In this lesson we are going to explore teens and marijuana. In it you will learn:
If you have not done so already, make sure you have taken our FREE foundation program The Neutral Parenting Formula: A Blueprint For Raising Successful Teenagers. This will really help you get the most from this lesson otherwise some of the concepts outlined may not make sense. You can access it here for FREE through the end of 2012. After this the program will cost $997.
Names: Marijuana, pot, weed, ganja, herb, green, 420, and too many to list.
Concern Level: 5
This is the most common “drug” and it’s actually not a drug. It’s a plant and the “bud” is the flower that grows out of the hemp weed. Technically our forefathers grew it in the US along with tobacco and it was a key component to the US economy until the lumber industry realized that hemp was far superior and easier to grow than trees. Thus it was decided to launch a smear campaign against marijuana to have it outlawed. Don’t believe me? Look it up!
More then 50% of Americans have tried smoking pot at least once and it’s the most common drug of drugs that are now legal in ten states for medicinal purposes (and very close to being legalized nationally).
Smoking pot can get you high for about forty-minutes. It makes you relax and slows everything down (similar to a depressant). THC, which is the active ingredient in marijuana and is what gets you high, is assimilated through the bloodstream once smoked. The effect is that you get high and feel “stoned”. In many ways it’s similar to drinking a glass of wine and feeling buzzed.
Why Your Kid Will Like To Do It
It’s a social drug in that people get together, hang out, talk, and smoke pot usually in combination with drinking alcohol (or not). Your teen will probably do it the first time because they want to fit in. Everyone else is doing it and they won’t want people to think that they don’t belong. The reason it’s important for you to talk to your kids before they do it is that if you’ve built a solid relationship and they’re not pissed at you, the first time they’re offered marijuana, they have a higher chance of turning it down. However, if they’re already mad at you and you’ve already judged them, then they think to themselves “might as well!”
The Truth About Marijuana
Smoking marijuana is fun. It makes you laugh and brings you in the moment of life. It heightens your senses so that listening to music or watching a movie becomes much more enjoyable.
The Downside Of Marijuana
1. Laziness – It makes people more lethargic and lazy. It should be noted that what it really does is bring up or “heighten” an existing characteristic a person already has. If your child is not lazy, you don’t need to worry about them becoming lazy while smoking pot because it’s not in them.
2. It’s an escape – Many people enjoy pot for the same reasons they enjoy alcohol, to escape their problems. Instead of facing issues they decide to smoke pot because life seems just fine on pot and problems are temporarily forgotten. That being said, people watch TV, eat sugary foods, play video games, and so on to escape their problems so the escape has less to do with pot and more to do with the type of individual.
3. Anxiety – If your teenager has insecurities or emotional issues, they may panic and become anxious because once again smoking marijuana enhances a person’s existing personality. Many people are nervous inside but can hide it well. When they’re smoking pot, it will come out.
4. “Munchies” – Your child will get really hungry and if they have issues with their weight it will add more issues because while high they can eat twice as much as they normally do.
5. Boredom – This is the ONLY reason I’d prefer kids not try pot too soon because many people do it when they’re bored. This is not healthy because when we’re “bored”, we need to spend our time using our imagination to do something creative such as learning something new or even reading a book. In my opinion, if there is any caution to using pot, doing it because you’re bored would be it.
Approaching the Situation
First and foremost your energy and thoughts must be calm and centered remembering your unconditional love for your child. I suggest that you be straightforward with your teenager and say something to the effect of:
“I know if you want to smoke pot you can and there is nothing I can do about it. I prefer that you hold off until a later age to try it if you’re going to. If you are going to try it now, here are some of the pros and cons of doing it (then discuss the points I mention above along with any other research you find once educating yourself on the subject). Also, if you’re going to try it please do it somewhere where you’re safe and don’t drive or do anything where you will harm someone else. If you do decide to smoke pot and get in trouble or cause damage, you will need to suffer those consequences. I love you no matter what and as mentioned, here is why I prefer you to not do it.”
Remember, the most important factor is not just what you say, but “how” you say it. If your child senses fear or anxiety from you, then they will pick up on this and it will rub them the wrong way. If you come from a neutral and fair state of being, they will sense “strength” and “power” from you and it will open the lines of communication. It will also make them want to take into consideration what you have to say.
I recently spoke to a 13-year-old boy about marijuana and he was so excited to talk about it. It was a “big deal” to him and he wanted to talk about the fact that it was legalized in California. I could sense that he really wanted to try it and that he thought it was “so cool”. As I responded to him I spoke in the same way I would speak to any adult about it. I didn’t react to the fact that he was interested in it and I gave him both sides of the pros and cons of marijuana. In the end, I just talked to him about what his choices could mean and that it really wasn’t a big deal. Afterwards, I could sense that his eagerness to try it dwindled. Not that he wouldn’t ever want to try it, but the “taboo” cool symbolism tied to smoking marijuana had dissipated and in some ways he lost interest.
Again, it’s what I mean about remaining neutral and exploring their curiosity from a fair and balanced place. When you do this, you remove that “taboo” cool factor from it and then it’s not a big deal to them. The more parents and “adults” make things a big deal, the more curiosity the child will have in wanting to try something.
I am on a mission to help heal this planet because I truly believe that so much of the trauma and drama our society endures stems from the fact that as youth we did not learn how to address our emotions, solve our problems, and discover our authentic selves. If you find any of this material beneficial, please support this school and our message by taking the following actions below.
– Sergio Diazgranados