It can be difficult to discuss marijuana use with your teen. They may assume you don’t understand their need to use. They might think that you are over-exaggerating the risks. Because of these pain points, it’s important to be both informed and also sympathetic to your child’s situation.
Ways to discuss the topic:
- Ask what they have heard about using marijuana. Listen carefully, pay attention, and try not to interrupt. Avoid making negative or angry comments.
- Ask your child to give examples of the effects of marijuana. This will help you make sure that your child understands what you talked about.
- If you choose to talk to your child about your own experiences with drugs, be honest about why you used and the pressures that contributed to your use. Be careful not to minimize the dangers of marijuana or other drugs, and be open about any negative experiences you may have had. Given how much stronger marijuana is today, its effect on your child would likely be much different than what you experienced.
- Explain that research tells us that the brain continues to mature into the 20s. While it is developing, there is greater risk of harm from marijuana use.
Don’t be afraid of a little conflict. Be patient. Actively listen. Express empathy while also sharing your wisdom. Open communication and healthy communication are the most important ways you can encourage your child to avoid the risks of harmful drug abuse.
Read more about this topic at the Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry’s website.