According to the Center of Substance Abuse Prevention, or CSAP, kids are 30 percent less likely to smoke marijuana if their parents or guardians have an open, honest conversation about it first. Studies from the CSAP also indicated that, as of 2003, teens were pressured to smoke marijuana at earlier ages — even as early as 12. This pressure still exists today. Don’t underestimate the power you have as a parent to persuade your kid from using drugs.
Gather an arsenal of facts. Research the topic of marijuana and how it affects the body, as well as statistics. Don’t abruptly introduce the topic; instead, introduce it in a way that flows with the conversation at hand.
Start the conversation early, before the child is a teen. Get your message in before your child hears it from someplace else. Tell your child very clearly that you have high standards for him and don’t expect him to use drugs such as marijuana.
Make it personal. Stress specific reasons to not smoke marijuana in a way that appeals to his interests. For example, marijuana has aging effects that can affect your appearance over time, giving you skin and lip wrinkles. Also, some prestigious jobs and internships may require drug tests, and not passing can lead to losing the job offer. Marijuana can also lead to erectile dysfunction, depression, dependence, respiratory problems and other medical issues.
Do not treat the subject lightly. If you refer to marijuana casually, saying it’s “not a big deal,” your kids will think the same way. Talk to your child more than once about marijuana. Be honest with your kids about your own drug experiences. Emphasize the negative consequences and why you regret it.