Certainly find that your teenager has been smoking marijuana is on the list of parental nightmares. For many adults, talking to your children about drugs can be intimidating. However, this is a health issue and you have to work with your child to help you quit. If you’re lucky, you might just have tried it once or twice, making it easier. On the other hand, if you have been smoking marijuana regularly, you may have to work hard. The key is to make him want to quit.
- Find out why your child is smoking. There are guys who only smoked recreationally; after all, marijuana is easy to get and cheap. Your child may have been at a party, someone took out a cigar and decided to join. In that case, the use is only because there is an opportunity; it is more a social than anything activity. However, if you started smoking just because it allows you to feel better about yourself or as a strategy to deal with problems, you’ll need to get more involved. In this case, it pays to consider family therapy, because the use of marijuana could be the symptom of a larger problem.
- Remind your teen that marijuana is illegal. Do not fall into the mindset that only the “bad guys” smoke. Athletes and honors students do well; so what you do is to point out that having a criminal record will affect your future. Although this does not work with all the guys, many teens know that a single raid can ruin their chances of getting college scholarships. Not only that: many schools have to meet requirements to join sports teams, and a student who caught smoking can say goodbye to his career at the school.
- Talk about health risks with your child. Although there is still uncertainty about the addictive properties of marijuana, scientists know that smoking a marijuana cigarette does as much damage as four regular cigarettes. They can give lung problems, and there are even people who have developed lung cancer from smoking marijuana. Besides being bad for the lungs, smoking can cloud judgment and affect the ability to make good decisions.
- Make it clear that you do not agree with this. This is very important. If your child smokes marijuana and that is not allowed at home, there must be consequences. Do not raise his voice or shout; addresses the issue calmly and confidence. Many parents have the most effective way to deal with their use is simply start removing privileges. The best thing is to start driving license. Take away the driver’s license to your child and say “sorry, you cannot drive because smoking marijuana slows your reaction time and there is a security problem there.” In other cases, limit access to adolescent outside activities can be effective. Prevent him from going to parties can decrease their consumption, simply because it will not be with friends who smoke marijuana.
- Considers resort to professional help. If you’ve tried to talk to the teenager, reason with him and take away permits and still smoking, you’ll need external intervention. Start with the family doctor, and ask for help. Let him know that your child needs help. In some cases it may recommend a treatment program without hospitalization.