Tuesday, August 16, 2011

"Dad, Did You Smoke Pot In College?"

That question can be the feared moment-of-truth for parents who don't want their kids to use drugs. Although you are under no obligation to tell you children everything about yourself, be glad you are getting this question! Frankly, unless your teenager is brain-dead, he already knows that the statistical liklihood that you at least tried marijuana is very high. The question is an opportunity to talk about drugs with your teenager, and an opening for you to get your opinion out there at a time when your teenager is actually listening to you. Before you answer, start a conversation - why is he asking, now, about what you did in college? Do a lot of kids smoke marijuana at school? Does your teenager smoke? How often? What's it like? The understanding you have gained over the years, including the change of perspective we all experience when we become parents, are perfectly reasonable ideas for you to promote here. Here are some responses parents I know have used when asked "Did You Do It?"

1. "I did, and I didn't like it very much."
2. " I tried it a few times, but it made me so groggy I just couldn't function."
3. "I did, and I really got into trouble with it. Made me miss classes, hang out with the druggies all the time..."
4. "Yes, and it really didn't do me much harm. But I had a friend who dropped out of school because of marijuana."
5. "Yes, but the marijuana around now is much more potent. You could really hurt yourself with it."

       Remember, the fact that you did or did not do something in college hardly proves that it is OK for your teenager to do that same thing. Make that logical point but, more importantly, use the "Question" as an opening to talk with your teenager about his drug or alcohol use in an open and honest way. If you listen respectfully to what they have to say, they will take your opinion with them, whether they admit it or not.

1 comment:

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