teen lying on dog in bed while scrolling through phone


Why I Told My Kid I Would Buy Her Weed And Alcohol

Apr 16, 2020

Teenagers scare me. Probably because I used to be one and probably because I am the mother of one.

Being a parent means keeping your child safe and teaching them to take care of themselves when they’re no longer under your protective wing. Because at some point they will have to venture out into the world without you. It’s like when a mama bird pushes her baby bird out of the tree — she has to make sure her chick can fly.

I’m trying to prepare for the moment my teen daughter takes flight without me. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want her out of our nest. In fact, between you and me, I’d rather just make it extra comfy so she’ll want to stay and watch movies and eat snacks and skip the whole flying away thing altogether.

Have your teens started dating? You'll want to read this mom's POV here.

But that’s not going to happen. She already has her eye on that big blue sky. So like it or not, I’m putting on my big girl pants and helping her get ready.

"And if she decides to try them one day, hopefully way into the future, I would rather she did so under my roof."

What scares me about teenagers is that they’re hardwired for risk. They’re vulnerable to social pressures, their own curiosity and the natural instinct to push boundaries. Having once been a teenager myself, I kind of wish we could brush past this phase. I mean, I have done it all: the underage drinking, scoring pot off of my brother’s friend and experimenting with other more mind-altering drugs.

As an adult, I know those things can be dangerous. I’ve learned that hangovers aren’t worth it, pot makes me paranoid and that I was putting my life at risk by dabbling with other narcotics — even if it was only that one time.

I can’t be a teen for my daughter. She will have to make choices and learn from her own mistakes; however, I do have the ability to educate her as much as I can about the chemical concoctions she may encounter along the way. And if she decides to try them one day, hopefully way into the future, I would rather she did so under my roof.

What makes me so concerned for her and other kids her age is that the dangers surrounding mind-altering substances have compounded.

This dad is flipped out about vaping, drugs and incurable STIs. Read that POV here.

Take alcohol for example. These days, young people need to be aware that drinks can be spiked with substances like Gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), flunitrazepam (Rohypnol) and ketamine. These chemicals, also known as date rape drugs, inhibit a person’s ability to resist an assault or to even remember it. These are drugs that can be hard to see, smell or taste making them impossible to detect.

"I’m hoping that talking about these things early and often will help her make better decisions when it comes to drugs and alcohol."

And there’s cannabis. According to the Canadian Paediatric Society, marijuana use in this age group is strongly linked to increased mental illness such as depression and anxiety as well as diminished performance in school.

So yeah, teens scare me. I’m hoping that talking about these things early and often will help her make better decisions when it comes to drugs and alcohol. I hope that by not placing judgment about experimenting with them in the future might diminish the desire to go behind my back to try them.

My daughter is only 13. I’m not exactly planning to go buy her a six-pack anytime soon. Maybe I’ll have a different approach when she is 16. We will figure it out together. And plan for some growing pains.

But that seems like a world away, let alone six years from now when she’s 19 and it’s officially her responsibility. In the meantime, all I can do is support her, protect her and buckle up for the rocky ride we’ll share getting to the other side.

Article Author Laura Mullin
Laura Mullin

Read more from Laura here.

Laura Mullin is a published playwright and writer and the co-artistic director of the award-winning company, Expect Theatre. She is also the co-host and producer of PlayME, a podcast that transforms plays into audio dramas now on CBC. She has worked in theatre, film, and television and lives in Toronto with her writer/producer husband and daughter. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @expectlaura.

Add New Comment

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.