Written By:Amber Hollingsworth,LPC
Just writing that phrase makes me sigh. It’s because, this topic is the bane of my existence.
If I have to see one more kid break out their power point on why they should get to smoke week, I think I might run away screaming.
Okay, they don’t actually bring a power point into my office, but they probably have one saved from last year’s English paper when they picked the topic of “The legalization of Marijuana”.
Let’s just get it out of the way…. Here are the top 5 arguments your teen is going to make for being allowed to smoke marijuana.
It is natural, it comes from the earth, if God didn’t want us to have it, he wouldn’t have put it here.
It is less dangerous than alcohol. I mean people don’t beat their wives on weed!
Everyone in high school smokes weed, I mean EVERYONE!
Billy’s mom doesn’t make a big deal out of it…. Why are you??
You did it when you were young, Uncle Jake told me so.
Any of these sound familiar? These arguments come in a few variations, but you get the point.
HERE ARE MY BIG 3 DONT’S WHEN IT COMES TO NAVIGATING THIS ISSUE WITH YOUR TEEN!
#1. DO NOT GO WITH THE ARGUMENT “WELL IT IS ILLEGAL, SO YOU Can’t DO IT”.
This is a trap, because the next statement will be… “Lots of states are making it legal, and when I get old enough, I am going to move to Colorado and work so I can freely smoke weed”
If you go with this argument, the kid will for real pull out their power point on why marijuana should be legal!
#2. DO NOT TRY AND SCARE THEM STRAIGHT!
This does not work on adolescents. By their very nature their risk aversion is way down, and they don’t have enough bad life experiences yet, so they fell pretty much invincible. They will probably think that may happen to other people but not me.
#3. DO NOT PROJECT YOUR EXPERIENCES IN HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE, AND DECIDE THAT IT TOTALLY NO BIG DEAL IF YOUR KID SMOKES WEED RECREATIONALLY!
You need to separate your experiences from your child’s experience. Sure lots of people smoke weed and it really isn’t a big deal, but you will be playing “Russian roulette”. Yes, you can get addicted to marijuana and you don’t know if your kid is going to be the one that does it as a phase or if he/she is going to be the one that activates an addiction process.
AND PLEASE BY ALL MEANS… Do not allow your kids friends to drink and/or smoke marijuana at your house. You may think you are teaching them to drink or use recreationally or even “responsibly”, but you have absolutely no control over how their brains react to these substances. You do not want to be the adult who contributes to teen addiction.
Addiction is not about the substance itself, it is about how the individuals brain reacts to that substance.