Normalizing teen behavior?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by enzo, Jul 2, 2013.

  1. enzo

    enzo Member

    I know I could post this in substance abuse forum, but I am looking to any parents emeritus to share any been there done that experience.

    difficult child is working hard this summer on his football. He also realizes that his 11th grade report card of C's and D's should have been better..but he is the typical ADHD ODD kid, drawn to the brightest light and never misses an opportunity to shoot himself in the foot. Maybe 12th grade will go better and he'll listen to all of the people trying to help him help himself. Will likely do a gap year before college.

    Question is his pot smoking...I believe he's got it down to just at night, and I know he's got some positive peer reinforcement to keep it under control. The pot smoking was our number 1 issue a few years ago when he would smoke all day at school, cut classes, and lie to us about everything. I do believe he's doing better, but the smoking is still wavering to a daily thing. He's not doing any other drugs, and its not heading in that direction.

    We have two choices:

    1) bust him and be hard noses (cancel road test, grounded) and endure his screaming and raving.
    2) keep a quiet eye on it and be happy he's working on his football and seems to be slowly maturing and recognizing that responsibility and balance is a part of life.

    Looking long term here..realizing that difficult child will require our support and discipline for many more years. THanks for any perspective!
     
  2. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    To be honest, if he is going to better direction, I would likely turn a blind eye. There are things going for him right now and he is quite close to 18. Getting hard-nosed now, removing those positive things and peer group and replacing that peer group with other rehab-kids for example, would just take him farther away from the goal you want to get him before he turns 18.

    Peer group is extremely important during teen years and young adulthood because kids model their expectations for themselves from peers big time. If friends expect to go to college, work etc. so will the kid. If peers expect to be going revolving doors between rehabs, sober houses, working menial jobs, getting kicked out from sober houses, being homeless, shelters, relapsing, going back to rehab etc. that becomes normal to the kid.

    People work better towards something than to get away from something. Especially kids who are usually very good at adapting and lowering their expectations for themselves and their lifestyle.
     
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    For better or for worse, pot is going to be legal soon. Just like alcohol, it can be used as a sometimes "pleasure" (hey, I HATE t he feel of pot, but some like it) or it can be abused, just like alcohol. Smoking pot every day, in my opinion, is too often, just as drinking every day is too often and likely to interfer with life, even if one isn't an actual alcoholic (yet). I see my sister and her friends making horrible decisions and saying many regretful things while "buzzed" and I wonder why they feel the need to just drink every single day, even if not drunk. I also know pot can a nd does slow motivation and I frankly could never drive while high on pot. Pot affects everyone differently. Using it every night is too often, in my opinion, and I would not turn a blind eye to that much smoking. Pot doesn't leave your system either so he is likely stoned most of t he time. That may be why his grades are poor. Also, are you 100 percent certain he is not using an y other drugs or drinking too much? What are his friends like?

    I don't know about your school, but here if our kids are caught smoking pot, no more football. My daughter is an athlete and thinks it's very stupid to use substances when you love sports. (She's not b ig on substances anyway).

    If I found out my daughter smoked pot every other weekend, one night, or twice a month, I would not be too alarmed, although I'd have my guard up. But for every day I'd be concerned. What is it that makes it impossible for him to face life without being high? Does he need therapy? Is he depressed (I think pot makes depression worse). Self-medicating is never a good idea.

    Lastly, I need to know my kids will be substance free w hen they drive or they don't drive at least not with our blessing our using our vehicles. My oldest daughter used many drugs and she also never got to use our cars after her first major crash. We thought she had quit smoking pot (actually it turned out she was doing much more) when we let her get her license, but she lost her driving privileges with our vehicles once we realized how naive we'd been.

    Glad you found our board but so sorry you have to be here!!
     
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    For better or for worse, pot is going to be legal soon. Just like alcohol, it can be used as a sometimes "pleasure" (hey, I HATE t he feel of pot, but some like it) or it can be abused, just like alcohol. Smoking pot every day, in my opinion, is too often, just as drinking every day is too often and likely to interfer with life, even if one isn't an actual alcoholic (yet). I see my sister and her friends making horrible decisions and saying many regretful things while "buzzed" and I wonder why they feel the need to just drink every single day, even if not drunk. I also know pot can a nd does slow motivation and I frankly could never drive while high on pot. Pot affects everyone differently. Using it every night is too often, in my opinion, and I would not turn a blind eye to that much smoking. Pot doesn't leave your system either so he is likely stoned most of t he time. That may be why his grades are poor. Also, are you 100 percent certain he is not using an y other drugs or drinking too much? What are his friends like?

    I don't know about your school, but here if our kids are caught smoking pot, no more football. My daughter is an athlete and thinks it's very stupid to use substances when you love sports. (She's not b ig on substances anyway).

    If I found out my daughter smoked pot every other weekend, one night, or twice a month, I would not be too alarmed, although I'd have my guard up. But for every day I'd be concerned. What is it that makes it impossible for him to face life without being high? Does he need therapy? Is he depressed (I think pot makes depression worse). Self-medicating is never a good idea. They mix with all the prescribed drugs, which also can impede one's ability to drive. He is harming himself this way.

    Lastly, I need to know my kids will be substance free w hen they drive or they don't drive at least not with our blessing our using our vehicles. My oldest daughter used many drugs and she also never got to use our cars after her first major crash. We thought she had quit smoking pot (actually it turned out she was doing much more) when we let her get her license, but she lost her driving privileges with our vehicles once we realized how naive we'd been.

    Glad you found our board but so sorry you have to be here!!
     
  5. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree every day is too much. Is he still on anti depressants? From my life experiences, a daily pot smoker 'feels normal' when high and therefore that is actually what they are craving, not the silly high that many people get. So, to me his medications are wrong if he is not getting that 'normal' feeling from the medications.

    Would I risk the current path he is on to ensure he is not a daily pot smoker? I don't think so. To me, pot smoking can be addressed at a later date, not as addictive as other drugs. He may even come to his own conclusion to stop smoking pot. I did. And I was a easy child. I did not do it every day and it did not give me the 'normal feel' that I believe your son is after. I was after the social fun aspect and it was probably only weekly. But, again, I think it is much less addictive chemically. I do believe the addiction could be this feeling of 'normal'.
     
  6. I'm inclined to agree with Busy. Maybe he needs his medications adjusted. Is he using pot to help him sleep? Is he taking it like a medication? If so maybe look into medicinal marijuana instead of the street stuff.
     
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I would not permit someone using pot daily to use my car or to be on my insurance, period. I probably would not make a huge deal out of it, but would NOT allow them to use my vehicle. I know a LOT of people who smoke or used to smoke pot and who have led very productive lives. I have seen some of them drive while stoned and in my opinion it is as bad as alcohol use while driving. Having almost lost family members in accidents caused by drunk drivers, I am totally against allowing habitual users to drive. Driving while impaired on any substance is illegal for a reason and it is the one thing that I cannot tolerate.

    It is a decision you need to make, and I probably would turn a blind eye to pot use in other regards, but a road test and/or use of any vehicle of mine would be non-negotiable while still using often.

    I do hope he has a good year and I know how hard a decision this is for you as you don't want to tank the progress he has made.
     
  8. enzo

    enzo Member

    We did find pot in the car today, and have revoked driving privileges and is grounded through weekend. Good news is that it did not result in a major battle with alot of screaming, this is a major accomplishment. His peers make good decisions about grades, responsibilities, sports, but difficult child is more interested in a good time.
     
  9. Enzo - Good call on revoking the driving privileges. If he is using and driving that would be a deal breaker for sure.

    Has he ever tried any ADHD medication? I'm wondering if that might help his focus and impulse issues (ie. he is always looking for a good time and not focused as much on important stuff like grades). I was always against medication for my kids but easy child is on medication now (almost a year) and it has done wonders for her. Her marks went up 20% for the most part and in some cases (math) they went up even more!

    :smile:
     
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    It has been said... that there are five common substances that are used to self-medicate especially for ADD/ADHD challenges...
    - caffeine
    - nicotine
    - alcohol
    - marijuana
    - cocaine

    Interesting that all of these - or at least in their source formats - have been around for a very long time.
     
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Personally I wouldnt fight a huge battle over just pot. Its entirely likely that he may end up giving it up on his own if he decides he wants to grow up. Now that might mean he progresses to social drinking with the guys at sports bars which I personally think is more dangerous but...sigh. I do think its going to be legalized soon too.
     
Loading...