Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Never Too Early to Just Say No

Last night as we were finishing up dinner, we smelled a funny smell coming in through the windows. Jason and I knew what it was immediately - marijuana. Ew. In the 6 1/2 years we've lived here, this is probably the 2nd time we've smelled it and we can never figure out where it's coming from. I kind of think it was coming from the patch of woods behind our house because there's a neighborhood on the other side and it seemed like it was coming from out of the woods and not from our immediate neighbors.

Of course, the kids smelled it too (does anything go unnoticed by a 4 and 5 year old?) and started making guesses as to what it was. Some of them were preposterous! So, I sucked it up and told them what it was - "marijuana" - not "pot" or any other nickname. We've had conversations in the past about how drugs are very dangerous and not good for you and that what they were smelling was someone smoking marijuana. Of course, they had a lot of questions - Will the person smoking it die? How do I know that is what it is? Where is it coming from? etc....

It's nice to be able to honestly answer them that I've never tried it and that the reason I know what it is is because it was my job to know what it was (you know, busting college students stupid enough to smoke it in the dorms!). We had a discussion too about how this drug wouldn't kill you, but it was very unhealthy (much like our conversations about how unhealthy cigarettes are) and that even though it couldn't kill you it IS illegal and you could go to jail for it. (We also talked about that there are drugs out there that COULD kill you.)

Of course, I love that as they are processing all this, they start saying how they'll NEVER do drugs and then go into various stories about how they'll act if someone ever offers them drugs. Pretty cute, but we talked about how it's important just to say "No thanks." and not make a big deal out of saying no.

I wish I could get all this on video to show them when they are teenagers. We'll keep "talking the talk" and hopefully by the time they are actually confronted with any of this, they'll have a pretty solid foundation to say no. I know for me personally, I never tried it because I was too scared of the possible repercussions for the immediate future and my long term future. Not that anyone who ever tried it is by any means a bad person because many of the friends I had in college dabbled in it from time to time, but I just knew how bad it could be if I was to get caught. I sat through too many university discipline hearings watching kids crumble after getting caught and realizing what it meant for their future at the university and what would happen when they had to tell their parents. It's just not worth it. I hope my kids will come to that conclusion if they are ever tempted to try it.


Erin said...

I have never tried it either and neither has my husband... that will definitely make talking to the kids about easier. Actually, I'm not even sure I can id the smell, so your kids have one up on me! LOL!

Katie said...

That is crazy. What is in the woods behind your house? It seems pretty far for the smell to waft over isn't it? Could it be one of your neighbors? Your RA experience comes in handy I guess.
That's just nuts that the smell is in your home, but I'm not surprised. The things teenagers do when they think no one is watching...or smelling. During the summer we called the cops several times b/c of teenagers partying in the Giant parking lot behind our house. (Do they not see the rows and rows of townhomes right next to them? Do they think the people sleeping in those homes don't have ears???) We've never smelled drugs, but I wouldn't be surprised if we ever did.

Glad you made it into a teachable moment for C & B.