For parents, it is a huge concern when a teenager begins smoking weed. Many parents feel like they are out of control or do not know how to help their teenager stop the activity. Doing things like grounding the teenager or taking away privileges will unlikely convince anyone to stop smoking weed.
Teenagers are especially difficult to convince that they need to quit. They are young, experimenting, and naturally think they know everything, even if they really don’t. Smoking weed may seem harmless to them or no cause for concern. It’s also a social way for them to connect with people. While peer pressure is not always the case, they may just want to try it to be with the other friends or kids they know that are trying it.
Unfortunately, marijuana is often referred to as a gateway drug, meaning that people who begin using marijuana are likely to try more dangerous drugs that could be more addictive and put them at greater risk for dangerous behaviors and habits. Combining marijuana with other drugs such as alcohol or over the counter medications can be a very dangerous combination.
Here are Some Tips for Parents on How to Help Your Teenager Stop Smoking Weed:
1. Remain Calm: Losing your temper or ransacking the teenager’s bedroom for any marijuana paraphernalia is not going to make your teenager quit smoking marijuana – it is only going to make them angry and cause them to learn ways to hide it better. It will make them less likely to stay open and honest with you and only turn them away. You do not want to lecture them or tell them all the risks and problems – they’ve had that in Health class.
2. Ask them a few questions: In a non-judgemental, non-confrontational way, ask them some questions – Why do you like being high? What are some other things you can do instead? Which of your friends are using weed? What do you do when you are high? You should also make sure that you tell your child this discussion in confidential and keep it confidential – as tempted as you may be, do not go call all of the parents of your child’s friends immediately after your conversation. Make sure you do not answer the questions for your teenager – let them answer it.
3. Express Your Concern: It should be easy to explain to your teenager why you want them to stop smoking weed. You care about them, you do not want them to get hurt, lose control of their life, or make poor decisions. Be sure that you emphasize the importance of them not doing drugs or drinking while driving or riding in a car with someone who has.
Make sure they know they can call you in any kind of situation like that and you will ask no questions or get angry. This also helps build trust and openness with your child.
4. Offer Ways to Help Them Stop: It is relatively easy to quit smoking pot, especially for teenagers who may have only tried it a few times or are not at a point where they are smoking it several times a day every day. See our article on How to Stop Smoking Weed and help them meet new friends that are not involved in drugs or alcohol and do activities with them on a daily weekly basis that do not involve drugs or alcohol. You can exercise together, visit new places, go shopping, etc. etc. See our articles Things to Do That Don’t Involve Alcohol or Drugs and Sober Party Theme Ideas for more inspiration. Offer to bring their non-drug using friends with you if that would make them more agreeable to go.
5. Don’t Threaten Counseling: Drug experimentation is a normal part of a teenagers’ life. It does not automatically mean your kid is crazy or has depression or other problems. However, if the drug use continues beyond your means of trying to help your teenager stop smoking weed and it seems as if other problems are ensuing, counseling is a very viable option. At any rate though, it should not be threatened. Counseling is a good thing. It helps you live life better and happier. If you do decide your teenager would benefit from counseling, let your child interview and choose the counselor. This will give them the feeling like they are in control and working with someone they like as opposed to someone they think is evil boring or stupid will make a much better difference.
6. Give Your Kid Some Excuses to stop smoking marijuana with friends: Many kids feel like they are out of place if they do not smoke or won’t be socially accepted with their friends. Give them excuses to not hang out with friends – tell them they can tell their friends their stupid Mom or Dad won’t let them and have started to drug test! Sometimes kids just need to know how to say no creatively.
7. Reward Them: Just about everyone responds better to positive reinforcement than negative reinforcement. If you catch your child doing responsible things or not using drugs, be sure you praise and reward them. You may even be able to work out some sort of bargain that if they go without smoking weed for x amount of time they will get y.
It’s not easy as a parent when you think your child is smoking weed. Doing some of these steps can help your child be more confident in making decisions. It’s not an easy job, but helping you teenager to stop smoking weed or becoming involved with drinking or more dangerous drugs just might save their life.