Children at the Crossroads What if you could empower young people to distinguish the difference between good ideas and bad ideas by teaching them to ask 5 simple questions? What if these same 5 questions could build a protective shield them around by enabling them to recognize when they are being confronted with potentially life altering choices? Consider this! White collar crime in the U.S. currently costs an estimated $400 Billion per year (the typical perpetrator is a college educated white male). Nearly 23,000,000 people in the U.S. use illicit drugs. And, among the 400,000 registered sex offenders in the US are doctors, lawyers, engineers, clergymen and educators. Some are even fathers and grandfathers. So the million dollar question is: How can so many who have graduated from college, including some of the brightest graduates from one of the top universities in the world, end up making choices such disastrous choices?. Remember, these are those, who for the most part, sailed through elementary school, secondary school and even college, yet found themselves unprepared for some of the serious personal challenges they faced in life. What if they had learned in their childhood to ask 5 simple questions that could have helped them avoid the problems they created for themselves? What would it have been worth to them, their families and others affected by their choices? Most of us know, from personal experience and observation, that unbridled appetites and passions (emotional intelligence) often lead to dysfunctional relationships with others (interpersonal skills) and impair rational thought (critical thinking). But, generally speaking we’re not always sure what to do about it. Children at the Crossroads is focused on prevention by teaching young people 5 simple questions they can ask when faced with life altering choices—questions that can bring clarity to the probable consequences of various choice options they have. Let’s face it, while the rate of self-destruction taking place among educated adults is truly sad, the rate at which large numbers of our youth are self-destructing is tragic. Here the numbers are staggering—of the 50 million students currently enrolled in public schools only 2.9 million will go on to graduate from college. It’s both a personal problem and a national problem. The average age of children when first exposed to pornography on the internet is 11 and 80% of 15-17 year olds report having viewed multiple hard-core exposures. This can’t be good. Unfortunately, the not good part is not always obvious until participating in an unwanted birth, contracting venereal disease, dealing with a broken marriage or being labeled a child sex offender. 160,000 children stay home from school every day to avoid being bullied. The number of those doing the bullying is even higher. While suicide is the eleventh leading cause of death in the US, it is the third leading cause of death for young people 15-24 years. Motor vehicular accidents and homicide are the first two leading causes. But why go on? The point is that we live in a rapidly changing and increasingly dangerous world. These examples only represent a small number of potentially life-altering choices children face on a daily basis. Increasingly children are the target of predators of various stripes. They rarely possess the emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills and capacity for critical thinking required to responsibly make choices they are being required to make. Why should they when these same skills are lacking in well educated and seemingly successful adults? It doesn’t need to be this way!!! Teaching children, at home and at school, to ask 5 simple questions may well do more to help the children in your life develop the capacity for making responsible choices than any things else you can do. Why not give it a try and to put it to the test. These questions work for adults as well.