When Other Parents Let Their Kids Drink and Smoke Pot

two kids at table around alcohol“My dad says it’s okay to smoke marijuana.” That’s what a sixth grader said to me at a drug prevention program where I presented. I can’t tell you how many times parents have told me that they know their kids drink or smoke pot, but they aren’t worried because it’s “beer and pot.”

I’ve seen parents hand their teenager a can of beer, saying that their kid isn’t allowed to drink anywhere but at home. While I try, very briefly and discreetly, to explain why that’s a bad idea (not to mention against the law), it’s been a tough sell.

Now that my own kids are full-blown teenagers, I’ve explained to them why it’s not healthy for them to drink alcohol (even though it’s safe for most adults to drink in moderation) as well as why pot is not acceptable either. I can only hope that if they are ever offered alcohol or marijuana by an adult who tells them it’s okay, that they will turn it down. I try to prevent them from being in that kind of situation by actively doing one of the things that I’ve only read about up until now: Knowing who they hang out with and getting to know their friends’ parents.

Research shows that one of the ways to prevent teens from getting involved with drugs is to monitor where they are and who they are with. It’s easier said than done, but so far, it’s working. My kids complain (loudly) when I insist on talking to the parents of their friends when they are going to their house, or when parents are driving them somewhere. I want to know that those parents aren’t the ones who think drinking and smoking pot is okay.

This takes the fortitude to ignore your kids when they complain that “it is so embarrassing.” They’ll get over it. So far, the parents don’t mind, and some have even called me for the same reason.

However, some parents still don’t get the point. One mom told me she would be home while my son was there, then “just ran out to do a couple of errands.” The boys got on her computer to look at porn. So much for her “being home.” I’ve since talked to her about my rule that parents must be home, and make sure to clarify that for all other parents, up front.

Parents who look the other way, don’t pay attention, or provide the alcohol or other drugs, are sending a message to their teens that getting drunk or high is acceptable. Unfortunately, I have met parents who have lost their children to drugs or who are dealing with their kids’ addictions. Some of them have told me that they knew that their kids were drinking and smoking marijuana but they weren’t concerned because “that’s all it was.” They learned the hard way that any time a teenager gets buzzed or high, it’s a problem, whether they are home or not.

Convincing teenagers not to use drugs is tough. I just didn’t expect that convincing their parents that giving kids alcohol/pot is just as hard.

Have you met parents who think its okay for teens to drink alcohol or smoke pot? How did you deal with it? Comment below and share your stories.

6 Parenting Practices

Preventing alcohol and drugs isn’t always easy. Here are six research-supported parenting practices to set you on the right path.

6 parenting practices logo

12 Responses

Leave your Response
    User Picture

    Deon mcmahon

    January 22, 2020 at 12:14 PM

    What do you do when your 13yr old step son and I’ve been withering mother for 11yrs and he was sleeping with a 26yr old I told the girl and my son and the mother and she still let him go with her for hours until the police cought them having sex 3 times and drinking in a car not to mention his best friend is 35yrs old when he went to prison for theft got 6yrs the 26yr old was his lover to begin with so now he comes home December 13th and my step son has already been drinking going all night away w him and already stealing so I lost my family because I cared what should I do

      User Picture

      Josie Feliz

      January 22, 2020 at 1:07 PM

      Thanks for your message Deon. We have forwarded your message to one of our helpline specialists who can help better answer your question, and she will be reaching out to you shortly. Our Helpline is a good place to start if you’d like to talk to someone about what you’re going through. Feel free to connect with us in whichever manner you choose in the future: https://drugfree.org/helpline < https://drugfree.org/helpline>
      Thank you. -The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids

Leave a Comment

Please leave a comment below to contribute to the discussion. If you have a specific question, please contact a Parent Specialist, who will provide you with one-on-one help.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *