As we begin to address drug use and abuse among our youth it is important to recognize that drug abuse can strike our families no matter what we say or do. We can be the perfect parents and still the “creature” can ravage our loved ones. Over the years I have been approached with several questions on how to prevent or recognize drug use in the family.
One such question that is important to address is whether to be honest or not when a child asks if we ever smoked pot. Kids are inquisitive and sometimes the questions they ask are innocent. Sometimes they tell us a story. I remember one day my nine-year old daughter who lived with her mom full time was in the car with me. The song by Madonna came on, “Like a Virgin”. Kristin inquired dad what is a virgin? Without missing a beat I responded, “well honey a vegetarian is a person that does not eat meat”! For a nine-year old girl this was an innocent question.
A loaded question may come from a teen that is considering smoking pot for the first time. The child recognizes how you have turned out as a parent and may think that you turned out good why not try it. He may have heard other friend’s parents say that they smoked pot in high school. How do you decipher if it is loaded? Well that is the tricky part. Who are your kids hanging with? Do you know their parents? These are important questions that you must be able to answer with absolute certainty.
So do you answer the question honestly? Yes, you should answer the question honestly. There are two conditions that you may want to adhere to. First, do it in a formal and serious way and not off-handed. Make sure if you are married that both parents are present. Then ensure that you point out to the child the differences between marijuana today and marijuana then. What is the difference you ask? There is an increased level of THC in the drug today. When we were kids it was extremely low now with hybrid pot in circulation it is extremely high and dangerous. Secondly, let them know it was a huge mistake and that you regret it today.
Obviously this is not an easy thing to face but it is so very important to be honest, sincere, and of course keep the conversation age appropriate.
Go, Go, Go…