IF you ever took drugs in the past, are you honest about it to your DC?

(51 Posts)
chocolatebiscuits Tue 25-Mar-14 21:31:45

(Have name-changed here)
I used to smoke cannabis a bit, and have tried various other drugs on odd occasions (speed, Es, coke, mushrooms) - all before I had children. None of it ever caused me any real problems but I did see other people for whom it did.

I have a very open relationship with my DC and talk freely about most things. They're 10 and 14 and at the moment can't imagine why anyone would ever want to do something as dumb as taking drugs (or drinking alcohol for that matter), which is fine, as it's not yet occurred to them to even ask whether I ever have. But as they get into their teens things will change and they probably will start to ask.

If I tell them the truth I worry that they'd see anything I'd done as OK, almost as a starting point of what's normal, which I'd much rather they didn't. But I hate the thought of lying.

How do you get round this?

notnowbernard Tue 25-Mar-14 21:34:57

It's not lying, it's withholding the truth grin

I'm not going to go there 'admitting' what I've done as a teen... It's asking for it to be thrown back in my face at some point

I don't even like them seeing photos of me with a fag in my hand tbh

chocolatebiscuits Tue 25-Mar-14 21:38:09

I've managed fine "withholding the truth" so far, but fear they'll ask direct questions sometime soon, which are hard to avoid without outright lies. Maybe that is the way to go. Maybe I just need to brace myself and decide it's best to lie... confused

notnowbernard Tue 25-Mar-14 21:40:24

Just noticed this is in Teenagers

I haven't got teenagers (yet) sorry !

I see what you mean about direct questions though...

Tricky. Think I'd still lie though blush

NinjaLeprechaun Tue 25-Mar-14 22:09:04

My daughter's 18, and I've never hidden the dumb things I did as a teen - or the fact that they were dumb. I was never a big 'drug' taker - I smoked pot exactly twice. (It's actually legal to over 21s where her dad lives, so discussions are relevant.) It made made me irritable and out-of-sorts. Her brain chemistry is similar to mine, and there's a good chance it would do the same to her - so despite having friends (and family members) who smoke, she opts out.
I've had friends who were heavy drug users, and have let her know what that looks like from up close as well.

On the other hand, I started binge drinking when I was 12 and smoking cigarettes when I was 14. blush I've also been very candid about how stupid that is - I'd stopped doing both by the time she was born.

I suppose some kids would use my stories as an excuse, or argument how it can be done 'safely', and maybe I just lucked into a fairly sensible kid. But, combine my 'how stupid was I?' stories with the fact that she has had two close family members (a grandmother and an uncle) die of smoking related diseases in her lifetime, and she's been around problem drinkers and knows the effect that has on other people. She has never shown any desire to be her own test subject in that type of experiment.

BettyBotter Tue 25-Mar-14 22:22:24

My teens asked me if I'd ever smoked cannabis. Despite my lying withholding the truth they both instantly recognised from my squirmy expression that I had. Much teasing (on the part of DS1 - 15) and concern (on the part of DS2 -12) has ensued.

They still refer to me as a 'addict-mum' . blush

I believe in being open and honest but kind of wish I'd stuck to my lie.

Eastpoint Wed 26-Mar-14 06:14:58

We had a talk at school for parents recently & the counsellor said we shouldn't lie to our children. They said mention how old you were, as it is likely to be older than they will be and that skunk/cannabis is now far stronger.

Another important thing to mention is that various careers and countries will be out of bounds if they get a police record and that they must not 'look after' some one else's drugs. If you are caught giving someone back their drugs that counts as supplying (dealing) and it is far more serious.

The school said their policy is that if you (child/parents) approach them saying there is a drug problem the outcome would be far better than if you were caught so keep the school involved.

adeucalione Wed 26-Mar-14 06:40:31

I lie. I never tried drugs, smoked, drank to excess or mucked about at school. I'll tell them one day but right now I want to model all the right things and, if they are daft enough to do any if that, I want to be able to hit the roof without them being able to say 'you did it and turned out ok'.

antimatter Wed 26-Mar-14 06:49:35

I told them. I think they have to see me as a person who tried and DECIDED not to carry on.
Same for them - decisions is theirs, however I can't make them go either way , just am hoping that they will use they common sense.
I tried cannabis once, coke once - so can share my experience albeit very limited.
I noticed that they are afraid of drugs and not so much of alcohol. I needed to talk a lot about alcoholism in both families and effect it had on everyone (highly functioning alcoholics in my and exes immediate families).
I thing my DD still can't believe that her grandfather IS a high functioning alcoholic as she never in her 16 years saw him drunk. He hides it very well. But I think telling her that she has both grandfathers who are dependent on alcohol made her change her mind on how much she drinks at parties and how she thinks about it.
She knows I hardly drink at all at the fear of having "the gene".

wordfactory Wed 26-Mar-14 08:24:06

This is interesting to me.

I took a lot of drugs over the years. Big raver grin...

And whilst I don't want to give my DC the impression that taking drugs is a risk free activity, nor do I want to package it as a Daily Mail-esque activity.

At the moment we have talked about drugs as a generality. I've pointed out that SKunk is a bugger and smoking weed can often get you hooked on fags. I've pointed out the deaths and the reasons for them connected to ecstacy and MDMA.

They know I've represented a lot of people over the years with serious problems with crack and heroin.

I think they might ask me outright soon. The year 11s are planning the post GCSE Reading trip and there is much talk of how to avoid the 'druggies'. My two (year 10) have already started asking if a. they can go and b. what drugs these people are taking.

ThatBloodyWoman Wed 26-Mar-14 08:28:22

I'm not at that age yet with mine.

If they ask directly I willl tell them.

If not, I will use my extensive experience to give advice to supplement what they are taught.

fideline Wed 26-Mar-14 08:28:53

I tell the truth. Including the truth about the context, the drawbacks, the friends who hit problems, the rise of skunk, the economics and integrity of the supply chain.

Seems to have worked.

fideline Wed 26-Mar-14 08:29:17

Thus far, that is. (fingers crossed)

fideline Wed 26-Mar-14 08:31:27

Oh and my 'experience' was mainly weed, mainly teenaged, didn't cause me problems per se.

I appreciate there are different challenges if one was formerly a heavy user etc.

i dont think it is a good idea to be too open, it will be thrown back in your face, <<voice of experience>>
there is no discussion.
i started smoking really young but i dont want them to, although one has already,
i used to like to drink <<well they are emulating that>>

but pot made me feel paranoid most of the time, which I havent discussed with them. plus isnt pot worse now than it used to be, rather worrying.

mine are 17 and 19 they know I took some drugs in the past, was never did loads, just tried a few things, my daughter asked when she was 16 I think, saw no reason to lie, it lead to honest conversations about drugs. I dont want them trying them, but I know they both have, some of thier friends have real problems with drugs I think, but mine seem sensible enough as far as I can tell, My DD recently dropped a friend who was pressurizing her into doing coke, and who seems to do it ever day, not sure where teens who are at college get the money for drugs. Mind you there dad is an idiot who smokes weed all day and does coke and has never felt the need to hide it from them since we split up, I think that has put them off more than anything, not call watching your dad getting stoned.

excuse spellings.

ThatBloodyWoman Wed 26-Mar-14 08:52:20

slarty, yes, 'pot' is definitely different now.

I think many of us are used to cannabis resin, not the skunk that is avaliable now.

Really they're two completely different animals.

I am fortunate that drugs never really did a lot for me apart from acid.
Poppers I absolutely hated.

chocolatebiscuits Wed 26-Mar-14 10:11:08

Interesting mix of views, thanks.

Betty - that's exactly what I think I'd do if they caught me out by asking when I wasn't expecting it. I'd lie badly and they'd guess. So worst of both worlds - they would know I'd taken them and that I'd lied about it. So think if I'm intending to lie about it I'd need to make that a very clear decision before the questions come up.

I guess it does depend what your DC are like - my DS is a very sensible, cautious child and I really doubt he'd ever have much desire to try drugs, whether he knows I did or not. DD on the other hand is a real thrill-seeker, enjoys taking risks, and I worry would be keen to try anything going just so she could know what it was like. So an open relationship with my DS (the older one) might backfire when DD hits the same age as DS would of course tell her anything I'd told him.

Just really struggling with the idea of "do as I say not as I do". I really didn't suffer any damage from dabbling with drugs, so I can't give them the line of "don't make the same mistakes I did". I could say that I was lucky but they might not be so lucky - but suspect that's never going to work very well on teenagers who tend to think they're invincible.

fideline Wed 26-Mar-14 10:17:01

Just really struggling with the idea of "do as I say not as I do"

It's more 'I did some stupid things and you get the benefit of my mistakes'

Your DC sound similar to mine OP. More important to be open with the risk-taker surely? If she thinks you spent your youth in the library in peter-pan collars and sensible shoes, sipping lemonade, she is unlikely to view your views on drugs as credible (extreme example admiitedley) smile

Hobby2014 Wed 26-Mar-14 10:22:04

From a different point of view, my mum was always honest with me, told me she'd tried various drugs as a teenager, but in no way did it tell me it was ok. I still knew it was wrong and at 24 have never tried any kind if drug or even smoked a cigarette! I think it depends on the relationship you have with each other and as long as you get across that it was wrong and silly etc hopefully they won't copy what you did. I didn't with my mum. X

Kudzugirl Wed 26-Mar-14 10:23:56

To be honest i am not sure whether children need to know everything about their parents lives. Having raised all mine to adulthood, what is important is instilling respect for peoples boundaries and that goes for those of the parents too. If you feel it is something that is private, then there is nothing wrong with keeping it so.

I do think people invest a lot in faith in 'openness' to the point of over sharing. Having and communicating empathy and understanding need not involve personal experience of the thing in question- if that were so then oncology doctors and nurses would be unable to offer empathetic acre unless they themselves had had cancer. If you know your 'subject' that will communicate itself.

Also the drug experiences we all had fifteen, twenty, ten or thirty years ago are very different in many respects than the culture surrounding the use of drugs today. It can be tempting (and easy) to ascribe too much of our own experiences onto others.

Claybury Wed 26-Mar-14 10:23:56

OP poses an interesting question.
As a parent it seems you can't win - I have never smoked anything, DS 16 smokes weed, he says I have no entitlement to an opinion on it because I have not experienced it. A flawed argument , I know, but he is a teenager, so that is how he thinks.
On principle though, I do not believe parents necessarily need to be 100% honest to DC's. At any age, parents and children are not usually totally open with each other and that seems ok and normal to me.
I also think what ones parents do tends to be ' normal behaviour' to a child , therefore I agree with the people who don't want their DC to know what they have done in the past. Children do copy our behaviour more than we realise.

Hobby2014 Wed 26-Mar-14 10:24:21

And I don't drink, maybe once a year, so I haven't found something else instead of those if you know what I mean. Although I do like cake.. A lot of cake...

Kudzugirl Wed 26-Mar-14 10:28:07

grin at the no entitlement to an opinion because 'you have not experienced it'.

That'll rule out the average teenager having an opinion on pretty much anything then.

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