Thursday, 28 July 2016

Parental Pressure On Children - The Energy Drink Story

“Mom, can you buy me an energy drink to take just before my swimming race?” That was my son the day before their much awaited school swimming gala. You see my son loves to swim and jumps at every opportunity to be in the swimming pool. His swimming has improved dramatically to the extent that he made it to the finals to represent blue house on race day. I was therefore naturally very curious, and wondered, about this request for an energy drink.
“What is an energy drink?” I asked him. Call this exerting on him some parental pressure - but I just had to be sure that I had fully understood his request. Sure, he responded: “Muuuuummmmmm…… you know those drinks that you drink so that they can give you energy - like Shark, Monster, Redbull and , Lucozade Boost!”. It was clear that he knew very well what he was talking about.
All his friends were doing it and...his swimming teacher knew about it
It was not just parental pressure on his competitiveness; it was also peer influence at play. When I asked him why he wanted to take the drink before the race, he informed me that all his friends were doing it and had indicated the specific variety of drink they would buy. I further asked him if this was allowed and if his swimming teacher knew about it, and he said yes, they had asked and they were told it was ok. That energy drinks are harmless. Did I mention that my son is in Standard 6?


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