My son graduated high school last year. Instead of going to college, he decided to pursue a career in the trades. He gets up early, sometimes working 10-12 hour days. If there’s more work for him on the weekends, he takes it. He is motivated and wants to run his own company one day.
After work, he goes to the gym. He realized a long time ago that he feels better if he works out, eats lots of protein, and gets enough sleep. He has a circle of friends, and during their off-hours they like to go out to eat and work on their trucks, dirt bikes, and four wheelers. He likes to learn as much as possible about fixing things. He has lots of passions, in other words, and pursues every single one of them.
His life isn’t like that of some kids his age (whether they’ve gone to college or not) in that he’s not into drinking, partying, or staying out all night. He likes to come home and sleep in his own bed.
But he does like his weed. He doesn’t wake and bake or drive under the influence — he smokes a joint the way many people will have an occasional glass of wine to unwind. This is why I’m not doing much about it.
He’s almost 19
I was drinking too much wine and smoking a pack of cigarettes a day when I was 19. My parents had no idea what I was up to, because I was in college. It was what I wanted to do, and even if my parents had told me to stop, I wouldn’t have.
Recreational cannabis is legal in our state; he’s not of legal age to smoke it, and I remind him of that constantly, which is all I can really do. Teenagers know they aren’t the legal age to drink, they do it anyway, and there’s only so much we can do as parents to stop them.
He doesn’t drink
In my opinion, drinking is a lot worse than smoking weed. I drank a lot when I was my son’s age, and it’s kind of amazing I am still here. He doesn’t like the taste of alcohol, the way it makes him feel, or what it does to his body. If he can’t get up early and work, then go to the gym, he’s not happy. I’d rather have my kids smoke weed than drink any day.
He’s open and respectful with me about it
No one likes to see their kids smoking weed or drinking. But if I constantly patted him down, demanded he tell me where he got his weed, or tried to ground him, then he wouldn’t be honest with me about it.
We have a deal: He doesn’t smoke weed in my house, but if he wants to, he can go outside and take a few puffs. This way, he’s not driving around or sneaking it. It’s a compromise that works for us.
My son doesn’t miss work unless he’s sick, he helps me around our home with whatever I need, and he’s extremely self-sufficient. He smokes weed as a way to decompress once a week or so without it interfering with his everyday life. He’s not lying on the sofa all day with the munchies, eating me out of house and home.
As parents, we pick and choose our battles. I’m not a smoker myself, and the first time I caught him smoking weed I was heartbroken.
But I believe in my son and I trust him. This is his life and the fact he’s almost 19 years old and will be moving out soon means I have to give him the room and freedom to do things he wants to do.
Weed takes the edge off for a lot of people. It helps with his anxiety, and he’s not going to stop even if I tell him he has to. I’m not fighting with him about this one. Instead, I am going to enjoy his last year or two of living at home with me and let him get high if he wants to.