Would you tell your kids?
I thought this was an interesting article and would def apply to people aorund here. I know I'll have to face this one day, assuming I have kids.http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20414236/wid/11915773?GT1=10316
Ex-tokers wrestle with telling kids not to smoke
It’s high time for parents to come clean about pot, some experts say
Parents are looking into the eyes of their teenage children and seeing their own past staring back.
Now, a generation of parents who cleaned their weed on “The White Album” are trying to figure out how to keep their kids from smoking pot and finding their efforts as useless as a double album in a world of iPods.
The big question for today’s ex-stoners: Should I tell my kid that I’ve gotten high?
Some parents seem to have forgotten one of the first lessons we ever teach our children: Tell the truth, even when it’s difficult to say or hear. But when it comes to that dreaded conversation, moms and dads are wincing at their past, even if they giggled through it at the time.
“I keep saying to my son, who is going into the music business, ‘Look, you’re going to be confronted with this stuff any day now,’” says Richard, whose son recently turned 18. “‘The day I find out that you’ve tried it, your life shuts down.’”
Richard, who asked that his last name not be published, lives in upstate New York, not far from where he attended Woodstock as a 19-year-old. And though he was sober then, he tried dope later and feels it eventually led him down some dark paths. He absolutely forbids smoking pot, and neither of his two children knows he smoked. If they ever do sniff out the truth — and use it against him — Richard says he would “stress all the deleterious effects” he has seen and experienced.
Experts such as Mitch Earleywine, associate professor of psychology at State University of New York at Albany and author of the upcoming “The Parents’ Guide to Marijuana,” agrees with Richard’s thinking, but would reproach him for his delivery.
“Soft emotions like sadness and disappointment are the thing to share with kids under these circumstances, as opposed to harder, negative emotions like anger,” says Earleywine. Citing a brain study led by psychologist Peter Fried (what are the chances!), he continues, “Then the rational argument follows and includes information about new data that show early use alters brain development, decreases IQ scores and increases the risk for dependence.”
Earleywine, who is on the advisory board of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, suggests a parental response along these lines: We didn’t understand marijuana very well back then. It makes me sad that you might harm your brain or not be as smart. I’d like you to have all the advantages you can.
Among nonsmokers and midnight tokers alike, there seems to be a consensus that prohibition sparks the flame of interest: Tell a teenager “absolutely not” and you raise curiosity. Mix that in with a little natural teenage rebellion and you might as well light the bong for your kid.
“If my daughter ever asked me, I think I’d be honest with her about my smoking. … Otherwise, she’d never believe me, and I think there’s a trust issue there,” admits Paul, a father of an 8- and 11-year-old from Connecticut who asked that his last name be withheld. However, he adds, “I probably wouldn’t tell her how much!”
But telling the truth can corner parents. Struggling to reconcile their own experiences with feelings of hypocrisy, they may have the good-hearted notion to build a rapport of candor and trust by revealing their own experiences. At the same time, they worry it could come back to haunt them.