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Marijuana and Back-to-School?

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What would you do in this sticky situation?

Single Mom Seeking: What if your middle school tween came home from school this week and told you that his/her friends were bringing pot to school the next day? What would you do?

Kids smoking
Dr. Leah Klungness and I strongly agree that this is a difficult and challenging parenting dilemma -- but we disagree on how to deal with it.

Dr. Leah was recently quoted in Newsday as a parenting expert -- and her advice hit me hard. While I always value her opinion, I'm positive I would've acted differently.

Here was the question: "What should a mom do if her tween son comes home and reports that he overheard two other boys bragging on the bus -- about how they were going to bring marijuana to camp the next day?"

Dr. Leah advised not to inform the adults in charge.

But if your tween told you that he/she heard other kids at school bragging about bringing pot to school, what would you do?

Dr. Leah said the conversation was an idle boast. Assuming that the grounds are secure and supervised, how easily could these two boys sneak away and smoke pot?

And, if they did, surely the officials would quickly take appropriate action. In the article, Dr. Leah stressed that going to the higher-ups about an overheard bus conversation might inadvertently lead to her son getting dubbed the "narc." And that unintended consequence would definitely insure that her son would likely not confide in Mom again anytime soon.

Her advice? Keep listening. And definitely ask your son the next day about what did (or did not) happen with those boys.

I, on the other hand, know I would inform the adults in charge ASAP.

I would feel responsible for the welfare of those other boys. Are they bragging or are they really going to bring drugs to school/camp? Are the officials really going to detect this plot, if they don't get a heads-up from a concerned parent? I would take action and call the camp right away.

We've been talking to other parents who agree that this is a tough challenge. In general, parents have told us that it's crucial to sit down and listen to your kids. But when it comes to the next step, parents disagree. Do you make a phone call? Or not?

What would YOU do next?

next: Family, Friends Mourn as Jackson Is Laid to Rest
8 comments so far | Post a comment now
ashley September 4, 2009, 4:25 AM

I agree with Dr Leah. Your kid won’t tell you anything again if you go tell. He will get labeled and possibly bullied. It’s not worth it for something that may not even be true, just kids talking.

Anonymous September 4, 2009, 7:00 AM

This is nothing new. Kids did it back when I was in high school in the 70s.

Anonymous September 4, 2009, 7:10 AM

As a mom of a 14 yr boy, all I can say is that if your tween/teenager is telling you about this then they are looking to you to do the right thing. My son is crazy about “his” privacy and doesn’t tell me anything that he doesn’t want me to know. If you decide to go to the principal it doesn’t mean that you have to do it in person. Call the school without giving out your child name and explain what you have heard. Rather the school decides to act on it or not is not your concern any longer but at least you set a good example to your child. Every day we as parents have teachable lessons we just need to see that when faced with them.

Holly September 4, 2009, 9:11 AM

Whatever approach a parent takes in a situation like this will hardly help the situation at hand in the first place. Kids have always been experimenting with drugs and in the US, something like 70% or so of kids are experimenting with pot because it’s the easiest drug to obtain, aside from prescription drugs that kids are getting from the parents themselves. If you call the camp or the principal or what have you, you may feel as if you have stopped something from happening, but kids will always find a way to do what they already set their minds to doing when it comes to finding a time and a place to experiment. Sure, you could call the camp and make sure that they know some kids may or may not be bringing pot to the camp or to the school, but those kids will find a way around whatever road blocks they already know are placed in front of them.

Also, this entire situation sounds a little contrived in the first place and I have to keep thinking that tweens, when talking about any “touchy” subject, do replace themselves in stories when talking to their parents.

James L September 4, 2009, 11:03 AM

While I don’t believe a minor should be doing any kind of substance, because of the negative impact it could have on their development, I might be slightly more comfortable with the marijuana than I would alcohol or prescription drugs.

The Prisoner's Wife September 4, 2009, 2:39 PM

First of all, I’d be impressed/pleased that my child felt comfortable enough to tell me in the first place. These days, lots of kids don’t talk to their parents about anything (i should know, I teach 7th grade, and some parents are clueless).

I’m pretty sure I’d agree w/ Dr. Leah’s advice in this situation and just make sure MY child isn’t smoking anything. I’d keep the lines of communication open and if these kids actually DID bring pot & smoke it, then I might inform the adults. But bullying is real & I wouldn’t want my son subject to that.

bariture sunday September 7, 2009, 4:53 PM

To learn about chemotherapy and how it`S treat cancer. i think is a very good idea.

Anonymous October 21, 2009, 7:54 PM

I agree with James L 100%

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