Ask Kari: Where do I draw the line with my adult teen?

Dear Kari,

My teenage son has been using marijuana in our house, and I am against him doing so. In general, I am against him smoking marijuana; I do not feel it is healthy to use. He tells me he is 18 years old and can smoke the substance if he wants to. I know I cannot stop him, but I refuse to have drugs in my home. What do you suggest I do?

– Momma Drawing the Line

Dear Momma Drawing the Line,

You have every right to make the rules in your own home, including whether smoking is allowed. Set up a time to talk with your son, then calmly share with him you do not allow smoking of any products, including marijuana, inside your home or outside in your yard. Be very clear you have zero tolerance for such action. While you cannot control his choices and actions outside your home, you can encourage him to talk with his primary care doctor about the long-term consequences of smoking marijuana, including a higher risk for depression and anxiety.

Stick to the rules of your home and suggesting he seek further information from a medical professional instead of banning smoking in your home and beginning a power war over a legal substance. Start with the basics and accelerate the conversation if needed.

Best of luck to you, and remember to keep calm in your presentation to help the message be better received.

– Kari

As published in the October 2021 issue of Connections.

About Kari:

Kari O’Neill, MSW, LICSW, is a licensed independent clinical social worker and a resident of Issaquah Highlands.

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