View Full Version : 14 year old smoking pot
02-18-2005, 10:51 AM
There are no accidents. The same day I received your newsletter regarding the Connecticut Forums (which I attended) I found out that my 14 year old son had smoked pot. For the past several months I've been more worried about my 16 year old son....but was surprised when I found the evidence of my younger son's use. When confronted, he admitted it was grass but said it was his first time. Wether or not it was his 1st is debateable but he certainly is not a sophisticated user - he was using my husbands Meerschaum pipe & a rolled up post-it for rolling paper! He said he bought the pot at school (jr. high). After expressing my sadness at this breach I went to his school and spoke with the principal. He was very supportive and happy I had not minimized the problem or over-reacted. My son may be suspended since this took place on school grounds but at least since he wasn't caught there, he wasn't expelled and the police weren't summoned. I know some people might wonder why I told the school since it happened at home. My feeling was that I needed my son to realize the seriousness of the situation and that my moral obligation was to let the school know what is happening on the grounds. Also, my son is a bright kid but his grades have been slipping and he got a detention this week for insubordination to a teacher. I think everything is tied up together and I know that they can be a big help to me in trying to get my son back on track.
My question is do I require counseling for him? My gut feeling is that he needs it. Also, he has just gotten a job as a jr. skiing instructor. My 1st instinct was to say - no skiing - but wonder if that might be counterproductive. His vacation is coming up this week and the alternative would be for him to sit around for the week doing nothing. I feel he needs repercussions in order for this to be meaningful - but I don't want to take it too far.
Thx for your help.
02-18-2005, 03:10 PM
Yes, you did the correct thing in confronting your son as you did. It is critical that he understand that what he did is a very serious thing. But be careful about going too far.
Our goal should always be to teach our kids as best as we can. When considering punishments (I much prefer consquences) you must ask yourself what the gain might be. If your heart tells you that your kid has learned his lesson here, close the book. Give him a hug, tell him that you love him, and send him off to ski. Piling punishments onto a kid who has already "gotten it" will only create pointless resentments that will encourage more rebellion.
However, if he insists on continuing his drug use, that's when you say things like, "Son, your use of drugs tells us that you may not be ready for the freedom and responsibility of working that job. So we need to put a hold on that until we can clear up the drug issue."
Look to the heart of your kid to guide you in the next step. If he seems OK, then perhaps forced counseling would just be another punishment for him. But if you get a bad feeling about him, then do consider the counseling.
02-18-2005, 04:42 PM
Thanks Dr. Mike. His school has doled out a 10 day suspension but commended the upfront way he handled this situation. He told them everything but who the dealer is. I will take him skiing - I guess he shouldn't be punished for having a "fun job" instead of sacking groceries....
His Dad is very upset with the school. He feels that we did them a favor by alerting them to drug dealing and that in return they brought the hammer down on our son. He feels that since we alerted them and our son was not "caught" at school, he shouldn't be made to suffer academically. He says that if he had known a 10 day suspension would come - he might have called anonymously and then punished our son in a different way. I feel they had no choice and that no matter what - it was the right thing to do. The asst principal did say that she admired our integrity in bringing it to them and that she knew it was a tough choice.
06-05-2007, 02:55 PM
Dear Doc Mike,
I am writing to you regarding my sister's 14 y/o son, who in the past year, has undergone a complete personality change, and become addicted to marijuana. His most recent incident involved getting caught with a pipe and weed in his locker at school, and getting expelled subsequently. He was not able to graduate with his class. He refuses to do the homework needed to graduate. His parents have tried outpatient drug rehab, but he got kicked out due to persistant pot use. He has been arrested two times, and frequently runs away from home. Their plan for him is to send him to a military academy for the summer, in hopes of getting him "drug free", in order to evaluate if there might be an underlying psychiatric issue(bipolar has been suggested by one therapist)I am feeling very helpless in this situation, and am looking for suggestions as to how I can be supportive to my sister, nephew and their family.
06-08-2007, 09:49 AM
A relative such as yourself can be a critical part of the healing process for any kid. You can maintain a caring, yet slightly distanced relationship with your nephew to see if he will talk with you about his situation, to be able to say things he cannot say to his parents without them getting upset. The key for you would be to pledge not to "rat him out" to his folks (unless he is doing something life-threatening) and then start to hang out as much as you can with him in places away from home (coffee shops work great). Don't lecture, just listen. If he can talk with you and hear his own words he might begin to understand his own behaviors. This is a slow and tedious process, but one that can make a huge difference.
Please let us know how you make out.
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