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My family is heading out to a music festival this weekend. I'm sure there will be lots of doobies floating around.<br>
My question is: what would you tell your 3 1/2 year old about MJ? I know she'll ask tons of questions; we don't smoke and rarely drink (around her, at least), so she always asks a ton of questions about cigarette smokers. How would you tell someone her age, without offending the occasional pot smoker and making them seem like "bad" people, what it is and "why" people do it?<br>
When she asked about beer and why she couldn't drink it, I explained that she was too young, but that when she was older like mommy and daddy it would be up to her whether she wanted to have one every once in a while. Would it be sane - or reasonable - to say the same thing about MJ?<br>
And what might happen if she talks about MJ to people who are totally against it because of what I say<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/confused.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Confused">:
 

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Personally I would say the same thing you did about beer - the two substances are on about the same level IMO. Maybe add something about how a lot of people disapprove of MJ, so it's against the law (I know this is a gross oversimplification of the history), but that not everyone agrees with those laws?<br><br>
I know dp and I will have to face this issue ourselves in the future... It's a sticky one! Good luck!
 

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That is a tough situation. I have had to deal with this question a few times. My children have never been exposed to someone smoking pot, but they know it exists.<br><br>
Ds has asks a lot of questions - why do people do it, why do they think it's fun to be high, why they do something that is illegal and bad for your health. Good questions.<br><br>
I approach it from an honest place. Let her know that it is a drug and against the law. That as an adult you get to make choices in your life and that thoes choices are personal.<br><br>
She's rather young, so the fact that pot makes you high probubly won't come up yet. My son is almost 9 and it's just been the last year and a half that he's started to process what this means.<br><br>
Personally, I wouldn't condone or be aginst the pot smokers. I think this would confuse her and as you mentioned make her wonder if they're bad people. I would just reiterate that I don't approve of it for 'our' family and that these people are adults and making thier own choices.<br><br>
My personal thoughts on talking with your kids is to answer ONLY the question they asked. They'll ask more as they're ready to process it.<br><br>
Be simple in answering them and remind them that others may feel differently than you. I try to put things like this "I feel that XXXX, but remember, thoes are my feelings. Other people may feel differently and that's ok. As you get older you'll learn more about XXX and be able to make your own decisions".<br><br>
I wouldn't go deeply into the moral/legal issues at this point because she's simply not going to get it. To a kid illegal means 'BAD' and no, you don't want her calling people bad.<br><br>
I'm really not sure how to deal with the issue of her telling others. I think that if you don' t make a big deal of it and act like it's not a big deal, she will as well.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/oops.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="oops">T funny story. The neighbors were getting yard work done and they workers were smoking. Dd comes out with "Mom, that man is SMOKING!!!! He's just SMOKING and SMOKING - He's gonna DIE!!!!!!" Yeah, it was loud enough for them the hear :LOL
 

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I like Ms. Mom's advice. Don't condone it or make it seem bad. That is a tough one and I've frequently thought about how we will explain mj use to dd when she's older. We go to lots of concerts/festivals where it's being smoked, so I'm sure the topic will come up sooner or later. We also have lots of friends who smoke and we occasionally take a toke ourselves. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Of course, we would never do it or allow any of our friends to do it around dd.
 

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At that age I would just be honest and answer whatever question is asked in an age appropriate way. If you want to say it's something that some growups do, fine. At 3 she'll let you know if she wants more info, lol. I personally wouldn't get into a whole thing about the legality of it. I somehow doubt a 3 year old is going to ask about laws, lol.
 

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I agree about not really getting into the legality of it right now - that just makes it seem scary and bad. I like what you said in your OP. (I'll refrain from getting on my high horse about alcohol actually being worse than marijuana, though, since that isn't the point of this thread.) I think that's an honest and simple enough explanation.<br><br>
I'll be honest - my parents smoked around my sister and I while we were growing up. They were very responsible, conscientious, and safe parents. They just didn't believe in hiding anything from their children (to a reasonable extent). They drank beer in front of us, they smoked pot in front of us. I have no recollection of asking any questions, or what they told me about it. I seemed to always know growing up that it was a private family matter - not something I mentioned to the mailman or my teacher - but it wasn't like they made a big deal about it being this huge dark secret either.<br><br>
Anyway, my point is that I grew up to be a totally normal, healthy, functioning, non drug addict adult (and was the same as a teenager), so I firmly believe that honesty and directness is the best route with your children. And I especially love the idea of telling them that it is a decision that they will make for themselves when they are older.<br><br>
And what might happen if she talks to people who are totally against it? Well, I wouldn't worry about it. There are going to be all sorts of things that people are going to be against that your family may or may not be okay with - vaccinations, soda pop, disney movies, tv, whatever. Because you have always been honest and open with her, she will know that she can come to you if anything uncomfortable arises.
 

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After reading Arduinna and Oceanbaby's posts. I agree with not saying too much about the legality. Your dd probably won't even ask. I've told this story on another thread, but when I was about 6 years old, I went with my dad to his friend's house for the weekend. There was always drinking and games and fun going on there. One time they had pot brownies. My dad simply told me they were adult brownies. I didn't think a thing of it. I didn't ask any questions or anything. His answer was good enough for me. If I were to ever have pot brownies though, I would have a batch made up for the kids too. It just wasn't fair that I couldn't have a brownie! Anyway, when I was 18 or so, my dad finally asked me if I knew why I couldn't have any of those brownies! By that age I knew all to well why I couldn't have them, I was "well-educated" about mj by then!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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Moving this to The Childhood Years for ya!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hippie.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hippie">
 

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I'd stay away from the legality issue because you don't want her insisting that you call the police, right? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
She may not make a distinction between pot smoking and cigarette smoking. But if she notices that it smells different, you could say, "That's like smoking cigarettes, but it's just a different plant that they're burning."<br><br>
Good for you for thinking ahead about what to say, and not making this a big deal! Someday it won't be!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hippie.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hippie">
 

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Agree with Arduinna and others ... at 3 she's a little young for technical details.<br><br>
Makes more sense IMHO to just do the "it's something some grown-ups do," because any other explanation is just way beyond any comprehension level. Even the comparison to beer is not useful to her, because what's beer? "A grown-up drink." So? So's coffee, for most kids.
 

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How do those of you with older children - those of you that smoke sometimes or have partners that do - deal with the issue? Do you hide it? What about fears about them talking to grandparents about it? Are your kids doing the DARE program in schools?
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by EnviroBecca</i><br><b><br>
She may not make a distinction between pot smoking and cigarette smoking. But if she notices that it smells different, you could say, "That's like smoking cigarettes, but it's just a different plant that they're burning."<br><br></b></td>
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ITA. I think it's really unlikely that she will even know it's different than a regular cigarette, but that's a great response. And I wouldn't even bring up legality issues. My almost 6 yr old has no concept of what "against the law" means. That would be waaayy too much info for a 3 yr old.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>candiland</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">When she asked about beer and why she couldn't drink it, I explained that she was too young, but that when she was older like mommy and daddy it would be up to her whether she wanted to have one every once in a while. :</div>
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This is not meant to criticize you!!! I <span style="text-decoration:underline;">USED</span> to drink on occassions too but as a child growing up with alcoholic parents and with a mom that was killed in a fire from taking too many pills, why dont you also tell her about the bad stuff alcohol and drugs can do to people? I wish someone wouldve told my parents and maybe then I would still have my mom.
 

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I like the different plant idea.<br><br>
I have always been honest with my kids, pot is no different.<br><br>
BTW, I used to work at the public school, I heard kids tell their teachers their parents smoked! THe teachers would say, Oh, is that right. We don't talk about that here. Have you ussed the blocks yet today?<br><br>
Dare! What a program. MY son learned lots about drugs there. Way more than was helpful.<br><br>
ANd I would never say, on a public board that I smoke BUT, I used to <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> and I simply told my mother, years before kids. My dh's mother knew and never cared either.<br><br>
I did pull one of my kids out of Dare. Whoa, how to piss off the local cops! They freaked! I pulled her because she has severe learning disabilities and the cop teaching the class was an idiot and I was afraid it would be to much for her. Gonna tell a funny story but not here!
 

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I agree that telling your DD that it is something for adults is acceptable. I also tell my 3 yr. old DD that tobacco, alcohol, coffee, etc is something for adults, and she is able to accept this. She hasn't ever asked any further questions, and is not at the age where something being for adults makes her more interested in it (thank god!). If there is food laced with pot, you can just tell her the food is "grown up treats" and find her a drug-free snack if she wants a treat too.<br>
We have been bringing DD to concerts and music festivals since she was a baby and she is pretty oblivious to what is going on as far as drug use goes.<br>
I grew up with my Mother smoking herb around me all the time and I never had any idea it wasn't tobacco until I started experimenting with it myself in high school.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/clap.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="clap"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/clap.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="clap"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumbsup.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbsup"> Red, good for you on pulling your child out of DARE. No one's child should have to sit through that horrible crap. I still remember the disgusting pictures they showed us, they gave me nightmares. And although I've never tried any hard drugs, it certainly didn't stop me from experimenting! What a waste of taxpayer $$. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shake.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shake"><br><br>
I don't think you need to get into the legality of it with her. That is far beyond the comprehension of most 3 yr. olds anyway.
 

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My 4 year old just assumes now that when someone is smoking it is a cigarette. We've been taking him to festivals and concerts since he was born so he's seen alot of people smoking lots of things. When he asked i simply said it's tobacco and it's for grown-ups. That was the end of his questions (for now!!)<br>
I sell some goods at a store that sells smoking pipes and accesories so Ds has asked about all the pretty pipes..i tell him they are for tobacco, he really wants to get his nana a big purple bong for christmas to help her smoke her cigarettes!!! lol..not sure how i'll talk him outta that!<br><br>
Julia
 

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hmmm, this is an interesting question. we were recently staying with some friends who had a party while we were there. at some point folks torched up and while my daughter didn't see it, i'm certain she smelled it. she never asked us anything. she's used to smelling all forms of incense and sage in our house, and maybe even some mj after she's gone to bed. i'm sure she might ask more questions if she actually saw it.<br><br>
when i was younger i went to egypt with my mother. old men were smoking opium on the streets through houkas. i asked my mom what they were doing and she said they were smoking something that made them feel good. that was a good enough answer for me. in neither made me want to do it, nor made me think it was a terrible crime.<br><br>
i think if my daughter asked i would tell her they were smoking an herb that is for adult use. if she asked why they were smoking it, i might tell her that some people find this herb has medicinal value, that it makes them feel good. i like the idea of also telling her the negative side, that smoke in general is not good for the lungs, and that some people do it too much and forget about doing other healthier things to make themselves feel good. i would try my best to objectively paint both sides of the story: some people think it is sacred and use it in rituals, others think it is criminal and have thus made it illegal. it is really up to the individual adult to decide for themselves.<br><br>
of course this is way too much for a three year old. so i might just say they are smoking an herb, and like cigarettes or coffee or alchohol it is for adult use only. why? because it has chemicals in it that are much too powerful for a small body to endure.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/oops.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="oops">T When a friend of mine was in 1st grade (in the 70's) she told her teacher "my daddy rolls his own cigarettes!" & described what she had seen him do. Only years later did she realize why her teacher looked so surprised! It wasn't tobacco cigarettes! :LOL<br><br>
Back on topic: I think with a 3-year-old a simple response is the way to go. I know my 4-year-old would be on information overload if I started telling him about the legalities of MJ. Have fun at the festival! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
AmiBeth
 
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