Marijuana: Finding the right words for your teen

Marijuana Talk KitAt the Partnership, we’ve been talking a lot about marijuana. As you may know, we recently launched our new Marijuana Talk Kit, designed to help parents navigate the constantly evolving drug landscape and have productive conversations with their teens.

One way to set yourself up for a meaningful conversation – one during which your teen hears you and responds thoughtfully – is by knowing some words to use and avoid when talking with him about marijuana (or any issue). The Kit includes a chart of words to avoid, and helps you replace them with words to which your teen will better respond.

Take the word “but,” for example. “But” is a small word, but in using it, you risk shutting down a conversation. You might often catch yourself saying things like, “You did well on your report card, but I need you to do better.” Replacing “but” with another small word – “and” – can go a long way toward improving the outcome with your teen. “You did well on your report card, and I know you can do better.”

Why? A word like “but” can be polarizing and can have the unintended effect of negating and erasing everything that came before it. In the example, “You did well on your report card, but I need you to do better,” your teen will probably only hear “I need you to do better.” When you replace “but” with “and,” it acts as a better bridge between the two thoughts and communicates both points clearly to your teen – the praise and the areas in which you want him to improve.

The Kit is full of other examples of words to use and avoid – like “should” vs. “want”; “bad” vs. “harmful”; “disappointed” vs. “worried” and more.

Learn what words to use and avoid. Download your free Marijuana Talk Kit here >