Okay, here's the situation. You are a single mom and your daughter is smoking weed all the while
her dad is enabling it. What do you do? That's today's question on Tips on Teens. My name is Kent
Toussaint. I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist who specializes in helping kids,
teens, and families live happier lives. I run two organizations. The first, Teen Therapy Center,
a group private practice. also the non -profit organization Child and Teen Counseling, both
here in Woodland Hills, California. Every Wednesday, I come to you live on Facebook Live to
answer your parenting questions. Thanks for emailing them in. Let's dive into today's question.
I caught my daughter smoking weed for the third time this week. I just don't know what to do with
her. I can't get her to talk to me. The last few times, I grounded her and took away her phone. I'm
limited on what I can do. I'm a single mom of two and work seven days a week to support them. Dad
is in a halfway house and has been everything
but a parent. He lets her smoke and keeps it from me and makes my son keep it from me. He is an alcoholic
who has abused drugs and alcohol. My kids had a rough childhood. They witnessed fights between
him and myself. They've seen and heard the abuse. I can't get a straight answer from her if that's
why she's acting out and being defiant. Thank you for emailing your question. There's a lot
going on with this so I want to dive into what's going on here. First, your kids are going through
a tremendous time as well as you. So first we have these two kids, not exactly sure their ages.
I imagine this daughter's a teenager, maybe the brother's a little younger. So their parents
are split up, their dad is active in his addiction and enabling the daughter and enlisting the
younger brother to help enable, all the while gaslighting you for trying to protect and support
your daughter. That's a rough situation. On top of that, you have a situation where dad has been
incarcerated again. You're working
seven days a week just trying to make ends meet, so finances are probably really tight, and that's
a strain and a burden on the family. On top of that, if you're working seven days a week, by the
time you get home, you must be exhausted. On top of that, you still gotta cook dinner, you gotta
do laundry, you gotta pay bills, and, you know, you have to sleep yourself. All the while, where's
the time to kind of nurture and promote that healthy relation between you and your kids? It's
compromised. I'm not saying it's impossible, but you all have a lot of obstacles in front of
you. So, what I would suggest is, number one, get help. Trying to do this alone, that's going
to be an overwhelming task, as already it is. Down below in the text, I've listed several resources
several websites that are specifically focused on supporting single moms These are nonprofit
organizations that I believe all the services are free. I encourage you to check out those websites
also Alan on Alateen 12 -step groups
for people who've been affected by family members who are Active addicts addicts or have been
active in that addiction and needing to process and go through that. These are free services
I understand you're working seven days a week But in you probably don't have a lot of time to get
out But do your best to find time to help you and your kids get support whether it's through You
know some of these nonprofits or other nonprofits where you can get individual and family counseling.
I think that's really important Challenging counseling the nonprofit I run we do offer services.
It's sliding scale. It is not free But we do try to you know Support family members as best we can
and work with families offer them the fees that will work for them There are many services around.
There's Medi -Cal. You may be on a waiting list for a while, unfortunately But if you can get on
a Medi -Cal provider, you will have free services But don't do this alone reach out to family
members reach out to neighbors
friends Can anyone you know kind of come in and just make dinner for a night, you know? Can someone
do the grocery shopping for you? Can someone just hang out with the kids? Can someone help you
get a day off so you can rest so you can be present for your kids right now? this daughter is distancing
herself from you and there could be a lot of different reasons why for that is and having your
talk to someone a Therapist who can help you guys bridge that gap and someone who specializes
in working with kids and teens so they can speak teenager And they can speak parent and they speak
both and help you guys come together and find that middle ground I think is really really important
There's a lot going on and my heart goes out to you because this is a tough situation But if you
stay trying to push through this alone, I'm afraid nothing's going to change. You can't change
your ex. You can't change what he's going to do. He's going to do what he's going to do, and there's
nothing you can do to
change that. All you can do is how do you adapt? How do you get support and resources around you
so you can withstand whatever he's going to do? And so you can support your daughter and your
son in learning how to have the resilience as well. Not an easy situation to deal with, but get
support. If you have more questions, you can always call us here at Teen Therapy Center or Child
and Teen Counseling or message us here on Facebook. If you have a question you'd like us to answer,
please email us at tipsonteens at teentherapycenter .com. We'd love to answer your questions.
And stay safe, and I'll see you guys next week on Facebook Live. Bye -bye.
How do you get your teen to open up about their drug use when they won’t talk and won’t listen? That is the topic or this week’s #TipsOnTeens question, which comes to us from a mom concerned about her daughter’s smoking habits:
“I caught my daughter smoking weed for the 3rd time this week. I just don’t know what to do with her. I can’t get her to talk to me. The last few times, I grounded her and took away her phone. I’m limited on what I can do. I’m a single mom of 2 and work 7 days a week to support them. Dad is in a halfway house and has been everything but a parent. He lets her smoke and keeps it from me and makes my son keep it from me. He is an alcoholic who has abused drugs and alcohol. My kids had a rough childhood. They’ve witnessed fights between him and myself. They’ve seen and heard the abuse. I can’t get a straight answer from her if that’s why she’s acting out and being defiant.”
Tips On Teens is a vlog that our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint, hosts every Wednesday at 12:00pm on Facebook Live. He will be answering parenting questions submitted to us by you to our email at TipsOnTeens@TeenTherapyCenter.com. Send us any questions you might have about parenting kids and teens and Kent will be answering them every week!
Head on over to our Facebook page every Wednesday at 12:00pm to watch LIVE! Check out our page here – https://www.facebook.com/TeenTherapyCenter/
If you have more questions or would like more information, please contact our Clinical Director, Kent Toussaint at 818.697.8555.