Imagine the shock of finding marijuana in your child’s room. A million thoughts instantly swarm your mind. You begin to panic and immediately feel like lashing out in rage and sadness. Are you a failure as a parent? Where did you go wrong? Where do you go from here? Take these steps:
- Stay calm. The first thing you need to do is relax and remain calm. Keeping a cool head will go a long way toward helping your child rather than condemning them. Your child will trust you more if you approach them without being demeaning and judgmental.
- Be honest. Don’t try to bait your child into telling you the truth. Just tell them what you were doing in their room and where you found the marijuana. That way they won’t be able to back out of the topic or start an argument to change the subject. Wait for their reaction to your discovery before you move on to a discussion of marijuana use.
- Communicate and focus. Look for ways to get your child talking freely about their reasons for using marijuana. If you can understand their reasons, you can help them take steps to reduce or eliminate those reasons. It’s important that you don’t bring up punishments until the very end of the discussion— there’s plenty of time to discuss the consequences later. The most important aspect of the discussion should focus on your child’s reasons for smoking marijuana. Are they experiencing stress? Is there something more serious going on? You’ll only find out the truth and be able to help them if your child is comfortable talking to you.
- Find ways to help. The most effective approach is to figure out how to help your child stay away from marijuana going forward. Can you help them find better ways to deal with stress? Maybe you could enroll them in a fitness class. Encourage them to eat healthier, too. A nutritious diet and regular exercise can go a long way toward decreasing stress in the tough times.
If these tactics don’t work, you may need to seek treatment for your child, yourself and your family. The good news is that treatment is now more affordable than ever. You can call for a confidential assessment, and there’s a wide range of treatment options available for people of all ages who are struggling with substance abuse or addiction. Your child and your family don’t have to deal with a drug problem alone.