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Sarah is a freelance writer, blogger, and cannabis enthusiast from Pennsylvania. She is passionate about sharing in-depth knowledge while entertaining her readers and providing a voice for cannabis users everywhere. Be sure to check out her work at Sarah Welch Writing and connect with her on Twitter.
Educating Children About Cannabis: What You Need to Know
Once upon a time, pot for parents was a deep, dark secret that carried a huge risk. 25 years ago, my parents lit joints behind locked bathroom doors and my questions were brushed away. As laws and lifestyles are evolving, today’s parents are responsible for embracing the change and preparing their children for a world where cannabis use is accepted.
Educating children about cannabis is a mystery for some and many parents wonder when this should happen, if at all. As with many things, like sex and alcohol use, the earlier you talk about cannabis with your children the better.
What if I Am A Cannabis Consumer?
If you smoke cannabis, educating children about cannabis is critical. Be sure not to hide. Sneaking around to smoke or enjoy edibles puts off the impression that you’re doing something wrong. Just as a parent would enjoy a beer by the pool while their children play, lighting up shouldn’t be a secretive, shameful activity.
As your children observe, they will ask questions, especially if they are young. These questions should always be answered honestly. The key to answering these questions is to not promote or glamorize the use of cannabis, only educate. Explain that some adults use cannabis for different reasons and they can choose to do so when they are adults too.
I think my teen has already smoked, what should I say?
Talking to older children and teens about cannabis can be touchy, especially if you feel they have already tried cannabis. Be sure to create a loving environment for this conversation. Children and teens are less likely to be open and honest if they feel they are being judged or if they are in trouble.
Start this conversation lightly, ask simple questions, and be ready to listen. I mean actually LISTEN. If your child tells you that they or their friends partake in cannabis use, show them love an appreciation for their honesty.
What does my child need to know?
Cannabis has evolved from something that’s never okay in the eyes of society as a whole to something that people can do regularly and not be judged. Because of this shift in stigma, many teens feel that cannabis use is safe and harmless.
It is important to educate yourself and your children about responsible consumption and moderation. Too much of anything is never okay. Excessive use of cannabis can affect focus on school, work, and social activities.
When educating your child about cannabis, don’t bombard them with information that isn’t age appropriate. Detail the benefits and side effects of smoking, vaping, or eating cannabis to older, more curious children. Also, talk about cannabis laws and why they are changing if your child wants to know.
The Bottom Line – Educating Children About Cannabis
Children look to their parents for more than just love and care. We are a human example of what our children want to be. They trust our actions and use them as fundamental baselines of what they will become as adults. Your choices are about more than yourself.
Educating your children about cannabis is necessary. You can give them the tools they need to make beneficial decisions about their health and lifestyle. Always communicate with love and a listening ear, and talk about cannabis more than once. Staying involved is the best way to promote understanding and positive choices.