So you finally go on a date night with your spouse, you come home, and your teenager is totally
high. Well, what are you supposed to do? Well, we're gonna talk about that today on Tips on Teens.
My name is Kent Toussaint. I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist, and I specialize in
helping kids, teens, and families live happier lives. I lead two organizations, the Private
Practice Group Teen Therapy Center, and the non -profit 501c3 organization, Child and Teen
Counseling, both here in Woodland Hills, California. And every Wednesday at noon, I jump into
Facebook and your feed live to answer your parenting questions. Let's jump into today's. My
husband and I had our first date night in over a year. When we came home, our son was obviously
high. It really shocked us. He's 17, and he's always been really anti -drugs. We don't know what
to do. He's denying it. Even though we found a vape pen in his room, he says it's not his. How do
we start to address it with him when he won't even talk
about it? Thank you for your question. It's pretty common. By the way, congratulations on getting
out on a much -needed date night. I think we could all use a date night after the last year and a
half or so. So you come home, your son is high. It's a big deal. You're upset, you're scared, you're
worried. This is not the time to address it. While he's high, wait till he's sober. Also, let's
speculate on why he may be lying about this obvious thing. Number one, he's scared of getting
in trouble. So if you're approaching this with anger, you're not gonna really inspire a lot
of honesty. Now, you may be thinking, wait a minute. He betrayed our trust. He's high at our house.
I have a right to be angry, and you do. You have every right to be angry and frustrated and upset
and scared. But if you direct that at your son, it's not, again, he's gonna wiggle and he's gonna
try everything he can to not get in trouble, even though that means he's lying. And it's impulsive,
and it's not thoughtful. He's
not thinking it through. But usually, anger does not inspire a lot of honesty. So it also could
be that he feels a lot of shame. Maybe he is really anti -drug, but that impulse, that curiosity
just got the best of him. And so now he feels horribly ashamed about it. Third option, and these
are not the only options, but these are common options is, third option is maybe your son smokes
a lot of weed all the time, and he just got caught, and he doesn't wanna break the streak he's got
going, and he's trying to get out of it the best he can. So obviously, I don't know which way your
son is going, but either way, address it from a place of calm, compassion, not from a place of
punishment. It's, again, that's not really going to inspire a lot of honest communication
back and forth, but just more of sharing your concern, that you want to trust him, you wanna be
able to trust him so that you can leave him home by himself, and how do you rebuild that trust?
And by the way, when your kid says, it's
not mine, I don't know, I'm holding it for a friend, they're always, it's always theirs. It is
always theirs. Whenever you find paraphernalia in your kid's room, it's always there, except
for a couple exceptions. A couple exceptions, number one, they're borrowing it from a friend
so they could use it, or your kid is the dealer and is holding it for everyone because everyone
sees him as the safe guy to hold stuff. Obviously, they don't know what it is for your kid, but
whenever you find it in your kid's room and say, it's not mine, I never used it, I'm holding it
for a friend, it's not true. So you wanna talk to him about the dangers of weed, and he may come
back to you and say, but everyone's doing it, what's the big deal? It's not like it's heroin,
and he's right, number one. At least 75 % of kids will experiment with cannabis before they graduate
high school. So I'm not condoning it, I'm just saying this is part of what's going on in our society.
It's very big in our culture. It's promoted
in music, in media, it's a common conversation. So from that point, he's saying, well, it's
so common, what's the big deal? And you're right, it is not heroin. However, it's not broccoli
either. So we have to understand that it's, just because it's not heroin doesn't mean it's broccoli.
And having conversations about this. If you're finding that you're having a difficult time
talking about it, it may help to get a therapist who focuses on kids and teens to help bridge the
gap. He doesn't necessarily need to go to rehab if you don't think he's heavily addicted to it.
Some of you may say, you can't get addicted to weed. Of course you can. Not the same the way you
can to heroin, but yes, you can get addicted to weed. I've seen it several times where people
just can't shake it, and they justify it. Even though it's destroying the lives, they know it's
destroying the lives, and they just can't shake it. So yes, there is rehab for weed. In fact,
it's very common to go to rehab for weed. So you
don't wanna jump into that. That's not necessarily the first step, but having those conversations
with him. Again, if you feel like you need to do drug testing, that's a whole nother conversation.
If you do, you have to have a plan. You have to have a very specific plan that you made when you were
thoughtful, you were calm, you were rational. Not when you were angry and upset, because if
you test dirty, and you're upset, you're gonna make a lot of irrational decisions, make statements
you can't follow through on, try to enforce things you can't enforce. Make this plan for a test.
And also, you have to have someone watch him pee into the cup. If you don't, it's too easy to doctor
the results. If you say, how do you doctor a drug test? Google will tell you. Google will have
all the information for you on that. So someone has to watch him pee in the cup. You have to have
a plan for if it's dirty, and a plan for if it's clean. If it's clean, what do you do? How do you celebrate
that? Do you
guys go out for sushi? Do you guys go get ice cream? I don't know what you do, but you have to have
a plan to acknowledge success. And I think that's important. This is a big topic. Again, congratulations
on getting on a date night. Sorry it ended the way it did, but we wanna make sure that you have a
relation with your son, that you can go on another date night at some point. Again, this is a big
topic. If you have more questions, you can always call us here. If you have a question you'd like
me to answer here on Tips on Teens, you can email us at tipsonteens at teentherapycenter .com
or direct message us right here on Facebook or Instagram. We love your questions. Thanks again.
My name is Kent Toussaint from Teen Therapy Center and Child and Teen Counseling, and we will
see you next Wednesday live on Facebook at noon. Bye -bye.
Help, I Caught My Teen Smoking Marijuana
“My husband and I had our first date night in over a year. When we came home, our son was obviously high. It really shocked us. He’s 17, and he’s always been really anti-drugs. We don’t know what to do. He’s denying it. Even though we found a vape pen in his room, he says it’s not his. How do we start to address it with him when he won’t talk about it?”
Take A Deep Breath…
If you thought your teen was never going to try smoking marijuana, but you just found out you were wrong, take a deep breath (no pun intended) and watch this video. Afterwards, we have some tips for talking to your kid about weed smoking:
- Don’t try to talk to them about while they’re high! They’re too stoned and you’re probably too upset and worried to make good decisions. While they’re high is not the time to address it!
- A teen who has been smoking marijuana is probably scared of getting in trouble. Consequently, don’t approach the topic from a place of anger. He/She will just do or say whatever they can to not get in trouble. Your teen is probably feeling some level of shame, address from a place of calm and compassion, not punishment
- Similarly, share your concern that you want to be able to trust him/her and be able to leave them at home or let them do their own thing.
- Whenever you find weed or paraphernalia in your kid’s room, it’s theirs!
- You may want to talk to them about the dangers of marijuana: it’s not heroin, but it ain’t broccoli either, even though it’s green.
- In case you’re having a difficult time talking about it, a therapist can help.
- They’ll try to tell you it’s not addictive, but yes, you can get addicted to weed! Going to rehab isn’t necessarily the first step however. You’ll need to do some research here.
- If you decide to do drug testing, make a plan! What will you do to celebrate if your teen passes the test? What will you do if they fail. You need a specific plan that you made when you were calm and thoughtful to address either outcome.
- Got more questions? Call us here
We’ve got a bunch more resources about teens and marijuana here on our site.
Clinical Director Kent Toussaint answers your parenting questions every Wednesday at 12:00pm in our weekly segment Tips On Teens on Facebook Live. Have questions about parenting kids and teens? Send them to: TipsOnTeens@TeenTherapyCenter.com. We love to hear from you!
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.