What will you say when your kid asks:
- Marijuana is organic, so what’s the big deal?
- Everyone is using weed, so it can’t be that bad, and besides, it’s better than drinking, right?
- Why are you telling me not to use it? Didn’t you smoke when you were my age?
Our Marijuana Talk Kit takes the guesswork out of what to say with useful facts and answers to commonly asked questions and comments.
Whether you are planning to discuss marijuana or other substance use, the following are keys to setting the stage for an effective conversation:
- Keep an open mind. When a child feels judged or condemned, they will be less receptive to the message. Try to project objectivity and openness.
- Put yourself in your kid’s shoes. How would you prefer to be addressed when speaking about a difficult topic? Try to remember how you felt as a teen.
- Be clear about your goals. Know what you want to get from the conversation.
- Be calm and relaxed. Approaching the conversation with anger or panic will make it harder to achieve your goals.
- Be positive. Approaching the situation with shame, anger or scare tactics will be counter-productive. Aim for curious, respectful and understanding.
- Don’t lecture. It will most likely lead to shutting down, tuning you out, anger or worse.
- Find a comfortable setting. Announcing a sit-down meeting will likely be met with resistance, while a more spontaneous, casual approach will lower anxiety (including your own).
- Be aware of body language. Finger-pointing and crossed arms are closed gestures, while uncrossed legs and a relaxed posture are more open.