Bricolage Behavioral Health Explains in New Blog Post How to Talk to Your Teens About Weed
A mental health and addiction treatment service provider based in Flower Mound, TX, recently published a blog post titled, "Marijuana and Teenagers: 7 Tips For Talking About Weed To Improve Family Communication" to explain how parents can talk to their teens about marijuana.
“We suggest a whole-family approach for well-being, and we provide seven tips to guide you in your open conversation about weed with your teen," said a spokesperson for the service provider, Bricolage Behavioral Health. "Take a breath before this happens and do some initial research. Ask other parents, your child’s doctor, and school guidance counselors for suggestions, remembering they are just that — suggestions. Then work with your child’s other parent, if possible, to present a unified approach, and invite your teen to the table to begin a conversation. Hopefully, if you’re keeping the lines of communication open, this will be one of several talks you may all have as you work through the teen years together.”
The first tip is for the parent to educate himself or herself regarding marijuana. Parents may want to get the Marijuana Talk Kit, which is produced by the Partnership to End Addiction. Parent and teen can discuss the statistics provided there. The blog post suggests keeping it a family discussion rather than a personal behavior attack models strong communication skills for the child and reinforces the parent’s role as someone who helps influence their decisions.
The second tip is for the parent to explain to the teen that even if it is legal to get marijuana, age and health conditions can affect the impact of marijuana. Cannabis can affect a teenager’s brain, causing things such as changes in the brain that affect attention, memory, decision-making, and motivation; impaired learning abilities; declines in IQ, school performance, and life satisfaction; increased rates of school absence and drop-out; increased rates of suicide attempts; increased risk of psychotic disorders; and greater likelihood of opioid misuse.
The blog post's third tip says it's important for the parent to realize that teenagers model the parent’s behavior. The parent’s use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and other drugs is watched very closely by the children. As the teens begin to be more aware of the world and are exposed to substances with friends or friends’ parents, they form opinions about what behaviors are acceptable and often use their family as a baseline to compare these outside influences. This is true of all teens with all levels of intellect and from all kinds of home environments, geographic locations, and income levels.
The fourth tip is for the parent to be honest but age-aware. For those who have struggled with a substance in the past and have moved beyond it, being open to sharing their experience can be a powerful deterrent for their children in their preteen years. As the kids transition to the teenage years, if the parent is currently using marijuana but holding the children to another standard, they receive a mixed message and are often left confused or resentful. If marijuana is not something the family thinks is appropriate, it's important to be honest and share that information at any age.
The fifth tip is to consider the costs of what truly matters. Spending hard-earned money on something that doesn’t give them a long-term gain can be enough of a deterrent for any budget-minded teen. Sharing information about parental expenses at a comfort level that suits the parent can be beneficial, too. Similar to budgeting for clothes or car purchases, the parent can explain that family finances don’t allow for unnecessary extras. If possible, the value of the paycheck is emphasized and how the parent is saving for their college education.
The sixth tip is for the parent to celebrate success and help the teen be mindful of what they stand to lose. Looking at their accomplishments and future goals can keep a teen focused on making strong choices. The parent can make a list of their accomplishments and post them in a high-traffic zone as a visual, daily reminder for the teen. The teen will realize what would happen if the choices they made caused them to lose certain benefits such as a part-time job, academic club membership, sports team membership, scholarship, letters of reference for college, or driver’s license.
The last tip is that the parent can reward positive behavior and support their teen's interests. Keeping the teen positively motivated is something many counselors stress as a win for parent-child relationships. Parents can reward teens by being supportive when they try new interests or achieve a self-goal.
Those who are interested in learning more about the addiction treatment services provided by Bricolage Behavioral Health can check out their website, or call or email them. They are open 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. CDT Monday through Friday.
For more information about Bricolage Behavioral Health, contact the company here:
Bricolage Behavioral Health
3204 Long Prairie Road
Flower Mound, TX 75022