Hello, I'm a newbie to Mothering. I need a sounding board and hopefully some helpful advice.
My 17 1/2 year old son is a major "stoner". I am finding out how little I know about him. What I can tell you is that he has been getting high in my home, alone and with friends. I DO NOT condone this AT ALL!! It seems that all he and his friends talk about is getting stoned, where can they get it, when can they get it, who's older brother can provide it, etc.
My son makes fair grades in school, has never been in trouble with the law, and has no psychological issues to deal with. He has a very good home life with a both bio parents (who have been married 21 years) and has been given a lot of freedom because we've always trusted him (which may have been our downfall). He's respectful to teachers at school, he works part-time at a golf course and he's a very hard worker.
He's also in a rock band. These boys are his comrade in arms, his band of brothers, and unfortunately his smoking buddies. He wants to make a career in music and he IS very talented on drums and guitar.
So, my question is....How do I help my son? Can I help my son? Do I discipline? If so, HOW? I feel like a failure as a mother. I feel like I'm losing my son to a life I don't want him involved in and I'm helpless because he's making a LOT of very wrong decisions for his life. At this age, what are appropriate consequences? Do I just accept the fact that this is the life he's chosen and pray that nothing bad happens?
Mama, I moved this thread to the "Preteens and Teens" forum for more support.
Take my advice with a grain of salt because I am not the parent of a teen, but I think at 17 I would be educating on the use of marijuana in terms of health issues (I'd be honest and include the pros and cons), some etiquette issues (smoking in a home with house mates that don't approve isn't cool), and a strong lesson on the laws and implications of breaking the drug laws in your state.
Troll? Here's me...
Well, its your house and your rules. If you don't want him smoking pot in your house tell him so. He needs to respect your rules or face consequences (like no allowance, no car, no friends over, etc). A teen that old is harder to discipline because he's practically an adult. But please realize when he's not at your home smoking, he will be else where smoking. But I would hope he's not doing it in your home when you ask him not to. However, since he has a PT job of his own, I'm guessing he's spending his own money on it.
My kids are not teenagers yet, but I was a teenager not that long ago. I smoked pot occasionally and have friends and even relatives that did and still do smoke more than me. Alot of times teens grow out of it, I did. My parents talked to me all the time about drugs & alcohol but we still did it. Alot of times the more you push, the more they will go out and do it more so.
He sounds like a responsible young man (good grades, works, no trouble, etc). And while I know you may not want him living this "lifestyle" alot of times weed isn't as bad as you think. However, I don't know him personally and don't know how much it drives his life. Talking to him won't hurt, just lay down some rules.
Vegetarian mother to (3/09) (11/10) and (4/13)
Yes, we have done all of the above. It just seems to go in one ear and out the other. When we tried to explain how he was disrespecting us by NOT smoking in the house, he didn't see it as being disrespectful. I just don't know what he IS thinking. :(
There is a great book called "Parent Education Training". They offer a parent class and the teacher I took it from began her journey into PET when her sons were in their teens. Why don't you try a book on parent/child communication that deals specifically with teens? Perhaps ask for recommendations in the Gentle Discipline forum.
Troll? Here's me...
I just don't think you have the time with him as a child at home to do much about this as a parent. You can forbid smoking in your house. I want to ask you if this is a hill to die on, though. You know your son, so you are the one in a position to see where he's going with this. Some people do end up as lifelong "stoners" who seem to choose smoking over living. Others (I'd say most people who smoke as teenagers) use pot quite a bit for a couple years until they find better things to do. Many people smoke a little here and there for life.
I have to admit, from your description your son sounds like he has a good head on his shoulders, and perfectly reasonable priorities for a 17 year old. From my perspective, you would have good reason to put your faith in all the great parenting you've done so far, plus your son's basic soundness of mind and character, and tentatively let it go. From the way he engages in his life in positive ways, and puts effort into his future, chances are really really good that this won't last past his next phase in life.
Step mom to Malakie, Cameron , and Aurelia
i have been through what your son is going through, and still am to some extent. and i belive most parents knee-jerk reaction to their kids dope habits are often far more damaging than the drugs can be. firstly, it will go through stages, and nothing you can say or do will stop him doing it. if you end up going into blazing (lol) rows over it you are more likely to just push him away, and push his habit underground. its an old cliche, but talk to him and let him be open and honest about it, in the long run this is a far better tactic. my parents we very against me smoking, we had huge rows, and every time my mum found my stash it would end up in the bin, which made me hide it from her more.
you could try setting up rules about it that dont blankly say "do not use drugs" for example you could agree that he is allowed to have a smoke on the weekends if he wants, but make it known that you would be unhappy if he his using it every day. it is also good to suggest he takes it in healthyer ways, cooking and eating it or using a vaporiser are far less harmful than smoking it. i have been smoking for about 5 years now. it started just with friends, with my band etc, but over time it began to become an everyday thing. when this happens there are usually deeper problems under the surface than just drugs. i went through some really rough patches with my parents, but eventully we worked through most of it. i still smoke every day, but i have a great job, which im doing really well at, and it is only recently, when i have felt i can be more honest with my parents about it, that i am managing to cut down the amount of money i am spending on it. most stoners will go through a few years of smoking very heavily, before starting to use it like it should be, like alcohol is used by the majority of people, occasionally at the weekends to relax. and not an emotional crutch you rely on every day. i hope this helps you and if you have any more questions i will try to answer them. sorry if i missed a few points or repeated some things, its really hard to write a reply when the webpage doesnt show you the post you are replying to (tip for whoever designed this website!)