and manipulative traits. There are frequent correlations between drug abuse and antisocial personality and juvenile delinquency. However, this does not fully explain whether abnormality of personality causes addiction.

Coping/Social Learning Model – considers one’s development as playing an important role in addictive behaviors. People with addiction problems are seen as emotionally wounded. Many have experienced severe trauma in childhood. For example, the research on sex addicts has shown that 81 percent have been sexually abused, and 97percent emotionally abused. Addiction is considered as a coping mechanism to alleviate pain.

Sociocultural Model – Points to the role of society, environmental factors, and subcultures in shaping an individual’s addiction. In essence, addiction is viewed as a learned behavior from others. For example, alcohol consumption is powerfully influenced by the availability of alcohol and social interactions. The level of availability to illicit drugs may vary depending on the family environment, socioeconomic status, peer pressure, educational or prevention programs, legal regulations, and so on. Social support and accountability are essential for recovery from addiction.Social environment is environmental, but everyone has a choice to take or not to take the drug when offered.

Spiritual Model – Views addiction as stemming from a lack of spirituality, a lack of faith-based values, and disconnection from God, who is seen as the source of light, truth, love and wellness. This model suggests that recovery from addiction requires a restored relationship with God. The Word of God does not imply that alcohol (wine) in and of itself is evil. In fact, alcohol consumption was part of everyday customs and prevailing biblical cultures and was also used for various celebrations as well as medicinal purposes. Yet the Bible is clear that drunkenness is sinful (Gal. 5:21). The scriptures also acknowledge that battles between the desires of the flesh and the Spirit’s desires (Gal. 5). We are not to gratify the sinful desires of the heart but to live by the Spirit (Rom. 6:12, 8:5; Gal. 5:16).

If choice were never part of the equation and the process were purely biological, genetic or disease-based, then it would be questionable as to whether anyone could move towards sobriety and recovery; yet the fact remains that thousands of individuals do become sober.
Some will say there is no shame in addiction because it is a disease; however, there is shame in addiction; but there is not shame to be in recovery. Recovery is the strength and courage to ask for help.
Most common is addiction is a bio-psycho-social-spiritual phenomenon, having a many causations and contributing factors.

Effects of Addiction

Compulsion: 3 Elements
Reinforcement – Occurs when the addictive substance or behavior is first engaged. The effect of the substance or the feeling it produces (such as pleasure, stimulus or pain relief) reinforces the user.
Craving—means that your brain sends intense signals that the drug is needed.
Habit – Continual use; becoming part of your lifestyle.

Loss of Control – Addict senses the addiction is out of their control; typically cannot predict or determine when or how much of the drug will be consumed.
Negative Consequences – The addict continues to use despite all the painful consequences to himself/herself and others. Including poor physical helath,s, interpersonal relationship difficulties, poor job or school performance, financial problems, falling into habitual sin and separation from God.
Tolerance – When the substance is used continually, the body begins to tolerate the drug’s or behavior’s pharmacological effects. The Body needs an increased amount of the chemical or behavior to produce the same effects.
Withdrawal – Unpleasant effects when drug use stops. Symptoms are substance and amount dependent; can be life threatening; may require careful medical attention (detoxification) as in the case of alcohol.

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Importance of Counselling

Have you ever wonder where to turn to and ask help when you are in need of help?
Have you ever experienced something personal which you can never share to other whom you don’t trust?
Have you ever come across someone in your life telling you he/she cannot make it, what do you offer and what do you say?
These are some of the example I would like to up in place to make us understand the need and importance of counselling in this present context.

Protecting Children from Mass Media and Peer Pressure

 

INTRODUCTION

            In modern technology era, most of children are swept away by mass media and social peer pressure. The influence of mass media and peer pressure can have lasting impact in the life of the children even later in their adulthood. Most of researches have confirmed that childhood experiences in their formative years determine their futures.

This is not undeniable partially children are the product of social environment. The children brought up in broken and dysfunctional family where love and care deprived certainly will develop unhealthy social behavior and personality disorder which will make life difficult to adjust and cope with the pressure from social media and peer group.

Moreover in their formative years and during cognitive development, children process unhealthy and faulty information from mass media and peers unable to think critically and rationally that leads to the problem in the family as a social unit in turn effect society at large.

From the moment of conception, human beings undergo process of development. Human development is the process of change and stability throughout the human life span. Throughout life span development people are divided into major three groups generally such as childhood, adolescence and, adulthood. The study deals with children the most important stage of human development and it is the time when the life of the children and his future can be shaped and molded.

Childhood is the critical period for formation of the characters and values, moral, behavior. And it is the time of emotional, intellectual, and social change occur and learning process starts by imitating other from friends, television, video games, iPods, music, sports, study, jobs, hobbies, and other activity that can have negative impact upon the children even in their adulthood. Children are the hope and leaders for tomorrow. The children need protection and supervision by adult for shaping better life and the betterment of the family, society and the nation. The way we rear and bring the children determine the future of the society, community and nation. The effectiveness of teaching the children depend on understanding of the developmental stages of children and parents and teachers, pastors needs to understand the personality, mental status of the children to impart the knowledge effectiveness. Therefore, Building the children will ensure the peace of the world and the harmony of the society and community.

 1.DEFINITION

1.1. Children

According to free encyclopedia of Wikipedia, child is defined biologically as anyone between birth and puberty or in the developmental stage of childhood, between infancy and adulthood. Legally children are those below18 years of age.[1]

            The chronological age of Children here is taken from four year to twelve years. This is also can be called formative year of moral, character and behavior for the children though formative year is from birth to five year. But it is difficult to determine that the child develop manner, moral and character during first five year. The child only can learn after five year when true learning process occurs because the child is capable of imitating, observing and behaving certain way. During this formative year most of character, moral value and manner and behavior, the children personalities can be shaped by the help of parents and teachers and counselors, pastors. It is believed that if a child is provided good training in warm and healthy environment, children are secure for resisting evil, immoral characters and antisocial behavior later in life even in his adult stage. Therefore, parents, teachers, pastors and counselors need to impart value system, characters and moral, and manner to the children in his learning process.

  1. DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES OF CHILDREN

            Development is pattern of change over time, which begins at conception and continues throughout the life span. In children, development period contains a number of significant occurrences upon the individual: different domains, such as the changes in their physical being, social, emotional, intellectual, language, moral. The occurrence of these changes are both perplexing and bewildering for them.

Children have a period of transition. Many changes take place in the life of children. Changes occur in the pattern of his/her thinking attitudes, ideas, relationships and the moral standards; likewise there is every kind of development that is undergoing in his/her being physically, spiritually, socially, psychologically, morally, etc. A child begins with rapid development in every area of life. Therefore, it is necessary to understand thoroughly the specific ways in which children grow and develop.

2.1. EARLY CHILDHOOD

Early childhood extends from 4-5 years. Thus, early childhood begins at the conclusion of babyhood-the age when dependency is practically outdated, is being replaced by growing independence. At this stage, they do not care about where this or that life principle comes from, but just experience the emotional background around them and behave accordingly. In addition, it ends about the time the child enters first grade in school.

2.1.1. Linguistic Development

Early childhood is the golden age for learning to talk. Almost all cultures expect young children to learn to talk. Improvement can be speeded up by guidance and supervision.[2] By the time children are two years, most of the pre-speech forms of communication they found so useful during infancy have been abandoned. Young children no longer bubble and their crying is greatly curtailed. They may use but mainly as supplements to speech. During this period, rapid strides are made in building up vocabulary, mastering pronunciation and combining words into sentences. Early childhood is popularly known as the chatterbox.[3]

2.1.2. Intellectual Development

The rate of intellectual development is quite rapid at this stage, which resembles the rate of physical growth at infancy. The how and why questions are more predominant now. Memory and imagination continues to be strong and active. Nevertheless, there is inability to and the child learns by trial and error, by imitation and by seeing the concrete objects. He/she learns by repetition, drill and by rote memory.[4]

At this stage, the child has got varied experiences connected with his/her immediate environment. He/she has accumulated a fund of knowledge. Child can attend to his/her basic needs feelings, clothing, etc. The child learns the rudiments of reading and writing through play-activities. Sunday school’s Montessori apparatus and kindergartens gifts play an important role in his/her early education at this period. Since this is the most impressionable stage of development, imitation and make-believe are also at the climax during this stage. This stage is also called the stage of fantasy.[5]

2.1.3. Emotional Development

The common emotions are anger, fear, jealousy, curiosity, envy, joy and grief. Emotions are especially intense during early childhood. They are easily aroused to emotional outbursts and as a result are difficult to live with and guide. While this is true of the major part of early childhood, it is especially true of children aged two and a half, three and a half and five and a half.[6]

2.1.4. Social and Cultural Development

Early childhood is often called the pre-gang age. The foundation for socialization is laid at this time. They play more and talk more with other children and the number of contacts they have with their peers increases with each passing years. Although they may love to watch each other’s occupations, they engage themselves in associative play and in cooperative play.[7]

2.1.5. Moral Development

Children during this stage develop moral values through imitation. Moral development in early childhood is on a low level. The reason is that they are not intellectually capable to learn or apply abstract principles of right and wrong. Piaget says that children judge all acts as right or wrong in terms of their consequences rather than in terms of the motivations behind them.[8]

2.2. MIDDLE CHILDHOOD (6-8)

This span of years from six to eight constitutes a transition period in itself, since it marks the passing of the child from home to school, play to work, instinct to will, and imagination to reason. The fact that the child now enters school gives him/her to acquire some life experience already and provides him/her a distinct place in the social order. They have certain relationships with the world established by this age.[9]

2.2.1. Emotional Development

It is a period of emotional stability and control. Children learn to control the overt expressions of their emotions. The child now hides his/her feelings. He/she can control his/her emotions and express them in appropriate and socially approved ways. His/her emotional behavior is not guided by instinctive causes but has an appropriate rationale behind it.[10]

2.2.2. Social-Cultural Development

This period of childhood is often called gang age because they are always interested in activities with their peers and want to be members of a gang and they have a strong sentient for the group. Feelings of mutual cooperation, team spirit and group loyalties are developed among children of their age. As gang members, they develop an antagonistic attitude towards members of the opposite sex and become prejudiced against all who are non-gang members.

2.2.3. Moral Development

Discipline plays an important role in the development of moral code. Children at this stage still follow religious exercises. Various sentiments like religious, moral, social and patriotic begin to develop at this stage. They pick up many social virtues at this stage since they follow the group spirit. Thus, the types of group and values held by the group have a greater influence on children.

2.2.4. Intellectual Development

The rate of intellectual development is quite rapid at this stage, which resembles the rate of physical growth at infancy. There is a rapid increase in understanding and in the accuracy of concept during later childhood, partly as a result of increased intelligence and partly as a result of increased learning experiences and opportunities. At this stage, the child acquires new experiences and tries to adapt opportunities. At this stage, the child acquires new experiences, tries to adapt himself/herself to his/her environment, and prepares himself/herself to solve the problems. He/she has a power of reasoning, thinking, observation, concentration, perception, imagination etc., is developed. He/she develops the concept of length, time and distance and learns to express himself/herself in various ways.[11]

2.3. LATER CHILDHOOD (9-12)

Later childhood is one of the most interesting and most important periods of life. It is called the adult period of childhood. Before he/she enters into the second stage of life, he/she must experience, as if it were, a new birth and undergo great changes. It is the most difficult period, and therefore later childhood perhaps is the most important, especially in view of the fact that it holds within its training the solution of many of the problems of adolescence.[12]

2.3.1. Emotional Development

The greatest disturbance in this stage seems to be in the emotional sphere. There is a lurking fear in the mind whether all the changes that seem to be taking place physically are singling him/her out, but there is also the sense of achievement that he/she is more a grown up (adult) now.[13] It is withdrawn and another effort is made. Children in this stage of development are in a state of uncertainty, doubt and turbulence, and many of their feelings are not expressed at all. They are therefore unpredictable and understanding adults are the ones who can reassure them, for most adults have gone through these situations, with the same mental unrest, and can do the most to help them.[14]          

2.3.2. Social and Cultural Development

During this period, there is further development of social traits like ‘co-operation and team-spirit. Gregarious instinct ripens at this stage, and it gets numerous opportunities for fulfillment while the child comes into contact with children of his/her age in the neighborhood and in the school. Now the child tries to loosen the shackles of the family ties. He/she becomes increasingly independent of his/her parents, whom he/she considers merely convenient persons to provide food and shelter. He/she becomes member of a gang or band, and plats all sorts of mischief with the elders when these work. In the wake of asserting one’s self, the self-centered behavior sometimes gives rise to jealousies, quarrels and aggression. Nevertheless, he/she learns one important lesson. He/she is ruled by public opinion, and becomes conscious of his/her allegiance to his/her gang, whose dictates he/she complies silently any at cost.[15]

2.3.3 Moral Development

The conduct of the young boys/girls is mostly governed by the mores of this group. To some extent, the consciousness of right or wrong is determined by the religious and moral training received at home. The rebukes of the parents work as deterrents. However, the more parents are aggressive, the less are the children co-operative. The parents have to be very careful in dealing with the child. The child may flout the authority of the parents. But he dare not challenge the gang. This is what ‘school boy/girl morality’ is. Such moral behavior is dangerous only when the group is not led properly by the school authorities. His/her main interest is to engage him/her in outdoor activities, with an ‘onward look’. He/she is an extrovert and is intensely curious to know the world around. He/she is more practical than he/she was during the infancy, or will be during adolescence.[16]  

2.3.4. Intellectual Development

This is the age of real questioning and listening carefully to the answers. In school, they do a lot of reasoning; they are taught not to accept everything that is told to them, but to reason out before accepting it. Therefore, there is some confusion, but a great deal of mental activity is going on in the mind of the child. The power of judging for themselves is being crystallized. They develop the ability to grasp relationships. Encouragement may be given to help them to use their reasoning correctly and arrive at their own conclusions. The questioning mind should not be curbed, for once, this is done. The mental there is the desire to make their own decisions in the light of their thinking, thus exercising the right to freedom of thought.[17]

THE IMPACT OF MASS MEDIA UPON THE CHILDREN

            The mass media is aimed at a large mass of people, even when place and time separate them. Mass media receivers are beyond our count and control. Their influence is beyond our realization. As the media has positive impact, it also has negative impact and has become negatively uncontrollable in their scope and distribution of their negative impact to the children.[18]

1.3. Media

Media is the intervening substance through which something is transmitted or carried on. It is the whole body of communication that reaches large number of the people via radio, television, movie, magazines, newspapers and the world wide web. [19]

TYPES OF MASS MEDIA

There are generally two types of mass media.

Print Mediums

The Print Media conveys messages to us using both words, and pictures. It includes books, magazines, periodicals, newspapers, etc. Sadly, today almost all the pictorial book, magazines and periodical journal are appealing to sexual activities and imprint in the mind of the children and adversely it produce sexual activities later in life.

Today every poster and picture are seen everywhere. The visual sexual images can have negative thought and image in the children. The sale of pornography is done by a multibillion dollar industry that encompass the sale of sexually explicit movie; magazines; book, videos and increasingly, internet based media. In all, forbs magazine recently described the “pornography industry” as a 556 billion global enterprise that has become much more mainstreamin recent years. The pornography industry in 1996 was estimated to have grossed more dollors than total receipts from all of Hollywood’s movies combined. [20]

Electronic Mediums

Electronic Media is a machine for transmitting and receiving messages over long distances, i.e. for telegraphy and Telegraph, radio, television and Cinema and Computer. Radio is used to transmit information news around the world for the awareness of the world phenomena happening around the world. [21] There are some electronic mediums such as radio, telegraph almost harmless but there also some harmful electronic mediums for children such as Cinema, Computers, Internet, TV, Video, Mobile which appeal the interest of children and from which they learn new things and behavior of fighting, stealing, lying.

TV and Brain Functions

TV viewing reduces higher brain activity, promoting activity in lower brain regions. In other words, it makes less intelligent and behaves more like an animal. Brain is more active when sleeping than when watching television. Since the health of the brain is largely determined by how much actively it is used, watching too much television can therefore have a detrimental effect on the health of the brain.

The saying “TV rots your brain” has more truth to it than you might imagine. Excessive television viewing has also been linked to degenerative brain disorders later in life such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Note: reading may help to offset/protect against some of the harmful effects television has on the brain.

Short Attention Span

Excessive television viewing can cause a person to develop a short attention span and increase the risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adults. This is thought to be due to the frequent scene changes that occur with modern-day video edits.

Frequent scene changes/cuts are used because it activates what is known as orienting response. This is a natural biological response which automatically draws your attention to things which change in your environment. The purpose of this is for survival, so that you are quickly altered to possible dangers in your environment.

The more scene changes there are, the more this response is activated and the more your attention will be held. However, cuts which occur too frequently can make a video difficult to follow and may even you may feel sick.

Numerous studies have reported that television viewing is associated with an increased risk of death from all causes. This may be due to a lack of physical activity associated with television viewing, or as a result of the physical degeneration of the brain. It is not know for certain though, why TV increases the risk of death or by what means.

Impaired Brain Development in Children

Watching television appears to be especially harmful for children as their brain has not yet fully developed. Increased television viewing in children tends to impair frontal lobe development. This region of the brain is responsible for impulse control and one’s ability to concentrate. Thus damage to or retardation of the frontal lobe, can result in a child who acts socially inappropriately (i.e. exhibits anti-social behavior), and finds it difficult to concentrate and learn at school.

The main concern with watching TV is that we have no control over what is coming into our mind. Something may be good, whilst others may be bad. This relates to what you consciously see, but there are greater concerns regarding the things you don’t see.[22]

Videos and Violent

In the first ever conducted international survey by Dr. Jo Groebel of Utrecht University, with the World Organization of the Scout Movement from 1996 to 1997, more than 5,000 12 year-old-students from 23 countries on children and media violence, underlines television’s dominant role in the lives of young people around the world and its impact on the development of aggressive behavior, paving the way for a stronger debate between politicians, producers, teachers and parents.

How do the world’s children spend most of their leisure time? The answer watching television may come as no great surprise, but the UNESCO Global Media Violence Study the largest ever intercultural project on this topic, sheds light on the striking similarities of television’s impact in vastly different cultural economic and social contexts.[23]

The studies were made of movie attendance of more than 10,000 children in Chicago when this form of entainment was at its height of popularity. Special attention was given to the relation of movies and delinquency. All the children interviewed attended movies once a twice a week.  But one half of the delinquents reported a movie attendance rate of three to seven time a week. The conclusion was drawn that juvenile delinquents have a more contact with movies than do other children. the findings of this studies show that the delinquent child’s contact with the movie for exceeds that of other children.[24]

A report on four decades of entertainment TV from the media research team of Robert Lichter, Linda Lichter, Stanley Rothman and Daniel Amundson found about 50 crimes, including a dozen murders, in every hour of prime time television.  This indicates that our children may see from 800,000 to 1.5 million acts of violence and witness 192,000 to 360,000 murders on television by the time they are 17-years-old.[25]

Computer and Internet

            Inventions in the field of communications are never ending. The development of computers has generated umpteen possibilities in modern communication systems, with their latest technologies. With the added services of the satellite, information technology is expanding by leaps and bounds. Internet is helping us to see and hear the world firsthand on our computer screens.[26]

It is important to note here that all developments in the field of the media have negative impact to the life of the people because of the corrupted websites and pornography websites that appeal thousands of people to communicate and exchange the message that destroy family and spoil so many children.

Mobile and Pornography

No doubt today’s children are smarter than old generation. Every child knows how to operate mobile and how to access internet through mobile to the pornography websites where sexual organs, images are explicitly exposed and showed through which children learn about sex.

Most of children have mobile phones through which they watch pornography videos, blue films.  As children are so keen to learn and practice what they know and see. Such visual images, videos lead children sexually active even before they reach their puberty.

THE IMPACT OF PEER PRESSURE

Many of Researches show that peer pressure begins well before adolescence — a new study from the University of Maryland found that children recognize the value of group loyalty and feel social pressure as early as age 6. And today’s children may be less equipped to resist peer pressure, peer pressure lead less resist to drinking, smoking and other negative behaviors — the very same things that negative peer pressure can incite them to try. And the parenting practices can help determine whether peer pressure is your child’s friend or foe. Pressure from peers motivates nearly every type of negative behavior, from unsafe driving to sex to bullying. [27]

1.2. Peer Pressure

Peers are children who are about the same age or maturity level. Same-age peer interaction serves a unique role among the children.[28] Peer pressure is the influence one has to another through relationship between individual and how it affects the areas of value, character, moral and behavior of children. Most of the studies have proved that peer groups have played a very important role in children. Therefore, peer pressure is one of the problems for the growing children. Peer can influence in the areas of habit of smoking, drinking and drug abuse, maladjustment behavior, and antisocial behavior in the family, school and society.

Peer Pressure on Interest

All children discover that one condition that contributes heavily to social acceptance is having interests in common with the member of peer group. If, for example members of peer group are interested playing ball games, a child who wants to be an accepted member of the group must be willing to show an interest in these games by learning to play well. If the peer groups have the habit of smoking, drinking, for children to be accepted in the group the children will do the same as the peer group risk his behviour and identify himself with peer group.

When the child interests are based on unrealistic concepts, they are always a source of potential hazards to good characters and moral standard because their interests are built on faulty information and foundation.[29]

Peer Pressure and Behavior

Peer pressure may play a major role in bullying behavior too. A study by Parent Further found that half of children said they’d picked on someone after seeing a peer do the same.[30] According to Jvan Petrovich Pavlov, all behaviors are learned. Children learn most of the behaviors from the parents and peer. Children lean unhealthy behviours from their peer uncritically of course some parents’ behaviours might have negative images and impact upon the children. Most of children’s unhealthy behavior are leaned from their peer group in the absence of guardians and parents especially during social and cultural development.

Peer Pressure and Drug Abuse

Drugs and medicines can be useful and life-saving, and can enhance the quality of life. Abused and misused of drug and substances can injure or destroy.[31] There are different types of drugs such as psychoactive drug, stimulant and safety of drug abused by children and adults. Such drugs are dangerous for normal health reduction the quality of life. Different types are discussed bellowed.

Psychoactive drug which act directly on the brain to affect various functions including perception, cognition, emotions and attention, and learning.

And also Alcohol and antibiotic are abused to produce pleasure in the body and stimulate the sensual feeling to reduce disturbances and pain.

Safe drug is used in treatment of physical illness to relieve and in the intervention of disease to fight against disease or sickness. And also it can be misused by over does use of more than what is prescribed by physicians.[32]

Substance abuse is widely known all over the world among the children and youngster even adult addicted to substance is not new finding and surprising increasing uncontrollable amount. Substance abuse is dangerous and harmful for physical especially brain especially during developmental stage and when drug is abused that destroys cells in the body and even damaging the brain which control the whole physical functioning system.  Most of drug abuse among the children are introduced by their peer and experiment it and later lead to addiction.

Children who start drinking at an earlier age may develop addiction very soon because of developmental reasons. Alcoholism is a progressive-compulsive disease. Primary characteristic of this disease is the continuing excessive use of the alcoholic beverages in a way that damages one or more areas of one’s life: physical, mental, emotional, volitional, familial, social and spiritual. [33]

Peer Pressure and Smoking

            Smoking is the single greatest cause of preventable death. It also may be the chief cause of death in developed countries. For example, in the United States, smoking accounts for at least 438,000 deaths each year–approximately 1 in every 5, with the largest portion of these deaths attribute to cancer, and smoking also accounts for at least 30% of all cardiovascular related deaths. Smoking appear to serve as an entry-level drug in childhood and adolescence for subsequent substance use and abuse and trying other drug in the future and increases risk of erectile dysfunction by 50%. [34] Most of parents are unaware of the danger of smoking that can lead to child learning problem damaging brains function during childhood development and cause death. Parents need to protect their children from peer who can influence their children in smoking, drinking and drug abuse.

The children learn the dangerous habit of smoking and introduced by or from peer who secretly smoke in the absent of guardian. Peer play crucial role related to smoking in childhood. Children will never smoke in the presence of parents and elderly but they will smoke with their friends to see what smoking looks alike.

To protect children from the negative impact of mass media and peer pressure, the style of parenting needed to be more effective in protecting children from harmful environments.

MODELS OF PROTECTING CHILDREN

            There are different methods or technique that can be employed to protect children from negative impact of mass media and peer pressures. The parenting style, influence of parents to children, different tips are the most effective method of protecting children from mass media and peer pressure.

2.10. The Parenting styles

There are different parenting styles that can be positive and negative that has lasting impact upon the children in their developmental stage. The Parenting styles are authoritarian, authoritative, and permissive can be thought of as cognitive mindsets or sets of beliefs on how to raise a child.

Authoritarian Parenting

The parent is demanding but not responsive. In this style of parenting, children are expected to follow the strict rules established by the parents. There is little open dialogue between parents and children. Failure to follow such rules usually results in punishment. Authoritarian parents fail to explain the reasons behind these rules. These parents have high demands, but are not responsive to their children. Since demands are pushed too forcefully upon the child, there is a possibility of breakdown, rebel, or runaway of children. [35]

This style of parenting often leads to resentment towards children, feeling of helplessness, frustration among the children and seeking love, happiness, and supports from peers who accept them and understand them more than their parents and they take their peers as their role models.

Authoritative Parenting

This parenting style is much more democratic and balanced. It is characterized by a child-centered approach that holds high expectation of maturity. They establish rules and guidelines that their children are expected to follow. They are responsive to their children and willing to listen to questions. Authoritative parents can understand their children’s feelings and teach them how to regulate them. When children fail to meet the expectations, parents are more nurturing, forgiving, and forgiving rather than punishing. Their punishments are measured and consistent in discipline, not harsh or arbitrary. Parents encourage children to be independent, at the same time they place limits and controls on their actions. Parents allow them to make their own decisions based on their own reasoning. They expect mature, independent and age appropriated behavior of children. This is the most recommended style of parenting by child-rearing experts.[36]

Permissive parenting

Permissive parents are sometimes referred to as indulgent, responsive and they pose very few demands to their children. These parents rarely discipline their children because they have relatively low expectations of maturity and self-control.[37] It is unhealthy form of parenting.

Parental permissiveness is shown by willingness to permit children to do things as much as they wish, with few restraints. This leads children to be easily influenced by their peer groups. Excessive permissiveness indulgence makes children self, demanding, and often tyrannical. They demand attention, and service from other that often lead to behavior problem.

 

THE PERENTL INFLUENCE ON CHILDREN

Parental influences on the child assume two different forms. Parental actions with the child are the most obvious. Parents who regularly talk and read to their children usually produce children with the largest vocabularies, the highest intelligence scores, and the best academic grades.[38] Parents also influence their children through their own characters. Children come to conclusions about themselves often incorrect, because they assume that since they are the biological offspring of their mother and father, they possess some of the qualities that belong to their parents.[39] This emotionally tinged belief is called identification and it is the basis for national pride and loyalty to ethnic and religious groups. Thus, if a parent is perceived by his/her child as affectionate, just and talented, the child assumes that too.[40]

It is quite apparent how important parenting is. Parenting is different from parenthood. Parenthood is giving birth to a child. It is a complicated task, which is not only giving birth to a child, but also is providing their growth up to adolescence and above. It is not only providing physical well-being for the child, but also providing warmth and security to ensure good discipline and morality in future. They can adopt different approaches fullest level possible.[41] Parenting styles explain the nature of parent-child interaction and thereby moderating the impact of specific practices.[42]

The Importance of Socialization

One of the major points on culture is that human beings at birth are helpless and without knowledge of their society’s ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving. If a human infant is to learn how to participate in social life, cultural learning has to take place.

As the infant grows to childhood, emotional responses to his/her behavior take on increased importance. The adult’s responses change from efforts to satisfy his/her bodily needs into attitudes of approval and disapproval designed to encourage him/her to exercise self-control. Thus, the child is encouraged to feed himself/herself and to renounce the satisfactions of being fed. He/she must learn to control his/her elimination and to stop depending upon his/her mother for cleanliness. The parents have to respond the child in terms of their own psychological needs, their position in the class, status, and role structure of society, and their ambition for the child.[43]

Family Communication

The molding of the child, whether deliberate or unintentional, is accomplished through person-to-person interaction. The child responds in turn, and in this mutuality of interaction, the drama of socialization is acted out.[44]

Through interaction with others and through language, the individual comes to think of him/her as and “I.” As he/she perceives the attitudes of others toward this “I,” he/she develops a self-image. He/she takes on a view of himself/herself from observing the way others respond to him/her. For this reason, Cooley spoke of a “looking-glass self.”[45] The behavior of others toward him/her is the mirror in which the individual sees himself/herself.[46]

From the attitudes of others toward himself/herself, the individual also creates an image of what he/she ought to be in order to secure love and approval.

Much of the behavior of parents toward their children after infancy is directed toward insuring the child’s self-control and independence. Socialization is directed, therefore, toward creating a self capable of controlling and directing its own behavior. [47]

A study on interactions of normal and delinquent families were compared by Alexander (1973) and fount that delinquent families appeared to have confusing interactions with unclear communications. Delinquent families are characterized by defensive communications, extensive dominance of talking time by parents and lack of communication focus.[48]

Today, so many parents are too busy with their business and have not time to have good relationship with their children and communication with them. Parents are lacking good communication through which their children are covey the message of value, character and moral that will help their child maintaining their life save from outside world such as harmfulness of peer pressure and mass media. When the communication between children-parents is dysfunction the children will develop unhealthy behaviours and habit as a result of improper communication.

Family is considered as the basic source of emotional support, love and intimacy in our culture. Sharing of all these positive feelings is taking place through family interaction especial of parents.

When the children cannot find emotional support, love, intimacy with the family members especially of parents, they look it from their peers and try to get that emotional support, love and intimacy outside of the family who can support them and have close intimacy with them and that result to follow their peer, their action of immoral characters, behavior, that lead to devastation behavior, character and value system. Therefore, the family needs to provide the emotional support, love, intimacy towards children that the children have no other person to whom they look emotional support, love and relationship.

Overall, McCarthy and Anglin (1990) found from their studies that in the formative years the quality and quantity of adult supervision has long term consequences with regard to the child’s ability to succeed.

Role of Parent To Protect Children From Mass Media

Parents need to be wise enough in dealing with children. some parents even don’t know what is happening to their kids and children. parent can lead children to a better place, environments and future by giving discipline, training righteous living, teaching obedience etc.,.

Discipline:

The meaning of discipline is taken from the word “disciple,” which means “pupil”. Therefore, the approach to discipline involves the dynamics of learning of growth, and maturation rather than revenge and penalty towards children. The purpose of discipline is to guide, and to aid the child in developing skills and attitudes for functioning in the world. While punishment tends to involve hatred and anger, discipline involves love, care and guidance for future development.

Training Righteous Living:

Parents have a responsibility to train children in righteous way because it is an important element in teaching. Guideline is necessary for training the children in righteousness way as well as parents. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train a child in the way he/she should go, and when it is old he/she will not turn from it.” If children are trained properly in the way they should, they will go on well in later life; of course, there are exceptions, but it stands as a general rule.

Training in righteousness is not only stands as encouragement, But rather as a warning to elder that if the children are not trained properly than a child will develop sinful habits which will be deeply rooted in his/her life as it grow up, This shows that the parents must train the children in a righteous in a way what God wants them to be so that they will not develop any sinful attitude that might hinder or led them astray from God.

Teaching Obedience:

              Nourishing children in spiritually one need to be taught by quoting the Scriptures and teach them obedience because it is the vital responsibility for the Church. Here are some of the clear scriptural teachings that the elders must teach children obedience.

Ephesians 6:1, “Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right.”

Colossian 3:20, “Children, obey your parents in everything for this pleases the Lord.”

There is a command for every Christian i.e. Obedience. This is the mutual duty of children and parents. “Children” in the above verses probably refers to children who are growing up rather than those who have already grown up. Those children, who are raised according to the biblical teaching, will have disciplined, righteous, and obedient life and they will manifest the same thing even in their spiritual life.

Parental Role in Protecting Children from drug abuse

Rosenberg (1971) studied families of 35 children patients. It was reported that 63 percent of children who abused drug did not have positive relationship with their fathers.  The fathers were described as being brutal or as exercising little or erratic control or as being absent. According to the studies conducted by Nylander (1964) and Chein (1965) there is evidence to suggest that children those who abuse drug are likely to have come from broken homes, and having parents who are alcoholic, antisocial or mentally ill.

In India, Singh and Broota (1978) found in their studies that children with a positive family history of smoking, alcohol drinking and drug abuse are more likely to indulge in drug abuse under peer influences that those who do not have family history of these habits.[49] Parental should set model for their children through their behavior, reaching, character, so that they may impact children positively.

GUIDLINE FOR PROTECTING CHILDREN FROM MASS MEDIAS

Here are some tips for handling some of the media your kids are interacting with.

Taming the Tube

The television is not a baby sitter. Hopefully, parents are extremely careful about choosing a baby sitter and day care for their children. Why are we not as careful about choosing the TV programs our kids watch?

  • Know what shows your kids are watching on television.It is vitally important to know the content of every program your child watches. As a rule, most programs will either work to reinforce your values or oppose them. This is why it is so important to be aware of a program’s content.
  • Don’t put a television in your their bedrooms.A television in your child’s bedroom is a big no-no. You won’t be able to monitor the content, and your kids may be drawn to their rooms at the expense of family interaction. A television in the bedroom is a far too attractive temptation for your kids.
  • Set limits on TV time.What are your guidelines, rules, and expectations for television viewing? Setting limits may be challenging, but — with consistency — the results are well worth it.
  • Talk with your kids about TV shows.All television is educational. The question is, what does it teach? Watch television with your kids, and then debrief the themes and content afterward. You’ll be surprised just how easy it is to turn a mediocre program or movie into a first-rate learning experience.

Navigating the Internet

The Internet will have more influence on your family quite possibly than the television had on your parents’ homes. Your children are growing up with one of the most incredible tools ever invented. Like it or not, your kids will use it as a way of life.

Whether you are Web savvy today doesn’t matter, but by tomorrow you had better be on your way to becoming an expert. Just because my elderly dad doesn’t trust an ATM machine doesn’t mean that his children don’t use them.

The Web is wonderful, but it is dangerous. Learn all you can about the internet and make it your friend. Just like friends at school, it will either be a positive influence on your children or a negative one. Never been has there been a time when the world had greater access to positive information and negative influences. For example, the U.S. Customs Service estimated in 2002, that there are more than 100,000 Web sites offering child pornography alone – which is illegal – worldwide. Further, an MSNBC survey in 2000, indicated that 25 Million Americans visit internet sex Web sites between 1 and 10 hours, per week!

Following, are a few steps you can take to help ensure that the Web is your friend.

  • Consider a quality Web filter for children and young teens.
  • Keep the computer with online access out of your child’s room.
  • Keep the computer with online access in a “public” part of your home.
  • Remind your child not to give out any personal information over the Web without your permission.
  • Teach your kids to report inappropriate online interactions to you right away.

Tuning into Music

Another one of the greatest influences in your child’s life is music. Don’t buy the story that your kids don’t listen to the words. Musicians have a great deal of influence on our culture. Listen to what they listen to!

When our kids were teenagers living at home, Cathy and I believed that because of the powerful influence of music, we had a God-given responsibility to review and, yes, even approve what words our children listened to in our home. We had a policy that we would listen to all CDs brought into the house. Sure it took a great deal of time listening to some styles of music that weren’t our favorite, but we knew it was necessary to learn what our kids were listening to.

Taking a Look at Magazines

Many kids regularly read magazines targeted at pre-teens and teens. Don’t think, however, that just because these magazines are targeted at your child’s age, that all of the content inside will be age-appropriate. Magazine publishers often push the limit content-wise in order to attract and keep their target audiences coming back for more. A wise parent will read what their kids are reading. You’ll gain a much better understanding of the issues your kids are facing and who is influencing them.

Most likely, every parent reading this article wants to help their kids develop healthy morals and values. Still, most are frightened by the amount of negative distractions and temptations our kids are being exposed to by various forms of media. You won’t be able to protect your kids from every negative form. Instead, prepare them to be able to discern and make wise decisions about the messages they receive. With proactive parenting in addressing media issues – including proper education, good examples, and a positive faith, your kids can make it through the maze of negative media influences and develop positive morals and values.[50]

Guideline for Protecting Children from Peer Pressure

Dr. Michelle P. Maidenberg, Ph.D., clinical psychologist, gives tips for protecting children from peer pressure. First, look for signs that peer pressure is becoming a problem. These can include changes in attitude, withdrawal from parents and family activities, sudden materialism, or intense interest in “taboo” behaviors or possessions.

In other words, if your 8-year-old begins begging for a cell phone or a trendier backpack as soon as school resumes in the fall, it’s probably not a coincidence or a passing phase — she’s responding to social influences and a desire to fit in, the precursors of peer pressure.

But there is something parents can do today to protect their children online: Connect to their child’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tumbler accounts — immediately. A strong parental presence has a protective effect against peer pressure.

SIX WAYS TO PROTECT CHILDREN FROM PEER PRESSURE

Kids who want to get approval from their peers and become more popular will often take part in risky behavior like cheating in class, shoplifting, tagging, drugs, alcohol, and sex – all which can send them on a downward spiral and take them away from focusing on their education.Advertisement

Here are six other ways to help your child resist peer pressure and stay on the right path:

1. Don’t overreact

When your child talks with you about what friends are doing, you may hear things that upset you. But if you overreact or lecture, your child won’t want to bring these issues up again. Stay as calm as you can, without yelling, blaming, of lecturing. Instead, use these moments to get your child thinking about the consequences of risky behavior: “I wonder if your friend realizes she could be arrested for shoplifting?”

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2. Talk about what makes a true friend.

Help your child understand that a friend who is pressuring him to do something dangerous, hurtful, or illegal is not much of a friend.

3. Get to know your child’s friends

Encourage your child to invite friends home. Having his peers around will help you decide whether they are good or bad influences.

4. Talk about what independence really means

At this age, your child wants more independence. Point out that if this is a goal of his, he shouldn’t let other kids decide what she should be doing – that’s not independence!

5. Role play peer pressure

Ask your child what he wishes he could say to his friends if he didn’t have to worry about what they’d say if he said “No.” Then suggest ways he can say it. Keep your advice short and to the point. Remind him it’s easiest to stick with simple things that he can say comfortably. (Check out “Five steps to resisting peer pressure” for ideas on what your child can say to a friend who is pressuring him.

6. Model saying “No”.

When your child hears you setting limits clearly, firmly, and without a lot of explanation, this helps him see that it’s OK to do the same. When you say, “No, that’s not okay with me,” you’re giving your child the same language he can say when someone tries to talk him into doing something he shouldn’t.[51]

In a study published in Developmental Psychology, middle-school-age children without adult supervision were more swayed by peer pressure to engage in antisocial behavior. “In general, when children are appropriately supervised by adults and adults are actively involved in their lives, both at a physical and emotional level, they are less susceptible to peer pressure,” Dr. Michelle P. Maidenberg. [52]

[1] https:en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/children (Accessed 13/10/2015).

[2] Elizabeth B. Hurlock, Child Growth and Development, 5th Edition (New Delhi: Tata Mc Graw- Hill Publishing Company Ltd., 2006), 182-183.

[3] Mary Vishala, Guidance and Counseling (New Delhi: S.Chand & Company Ltd., 2006), 50-51.

[4] Ibid., 52.

[5]R.N.Ssfaya, C.S.Shukla and B.D.Bhatia, Modern Educational Psychology (New Delhi: Dhanpat Rai Publishing Company (P) LTD., 2002), 9.

[6] Elizabeth B. Hurlock, Child Growth and Development, 5th Edition, 184-185.

[7] Ibid., 189.

[8] Helen Denis and Ben Boyed, The Developmental Child (New Delhi: Pearson Education, 2004), 205.

[9] A.V. Kremenets, The New Testament and Spiritual Work with Children (Chicago: Illinois Publishers, 2000), 48.

[10] Clifford T, Morgan, Introduction to Psychology (New York: Tata McGraw Hill, 1986), 74-80.

[11] S. Chand, Guidance and Counseling (New Delhi: Company LTD, 2006), 93.

[12] John W. Santrock, Life-Span Development, 3rd Edition (New Delhi: Tata McGrow-Hill Publishing Company Limited, 2007), 323.

[13] Gerail H.J. Deason and O. Spurgeon English, Emotional Problems of Living (New York: Norton Company, 1945), 95-98.

[14] Ibid., 100-106.

[15] John W. Santrock, Life-Span Development, 3rd Edition, 332.

[16] B.B.Mandad, Child and Action Plan for Development (New Delhi: Mittal Publication, 1990), 83.

[17] Ibid., 75-76.

[18] Sr. Joan Chunkapura, MMS and Bro. Mathew Chulaparambil, S G, Counselling Youth and Children (Kottayam: TRADA Publications, 2013), 44.

[19] Hegin Misao, “A Study on the Psychosocial and Spiritual Influence of Pornography Among Christian Teenagers in Imphal” (Unpublished M.Th. Thesis, India Baptist Theological Seminary, 2010), 39.

[20] Hegin Misao, “A Study on the Psychosocial and Spiritual Influence of Pornography Among Christian Teenagers in Imphal” (Unpublished M.Th. Thesis, India Baptist Theological Seminary, 2010), 39.

[21] John Joshva Raja and SamsdnPra Bhakar eds, Introduction to Communication and Media Studies (Bangalore: BTESSC/ SATHRI, 2006), 119.

[22] The effect of TV on the Brain, www.theeffectoftvonthebrain (Accessed 12/11/2015).

[23]Joe Goebel, Media and Violence Study, London: Peace Pledge Union. www. ppu. org.uk/ education /media_violence (Accessed 15/10/2015).

[24] Gaines S. Dobbins, Winning the Children (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1953), 74.

[25] American Psychological Association (Accessed 23/11/2015).

[26] Jacob Srampickal and Leela Joseph, A Textbook for Media Education (Mumbai: Better Yourself Books, 2002), 22

[27]Malia Jacobson, Journal on Peer Pressure: Why It Seems Worse Than Ever and How to Help Kids Resist It https://www.parentmap.com/article/peer-pressure-why-it-seems-worse-than-ever-and-how-to-help-kids-resist-it (Accessed 16/11/2015).

[28] John W. Santrock, Adolescece 11th ed. (New Delhi: Tata McGraw-Hill Publishing Company Limited, 2007), 310.

[29] Elizabeth B. Hurlock, Child Development 6th ed. (New Delhi: TaTa McGraw Hill Education Private Limited, 2011), 497.

[30]Malia Jacobson, Journal on Peer Pressure: Why It Seems Worse Than Ever and How to Help Kids Resist It https://www.parentmap.com/article/peer-pressure-why-it-seems-worse-than-ever-and-how-to-help-kids-resist-it (Accessed 16/11/2015).

[31] L. Oettinger and D. Thomas, “Drug,” Dictionary of Pastoral Care and Counselling Edited by Rodney J. Hunter, H. Newton Malony, and Liston O. Mills (Nashville: Abingdon, 1990), 314.

[32] L. Oettinger and D. Thomas, “Drug,” Dictionary of Pastoral Care and Counselling Edited by Rodney J. Hunter, H. Newton Malony, and Liston O. Mills (Nashville: Abingdon, 1990), 314.

[33] Simon Behannan, “Addiction and De-Addiction Counselling”, A Study Book on Counselling Edited by George Varghese (Kottayam: TMA Institute of Counselling, 2012), 222.

[34] Syelley E. Taylor, Health Psychology 7th ed. (New Delhi: TATA McGRaw-Hill, 2012), 130.

[35] http://www.ed/gov/pubs/parents/Learn Ptnrs/tvl.html. (Accessed on 2/12/12)

[36] J. M. Hester, “Parenthood”, Dictionary of Pastoral Care and Counselling, cited by Rodney J. Hunter (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1990), 825.

[37] S.S. Canning, “Parenting”, Baker Encyclopedia of Psychology and Counselling, edited by David G. Benner Peter G. Hill (Michigan: Baker Books, 1985), 829.

[38] Company James, Chand McGinnis and Kathleen. Parenting for Peace and Justice (New York: ORBIS,1981), 179.

[39] T.C. Shine Thomas, “Disruptive Behavior of High School Students in Relation to Parenting Style: Implications for Pastoral Care and Counseling” (M.Th Thesis Submitted to the Senate of Serampore College, Kottayam: Kerala, 2010), 47-50.

[40] E. Edward, Smith & Susan, Nolen-Hoeksema. Introduction to Psychology, 14th Edition (Spain: Thomson, 2006), 101-110.

[41] Paston Clifford Andrea, The Secret of Successful Parenting (Mumbai: Better Yourself Books, 2005),  23.

[42] C. James Dobson, Parenting is not for Cowards (Melbourne: Word Publishing, 1987), 39.

[43] Ibid., 99.

[44] Leonard Broom and Philip Selznick, Sociology: A Text with Adapted Readings, 3rd Edition (New York: Harper & Row, 1963), 97.

[45] Charles Horton Cooley, Human Nature and the Social Order, Revised Edition (New York: Scribner’s, 1922), 184.

[46] Harry M. Johnson, Sociology:  A Systematic Introduction (New Delhi: Allied Publishers PVT. Ltd., 1966), 110.

[47] S.C. Dube, (ed.), Social Sciences and Social Realities-Role of Social Sciences in Contemporary India (Simla: India Institute of Advanced Study, 1976), 19-21.

[48] Varghese Pudussery CMI, Family and Counselling: To Redeem Drug Addicts (Kochi: Santhwana Publications, 2002), 53.

[49] Varghese Pudussery CMI, Family and Counselling: To Redeem Drug Addicts (Kochi: Santhwana Publications, 2002), 32, 33.

[50]The Christian Broadcasting Network, Keep Your Kids Safe by Being Media-Wise http://www1.cbn.com/family/keep-your-kids-safe-by-being-media-wise (Accessed 23/11/2015).

[51] Greatschool staff, article on Greatkids: 6 Ways to Help Your Child Deal With Peer Pressure (Accessed 22/11/2015).

[52]https://www.parentmap.com/article/peer-pressure-why-it-seems-worse-than-ever-and-how-to-help-kids-resist-it (Accessed 16/11/2015).

True Love Test

LOVE

Love is like heavy table only two persons can carry. One person can never carry this heavy table.

Love is good and good things are always expensive to buy that love one must compromise, reconcile, forgive, forget, accept, selfless service, sharing.

Love is like rose which have so many thorn in it to hold the rose one needs to be skillful in handling it otherwise it will prink him or puncture him.

Love is the centre of marriage.

Love is something that sustains marriage, relationship, restoration, reconciliation.

LOVE TEST

The sharing test (ST)

Real love wants to share, to give, to reach out. It thinks of the other one, not of itself. When you read something, how often do you have the though, I would like to share this with my loved one, friends? When you plan something, do you think of what you would like to do or what the other one would enjoy? Or Do you include your loved one in your plan and dream. Do you want other to be happy with you or with what you do. Herman Oeser, a German auther, has put it: “Those who want to become happy should not marry. The important thing is to make the other one happy, making other happy is our happiness, making our own happiness may not always the happiness of other. Those who want to be understood should not marry. The important thing is to understand one’s partner.

  • Are we able to share together?
  • Do you want to become happy or make other happy?
  • Do you include your loved one in your plan and dream?
  • Do you have a feeling of sharing the good thought, idea, feeling from reading.
  • Do you want your partner to make you happy?
  • Do you want to make you partner happy.
  • Do you have a feeling of other to understand you?
  • I feel that people should understand me instead of understanding them.

The Strength Test (ST)

A worried love read somewhere that one loses weight if one is truly in love. In spite of all his feeling of love, he didn’t lose weight and that worried him. It is true that the love experience can also affect you physically. But in the long run, real love should not take away your strength; instead, it should give you new energy and strength. It should fill you with joy and make you creative, willing to accomplish even more.

  • Do you have a feeling of fluctuation about you love?
  • Do you feel tire and lose strength?
  • Do you feel strong and energetic about your love?
  • Do you feel more creative and willing to do more when in love with someone?

 

The Respect Test (RT)

            There is no real love without respect, without being able to look up to the other one.

A girl may admire a boy when she watches him play soccer and score all the goals. But if she asks herself the question: “Do I want this by to be my husband, the father of my children, part of my life and my relative and family. The very often the answer will be in the negative.

A boy may admire a girl when he sees her dancing, singing, dressing beautiful. But if he asks himself the question: “Do I want this girl to be my life partner for the rest of my life, the mother of my children, part of my life, relative, family. She may look very different to him and will give negative answer within himself.

  • Do we really have enough respect for each other?
  • Am I proud of my partner?

 

The Acceptance Test (AT)

            Once a European girl who was engaged came to the counsellor and was very worried: ‘I love my fiancé very much,” she said “but I just can’t stand the way he eats an apple and food.” There was understanding laughter in the audience.

“Love accepts the other one with his habits. Don’t marry on the installment plan, thining that these will change later on. Very likely they will not. You must accept the other one as he is now, including his habits and shortcomings.

  • Do we only love each or do we like each other?
  • Can we accept all the habit of our loved one?

 

The Quarrel Test (QT)

A pastor or counsellor by the name of Walter Trobisch says in his book “I Married You” that “when a couple comes to him and want to get married, he always ask them if they have once had a real quarrel-not ust a casual difference of opinion, but a real fight.”

‘Many times they will say: “Oh, no, pastor, we love each other.”

Then pastor tell them: “quarrel first –and then I will marry you.”

The point is, of course, not the quarrelling, but the ability to be reconciled to each other. This ability must be trained and tested before marriage. Not sex, but rather this quarrel test, is, as he see it, a “required” premarital experience.

Are we able to forgive each other and to give in to each other?

 

The Time Test (TT)

            A young couple came to the pastor to be married. “How long have you known each other?” Already three, almost four weeks,” was the answer.

“This is too short. One year must be the minimum. Two years may be safer. It is good to see each other, not only on holidays and in Sunday clothes, but also at work, in daily living, unshaved and in a T-shirt, or with hair that needs to be washed and set, in situations of stress or danger.

There is an old saying: “Never get married until you have summered and wintered with your partner.” In case you are in doubt about your feeling of love, time will tell.

  • Has our love summered and wintered?
  • Do we know each other long enough?

 

Sex is not Love Test

            If a couple want to use the sex act in order to know whether they love each other, one has to ask them; “Do you love each other so little?” if both of them think: “Tonight we must have sex –otherwise my partner will think that i don’t love him or that he does not love me,”

 

In-Law Test

In-law is considered as most problematic in marital life of couple.

Specialties in Marriage

Specialties in Marriage, Human Sexuality and Couple Relationship

Introduction:

  • Marriage problem outnumbers all the others problems and issues combined.
  • Some marriage ends with angry, resentful and exhausted, lonely, abusive and battered.
  • Some marriage got bad, and people get hurt.

Definition

Marriage:

  • Marriage is defined as a relatively permanent bond between permissible mates
  • Marriage is the public joining together, under socially specified regulation of a man and woman as husband and wife
  • Marriage is a “socially sanctioned sex relationship involving two or more people of the opposite sex, whose relationship is expected to endure beyond the time required for gestation and the birth of the children.

Characteristics of Marriage

  • Marriage is universal institution
  • Marriage is union of male and female (physical, emotional, spiritual)
  • Marriage is a long lasting bond between the husband and wife
  • Marriage requires social approval
  • Marriage imposes certain rights and duties on both the husband and wife.
  • Marriage is to support each other and children.
  • Marriage is closest bond that occurs between two people.
  • Marriage is confined and demands living together in such as way that needs are met, dreams are fulfilled, harmony is attained.

Purpose of Marriage

  • For companionship
  • For procreation and continuity of human race
  • For legal sex
  • For financial and emotional support

Cause of Marital Problem or Failure in Marriage

 Ignorance

(one or both persons fail to understand the stage and changes of individual development- the season of their lives and the affect of their marriage, lack of awareness in gender differences.) e.g. Women experience and identity transition around thirty and experience a mid-life transition in their later thirty or early forties as do men.

Personality Differences

Lack of awareness and understanding of personality differences (introvert, extrovert) which includes no learning to blend or complement one another and inability to relate or connect emotionally (which creates an intimacy vacuum without a relationship)

Low self-esteem:

Believing in impossibility

Pattern of family:

Inadequate or unhealthy separation from parents. Any pathology that an individual bring home or into marriage certainly impedes bonding. Parents’ influence is always present in either a reactive or proactive sense. If the parental model is repeated in the individuals’ marriage, unmet needs from the parental relationship are often carried, consciously or unconsciously into the union. Unless confronted these needs will interfere.

Inadequate Basis

Inadequate basis upon which married couples build their personal identity and security.

To many build their identity on performance, perfectionism or appearance, and these eventually fade away.

 Unfinished Business

People come to marriage with either unresolved issues; intrapersonal and interpersonal issues between their parents and coming from such dysfunctional families and this intrudes upon their marriage.

Unpreparedness or wrong expectation

Some marriages dissolve because the partners were never prepared for marriage and because their expectations about marriage were totally unrealistic. (Physically mature and healthy, psychologically able to face the challenge, mentally able to adjust, emotionally able to respond the feeling).

Unwanted Marriage

People got marred because of sexually misbehavior and take responsibility of marriage. This form of marriage occurs not because of Love, but because of no option.

Two Tasks in Marriage

First Task:

  • To define what a wife is and what the husband is.
  • Each must retain his/her identity while drawing close together as a couple
  • Relationship between couple needs to be free-up relationship, never a confinement.
  • Each person is freed to develop uniqueness and spiritual giftedness in his/her own way and join these to the marital relationship for strength and greater potential.
  • If no allow each other to grow and develop and be creative in defining new roles conflict will be intense

Second Task:

  • To develop the romantic love of courtship into a love based upon steady commitment
  • Love (unconditional love given by God) needs to stabilize a marriage
  • Love means to love imperfect person that needs energy and effort.
  • Love also means caring about the other as much as you care about yourself.
  • Marriage love requires empathy
  • Unconditional willingness to resolve the differences through sharing of deepest love, concerns, attitudes and ideas and it is a fundamental component of marital love.

Components of a Satisfying Marriage

Trust:

  • Having hope and confidence in someone that he/she will do what they say they will do, and will not do and say thing that violet the integrity of relationship
  • Trust should be maintained throughout marriage life.

Commitment:

  • Commitment is a covenantal agreement to meet all of your spouse’s needs for companionship for the rest of one’s life. Therefore, it is final act.
  • Commitment will help couple to walk even in the valleys and face crisis as well as climbing to the mountain top together.
  • Marriage without commitment is a sorry situation.
  • Commitment resolves the problem between the couples

 

Communication:

  • Communication is exchanging of personal concern to the other or of message to another individual.
  • Communication is any behavior that transmits information between people.
  • Through communication one’s need is known to the spouse and met the need of the spouse.
  • Communication provides framework to help couple be aware of all their God-given dimensions of personality.
  • Communication and caring skills are prerequisites to effective problem solving, conflict resolution and verbal sharing affection.
  • Failures in communication usually involves self centeredness, self gratification and ignoring the need of the other spouse.

Skill:

Skill is the ability to do or perform something effectively and perfect.

Marriage as a life time process demands that both spouse are skillful at:

  • Understanding other
  • Expression need
  • Listening to each other
  • Making decision together
  • Negotiating and managing conflict
  • Earning a living, cooking, Caring, parenting

Caring:

  • Caring is a delicate way of handling a thing.
  • Marriage is vulnerable and need great consideration
  • Normally couple expect understanding, not challenge, care should be given when need arises
  • It is with a sense of great care that it should be delivered.
  • Pastoral Care: healing, sustaining, nurturing, reconciling and marriage needs these criteria

Submission:

  • Submission simple can mean to always put the other person first, and not having our own way.
  • One great value of submission is that it causes us to avoid rebellion.
  • Rebel moves out from under authority and expose themselves to the worst attacks from the devil heart.
  • Some wife misunderstand submission that husband is going to give order and I am going to march to his tune. He is going to do stepping and I am going to get stepped on.

Respect:

  • Marriage builds on respect. Conflict occurs on loss of respect.
  • Respect is something every deserves but trust is something that must be earned.
  • Respect is based on personhood, not on position, behavior
  • Respect a spouse’s person does not mean liking his or her behavior

Expectation:

  • Reason of dissatisfaction is expecting a great deal from marriage and unrealistic expectation.
  • Most of couple their spouse to be the source of emotional support, companionship, sexual satisfaction.
  • The gap between expectation and perceived performance produces disappointment, discouragement and finally disillusion.
  • Giving more expect less is best method in marriage.

Human Sexuality:

  • Sexuality is our capacity to give and receive love.
  • It is the root of attraction and the ground of affection.
  • Sexuality is genital expression of sexual love or deepest love.
  • Genital, biological and physical aspect of our sexuality is expressed through touch and sexual intercourse.

Sex and Marriage

  • The foundation of positive sexual relationship should be learned even before the wedding night.
  • Engaged should cultivate friendship in which one another openly discuss, share project.
  • Sex needs to talk before and after marriage for better performance and due to everyone brings sexual self into marriage.
  • Sex is more than intercourse but it cares for the fulfillment of the spouse and satisfaction of sexual need and pleasure.
  • Sex involves an erotic response to your partner and to his/her erotic response to you

Sexual Needs and Expectation:

Differences between men and women

  • Men like to have sex when his biological pressure arises and expect the wife to fulfill the need
  • Women are arose when her emotional feelings are met and expect the husband to give her emotional need.
  • When both fail conflict and issue of extramarital relationship occurs.

Sexuality to a Man

Five significant reasons for sex:

  • Sex satisfies his sex drive
  • Sex fulfill his man-hood
  • Sex enhances his love for wife
  • Sex reduces friction in the home
  • Sex provides life’s most exciting experience

Sexuality to a Woman

  • Five significant reasons for sex:
  • Sex fulfill her womanhood
  • Sex assures her of her husband’s love
    • Companionship, compassionate love, romantic love, affectionate love, passionate love
  • Sex satisfies her sex drive
  • Sex relaxes her nervous system and ultimate experience

Sexuality and Intimacy: Three levels of intimacy

  • Emotional intimacy

Spending many hours together sharing thoughts, feeling. Such closeness is import for emotional intimacy

  • Physical intimacy

Through sex physical union is designed.

  • Spiritual intimacy

When sex is satisfied there is no need of extramarital relationship and spiritual intimacy occurs.

Couple Relationship

  • Relationship involves two parties to come together to explore and give something to one another
  • When relationship is considered as routine it become boring and intense of relationship drop down
  • Each couple has responsibility of recreating, reconstructing, shaping their marriage relationship
  • Failure in imagination on the part of either party
  • Fear of external criticism and sanctions
  • Fear of change in oneself and
  • Fear of conflict
  • Love relationship should be evolved as a mixture of greater humanness between the partners and meaningful sexual relationship

Addiction and Its Impact

ADDICTION IN COUNSELLING
Addiction — The state of being enslaved to a habit of practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, such as narcotics, to such an extent that to stop causes severe trauma.
Drugs are simply chemicals that make changes in the body chemistry or internal makeup.
Drug misuse refers to using drugs for purposes or conditions for which they are not suited or for appropriate purposes with improper doses.
Drug abuse is a pattern of harmful use of a substance or habitual activity for the purpose of altering one’s mood. People abuse drugs to forget or not feel painful feelings such as loneliness, anxiety, depression, anger, grief.
Tolerance is a phenomenon that occurs when a substance is used repeatedly and the same dose of the substance begins to have less effect. This is the reason a person who is addicted to a drug must increase amount of drug intake to have the desired effects.
Leads to overdose in relapse from recovery – body does not need the amount for it no longer has built up tolerance. A person relapses, using the amount of drug at height of addiction.
Physical Dependence means that the body has adapted to the presence of the chemical and withdrawal syndrome appears as drug level in system drops – when the person stops taking the drug. Withdrawal syndrome varies from one class of drugs to another.
Psychological Dependence (also called behavioral dependence) is defined by observable behavior, such as frequency using a drug or by the amount of time or effort an individual spends obtaining the drug.
Models of Addiction
Disease Model – Explains that there is a legitimate and verifiable difference between those who are addicted and those who are not. Addiction is viewed as a progressive disease, making people incapable of not using their drug of choice once they start. The drawback of this model is that by claiming it is an incurable disease, addicts are more likely to avoid responsibility for change. “I can’t change; I have a disease.”
Genetic Model – Focuses on differences in genetic and physiological processes to explain addiction. Family, twin, and adoption studies suggest that 40 to 60% of an individual’s risk for alcoholism is genetic. However, this does not mean individuals with certain genes will necessarily become addicted to a particular drug, for it is a matter of susceptibility or genetic predisposition. For example, in some people with certain genes, it is harder to quit once they start than for others.While there are genetic factors, not everyone from an alcoholic family will develop an addiction.
Choice or Moral Model– States that the individual person and his/her choices are the primary cause of an addiction problem. The model is based on the idea that each individual has free choice and is responsible for their behaviors. Alcohol and drug consumption are viewed as choices. Scriptures teach that each person has a moral responsibility to God, as Hebrews 4:13 says, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” However, under the choice model of addiction, addicts are often labeled as weak, with poor willpower or other moral failings. This kind of contempt is destructive and not helpful for their recovery.
Biological Model – Focuses on unique biological conditions, such as abnormal drug metabolism and brain sensitivity to explain addiction. It is known that highly addictive drugs such as stimulants can spur the dopamine pathway in the brain, resulting in a feeling of being high. This causes the body to produce less dopamine. Studies with brain-scanning technology show the difference in brain structure activity between brains that have been influenced by drugs and healthy brains. However, these studies tend to show some of the physiological consequences produced by drug usage and not necessarily the causes of dependence. Science has failed to prove a true biological cause.
Personality Model – Considers addiction as rooted in an abnormality of personality, which may be characterized by poor impulse control, a lowered self-esteem, poor coping skills, egocentricity, and manipulative traits. There are frequent correlations between drug abuse and antisocial personality and juvenile delinquency. However, this does not fully explain whether abnormality of personality causes addiction.
Coping/Social Learning Model – considers one’s development as playing an important role in addictive behaviors. People with addiction problems are seen as emotionally wounded. Many have experienced severe trauma in childhood. For example, the research on sex addicts has shown that 81 percent have been sexually abused, and 97percent emotionally abused. Addiction is considered as a coping mechanism to alleviate pain.
Sociocultural Model – Points to the role of society, environmental factors, and subcultures in shaping an individual’s addiction. In essence, addiction is viewed as a learned behavior from others. For example, alcohol consumption is powerfully influenced by the availability of alcohol and social interactions. The level of availability to illicit drugs may vary depending on the family environment, socioeconomic status, peer pressure, educational or prevention programs, legal regulations, and so on. Social support and accountability are essential for recovery from addiction.Social environment is environmental, but everyone has a choice to take or not to take the drug when offered.
Spiritual Model – Views addiction as stemming from a lack of spirituality, a lack of faith-based values, and disconnection from God, who is seen as the source of light, truth, love and wellness. This model suggests that recovery from addiction requires a restored relationship with God. The Word of God does not imply that alcohol (wine) in and of itself is evil. In fact, alcohol consumption was part of everyday customs and prevailing biblical cultures and was also used for various celebrations as well as medicinal purposes. Yet the Bible is clear that drunkenness is sinful (Gal. 5:21). The scriptures also acknowledge that battles between the desires of the flesh and the Spirit’s desires (Gal. 5). We are not to gratify the sinful desires of the heart but to live by the Spirit (Rom. 6:12, 8:5; Gal. 5:16).
If choice were never part of the equation and the process were purely biological, genetic or disease-based, then it would be questionable as to whether anyone could move towards sobriety and recovery; yet the fact remains that thousands of individuals do become sober.
Some will say there is no shame in addiction because it is a disease; however, there is shame in addiction; but there is not shame to be in recovery. Recovery is the strength and courage to ask for help.
Most common is addiction is a bio-psycho-social-spiritual phenomenon, having a many causations and contributing factors.

Effects of Addiction
Compulsion: 3 Elements
Reinforcement – Occurs when the addictive substance or behavior is first engaged. The effect of the substance or the feeling it produces (such as pleasure, stimulus or pain relief) reinforces the user.
Craving—means that your brain sends intense signals that the drug is needed.
Habit – Continual use; becoming part of your lifestyle.
Loss of Control – Addict senses the addiction is out of their control; typically cannot predict or determine when or how much of the drug will be consumed.
Negative Consequences – The addict continues to use despite all the painful consequences to himself/herself and others. Including poor physical helath,s, interpersonal relationship difficulties, poor job or school performance, financial problems, falling into habitual sin and separation from God.
Tolerance – When the substance is used continually, the body begins to tolerate the drug’s or behavior’s pharmacological effects. The Body needs an increased amount of the chemical or behavior to produce the same effects.
Withdrawal – Unpleasant effects when drug use stops. Symptoms are substance and amount dependent; can be life threatening; may require careful medical attention (detoxification) as in the case of alcohol.

Premarital Counselling

As with most pastors, I’ve performed a fair number of weddings. Part of being in ministry is helping couples enter the most important of relationships…marriage. It’s a daunting task and responsibility. Prior to a wedding, however, a minister has access to speak into a couple’s life in a way unique to any other time in their life.

I feel it’s important to help couples, as much as I can, be prepared for marriage. With time always at a premium, I frequently suggest couples walk through the book “Preparing for Marriage“. I’ve found it a helpful tool in thinking through many of the issues a marriage will encounter. I also try to make sure, as a minimum, the couple understands a few key principles prior to their wedding day.

Here are 7 issues I try to teach in pre-marital counseling:

You are different – Opposites do tend to attract. Each spouse is not only differently physically, but there are differences in backgrounds, outlook on life and the way to approach a situation. This is not intended as a curse against marriage. God designed those differences for a reason. The more a couple learns to celebrate those differences, the stronger a marriage will become. (I address this issue in previous posts HERE and HERE.)

Leave and cleave – Don’t let either set of in-laws dictate how you lead your new family. Decide in advance that no one, related or otherwise, is going to be a wedge between you two. Every couple has lots of other relationships, including perhaps children someday, but none of them should be allowed to interfere with the oneness God intends to create with the marriage. (I address these interferences more in THIS POST.)

Expect surprises – Life won’t always be as blissful as it is today. There will be hard days, whether self-induced or life-induced. Life brings changes and those times have the ability to catch even the best marriages off guard if not prepared for them. We can never be fully prepared for what might come, but we can prepare ourselves that when something comes, whatever it is and no matter how hard it is, that we will handle it . Couples should use these times to improve the strength of their marriage rather than allow them to pull the marriage apart. (I talk about this issue in a post on keeping the marriage fun. Find it HERE.)

Make a commitment to the marriage no matter what – Couples usually assume they are doing this by standing at the altar together, but statistics would say otherwise. Many times these days a person is saying “I’m committed until it becomes difficult or until the love we have today fades.” That’s not the Biblical picture of marriage God designed. Marriage is more than simply a feeling of love, it is a commitment to love…for better or worse…from this day forward. Verbalizing and agreeing to that on the front end, and continuing to remind yourself of that through the difficult days, will help the marriage last. Couples who should ask for help soon, not letting problems in the marriage linger too long without asking for help. Remove the fear of asking for professional counseling if necessary. It would be better to get help early than to see the marriage disintegrate beyond repair. (I preached a message on the commitment of marriage HERE.)

Model after the right couples – I encourage couples to find a couple whose marriage they admire and follow them closely. Most likely they have some stories to share. Things may not have been as wonderful throughout their marriage as they are today. No doubt they have learned some practices to having a strong marriage. I challenge couples to learn all they can from the couple they want to be like. (I did a post about this issue HERE.)

Evaluate often – Couples should ask  themselves often, are we growing together as a couple or further apart? Is the marriage growing stronger or are there holes that need addressing? Don’t assume your spouse feels as you do. (I’ve learned this is especially true for men who often don’t know there is a problem until it’s a big problem.) Establish the understanding early in the relationship that you have the right to periodically check on the state of your marriage. (Read a post about questions to assess the health of a marriage HERE.)

Put Christ first – This is the one most couples expect the pastor to say, but it’s not just the preacher answer, it’s the best secret to a lasting marriage. “A chord of three strands is not easily broken.” A couple’s individual and collective relationship with Christ will ensure they can endure the hardest days of a marriage. When the relationship with Christ suffers, the marriage will often suffer. Satan looks for any excuse to destroy the marriage. Pour your heart and life into Christ and let Him strengthen and sustain your marriage. (I preached on Christ’s standard for marriage HERE.)

That’s my list. I’m not sure they apply simply to premarital couples. These are good principles for couples regardless of how long they have been married.

Just so you know, I have, at times, simply shared with them this list. Sometimes I weave them into the discussion. Regardless of how you choose to do it, make sure you are strategic in helping couples begin their married life together.