So basically the problem with kids and drugs is that they are idiots. They don’t understand the difference between healthy and problematic drug use and if you don’t talk to them about it early on they might have a bit of a nightmare during their teens. I think this is an important topic because my parents were always relatively relaxed when it came to weed. My dad smoked in his younger years and my mum never had an issue with it. This meant that I knew a lot more than my friends about safely smoking weed when I was a teen. When I say kids are idiots I definitely mean that literally. The stuff my friends did was ridiculous, including just eating bud without it even being decarboxylated. The other issue is that it’s easy to be dragged by friends into an unhealthy smoking pattern. Smoking all day every day during your teens can have adverse effects on memory, anxiety and all sorts of other things. Developing brains are extremely delicate so it’s important kids fully understand weed before they start smoking.
Don’t Demonise It
The stupidest thing a parent can do is make something seem forbidden. Things that are off-limits are extremely attractive to teens, they love to rebel. I would try my hardest to rebel as a teen which was difficult. I got a secret tattoo and when my sister told my parents about it they excitedly asked to see it and told me how much they liked it. Anyway, if you say to a teen that they aren’t allowed to do something because you said so it’s a sure-fire way to get them to do it. The goal here isn’t to stop your teens from smoking weed. The idea that it’s a dangerous gateway drug or will cause brain damage is complete nonsense. I know if I had kids I’d rather they were smoking with friends than out getting hammered. If you want your children to develop a healthy relationship with weed the last thing you should do is tell them they can’t do it.
One of the main issues I found when I was a teen was lack of knowledge. I knew a lot about drugs from my parents which meant I didn’t take the weird stuff I was offered that had a bizarre name but that no one could actually describe. There was a lot of stuff going around that kids were taking without having any idea what was actually in it. If your kids don’t understand drugs they are far more likely to take stuff that is far more harmful than simple weed. Teach your kids everything they need to know to do drugs safely rather than pretending they just aren’t going to do it at all. My dad taught me about whiteys, about different tolerances, about different strains having a variety of effects. So I knew that drinking and smoking at the same time might make me sick and that if I was having someone else’s weed to just have a little so I could see how it affected me. This is obviously easier if you are a smoker because you can share your experience. If you don’t smoke weed but still want to educate your kids just do as much research as you can. If they approach weed from an educated perspective they are way less likely to have a bad time.
One of the most important conversations you need to have with kids is about drug safety. A part of ignorance mixed with rebellion is being real stupid about drugs. The kind of kids who are buying stuff from strangers in clubs are also the kids whose parents avoided talking about drugs. Safety is a vital aspect of this conversation, unfortunately this is especially prevalent if you have daughters. From personal experience teen parties can have some real little creeps hanging around waiting for girls to overdo it in one way or another. Again starting slowly is absolutely key, not smoking too much or going straight for something like a bong. There is no shame in going a little at a time to make sure you stay in a happy place. Again, if you are going to smoke something from someone else make sure they are a friend. This counts especially if they are offering something prerolled. Even simple information like this could save your child from having a pretty horrific evening.
If you talk to your kids openly about weed hopefully it will make it easier to deal with peer pressure. Now, this doesn’t mean scaring your kids into thinking that random older children are going to be telling them they aren’t cool if they don’t do drugs. Usually peer pressure isn’t so aggressive and teaching your kids that it is will confuse the issue. Peer pressure is someone at a party or gathering offering a joint or a bong, that’s all. It is important to let your kids know that most of the time if they decline the other kids won’t make fun of them or even really care. Obviously, some of their friends might be buttheads and may try to push stuff on them. If this happens then you feel free to let your child know that those people are not only not worth being friends with but that most of the other people there will probably be more weirded out by how pushy they are than you not wanting to do drugs. Most of the time a parent telling their kid this sort of stuff doesn’t work. So maybe telling them that they will feel much sillier if they get way too high and end up vomiting into their own shirt than they will if they say no when they aren’t ready. Sometimes a little bit of experience and reality is all it takes.
Basically just be honest with your kids, talk about your own experiences, and make sure they know as much as possible so they can make their own informed decisions.
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