How to Talk to Your Teens About Marijuana: Parents Here's What You Need to Know
Since quite a few states in America have opened their doors to medicinal and recreational cannabis use, many parents and educators have been scratching their heads, wondering how to now talk with teens about drug use now that voters have given the green light to getting lit.
For decades the war on drugs has made this conversation very easy for parents, “say no to drugs kids”, but with more and more studies showing evidence that cannabis can actually be beneficial for people suffering from serious medical conditions and may not be so dangerous as people once thought, it’s become evident that parents need to start preparing themselves for a new type of “talk”.
It’s important to remember that these days’ kids have access to a powerful tool called the internet, which is why it’s extremely crucial to sit down with them and give them proper facts about the use and legal status on marijuana, because if you don’t then you’re leaving them open to exposing themselves to debatable information that you might not want them listening to.
But where do you even begin tackling this issue?
Get Yourself Familiar With the Herb
It doesn’t matter if you consume pot or not; you can certainly do your research and get to know what this plant is actually about. Or better yet, you could make it a fun activity you could do together, by searching for it on Google with your child to explore what cannabis is and how it effects the body can be a good place to start.
Doing this together, you can find facts such as how the chemicals in weed affect the body and the developing brain of a teenager, their sense of judgment, sleep and overall health. You can start by telling your child that weed is a mind-altering substance that can have negative effects for everybody, but especially teenagers who are still developing physically and emotionally. After reading these academic articles together, it can help open the floor for discussion, allowing your child to ask you any questions he or she has.
Know the Law
It goes without saying that it’s extremely important for parents and kids to understand the current cannabis laws in America and what it means for all of us. Rules and laws vary from state to state, but it’s important to note that the use of marijuana is considered a substance reserved for those 21 years old and over.
The law does not allow any person under 21 to possess or consume marijuana. On a federal level, the law remains firm that weed is still illegal. While these details may seem unimportant, they are critical facts to keep in mind when you begin the discussion with your child about marijuana use.
Be Open to All Types of Questions
As soon as you let your child feel comfortable to ask you any question they desire about drugs, it really allows the parent to get a glimpse into their own perceptions.
Here are a few examples of questions that parents in states that have legalized cannabis are faced with:
- Pot is medicine, so it’s OK, right?
- Isn’t it basically harmless?
- Pot isn’t addictive — is it?
- Isn’t pot just a good way to chill out?
- You use to use it, so why shouldn’t I try it?
Remember knowledge is your arsenal, so make sure you’re prepared for all types of questions before even thinking about bringing this discussion up with your teen.
Final Thoughts: Finding the Right Approach
It’s easy to understand why parents today are stumped as to how to explain the shift in the legalization of marijuana. But it doesn’t have to be that difficult. Remember, the most important factor is not just what you say, but “how” you say it. If your child senses fear or anxiety from you, then they will pick up on this and it will rub them the wrong way. If you come from a neutral and fair state of being, they will sense “strength” and “power” from you and it will open the lines of communication. It will also make them want to take into consideration what you have to say.