Article by Steven Gottlieb, Lift News
If you’ve recently discovered that your teen is consuming cannabis, you might be wondering how to approach the issue. As the Executive Director of The Boundless School, a private high school for teens, I’ve discovered that the answer depends on a two factors: how well functioning your teenager is, and whether there are mental health issues at play. Here are some things a parent can consider when determining level of concern – a “worry scale” as it were.
Understanding cannabis-related risk factors, observing your child more objectively and thinking things through before reacting will help a parent become an ally and guide, not a cop.
Across the thousands of families I have observed, they almost unanimously claim that once older adolescence arrives, a parent’s window of influence rapidly diminishes. This is a sad truth, but also sets the stage for emerging independence.
Notwithstanding, as parents, you want to have a voice on the matter. This can be difficult. Most teens think that parents are out to lunch on the topic of cannabis – cue eye roll and a dismissive exhale.
Although every family and every teen is different, for the sake of offering some guidance I will crudely – emphasis on crude – divide teenagers into four categories of cannabis users. I’ll use a worry scale of zero to ten, where zero means parents should take a chill pill; and ten is run, don’t walk, your kid to an emergency room or rehab centre.