I am confused and appalled at the posts bashing my child or myself. I have not DONE anything yet, I have only had conversations, used serious critical thought, and asked for opinions and suggestions. Why would you not want your child to be my child's friend? Because he is a curious and world-aware person that feels comfortable coming to his parents for information and to discuss his interest in exploring smoking? Or because I did not completely think out every ramification and possible ethical and legal side of the issue before having conversations with my son and posting asking for input? Like I said in my first post, this is a brand new topic in our family and that my stance, my process, and my plans may change and change again until it is "right" (meaning, right for our family and I am at ease with myself inside). This is a PROCESS. I do not ignore or postpone certain topics with my children because I have not yet formulated the perfect responses. We talk in the moment... in real life... like PEOPLE do. We also know that we can go back and revisit thing, make changes as we think and learn, and try again. That is the glory and value of TALKING about things before doing them. I do not see why someone would need to stick their head into this thread to simply say they are glad that their children do not know my son or myself. That is a painful thing to say, and the intolerance behind it is ugly. AND it does not help me one turd; I have asked for ideas and suggestions from those that take a different stance or highly disagree with my method. I am exploring all angles and want to do right by my children (and other people's children). If you can leap up to post a few lines against me or my child, could you also pop up and post a few lines on how you think that we could instead do better? I promise to take it into consideration open mindedly and MAY even incorporate it into my parenting style - on this subject and others.
Ad for the comment "what are you going to do when your 13 year old wants to explore crack?"... This just seems so far fetched to me. Some of my largest fears as a parent (especially to a sensory-seeking "balls-to-the-walls" explorer like my oldest) is that my child would become addicted to hard drugs or get involved in a "scene" that would hurt or kill. I have tried to design a family dynamic that would allow for intervention BEFORE things went so far, because we are all connected and collected and communicate openly. I am at a point with my child that most parents are NEVER part of; that little exploration of trying a cigarette for trying pot for the first times. Usually a kid sneaks and samples a puff off of a friend's smoke or one they find (or "bum" one), or they may try pot with older kids or young adults, putting themselves in potential danger (but not realizing it until they are adults and look back) in order to try it. They never tell their parents, and they don't get hooked on crack. My situation is rare in that my child has no reason to hide his curiosity and I have not pushed him away or reacted much at all (I have paused, though, acted, and then reflected.. and then did it again and again... but I have not REACTED). I certainly do not see how my child would get the message from me that smoking crack is a good idea. Heaven forbid that he ever get into a situation that serious, our connection and openness may be the difference between help (life) and total obliviousness (death) with his problem. So my answer: If my 13 year old was exploring crack he would get help, rehab, therapy, and support. That is very different than my nearly 13 year old coming to me curious about trying cigarettes and pot.