Kids & Marijuana: What’s a Parent to Do?
As marijuana continues to be legalized state after state, the use of marijuana during adolescence and early adulthood is continuing to rise. With decriminalization of marijuana occurring in U.S. states, the tide is turning on public opinion. Many people — particularly adolescents — falsely believe that marijuana is a harmless source of mood alteration.
How do you stop your kids/teens from using marijuana?
By age 14, most young adults have started developing life goals, such as going to college or pursuing a particular career. The most important thing is to encourage your kids to begin thinking about how their brain health will affect their life and their ability to reach those goals, But how?
If you tell your teen what to do, they won’t listen. If you ask the right questions and get your teen to critically think about what they want in their life, they’ll come up with their own solutions — and act on them.
Here’s a place to start:
1. Wait for a time when he/she is open to talking. Be patient — it can take weeks.
2. Don’t lecture! Establish a strong connection by demonstrating an attitude of curiosity.
3. Have them talk about their values/goals, asking open-ended questions such as:
What is most important to you?
You’ve talked about wanting to do [fill in the blank] — How does your current behavior fit with that?
4. If he/she is engaging in behaviors that don’t compliment their goals (such as marijuana/alcohol), ask:
How would things be different a year from now if you made a change?
Suppose you keep engaging in [behavior]. How will things be a year from now?
5. Listen with the intent to understand, repeat what they’ve said and give NO advice.
Using these methods, most teens will come around to their own solutions. We also show kids brain SPECT images of drug users and then asked them: “Which brain do you want?”
We Can Help
At Amen Clinics, we can help you and your loved ones overcome the stigma and suffering associated with ADD/ADHD, anxiety, depression, brain injury, weight loss, addictions, memory issues, brain fog, and other emotional and cognitive issues. If you are ready to regain control over your life or help a loved one do the same, call our Care Coordinators at 1-888-288-9834 or click here to ask a question.