Parental Guide: How To Protect Your Child From Cannabis Usage

Cannabis has been utilized as a medication for thousands of years in various regions of the world. Many Canadians now want additional proof about what cannabis can (and cannot) cure, as well as the best manner to give that medicine.

There is scientific evidence of cannabis’ therapeutic effects for the following disorders as of today: anti-spasm for multiple sclerosis, anti-convulsive for epilepsy, anti-nausea for chemotherapy, and appetite stimulant for persons who are very underweight. Cannabis has been demonstrated to be useful in the treatment of pain in recent studies.

Although cannabis has the potential to negatively damage mental health in some situations, some people with mental illnesses use it to alleviate the symptoms of their illness or the unpleasant side effects of their prescription.

When it comes to young individuals, evidence reveals that they may be consuming cannabis for comparable reasons as adults. According to several studies, children with mental health issues may be seeking comfort from cannabis use. Mental health problems like sadness, insomnia, and anxiety were cited as major hindrances to their ability to perform at school and with family and friends.

More research is needed to see if cannabis has a place among the therapy alternatives for mental health issues like anxiety and ADHD. Cannabis, for example, has been shown to have the ability to both raise and decrease anxiety. Some experts believe that the numerous cannabinoids in mail order marijuana are to blame for the contradictory effects.

THC and other cannabis chemicals, most notably CBD or cannabidiol, are being investigated for their therapeutic potential. The ratio of THC to CBD, according to researchers, is a critical determinant in how cannabis affects a person’s mind and body.

Your child and you

Knowing some of the risks (and benefits) of cannabis usage will help you feel more prepared when it comes to talking with your child about drugs. However, it is hardly the most crucial method you can assist your child in navigating their world, which includes a lot of drug usage.

Your youngster requires more than cannabis knowledge; he or she requires YOU. A good, open relationship with a parent appears to be one of the most critical variables in healthy child development, according to research.

Most of us intuitively understand this. But it’s occasionally helpful to remind ourselves that what really matters is our attention, love, and patience. It’s also important to remember that our ultimate goal as parents is to find ways to encourage our children to speak with us, whether it’s about cannabis or anything else.

One method to build your relationship with your child is to start a conversation about cannabis. It could also foster open lines of dialogue on other subjects. Allowing and encouraging open, honest talk about cannabis (or any other topic) shows your child that you care about what they think, feel, and experience.

The precise words you choose are less crucial than the underlying message you’re sending—having a conversation with them indicates that you want to form a long-term relationship with them.

Conversation as a means of communication

It’s not always simple, entertaining, or comfortable to talk about cannabis or other substances. However, it’s important to remember that most parents struggle with parenting at least portion of the time. Whatever you’re going through as a parent, there’s a good possibility that others are going through the same thing. In other words, you are not alone in your concerns and frustrations as a parent—or in your joys and achievements.

Getting a conversation started

Some parents are unsure of when, where, or how to begin a cannabis talk with their children. “What age is the correct age to start talking about drugs?” they wonder to themselves or others. or “Should I ask the questions or should I wait for my youngster to ask me?”

Because each child is unique, there is no “appropriate age” to begin discussing cannabis. However, you should have your first chat before your youngster attempts to use cannabis. That way, you can build a relationship with them and explain your expectations before they are exposed to any cannabis-related risks.

There are no rules on how or where a cannabis conversation should begin. However, given how frequently drugs are discussed on television, in the papers, on social media, and at school, the subject may easily be broached while watching a movie together or sharing anecdotes about what occurred at work and school that day.

Bringing up cannabis in the context of other drug use is another “natural” method to start a conversation about it. If you’re arranging a visit to a relative who smokes, for example, tell your child about it and ask them what they know about smoking and how they feel about it. “Why do you think some individuals allow the use of alcohol and medication but not cannabis?” you could ask if you’re having a beer or taking medication.

It can be easier to converse if you aren’t seated across the table from each other, staring at each other. In the car or on the basketball court, try striking up a discussion. You can remark, “I’ve seen reports on the news about students smoking marijuana at school. What about your institution? How does your principal handle drug-abusing students?”

Keep an eye on your motivations.

The purpose of open communication is for your child to talk to you and share his or her views and feelings. They should, in theory, ask you what you think and feel about things as well. It’s more vital to establish a connection through conversation than it is to evaluate the nuances of what they say. After all, if you simply invite your child to communicate so you can jump on them for things you don’t like, it’s not truly an open conversation.

Good communication skills should be practiced.

If you follow these fundamental communication guidelines, your child, like anybody else you communicate to, will be a better conversation partner.

Listen attentively. Allow them to perform at least half of the work and avoid the urge to shower them with wisdom.

Recognize and respect their point of view. This does not imply that you must agree with what they say, but rather that you should avoid reacting in a way that will stifle their desire to share their thoughts and feelings with you.

Instead of simplistic yes/no replies, ask open-ended questions that stimulate contemplation and the sharing of feelings and opinions.

Make your expectations clear. Being open and honest about how you think and feel about cannabis usage, as well as why you believe and feel that way, can add depth to your conversation.

Prevent children from turning off the TV. Avoid lecturing and making judgemental remarks, and remember that stressing the negative features of cannabis or any other drug will not convince a child who has seen or experienced its positive effects.

“We can tell when we’ve made a mistake. It is not necessary for us to hear about it for several hours. It’s humiliating enough to realize we’ve done something wrong and that our parents are upset about it.”

How to React to Your Child’s Marijuana Use

It might be frightening to learn (or suspect) that your child has been using cannabis or another substance, especially if you suspect it is not part of “normal” experimentation.

While it may be difficult to resist the impulse to react with worry or anger, responding appropriately is the best thing you can do for your child. It’s critical not to let your worries undermine your relationship and trust with your child.

Maintain your composure.

Threatening and yelling will not assist the problem. In fact, “freaking out” will give your youngster yet another reason to keep things hidden from you. Searching their room or personal stuff could jeopardize your relationship with your child.

Speak with your child.

Sit down with them and express your feelings. If they’re buzzed, wait till the affects have gone off before engaging in a more substantive conversation. “I’m concerned because…” or “I’m concerned because…” Then allow your child to express his or her own feelings. Make sure they know you’re paying attention. Allow them time to consider their options before speaking.

Find out why your child is using it.

Learn what prompted people to use marijuana in the first place. Was it because they wanted to be like their buddies who used it? Was it for the “high” that comes from being in a different frame of mind? Was it because they were looking for a way out? Was it for the purpose of coping with anxiety or other mental health issues? If this is the case, you should get help from a mental health expert. It’s also a good idea to find out how frequently your child consumes cannabis.

Recognize the difference between a young person who uses drugs and a young person who has a drug problem.

Cannabis is used by young people because they believe it is beneficial to them. The following are the most typical causes for youth to use cannabis:

To feel good—Cannabis can be used by teenagers to make them feel more social, rejoice, or relax. Cannabis is related with feeling good when used in moderation. There is still a risk, as there always is in life.

To feel better—Cannabis can help lessen nervousness in social situations or when attempting to interact with others, as well as alleviate the symptoms of persistent anxiety and depression. When young people use cannabis to cope with troubling emotions on a regular basis, it can become problematic.

To be more effective—

Some young individuals are under pressure to “get moving” or “stay going” in order to enhance their performance.

To experiment—Young individuals, in particular, may use cannabis to satisfy their curiosity or to “try something new and unusual.”

It’s crucial to remember that persons who feel alone or marginalized are more likely to have long-term drug problems. Youth who lack significant connections or relationships may seek refuge in “feel-good” substances. Even well-connected young people, on the other hand, might get themselves into significant problems if they use too much or in the wrong places.

Provide options.

If your child is using drugs for the rush, you might advise hobbies like rock climbing or mountain riding, which will naturally increase their adrenaline levels. If your child is using cannabis to relax or reduce anxiety, you could encourage them to try soothing or meditative activities like yoga, running, or swimming.

Reduce the dangers.

A child who is using cannabis may want assistance in learning how to control the dangers and use the drug safely. Talking about safer ways to smoke is one strategy to assist your child reduce the risks associated with cannabis usage (see Quick tips for safer cannabis use). Another option is to talk about how to use safer contexts and surroundings. Allowing your child to smoke cannabis at home may assist to create a safer environment, but the hazards must be weighed.

If your child is doing risky things like smoking marijuana at school or selling marijuana, it’s crucial to talk to them about why they’re doing them so you can assess the risk, help them think through the implications, and come up with alternatives. If your child is making money by selling cannabis, for example, talk to them about safer methods to generate money.

“I didn’t feel compelled to consume drugs as a result of it. They were open and honest with me, which I appreciated.”

“If my parents did drugs, I wouldn’t want them to tell me. I’d be humiliated.”

Think about what you want to discuss (and what you don’t want to disclose) about your past.

Many parents are unsure whether or not it is appropriate to inform their children about their own experiences with marijuana or other substances. “It depends on your child and situation,” said the answer.

One thing to consider is your motivation for discussing your past. Are you informing them in order to warn or frighten them in some way? Is it because they inquired and you don’t want to lie to them? Are you informing them because you believe it will improve your relationship?

Another factor to consider is that some young people find it difficult to grasp how their parents’ experiences are relevant to those of today’s youth. When people hear stories about your past, they may simply tune out since they find no connection between then and now.

Keep in mind the art of motivation.

While no parent is entirely accountable for their children’s decisions and actions, it is part of our responsibility to try to influence them in positive ways. Checking in with them about their objectives—for the coming semester, year, or even longer—and asking them to describe how their cannabis or other drug use might effect those goals is one option.

Using a motivational approach involves encouraging your child’s own contemplation on their potential need and ability to change rather than pressing them to do so. It entails directing a dialogue in the direction of possibilities and action. It’s also lighthearted in spirit and tone because it involves imagining future success.

In other words, rather than forcing your child to say and do what you want, assist them figure out what they want—to make money, acquire a driver’s license, or graduate from high school—and then support them in achieving their goals. You may need to assist them in comprehending what is required to achieve a goal, as well as assisting them in identifying both internal and external resources to assure their achievement.

Give it some time.

You’ll probably need more than one chat to fully comprehend your child’s drug use. However, the good news is that you may find that your child has less of a problem than you imagined over time. That is, your child could be experimenting with cannabis in the same way that many other teenagers do without developing a risky or detrimental pattern of usage.

You’ll need to be even more patient if a detrimental pattern emerges. However, keep in mind that your child’s drug use developed over time, so don’t anticipate a rapid fix. A problematic drug use pattern may be linked to life challenges—fears of failure or a lack of connection at school or with loved ones—that can take a long time to overcome. It could potentially be linked to physical or mental health problems.

Signs that you’re using cannabis in a dangerous or detrimental way

  • Using on a regular basis from a young age use on a daily or near daily basis
  • Using at school or at work as a primary source of recreation can help you cope with bad moods
  • Coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing, or psychotic symptoms on a regular basis

NOTE: A young person may exhibit one or more of these symptoms without having a cannabis issue, either short-term or long-term. The greater the number of indications, however, the greater the risk.

Seek assistance.

Not every parent is capable of dealing with drug abuse on their own. Look for local resources and organizations that can help you comprehend or communicate with your child if you need assistance. You could try approaching them.

  • a school guidance counselor
  • your personal physician
  • the health authority in your area

“My child was able to recognize that he had other interests besides cannabis thanks to the counsellor. We also learned to take a more balanced approach to things. We realized our child’s circle of friends included more than just pot smokers. He also had his sports friends and a variety of other relationships with non-cannabis users.”

In conclusion, try to recall…

You have a significant impact on your child’s life as a parent. Your attitude toward life, as well as how you cope with good and bad things, gives your children many opportunity to learn how to be human, make errors (whether you want them to or not), and make smart judgments. Every day, life throws us a variety of obstacles. One of those difficulties might be how to deal with narcotics, especially cannabis.

There are numerous factors to consider, and you may find it difficult to make sound decisions when dealing with complex subjects such as cannabis. Protecting, supporting, and guiding your children requires balancing your ideals with the changing social and cultural realities of the twenty-first century. Reviewing your views and thoughts regarding cannabis, as well as your personal experience with it (did you use it, do you currently use it, and why?) and the reasons your child is using cannabis are all crucial factors to consider when deciding what to do.

Young individuals use cannabis because they see the benefits, as stated earlier in this article. They use cannabis to make themselves feel good, feel better, perform better, or discover new things. Engaging in a conversation with your child about the advantages of cannabis can help you acquire knowledge and establish a shared understanding that will enable you to make an informed decision regarding cannabis together. You may also discover that your child has mental or physical health issues that need to be addressed during this process. Discussing your and your child’s worries in the framework of an open, caring, and respectful relationship opens the door to future conversations about cannabis and other issues.

By Mario Pierce

Mario loves Lions and he loves the zoo!

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