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Parents Talk: What Would You Do If You Caught Your Son Making a Pot Pipe?

This actually happened to someone, who was seeking advice.

There is actually a magazine called Parents Talk, and on its website, there is a letter from a parent who is distressed.

"I Found My Son Making a Pipe," the headline reads, and it's under the category of "Talking to Your Teen."

Basically, the parent—not certain if it was the dad or mom but we're guessing the mom based on the e-mail handle—said she came home unexpectedly and found her son building what he told her was a "volcano" science project. It consisted of an empty water bottle with hole on the side and at the bottom, duct tape and a roll of foil paper.

She did an Internet search, and it didn't take long for her to figure out the science project was most likely a homemade bong for smoking pot.

Her son had admitted to smoking pot in January, and she's certain that her son's best friend smokes and that the friend's parents have a history of drug abuse—so the parents have banned their son's best friend from their home.

Her son—who is in the marching band and has a "bright future" in his mother's eyes—assures her that he's not smoking pot, and they've even field tested him with a home kit and gotten negative results. They've taken their son to family counseling, and he insists he's only done pot a few times and isn't doing it anymore.

Should she believe him? Trust him? Take him at his word?

Is she wrong to prohibit him from having his best friend over?

Do the parents need a stronger or more direct intervention? Or is it better to wait until they have more evidence or for him to admit to smoking?

"I know I'm all over the place with my emotions—I just don't know what to do ... or how to handle this situation," she said. "Please advise. I'm desperate thinking that he might ruin the bright future ahead of him and most importantly that he might become an addict."

We know that the Tri-Cities are not immune to this problem. What would you do in this person's sitaution? Have you dealt with a similar issue at home?

Martha Hanna February 02, 2012 at 02:06 PM
I would much rather have my teen smoke marijuana vs. drinking alcohol. Marijuana needs to become legal. I know tons of professionals from doctors to lawyers to business executives who smoked pot in high school and still smoke pot to this day. Pot smokers need to come out of the closet. A cook county nurse who worked in the ER for 35 years said she had never witnessed a person dying from smoking pot. As far as trusting your teen, really? You can trust your kid, but you can also check up and verify that your kid is telling you the truth. There is nothing wrong with distrusting your child and checking up on him. I had a very open relationship with both my kids and we communicated well, and guess what? They still lied to me and made up stories. We are the parents, it is our house, we pay the bills we have every right to check up on our kids. Communicate with the parents of you childrens friends. And by all means be consistent when enforcing discipline rules for lying and doing inappropriate things that kids do.
John Doe February 02, 2012 at 04:10 PM
No trust in the son,leads to the son becoming much less trustful and open with his mother. She may want to discuss majoring in engineering.
Melissa Pazen February 02, 2012 at 04:33 PM
Wow, Martha! I agree with much of what you’ve said!. I think many parents have tried marijuana. (And I think legalizing would lead to a new revenue stream for the government.) I also know a nurse who said people may die in alcohol withdrawal. Like ‘John Doe, the mother's reaction seems a bit extreme to me. If she's sneaking around to check up on him, might she have been modeling this all along? This could be an opportunity to start over, as in "I'll respect you if you respect me; if you'll trust me, I'll be trustworthy & if you'll be trustworthy, I'll trust you". My kids tried to lie when they were near age 6 (before that, human brains are not sufficiently developed to separate fantasy & reality). I'd say "That's a great story! Did it really happen or did you make it up?" It helped us to clarify & keep communicating. I've been very fortunate, my kids & friends would come to me for advice & were usually pretty honest. ("OK, I feel as if I'm missing something... what else?" "Oh, we also..." get what I mean?) I'm trained in listening, but anyone do it. Trusting a teen only can happen if trust, honesty & communication are cornerstones in your plan for raising your child & if you’re LUCKY. I agree, Martha, that not all teens are trustworthy; that's why I want parents to get it right -- right from the start. Also, this kid's in marching band; something's going right. There are strengths on which they can build. The may be fine -- if they work at it.
Martha Hanna February 02, 2012 at 06:14 PM
Plus there are no guarantees no matter what you do as parents...kids will disappoint you, and I wish I would be able to "do over" on several of the mistakes that I made while raising the kids. BUT the knowledge, inspiration and the joy my kids have given me makes up for any discomfort that I have had to deal with as a parent.
Carol Ann May 10, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Last night, during a debate on the floor of the U. S. House of Representatives, U. S. Rep. Frank Wolf (R - Virginia) warned against respecting States Rights when it comes to the 16 U. S. States that have legalized medical marijuana for use by seriously and/or terminally ill patients, as prescribed by their doctors. Rep. Wolf's comments remembered me of what New York State's Rockefeller Drug Laws did and didn't do for us way back in the 1970's. In N.Y., while still reeling from a decade of near bankrupt government mismanagement, N.Y. invoked drug laws that prioritized arresting street level offenders by the hundreds of thousands, costing billions of taxpayer dollars, and destroying millions of lives. Even though "Reefer Madness", the movie, was first released in theatres in 1937, when Rep. Wolf was just a child, it would seem that the paranoia is still scaring him. I contact our government, "The Easy Way", via www.congress.org and "Join The Conversation"

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