Being the parent of a teenager can certainly come with its challenges. After all, this is a stage in your child's life where they are introduced to so many things, many of which you may not agree with.
Naturally, as a parent, you want what's best for your child and will try as hard as you can to get them to avoid any negative behavior or influences. However, you very well know how difficult it can be dealing with a teenager and sometimes even your greatest attempts to prevent your child from picking up certain habits may fall short.
If you find that your teenage daughter or son has started smoking pot, you are most likely going to be worried. The question is however, what are you going to do about it? Well, there are a couple ways you can approach the situation so that you manage to get through to your child without straining your relationship.
1) Get some assistance
You may be feeling all sorts of things when you discover that your teen has been smoking pot. Instead of barging into their room and confronting them about it, talk to a trusted party who can help you out with the situation.
This could be your spouse, a very close friend or relative. Ask them how best to deal with the situation. They are bound to give you different insights on how to go about your predicament.
They will also provide you with a listening ear as you may be feeling all sorts of emotions and you may need someone to vent and talk to.
It's best to get rid of any anger or frustration you may be feeling before you approach your teen as you do not want them to feel attacked and ultimately not want to hear what you have to say. This is a delicate topic and you do not want it to get out of hand.
Come up with a way that you think will work best when dealing with your child because after all, I'm sure that you know them pretty well.
It is also important not to embarrass your child so it is a good idea to talk to someone who is trustworthy and is bound to understand the situation and actually want to provide you with genuine assistance.
Teenagers find nothing worse than you talking about them with other people - particularly that loud-mouthed aunt who can't keep anything to herself. Identify someone who will not only give you ideas on how best to deal with the situation but support you as well.
2) Have a sit down with your teen
You may be dreading it, but it must be done.
Have a sit down with your child and tell them that you know they are smoking pot. Try not to sound too accusatory as they will automatically become defensive which may prevent you from having a diplomatic talk.
Present to them all the facts about how you know they are smoking. Whether you found smoking paraphernalia in their room or heard about it from another parent, or just simply noticed that they were high, let them know you are aware that they smoke pot.
Even if you are basing the conversation on an assumption, lay it all out for them so that they know where you are coming from. Do not sound as if you are judging them or are angry as they will be more likely to lie in that instance.
Instead, ask them why they smoke pot and actively listen to them. Do not interrupt them as they speak and try to understand what they are saying however difficult it may be.
Most teens state stress, boredom, curiosity and peer pressure as reasons why they began smoking. Let them explain their reasons to you so that you may be able to thoroughly understand them rather than present your own assumptions.
This will show them that you genuinely care and are curious as to why they think they may need to smoke pot.
3) Voice your concerns
Let your teen know that while you have heard them out and listened to their reasons, tell them that as a parent you are worried about them and only want what's best for them.
Let them know the effects of pot on the developing mind of an adolescent and what it can do to harm their health. Inform them of the consequences that can happen if they continue to smoke pot such as decreased motivation and self-esteem, increased paranoia, impaired judgement and possible truobles with the law.
If they do become defensive, carefully challenge them. For instance, if they say that they smoke due to peer pressure, ask them if the people they are trying to impress are their genuine friends.
Ensure them that life will still go on without those people's approval and that they do not have to do something just to fit in. At the end of the day, they will stand out more for holding their ground.
4) Think of ways to move forward
You as a parent have every right to set proper measures on your child.
If you feel that they use their allowance to buy pot, you can stop giving it to them for a while or you can ground them for sometime.
Just be sure to let them know that you are doing this all out of love for them and only want what is best for them. Let them know that these are only preventative measures to help them stop smoking and also a way to show them the consequences of what happens when you do.
Ask your teen if there are things that they are interested in doing so that they can be preoccupied and stay clear of doing drugs.
If they love music or dance , you can sign them up for a class or two. Or if they love exercise, let them get a membership at the local gym. Try and encourage them to take up different activities to keep them away from negative influences that they may have.
Remember,finding out that your teen is smoking pot is not the end of the world. Approach them with love and care, and let them know that you have only their best interests at heart. With the right attitude and approach, you should be able to get through to your child and get them to stop smoking pot.