Parenting is full of tough conversations.
When the family pet dies. When the first armpit hair pops out. When Uncle Bob and Aunt Stacy get a divorce.
At every age and every stage of life, there is guidance and wisdom that must be imparted on kids.
This also includes lessons about morality.
There's the simple and obvious discussions about being kind, humble, and hard-working.
But, there's also conversations about topics where there is no easy answer. Having sex and drinking alcohol have long been two of those topics. Now, with the widespread legalization of it, marijuana is another one of those topics.
How do you talk to your kids about it? Do you tell them what you've done? Do you tell them what to do?
Nicole Eisenberg, a research scientist with the University of Washington’s Social Development Research Group, told UW News that many parents are struggling with handling this conversation.
“What I heard a lot of parents saying is, essentially, ‘I can tell my kids not to use it, but I just don’t know how to enforce and reinforce that message. Parents are having a hard time reconciling societal norms with personal norms. Society has become more permissive, but at home, most parents don’t want their children to use marijuana. It’s a challenge that leaves them feeling like they don’t know what to do.”
The interesting part of having the marijuana talk with your kids is that today’s parents grew up watching videos about it being a gateway drug and associate with being a “loser." So, chances are that there are a large group of parents that will need to talk to their kids about a drug that they have never experienced, or have been conditioned to have a negative response to. Meanwhile, those that have grown up enjoying cannabis probably are excited to talk about it, maybe even share a joint with their kid like dad’s like to share a beer. The other part is the shame that is associated with it today. How can you talk about something in a safe casual way when deep down you carry a level of shame?
To hear more of Justin's take on talking to your kids about weed, and other parenting topics, you can check out all of his stuff at The Dad Podcast .
Check out his latest episode with pediatrician Dr. Jay Sutay about holidays, how big you should go for Christmas, and why cold medicine is no good for kids younger than 6.