The Drugs Talk With My 11-Year old

May she be my braided girl forever.
May she be my braided girl forever.

Middle school started on Tuesday.

Would there be gang bangers? Mean girls? Nurse Ratched-style teachers? One-eyed drug dealers? Should I stop watching CNN?

My daughter loves her new school, her teachers and the excitement of the next phase of her journey toward adulthood.

But, as always, I’m compelled to scare the bejesus out of her, so she will live cloistered with me until her adult teeth fall out.

So, last night I sprung the “Drugs Talk” on her as we nestled in her loft bed.

It went something like this:

“So, now that you’re in middle school, some kids might offer you drugs.”

“Did anyone offer you drugs in middle school?” my daughter asked.

“Well. No. And not in high school either. And only twice in college. But, according to CNN, middle school’s like Mordor in The Lord of the Rings and is overrun by drug-dealing Orcs.”

“It seems like you’re pushing for that analogy, Mommy.”

“Maybe. Still, the drug you’re most likely to be offered is marijuana; also know as Mary Jane, Acapulco Gold, African Black, Alice B. Tolkas (marijuana in a brownie), Black Bart, Blue Sage, Butter Flower, Cheeba, Cheeo and Chillums.”

“My eyes are closed and I’m sleeping, Mommy.”

“And marijuana’s a gateway drug to harder drugs, which you can get addicted to if you try them only once and they can forever change your brain chemistry so that you think the Real Housewives shows are actually edifying and that Charlie Sheen would make a good husband.”

“Thanks for that, Mom. Now, I will never take drugs.”

“If someone offers them to you just tell them, ‘drugs just aren’t my thing.’ You don’t have to be all judgey and superior.

“It can just come across as a hobby you’re not that interested in. Like me and skeet shooting, It’s just not my thing.”

“Mom, I still wear braids. No one’s going to offer me drugs.”

“Yes, but you wear your braids ironically.”

“I’m not actually awake anymore. But now that I’m totally depressed, can you talk about something nice that will keep me from having nightmares about villains?”

“Please, don’t make me tell you my ‘magical day’ story. Even I’m sick of the gnomes and the fairies by the babbling brook.”

“Fine. But then you have to do food.”

“Okay,” I took a deep breath and began to tickle Clare’s back as I said in a droning, Brotherhood-Of-The-Sun commune totally chillums voice:

“Mashed russet potatoes infused with butter and smothered in gravy. Tart-sweet cherry pie with a buttery, flakey crust and a dollop of Ben-and-Jerry’s vanilla bean ice cream. Apple Pan chocolate silk pie with a graham cracker crust. Eclairs filled with custard. Garlic pizza on a thin crust. Rosemary rack of lamb. Sprinkles’ red velvet cupcakes … Lay’s potato chips … devilled … egggs … zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.”

“Mom? Mommy? Oh great, now you’re asleep and I’m wide awake. I’m telling this to the therapist I’m going to need in a few years!!”

20 thoughts on “The Drugs Talk With My 11-Year old”

  1. The short answer, I guess, is that I wasn’t successful. I don’t have a heartbreaking tale of my daughter spiraling into addiction (yet) but I feel certain she has smoked pot. Frankly, given our genetics (hello, Irish friends!) I’m much more concerned about alcohol abuse…

    Great post, bee tee dubs.

    1. Thanks Lib. I have a two glass of wine a day habit. So there it is. Perhaps not the best role model. But I believe I drink responsibly (and am of Irish descent.)

  2. Well I know my 17 year old daughter has smoked pot. The two things that I know work are keep her busy and watch her friends. She seems to have an open and honest dialogue with you already you are probably going to be fine. In my experience its the ones who hate their parents more than just the teenage hate that seem to be more at risk.

  3. We convinced them alcohol was a much better choice……. no, really, I’ve actually asked both of our kids that question (daughter age 25 and son 27) because neither abused any substance that we ever knew of, then or now. Their answer was that their father and I didn’t over react to every little misstep, HOWEVER, I let it be known that there was NOTHING off limits to me- not their pockets, backpacks, rooms, cars, or friends. I respected their privacy but NOT IF I THOUGHT THEY WERE UP TO SOMETHING. It was my responsibility, as their mother, of which they would only have one, to kick their asses if the situation presented itself. Seems to have worked.

    1. Hello you funny lovely lady, I LOVE the fact you forewarned them that nothing of theirs was off-limit if you thought they were messing up. My stepmom read my journal when I was in high school because she suspected something and she was right. I was dallying with a pretty creepy guy and she put the kibosh on that. At the time I was furious with her. But now that I’m a mother I’m grateful.

  4. My eldest is only 9 but already he has so many questions. Drugs included. Right now we just talk about good choices and being safe but I know I am going to have to ramp it up soon. What’s that movie where Helen Hunt jumps out of the window after trying Pot?

  5. I’ve got years before we’ll need to address this, but I’m hoping by the time we get there, our girls will have absorbed a lot of what they’ll need to make smart decisions. (The hope of every parent, right?) We plan to take a more “European” approach to alcohol — allowing them to have a little wine or beer as teenagers at special dinners and events at home — and to make sure they understand that our opposition to weed is mostly based on the fact that it can harm the developing brain so they need to wait until then — which is early 20s. But our best defense will probably be homeschooling 🙂

  6. I love being able to tackle tough topics with humor but also straight forward. I’ve also heard that everything starts younger now and it’s good to have talks starting with Middle School. So I totally agree with your timing. I never even knew marajuana had so many names. lol

  7. I’m right there with you – my son starts middle school Monday and we started the ‘talk’ a few months ago – it’s an ongoing conversation – I try and keep it short and sweet… for now he is not interested but with those BIG 8th graders right there who knows what will cross his path in the near future – it’s a bit overwhelming for this Mom – he is my one and only!!!

  8. Jesus. The thought of having to have the drug talk some day. I guess one should probably do so sober? Which sucks because just thinking about it makes me want to get SO HIGH.

    1. Yasmara I’ve already read the link you sent. It was such a heartbreaking story and I am amazed at Mamapundit’s strength and humility and her need to avenge her son’s death.

  9. To clear something up, I’m really bothered that you told your daughter Marijuana is chemically addictive. Marijuana is NOT chemically addictive. It’s addictive in the sense that chocolate or coffee is addictive, in that you might want some from time to time to keep stress at bay. Alcohol and cigarettes are much more harmful. Cigarettes are chemically addictive, and much worse for your lungs, while alcohol effects judgement, and comes with a whole list of health problems. Alcohol is therefore a much worse gateway drug. Also, the only health risk of marijuana in the average person is from smoking it, which can cause cancer. Anything you smoke can harm the lungs equally, even if it’s just paper. I think honesty is a much better policy. Don’t make marijuana out to be worse than it is, or you may find your kid won’t want to tell you if she does try it. Be open and honest, and she will, too.

  10. Hi Jacob — I didn’t tell my daughter that marijuana is chemically addictive. I told her it could be a gateway drug to much worse drugs. i know marijuana can be very helpful to people who have various ailments. In the pantheon of drugs it’s not high on my list of bad drugs. I tried marijuana a few times as an adult and never formed a habit. But I don’t want my kids on any drugs especially while their brains are still growing and forming neuron pathways that at a certain point become fixed and immutable except by other drugs.

  11. I never discussed it with my kids. My parents never discussed it with me (well, they did discuss cigarettes). I guess I would if it seemed like it might be an issue. My kids are 17 and 19.

    1. Yes but your boys are the patron Saints of wonderful boys. And they’re gorgeous too! I am reserving them as sons-in-law. Prepare them now.

  12. My kids are 13 and 15 and have endless questions about cannabis since it was legalized in Canada last October 2018. Being a user myself for many years to help with pain and sleep, we always are just open with it to make it not seem like Cannabis is a bad thing. Teach the kids the right thing and they will do the right thing.

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