Did you use marijuana when you were young? Like alcohol, parents differ in their experiences with marijuana when they were young. There are many different ways parents approach answering this question. Here are some examples of how to respond to this type of question: “If I knew what I know now, I would have made a lot of decisions differently, including not trying something at a party when I was younger that I might later regret.”

FINAL THOUGHTS Parents also often wonder about whether their children are listening and whether their conversations are making a difference. Studies repeatedly show that parents do make a difference with how they act, what they do and do not allow their children to do, how they listen and ask questions, and whether they tell their children what to do vs. asking them questions that allow the children to work through solutions to problems. Studies show that asking children questions that start with how , what , and why are the best ways to open the lines of communication or improve the impact of those conversations (such as, “How would you handle an invitation to go to a party where others are drinking and smoking marijuana? What are things you could do instead? Why might that work or not work?”). All the things you do make a difference and it is never too late to start making that difference in your child’s life.

After this, you could add...

“I do know now that the data from studies show that the younger people are when they drink or smoke marijuana, the more likely they will have more frequent and more severe problems in their teens, 20s, and beyond. I also know that the data also show that when parents think it is okay for their teens to drink or use marijuana once in a while, those teens drink and use marijuana more and have more problems in their lives. Being that there is more scientific information now than when I was your age, the more important thing is not what I did years ago, but right now how I can help you from being in a situation where you could do something that hurts you or someone else. Why do you think would be a good thing to do? How do you think that would work?”


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