“I found cannabis in my daughter’s room. What do I say to her about this?”

Is your teenager celebrating 420 during quarantine? Do we even know what 420 is? Your teenager
does, and that is this week's topic on Tips on Teens. My name is Kent Toussaint. I'm a licensed
marriage and family therapist. I'm the founder and clinical director of Teen Therapy Center,
and also the executive director of Child and Teen Counseling, both here in Woodland Hills,
California, where we specialize in helping kids, teens, and families live happier lives.
Every Wednesday at noon I join you on Facebook Live to answer your parenting questions and this
week is no different. We're gonna jump into this week's 420 question and here we go. I found a
hidden stash of cannabis in my daughter's room while cleaning the other day. I don't know where
she got it since she's only 15 but I'm afraid she's been sneaking out of the house to smoke it and
with 420 coming up I have a feeling she has plans that don't involve staying at home. I don't want
to start a big fight, but I also don't want her going

out with who knows who to do drugs and Risk being exposed to coronavirus. What the heck do I say
to her about this? So great question and timely 420 if you don't know what 420 is I'm going to elaborate
on that for you a little bit 420 is international pot smoking day. Yes, there is an international
pot smoking day If we have International Waffle Day, we can also have International Pot Smoking
Day. It is on April 20th every year. How do we develop this? There's a big article down below.
If you read one of the articles I wrote about it a couple years ago, another article in there from
another source goes in the details of how it came about, but it's been around for a long time.
Most, if not all, teenagers know about it, talk about it, joke about it. 420 is a big deal. A lot
of kids who don't even smoke weed may experiment and try weed because it's 420 and that's what
everyone's doing. Now it's interesting because right now during the self -quarantine due
to COVID -19, things are a bit different.

Some kids don't have the access. Some kids do. Some kids are going to sneak out. What are they
going to do to have this weed? So let's talk about this question. So there's a 15 -year -old girl.
Mom or dad found this stash and what do you do about it? First thing is, stay calm. This could cause
a lot of anxiety, fear, anger inside of you, and it's important that you have that under control,
because if not, you're going to blast your daughter, it's going to turn into a big argument,
and nothing is going to get solved. So stay calm. Make sure you lean on your support, your spouse,
your siblings, your therapist, your friends, whoever that is that helps you stay calm, because
one of you has to be the adult in the room when you talk to your daughter about this, and your daughter
is not qualified to be that adult. You are qualified. So make sure that you are taking care of
yourself. And when you talk to her, don't set her up to lie. Don't ask questions that could...
because as soon as you start

asking questions that have some ambivalence or vagueness in it, she's going to start panicking.
And the equation is going to be, what do I need to tell my mom or dad to get off the hook? And truth
is probably not going to be part of that equation. Just state the facts. I was in your room. I found
this stash of weed in your room. I want to talk about it. Don't approach from a place of anger,
of accusation, of judgment, of winning and losing. Just, hey, I want to talk to you. I love you.
I'm concerned for you. No one's in trouble here. Let's just talk. Possibly, that could open
up a dialogue where you can start to understand your daughter's interest in weed. Is it something
fun to do with friends? Is she gonna say, oh, it helps me sleep at night. I can't sleep without
it. I feel bored. I feel worried all the time, it's the only thing that helps, and she'll give
you a lot of this stuff, you know, justifying weed use. That's medicine. First of all, very,
very, very few people use weed medicinally.

There are some, I'm sure. Using weed medicinally means that you take it just enough for those
symptoms to subside, but you're not getting high. The vast majority of people, especially
teenagers who are smoking weed, are doing it to get blazed, to get baked, get high, get faded,
just really just alter their reality because that's fun. Getting high can be a lot of fun. Most
of you probably know this already. Those of you who don't, it's a big part of our culture and there's
a reason why. Just like beer and wine and vodka are a big part of our culture too. But weed is more
accessible. It's easier to get. It's easier to conceal. It's more a part of the teenage culture
than alcohol is. I'm not saying alcohol is not, but weed has become much more prevalent within
the adolescent culture. So, stay calm, have it be a conversation about things like decision
making, legalization of weed, conformity versus non -conformity, the sense of self, how to
possibly, you know, cope with struggles, emotional

issues. You may even talk about your own experiences if you think it's important or necessary
or relevant. But have this be a part of the conversation. and ask her, what do you think we should
do about this? What should we do with this stash? And she may say, you should let me have it. Now
that's up to you if you want to let her have it or not. But you should know going in what your boundaries
are. Are you going to flush down the toilet? Are you going to give it back to her? Are you going
to do something else with it? You should kind of already have an idea of what you want to do. But
have an open mind. Again, the smaller mouth you have and the bigger ears you have makes it more
likely that your daughter will talk to you. And the more she talks, the more you can start understanding
her perspective. The more you understand her perspective, the more she can feel understood
and listened to, and she'll respect your point of view even more. This is probably not a conversation
that's going to
happen just one time. It's probably going to be a conversation you have throughout her adolescence,
from time to time and time again, because weed is not going away. And the danger that she's going
to try to sneak out on 420 and be exposed to coronavirus, or just sneaking out in the middle of
the night, that's not a very healthy thing for a 15 -year -old to do for obvious reasons. and you
need to start talking about what do we do? How do we protect your daughter from these temptations?
And she may not be able to protect herself and that's why it's really important that you're working
with your spouse or your ex -spouse who you may be co -parenting with, making sure you guys are
on the same page, it's really important. But again, this is not an opportunity to win an argument,
to beat down your kid, it's an opportunity to have a thoughtful, respectful conversation even
if you disagree. It's not about getting her to agree on that first conversation, it's about
opening the dialogue, opening
the door, so there's a safety in talking about this. This is a very delicate situation, it's
not an easy conversation to have for you or her. If you feel there are issues like she can't sleep
at night, she's dealing with anxiety and depression, maybe it's time to start talking to a therapist.
And that's when I would encourage you to start researching who that therapist might be. And
right now, with COVID -19, a lot of us are doing, you know, online work, you know, through Zoom
or FaceTime or other platforms that we're allowed to use. Eventually, we'll go back to normal
life and you can actually come in the office, see a therapist. There are certain cases where
clients can come in. We are an essential service. But like here, we're spraying down door handles
and light switches and everything we can, as much as we can, keeping a safe distance away. but
most of this stuff can be done online, so I think it's important to get her help if she is really
struggling with anxiety and depression, if

that's really the issue. It's a big topic, there's a lot to go over in this. Please, if you have
more questions, contact us here at Teen Therapy Center or Child and Teen Counseling, give me
a call. Again, my name is Kent Toussaint, I'm a licensed therapist, and if you have your questions
you'd like us to answer next week, you can email us at tipsonteens at teentherapycenter .com
or direct message us right here on Facebook. We love your questions. Keep them coming. Stay
safe, stay healthy, and we'll see you next week. Bye -bye, guys.

Every year at the end of April comes a certain unofficial holiday for many teens: 420. This is a nationwide day of celebration for cannabis culture enthusiasts, a category which (whether we parents like it or not) often includes our teenagers. This week’s #TipsOnTeens question is from a mom seeking advice on how to talk to her daughter about possible 420 plans in a non-confrontational manner:

“I found a hidden stash of cannabis in my daughter’s room while cleaning the other day. I don’t know where she got it, since she’s only 15, but I am afraid she’s been sneaking out of the house to smoke it. And with 420 coming up, I have a feeling she has plans that don’t involve staying at home…I don’t want to start a big fight, but I also definitely don’t want her going out with who knows who to do drugs AND risk being exposed to Coronavirus. What the heck do I say to her about this?”

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.