With the increasing legalization of cannabis across various states, a new trend is emerging: “weed moms” are becoming the new “wine moms.” As parents embrace cannabis use, questions arise about how and when to discuss it with their children.
Experts suggest that transparency, honesty, and responsible communication are key to addressing this topic. Experts, including Dr. Peter Grinspoon, advocate for open and honest discussions about cannabis use between parents and children, according to Yahoo Life.
By sharing their cannabis use history, parents establish trust, credibility, and open lines of communication. This transparency can also demonstrate vulnerability and foster a safe space for children to seek help if they encounter difficulties in the future.
When to Initiate the Conversation
While there is no specific age to broach the subject, it is generally recommended that “weed moms” have the discussion when children are old enough to understand nuanced messages or when parents believe it will help them navigate peer pressure and make informed decisions about substance use. Teenagers are often considered a suitable age group for these conversations, although children may mention the topic earlier.
Before initiating the conversation, parents should ensure that their children are capable of understanding subtle distinctions. For example, parents may need to clarify that while they use cannabis as adults, it is not suitable or safe for teenagers due to its potential impact on developing brains.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to discussing cannabis use with children, Dr. Lateefah Watford told Yahoo Life However, both Watford and Grinspoon emphasize the importance of honesty. Grinspoon highlighted the risk of role modeling, as children may perceive their parents’ cannabis use as an endorsement of their own usage. Parents should emphasize that responsible cannabis use differs for adults and teenagers due to varying levels of brain development.
Parents who have made past mistakes, such as using cannabis as teenagers, can use their experiences as cautionary tales. Sharing personal stories of past behaviors and their consequences can serve as powerful tools to educate and guide children away from potential pitfalls.
Taking Cannabis Legalization Into Account
The legal status of cannabis can influence how parents approach the conversation. In states where cannabis use is legal, parents should still engage in discussions about responsible usage, regardless of its legal status. Dr. Watford said that the legality of a substance does not determine its potential hazards. It is crucial to address responsible cannabis use regardless of its legal classification.
For parents residing in states where cannabis use is illegal, Grinspoon advised against using cannabis around children to avoid entanglements with law enforcement. It is essential to model law-abiding behavior and educate children about the complexities of legality versus morality.
As cannabis use becomes increasingly normalized, parents face the challenge of discussing their own usage with their children. Openness, honesty, and responsible communication are crucial in navigating these conversations. By being transparent about their cannabis use, parents can establish trust and credibility with their children. Timing the discussion appropriately and tailoring it to the child’s level of understanding is essential.
Parents should emphasize the differences between adult and teenage cannabis use and the potential risks associated with early consumption. Whether cannabis is legal or not, responsible usage and critical thinking should always be part of the conversation. Ultimately, each parent must make a highly personal decision based on their relationship with their child, ensuring that the lines of communication remain open and supportive.