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to think its better to be honest with your kids about previous drug-taking than lie to them?(83 Posts)
Want to get the mn jury's vote on this. DH and I are at loggerheads on this.
I used to take a fair amount of drugs -- recreationally -- when I was younger. Over a period of about 15 years I smoked weed and took ecstasy and cocaine, fairly regularly.
I'm not proud of it at all, I wish I hadn't wasted so much of my money and brain cells on it. I think it probably limited my drive and ability to push myself to an extent and didn't help my mental strength. On the other hand I don't think it's done me any major, long-term harm either. And that's partly because I never really got into heavy drug use or drug dependency. I always knew where to stop. I haven't touched anything (apart from a very occasional toke on a joint at parties) for over 5 years and nothing at all since my dd was born.
DH is very anti drugs, has never so much as smoked a spliff in his life (though he does drink).
The question is how much of this to 'fess up to with dd. She's now just over 2 so its not (hopefully) going to be an issue for some time, but I need to figure it out.
DH takes a very hard line on this and wants to be zero tolerance when it comes to drugs. I strongly wish that my dd won't ever take any drugs and will warn her that they are a waste of time.
On the other hand, I want to have an honest conversation with her about this. I want to admit to the fact that I used to use them as I think it will give me more credibility on the topic. DH thinks this should be totally off limits as admitting to having done it tacitly acknowledges drugs are OK.
I believe quite strongly that part of the reason some teenagers don't take any notice of drugs advice is that the advice is often wildly wrong and contradictory. Drug education programs vary, but in general they tend to tar all drugs with the same brush, so there's no distinction made between, say, cannabis and heroin. I'm not going to say there are no risks involved with even soft drugs as there clearly are, but it seems to me that if you tell kids that smoking a spliff will put them on a high road to heroin addiction they will quickly figure out that its rubbish, making them less inclined to listen to you when you warn them off much more dangerous drugs.
So that's why I'd rather tell my dd that I would strongly advise her not to touch them at all and will be disappointed if she does, but be clear that some drugs are much more harmful than others and she should make sure she gets as much information as possible about them if she ever decides to try them.
Who is right?
I think if you tell your dc that you took drugs then it's a green light. Mine will will be told "just say no". (I took loads).
What's yhe big fuss, drugs are all fine now, everyone does them.
isn't tbe 80s anymore with junkies dying in puddles of suck in a shooting gallery with Zamo from Grange Hill.
The savvy young person of today needs advice on the best varieties of weed (white widow is a good one for the kids) and top tips like have a shit and a piss before taking speed. it causes a lot of social embarrassment otherwise.
Buy some poppers for their birthday and steer them on the right direction.
As a teen, I took shed loads of drugs and drank and smoked. I was really unhappy and unstable and that all made it a million times worse.
Lots of my mates thought I was really amusing and privileged and happy and ever so sophisticated. Those people were twats and encouraged me.
Some people, not my parents sadly, tried to help me and were concerned for my physical and mental health.
My kids are so far stable and sorted and sporty. They seem to feel a bit sorry for anyone who takes drugs or gets pissed a lot.
I've started talking to them a bit about the Drug Talks they get at school. To their horror. They think I'm an old fart who's never been in a pub. And in some ways that suits me.
I feel like a hypocrite because I don't want them to pity what I was, but I do want them to know that not all druggies are automatic losers, some are just a bit lost with the wrong friends.
That, for me, is a more important message than 'drugs are bad.'
Here in the US we have the DARE (drug abuse resistance education) program. It's an 'all drugs are the worst possible thing ever' sort of program, heavy on 'Just Say No'. The results have been ... less than positive.
One of the problems it has is the old 'anything THAT forbidden must be great!' Kids try softer drugs and find they enjoy the experience and that one joint has not made them an addict. As a result, they tend not to trust any of the warnings about much more dangerous substances! After all, if the DARE officer wasn't telling the truth about one thing, why would you believe the rest of what they have to say?
Not that I've done anything other than smoking and a bit of weed but why would I lie to my children?
We always said we would be honest and upfront about our misspent youths once our kids were teenagers. However, now they are teenagers, the time never seems right to bring it up. I think it would really shatter their image of us, as we are quite sensible, involved parents and they respect us and see us as role models to a certain extent. They are both wildly anti-drugs and I can't see the benefit of us telling them that we took lots, and also enjoyed it. I don't think it would be honest to tell them it was a mistake, as we actually had a lot of fun and don't regret most of it. So I think we'll just keep quiet now.
I would be truthful. DCs are quick to pick up hypocrisy - which leads to no respect IMO.
In addition the 'say no to drugs' message is much clearer if you can back it up by saying you went there and it a waste of time and for losers.
(I should think that if you had a mother like ComposHat it would make you steer clear of any sort of drugs whatsoever and be embarrassing!)
When I had the "drugs and alcohol chat" with my DSD when she was about 15, I started off in the abstract and we discussed staying safe, not being afraid to say "no", the dangers of getting so out of control you end up vulnerable, the potency of new drugs with unknown side effects etc. She asked me outright if I had ever taken anything and I was honest, I said I'd tried a couple of things at the softer end of the spectrum when I'd been with friends I trusted but hadn't enjoyed it (true - poppers & weed both gave me raging migraine) and that if I were being honest, I was a little bit disappointed in myself for trying them because I knew, really, that I don't need to take stuff to have a good time. I also admitted that I had a couple of stupid experiences with drink when I was about 18 and was horrified, looking back, that I had made myself so vulnerable. It was only because I was with friends who looked after me that I stayed safe and I told DSD that I'd been embarrassed afterwards that they'd had to see me puking up and passing out. So basically a certain amount of casual emphasis on how pathetic and uncool it had made me!
So far as I know, DSD who is now in her late 20s has never taken drugs or smoked. She has various allergies and intolerances and she finds it hard enough to find legal stuff she can put into her body without complicating matters by adding illegal ones! She was once the victim of a suspected drink spiking and the feeling of being out-of-control spooked her quite a bit. On one occasion she rang me in tears on a night out because she felt too drunk and scared and when I picked her up she started crying and apologising, but tbh I was just grateful she felt she could ring someone!
I don't know if my approach made any difference to her or if she would have found her own sensible way anyway, but I wouldn't have felt comfortable lying to her, so I'm with you OP.
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