3 Tips for Talking to Your Kids about Marijuana
Marijuana is a powerful drug because of the mind-altering chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that is in the stems, seeds, flowers, and dried leaves of Cannabis sativa. Marijuana is referred to as the “gateway drug” to substance abuse since it is one of the first of many that some teenagers try.
Marijuana can feel safe and may appear to be harmless at first. However, its use can sometimes result in big trouble for teens who try it. Follow these tips to talk about marijuana with your teens.
Start the Conversation by Being an Active Listener
If you want your teens to listen to what you think and feel about marijuana use, start off by listening to them. Start the conversation in a simple way. Ask your teens what they already know about substance abuse and marijuana. Some open-ended questions you may want to ask are as follows:
- What do you know about the marijuana use among kids at your school?
- What situations have you been in where you were aware of drug use?
- Can you recall any times when you have been offered marijuana?
- How does it make you feel if people are using marijuana around you?
- What keeps you from trying marijuana?
- How do you feel that marijuana compares to other drugs?
- What are your thoughts on marijuana being called a gateway drug?
- What do you need in your life to motivate you to remain drug-free?
- Why is it important to you to refrain from trying marijuana?
- Are there any situations where you would try certain drugs?
When you actively listen to your teens’ answers, you lead by example. That can help your teens feel empowered and understood. They are likely to be more motivated to listen to what you say when they feel you value their opinion.
Be Honest and Up Front About Marijuana
With the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in some states, it is a drug that is rapidly becoming normalized in pop culture. Chloe Lattanzi made headlines for her decision to start a marijuana farm with a loan from her famous mother Olivia Newton-John. Sometimes it seems that society is inundated with positive messages about marijuana.
With all the pro-marijuana messages your teen is bound to get from classmates, social media, and pop culture, address the elephant in the room by acknowledging the drug’s popularity. You may even acknowledge the medicinal properties of marijuana. At the same time, it is important to be clear on where you stand on the issue of teenagers trying marijuana. Stand up for what you think about the drug.
Discuss the Negative Consequences of Using Marijuana
Marijuana may not be as dangerous as heroin, but it can still have a very negative impact on someone’s life. According to Scientific American, marijuana use can have negative short-term and long-term effects on the body and mind. There are concerns about its impact on the adolescent brain that is still developing. It can have an impact on one’s memory and lead to breathing issues, among other possible side effects.
Finally, keep in mind that chatting with your teen about marijuana does not have to be unpleasant. It is a very important topic, and simply showing that you care and talking about it with your teens can have a positive impact on their lives.
Be open to listening to what your teenage kids say about marijuana, and remember that your initial conversation can be the first of many. Keeping an open dialogue with your kids about drugs can help them remain aware of the issues and how important it is to remain drug-free.