07-27-2020 08:40 AM - edited 07-27-2020 08:42 AM
Found this forum while googling last night & would be so grateful for some advice.
I've been a single mum for 6 & 1/2 years now & although my kids are now 18 & 20, they live with me full time. Challenges are still so real and a big one hit me last night. I sprung them smoking cannabis in the garage. I'm completely devastated and don't know what to do to handle this situation, I feel lost and I have very little co parenting support from their Dad. Do I even tell him? He is in the picture and is contact with the boys, but he's never been great handling parenting issues.
They are both technically adults I know, but I'm not happy about it happening under my roof and most of all I'm concerned about them getting involved in drugs and making bad choices that will take them on a road that shouldn't be travelled. They have been bought up in a Christian home and I have been very clear about my thoughts on this topic in the past - I understand the desire to want to try it, they said they were curious, but I don't support this choice. I just want them making good choices and obviously as their mum want to protect them as much as I can, but I do realise kids will/need to make their own choices to learn life lessons. I'm not naive enough to realise that my kids are immune to wanting to try various things. I'm a very open minded individual and I have learnt enough with this parenting gig to understand that getting angry & yelling will not help at all. I am planning on sitting them both down and attempting to have an adult conversation with them about it. This goes together with some other lack of respect & trust issues and I'm struggling to know what to say and what consequences are fair.
What the flip do i do?
07-27-2020 02:29 PM
Hi @SoloGig ,
That sounds like it must have been really stressful for you - we hear from quite a few parents who are concerned about their teens using cannabis, so you're definitely not alone. It must be especially tricky not having support from their dad. How do you think he may react to finding out that they have been smoking?
It's fantastic to hear that you have such an open and honest relationship with their sons ,and your plan to have an adult conversation with them sounds like a really good one. I think you're spot on when you say that getting angry and yelling at them probably won't help, and it's great that you've been able to take a bit of space to calm down before you have a chat with them. If you think it would be helpful to arm yourself with some more facts about cannabis use and teenagers before you talk to them, we have some resources here that might help.
We also have an article on ways to talk to your teenagers about drugs that looked like it might be helpful to have a look at before you talk to them - I really liked the tips there about listening to them about the reasons that they were trying cannabis, and then working together to come up with house rules and reasonable consequences for them, as well as making sure that they're aware of the risks that can come along with cannabis use. For example, rules could include no smoking cannabis in your home or garage, and no driving after use. It also sounds like you're feeling like by them smoking cannabis in your home it shows a real lack of respect for you, and it could be good to let them know how you're feeling about that.
If you feel like it would be helpful to chat through these issues with a professional, ReachOut do offer a free one to one coaching service in partnership with the Benevolent Society, you can access that here. Sending you lots of virtual support - you sound like such a caring and switched-on mum, and your kids are really lucky to have you in their corner.
07-28-2020 01:28 PM
Thanks so much for your reply & support. The resources you mentioned were very helpful.
I've had "the chat" which didn't go quite according to plan but we got through it. Unfortunately, they both seem to be in the head space at the moment where they don't care and see no issues with what they are doing or the lack of respect which is being shown. Kids are very good at deflecting & not taking responsibility for their behaviours! I've found. They also love to throw the "it's your fault" card at you for being a bad example and divorcing.
I have organised to speak with a psychologist, first appointment tomorrow. Someone with whom I've spoken with in the past, so I'm confident this will be of benefit and arm me with some extra tools to be able to continue on this difficult journey.
I love my kids (as we all do), but just feel like I'm crumbling under the constant stress. Is there any end? I'll continue to hope there is.
Thanks again for the listening ear!
07-28-2020 03:20 PM
Hi @SoloGig ,
It's nice to hear back from you, and it's great to hear that you found those resources helpful. Thanks so much for keeping us posted on how you went with your sons. It's fantastic that you were able to have that conversation with them, even if it didn't exactly go as planned. It must feel really frustrating to feel like they're deflecting and not taking responsibility for their behaviours like that - but I think the good news is that you are still able to have those tough conversations with them. Keeping the lines of communication open, even when it's hard, is so important.
Speaking to a psychologist about what's going on sounds like an excellent idea - as you've said, adding more tools to your arsenal is always a good idea. Being a parent can be such a stressful and tough journey at times, and it's really excellent that you're reaching out and getting some more support for yourself.
Did you decide to speak to your ex partner about what's happening with your sons?
07-28-2020 05:34 PM
Yes, I decided to tell him. More out of obligation as he is their Dad after all & thought it was right to inform him. Putting the shoe on the other foot, I would be very disappointed and hurt if he didn't tell me something so significant.
He was shocked & very disappointed and was more open to discuss the issue than I thought he would be, so that's a bonus. He wasn't able to come up with any great suggestions on how to deal with the situation, but that was expected also. I've told him I will keep him posted.
08-06-2020 01:06 PM
That's great you were able to speak to your ex-partner about what's been going on and that he was open to the discussion. How are things going for you at the moment?
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