This just in: Parents don’t know how to talk to their kids about drugs, according to media reports.
As detailed recently by The Associated Press, medical marijuana legalization efforts have complicated “the drug talk” between moms, dads, and teens.
“Parent-child conversations about pot ‘have become extraordinarily complicated,’ Stephen Pasierb, president of the Partnership at Drugfree.org, told the AP. “Legalization and medical use of marijuana have ‘created a perception among kids that this is no big deal.'”
Michael Jolton, a Colorado resident, told reporters that he “finds himself repeatedly explaining green-leafed marijuana ads and ‘free joint’ promotions endemic in his suburban hometown to his kids.”
“‘I did not talk to my oldest son about marijuana when he was 8 years old. We got to talk about fun stuff. Now with my youngest who’s 8, we have to talk about this,'” the consultant said.
One Detroit mother told the media that her own parents “battled drug problems that started with marijuana use” and tries to tell “the youths in her care they could risk the same fate.”
Now, she laments its ubiquity. “‘Because it’s so popular, they truly believe it’s harmless,'” she told the AP.
Though many parents are taking a more relaxed approached to “the talk” — especially those who use medical or recreational marijuana themselves — confusion and fear seem to persist.
Pasierb stressed that parents should handle changing cannabis culture by having “relaxed” discussions with their kids.
It’s better to make children feel like potential disappointments than to make them flat out afraid, he said.
“‘See where your kid is at. Ask them, ‘What do you think?'” he explained. “‘Kids are willing to press all of mom’s and dad’s buttons, but they don’t want to lose the ultimate respect of their parents. It’s important for parents not to say, ‘If you smoke marijuana, we’ll throw you out of the house’ but they should say they’ll be disappointed.'”
If parents used marijuana during their youth, he said, this can further complicate the talk.
“‘You should not lie to your child, but you don’t owe them a blow by blow explanation of every party you went to.'”
Voice analyses have found that pot stands poised to become the most awkward, misinformed intergenerational exchange — potentially eclipsing “the sex talk,” which long held this position.
Follow Victoria Bekiempis @vicbekiempis.