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#151 of 177 Old 09-04-2007, 12:19 AM
 
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Am I doing okay with this? Am I going about this all wrong? I just want my kids to be safe and also to not spin down that ugly road of deception during self exploration. If there is ever a serious drug, alcohol, sex, etc issue later maybe this will be that foundation of trust and acceptance that may make all the difference.
Well, I come from a completely different parenting paradigm than you do, but I have to say that encouraging your 12 year old to smoke/smoke pot knowing that cigarettes are more addictive than heroin and that you and your son could end up with criminal offenses (which could affect your ds for the rest of his life) is not a smart move. "Crawl out your window and do something illegal in the backyard" doesn't seem like wise advice to me. If the police/child welfare were called about this for any reason, I doubt they would have much interest in your "I want us to have open and honest communication" idea. And if I ever found out that one of my kids' friends' parents were allowing/encouraging my child to do something dangerous and illegal, I would be furious.

The fact that you allow him to do it but still want to feign ignorance says a lot to me.

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#152 of 177 Old 09-04-2007, 12:49 AM
 
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Just wanted to add a little more:

I wonder what you would say to your son if he came to you at 30 and said, "Mom, I started smoking when I was 13 and you let me! You told me to climb out my window and smoke! Seventeen years later, I can't quit! Why didn't you stop me from smoking?" Because I think that's a more likely scenario than, "Mom, when I was 13 you wouldn't let me smoke, so I had to sneak my cigs. I'm 30 now and I can't quit! Why didn't you let me smoke freely??"

The other thing I wanted to say (and this is an anecdote, so you can all collectively roll your eyes, because we all know that anecdotes do not equal data) is that I grew up in a fairly traditional home. Although my mom smoked when I was growing up, it was understood that smoking and drugs were a no-no for us kids. My dad frequently lectured us about how dangerous and stupid drugs are. My older sister has never smoked and didn't take her first drink until she was 22. She now has a PhD in immunology.

I started drinking in 7th grade and, when I was 16-18, smoked a bit and did a bunch of drugs. I had to hide it all from my folks. Eventually, I got tired of sneaking around and started to take seriously all the anti-smoking/drugs messages I'd had drummed into me. I saw where my drinking and drugging friends were going (which was nowhere, I saw their lives staying stagnant over those three years). I graduated near the top of my highschool class, went on to college, graduated summa cum laude from college, and have had a fabulous and drug/smoking/alcoholism-free life.

I had a circle of 6 friends that I did my drugs with. We were all middle class kids from conventional families. Five of those kids had parents who "let" their kids do drugs and smoke. Two of those parents would invite the kids over to their houses so we could do our drugs "safely." One of those kids is in and out of jail now. One died of an overdose. Two others still do drugs frequently and are working poor with no higher education and no real prospects for an easier life. One I don't know what happened to. The sixth friend came from a family like mine, who didn't allow their kids to smoke and do drugs. She went to college and became a Russian teacher.

Not to sound snobby, but the two kids whose families set boundaries for their kids (even if their kids flouted them) are the ones who, these days, have comfortable and happy lives. Four of the other five are either dead, incarcerated, or lead very hard lives.

Yeah, it's an anecdote, but it means something to me.

dm
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#153 of 177 Old 09-04-2007, 09:19 AM
 
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Ok, I have read far enough to see that you are feeling bashed and you feel that people are not giving you alternatives about what they would do rather than just telling you that they think what you are doing is not ok.

Here's what I would do if my 13 year old daughter came to me and told me she wanted to try smoking/pot smoking. I would tell her that smoking and pot smoking are not things that our family does. I would explain to her the medical and legal risks. I would tell her that I expected her to abide by our decision that she not do it.

Would she do it anyway? Maybe. I did. My sister didn't. But there is a big difference, in my mind, between saying, "I don't approve and here's why. But in case you don't agree with me, use this lock box to hide your stash and feel free to climb out the window and do it anyway" and saying, "I don't approve and here's why. I expect you to respect my decision."

To me, one is drawing a boundary and giving guidance, and one is not. I honestly don't think it's guidance to give your kids the means to do something you don't approve of, and I agree with a pp who said that it's setting the bar of expectation pretty low.

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#154 of 177 Old 09-05-2007, 01:47 AM
 
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How do you propose not "letting", "allowing" anyone to do anything? I am baffled by the idea that we can control another human being. We really cannot.

I know of a family who adopted a control the kid stance when it came to smoking pot. This poor kid is kept in a virtual prison for wanting to smoke mj...prohibited from spending time with friends...confined to the house...followed and harrassed when trying to get some time away from the house -- unbelievable level of control-attempt. This has been going on over a year.

Kid's solution? Smoke ciggies, pot and pop exstacy at school...until he got caught. Now it is a big legal deal. Parents put head in the sand -- kid cleverly kept the friends who knew how to hide things from parents, but all of the kids who have honest relationships with the world and their parents were cast out.

Result -- this kid and his friends who are sneaking are into the hard stuff and have legal trouble. (Not that this is a hard and fast rule -- just something that happened in this particular case.) The kids with better relationships at home just smoke mj, go to school and continue their lives in peace.

I do not advocate the stance that you tell kids just go do what you want as long as you don't know about it. I think this lacks the opportunity for critical analysis with kids. If you let kids know the truth, then they trust you.

You might still butt heads about boundaries and certain ideas about safety -- but at least it is out in the open and parent has a clear idea of where kid is, what kid is doing and kid does not have to hide anything.

Mj is not as dangerous as alcohol or cigarrettes -- both of which are legal. Mj is not as dangerous as being overweight and having diabetes. Mj is not as dangerous as a lot of the prescription drugs they are freely prescribing to our so-called "bi-polar" and "depressed" children.

ARGGHGGGHHGGGH Do you all really want to continue living in a police state?
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#155 of 177 Old 09-05-2007, 08:49 AM
 
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I don't think that anyone is advocating following their children around like the secret police. I think you've created a false dichotomy. Telling kids not to smoke or do drugs is not equal to imprisoning kids in their homes and following/harassing them.

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#156 of 177 Old 09-05-2007, 02:21 PM
 
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i just finally sat and read through this entire thing. mama embers, are you still around? a few weeks have gone by since your original post. how are things progressing? how did the "boys night out" go? what a great outing, btw. hope they had a blast and forgot (for now) all about mj.

just wanted to say also, because i didn't address it when i first jumped in here:

cigarettes are nasty and evil. after smoking on and off for 16 years (the first time i was 12), i can't imagine what the condition of my lungs must be. and it's SOOOO F'ING HARD to quit, as others have mentioned. nevertheless, i'm trying again after we move next month and i'm quitting smoking mj too (except for recreationally). my daily use will be restricted to a vaporizer or some type of snacky deliciousness. i'm tired of my hair and all my sweaters being stinky (and we don't even smoke indoors). i'm tired of my teeth being funky colored. and i'm really tired of casi seeing me smoke. it is not the model i wish to provide.

just my 2 cents. :
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#157 of 177 Old 09-05-2007, 05:28 PM
 
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I did not read all the posts between now and my last one but I want to respond to Caspian who asked about leaving my child with someone who smoked cigs but wouldn't in my child's presence. I have a sort of contradictory response to this. I do occasionally leave my younger child with my older child who smokes. He does go outside to smoke, which is good, but there are problems with this. He either has to leave my younger child in the house alone (which he doesn't do) or bring him outside while he smokes. My younger ds sees my older ds smoke outside whether he's taking care of him or not. I don't leave him for more than a couple of hours and only when it's absolutely necessary. However, because cigs are so addictive (I know because I used to smoke them) I would have a hard time trusting someone else to go for possibly hours without a cig while watching my children. So, I guess my answer to that is that, if I had a choice, I would not. However, when choosing to leave my child at some random child care place with strangers or leaving him with my older ds who smokes cigs, I choose my older ds.

It's not so much why someone uses a drug, such as using MJ for medicinal purposes, as are the effects of any said drug. I wouldn't leave my child with someone on prescription pain killers because of the effects of those drugs. I, myself, won't take many OTC meds because I would not be able to care for my children afterward.

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#158 of 177 Old 09-05-2007, 05:50 PM
 
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I parent very differently than my own parents, but for some reason, their total hard line on smoking stuck. They're both vehemently anti-smoking - very physically fit and careful about staying healthy. I'm very close to them, and appreciative that they instilled a poor picture of cigarettes in my mind early. It wasn't a "Don't smoke because we say so" but more of a "Smoking is nasty - it wrecks your lungs." "You can tell a smoker by the impact it has on your face." etc. approach. They pointed out exactly what was wrong about it and I knew there was NO way they'd ever be OK with my smoking. So I didn't. Even as a 36 year old mom of 2, in my own home, etc. I'd never dare smoke around them. And I never did (I have a lot of respect for them - they've earned it )

I want my children to be independent decision makers and to think critically and make their own choices, but I will probably take the same approach on this one. It's a boundary that I'm comfortable setting. I think there can be a balance between having limits v. encouraging them to make their own choices. I guess parenting isn't an "either or" thing for me, but a balancing act.

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#159 of 177 Old 09-05-2007, 07:59 PM
 
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My younger ds sees my older ds smoke outside whether he's taking care of him or not. I don't leave him for more than a couple of hours and only when it's absolutely necessary. However, because cigs are so addictive (I know because I used to smoke them) I would have a hard time trusting someone else to go for possibly hours without a cig while watching my children. So, I guess my answer to that is that, if I had a choice, I would not.
sorry, but this doesn't make any sense to me. you'd rather your younger child stay with an underage (otherwise known as illegal) smoker who knowingly partakes while the child is present, versus a qualified (meaning friend or family) adult smoker? nicotine has often been compared to heroin here, but it's not exactly. i can easily work a full 8hr shift without taking a break. in fact, i usually only smoke 3-4 per day. i guess i'm just wondering why you have such a double standard. if you're trying to keep your younger kid from smoking cigarettes (esp before age 18), having his older brother as a role model doesn't exactly help.
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#160 of 177 Old 09-05-2007, 09:37 PM
 
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This is a long thread, so please forgive if I am saying stuff that has been said before....

With respect to tobacco, I would NOT allow it to be used on my property - at least not at 13. Probably not until 16+. Tobacco is addictive, and we really should do our best to send the message that smoking it is not OK (and we tacitly say it is Ok when we allow it to be done on our property). I would never pay for smokes.

I am going to say something that I think is extremely unpopular (zipping up flame-proof suit, lol) I would consider grounding my child for a solid month if I felt they had a smoking addiction. That might help alleviate the "sneaking around to do it", as well as the addiction. Yes, they would hate me (hopefully temporarily) but tobacco use is serious! It takes an average of 7 years off peoples lives (and my smoking, overweight father dies at 58 ) My DH's father has had 3 heart attacks! It also smells and cost ooddles of money, and is not fun to quit.

As for pot, well, I do not think it has the addiction implications that smoking tobacco has - so it would actually worry me less. But not at 13 - that is too young, imho. NIMBY.

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#161 of 177 Old 09-05-2007, 10:06 PM
 
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And for those who say their kids had never done x, y, or z? I grew up in a pretty relaxed home. My parents trusted me a great deal and were always frank and open. Because of this, I also knew that their opinions on issues were typically far more conservative than mine were. It did not "rub off" on any level. And, even though I knew I would not get "punished", I still did not tell my parents about sex, drinking, and drug use. I knew it would kill them and I did not want to do that to them. I knew I was going to be fine. And I was. And did not feel like I should bug my parents with it. To this day, my mom has no idea I have ever done some of the things I experimented with in HS.
i had to agree with this. my mom was one of those, ' try it safely at home, if at all' kinds of parents. did i want to drink and smoke with my mom? hell no! but i also felt safer knowing that she wouldn't completely freak out about what i was doing. i appreciated that she wasn't a control freak, like other parents. but there were other key things too and i will translate this into what you asked for- approach and advice:

1- i was always expected to do well... my parents thought highly of me, expected me to go to college, etc... i think this is major. Let your son know that he has the capacity *and* you expect him to achieve his goals. i'm not saying you expect him to be a doctor, lawyer, etc... but i think when kids see that we believe in them, they see beyond next week, kwim?

2- my mom (single mom, but my dad did this too from afar) supported all of my extra curricular activities. i was the motivator behind all of them, but she found a way to make it happen- music lessons, sports, doing an amazing semester away my junior year of high school, taking a year off after college to travel. talk about giving your kid confidence! it was awesome, i never felt held back. was i smoking pot this whole time? yup. was it out of control? no. and i knew when i had done a bit too much one week, and cut back. my life did not revolve around my occasional use, it was full of other things.

so, point is, all of those things you and your dh are doing to support him in finding other activities and reaching out- awesome. very cool, and very important.

3. my parents didn't do this, but instead of *you* telling your son all the potential issues with drugs- have him research it. you homeschool, right? make it a project. compare drugs, effects, consequences, history, etc... information sinks in more deeply when it's obtained through one's own efforts. certain things will stick with him. i'm not saying don't share your opinion; you say, 'no son, i think smoking is wrong and i don't want you to do it." he says, 'why?' and you say,'let's find out. what do you want to know? lets' do some research..." the books pp's have suggested to you are great.

4. finally, you mentioned something about an initiation or something your dh was going to do, the boy-manhood thing. i cannot say enough about this. super important. i am going to pm you wtih the information about a wilderness school i was involved with in Shasta, Ca with a man who does life-changing boys rights of passage. unbelievable.

i used to work with all the "screwed up" kids, the ones who got kicked out of school, started using in 4th grade etc... and i can say, not one of them came from a home like yours (meaning, theirs was severely dysfunctional and yours is not even close).

I am a homeopath, offering acute and constitutional consultations for children, babies, and parents. Long-distance treatment is easy, either phone or skype! I also am certified to offer Homeoprophylaxis, a vaccine-alternative program. Message me for more details. www.concentrichealing.com
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#162 of 177 Old 09-06-2007, 01:29 AM
 
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Ok, I have read far enough to see that you are feeling bashed and you feel that people are not giving you alternatives about what they would do rather than just telling you that they think what you are doing is not ok.
To avoid the nasty tone of this thread, early on I provided a private message to the original poster of how I kept two at-risk teens from stumbling into drug, alcohol and tobacco pitfalls - with specifics. Others have provided specific advice as well. Sometimes posters asking for advice are not open to dissent, but only seek support for their chosen course of action.
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#163 of 177 Old 09-06-2007, 02:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you, Naturalyst. Your PMs were taken into consideration and your effort with them really appreciated.
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#164 of 177 Old 09-06-2007, 03:08 AM
 
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I think it's totally fab that you are honest and open and encouraging to your kids to be honest with you. I agree that sneaking and secrets are not healthy.

But I also think that sometimes kids test boundaries, for various reasons. And they need to know that you are going to help them establish boundaries for their own safety and well being. Putting your foot down about not allowing drug use would be, I think, basic boundary setting.
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#165 of 177 Old 09-06-2007, 07:16 AM
 
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*random hugs to Embers*
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#166 of 177 Old 09-06-2007, 11:46 AM
 
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To avoid the nasty tone of this thread, early on I provided a private message to the original poster of how I kept two at-risk teens from stumbling into drug, alcohol and tobacco pitfalls - with specifics. Others have provided specific advice as well. Sometimes posters asking for advice are not open to dissent, but only seek support for their chosen course of action.
would you be willing to summarize the tips you gave embers here also? i think there are many of us who are also looking for tips and strategies to consider along with our own approaches.

I am a homeopath, offering acute and constitutional consultations for children, babies, and parents. Long-distance treatment is easy, either phone or skype! I also am certified to offer Homeoprophylaxis, a vaccine-alternative program. Message me for more details. www.concentrichealing.com
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#167 of 177 Old 09-06-2007, 12:02 PM
 
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3. my parents didn't do this, but instead of *you* telling your son all the potential issues with drugs- have him research it. you homeschool, right? make it a project. compare drugs, effects, consequences, history, etc... information sinks in more deeply when it's obtained through one's own efforts. certain things will stick with him. i'm not saying don't share your opinion; you say, 'no son, i think smoking is wrong and i don't want you to do it." he says, 'why?' and you say,'let's find out. what do you want to know? lets' do some research..." the books pp's have suggested to you are great.
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#168 of 177 Old 09-06-2007, 01:50 PM
 
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instead of *you* telling your son all the potential issues with drugs- have him research it. you homeschool, right? make it a project. compare drugs, effects, consequences, history, etc... information sinks in more deeply when it's obtained through one's own efforts. certain things will stick with him. i'm not saying don't share your opinion; you say, 'no son, i think smoking is wrong and i don't want you to do it." he says, 'why?' and you say,'let's find out. what do you want to know? lets' do some research..." the books pp's have suggested to you are great.
That. Is a great idea and I plan on doing that for all of the teen "issues." Thank you for a really good idea!

Mama to DS (8) and DD (7) Aristotle was not Belgian. The central message of Buddhism is not "Every man for himself." And the London Underground is not a political movement.

 

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#169 of 177 Old 09-25-2007, 08:02 AM
 
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I hope to teach my children that their bodies are sacred. The caecenogengs in smoke are something I really worry about.
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#170 of 177 Old 09-25-2007, 08:13 AM
 
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What are caecenogengs?

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#171 of 177 Old 09-25-2007, 09:29 AM
 
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A 13yo does not have adult reasoning or life skills to make these types of INFORMED decisions. That's where parenting comes in. Condoning drug use in a child is way beyond civil disobedience.
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#172 of 177 Old 09-25-2007, 12:55 PM
 
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I don't know what is best. I only know that drugs and smoking of any kind will not be tolerated at all within my family.

Smoking kills. There is no way around that. It kills and it kills slowly and painfully. Smoking also causes you to look older than your years. It limits who you can date, because most non smokers do not want to be with smokers.

In my 43 years on this earth... with my own personal experience... "Once a pothead, always a pothead" With one exception... he joined the navy in 1981, and became more interested in fitness and training than smoking and doing drugs.

I know of two potheads from high school who are still living at their parents home. We graduated high school in the early 80s, and they have never been able to move out.

I live on a block filled with ex potheads from their teen years... one is in rehab right now. His wife has a "boyfriend" living in their home and driving his truck while he is in rehab. The others still smoke pot and do the occasional drugs. But they are otherwise productive members of society.

I experimented with pot in high school. But, only a few times. I never bought it, it was just passed to me, so I took hits as it went by. SO, you CAN experiment without it becoming a part of your life. But, I still wouldn't allow my daughter to use it with my blessing.

I am NOT saying that your kids will turn into potheads. It is entirely possible that allowing it will take away the desire to smoke pot. Once I was of drinking age, drinking wasn't as much fun anymore. The fun was in getting the beer or wine or boones farm.
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#173 of 177 Old 09-25-2007, 12:58 PM
 
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What are caecenogengs?
I think it was a typo. Carcinogen


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carcinogen
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#174 of 177 Old 09-25-2007, 01:22 PM
 
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I researched all the drugs I wanted to do when I was 15. I found several more that piqued my interest. And then I proceeded to pound LSD for 18 months. At 15, I was in no way capable of seeing what the long-term consequences would be, and I was a very smart, common-sensical girl.

If a kid wants to get high, there's not much you can do to stop them. But I wouldn't leave it up to the interwebs to educate my kid on the dangers of drug use. Their brains aren't even finished growing, for the love of Pete! How can they make a rational choice when they don't have the neural pathways to do so?
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#175 of 177 Old 09-25-2007, 07:56 PM
 
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What are caecenogengs?
wow. i don't know if you meant it this way or not, but that came across as really snippy.
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#176 of 177 Old 09-25-2007, 08:43 PM
 
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I'm sorry, but how in the world is asking a question snippy?

It's not like it was a simple spelling error or typo and I could still identify the word. I had no idea what that word was. It didn't look like carcinogen, so I had no idea.

I think it is funny that asking what something is is snippy.

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#177 of 177 Old 09-26-2007, 09:35 AM
 
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Originally Posted by FancyD View Post
If a kid wants to get high, there's not much you can do to stop them. But I wouldn't leave it up to the interwebs to educate my kid on the dangers of drug use. Their brains aren't even finished growing, for the love of Pete! How can they make a rational choice when they don't have the neural pathways to do so?
Yep. If you're going to make it a homeschooling project, make sure your child is getting information from all "sides." I know that when I research pot on the internet, most sites that come up are those that are very biased in favor of its use.
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