In recent years marijuana has become a popular subject, and as studies continue to unravel the drug’s medicinal potential, the more it becomes mainstream. As a parent, you do have a reason to be concerned on how and what are the Ways to Educate Children.
Despite the many benefits that cannabis offers, it has its risks. In children, those risks are increased and can cause irreversible damage.
As an adult user, it’s on you to decide what is best for you, fully aware of the side effects. Minors can’t make such decisions, and that’s why it’s important to intervene the same way you would with alcohol.
Remember, not equipping children with correct information puts them at a disadvantage.
You also can’t assume that school-going children are too young to dabble in marijuana because the reality is far different.
In 2018, over 11 million youth were reported to have used marijuana in the year before, and they included middle-schoolers and high-schoolers.
Educating Children About Weed
The more children learn about marijuana, the easier for them to make a sound judgment when they come across the drug. And since the drug is widely available, it’s pretty easy for minors to get their hands on it.
If you’re wondering how to go about educating children about marijuana, here are five ways to do it:
Children aren’t the easiest people to talk to. Whether you’re a teacher or a parent, you may have a hard time with them. Some kids can easily open up, and some will ignore your efforts.
However, if you’re going to have a positive talk, you need to create an environment for open communications, and not just about drugs. When kids feel comfortable sharing their thoughts with you, it’ll be easier for them to open up.
Make it a Conversation
It’s easy for adults to disregard children’s perspectives because you’re in a position of authority. But if you want to get through to your kids, make it a conversation.
Conversations are a two-way street. You both take your time talking and listening. If you’re the only one talking, then you’re basically barking orders, and that doesn’t always go well.
You want to listen to what your kids say and show them that you’re taking their input seriously. Ask them questions about their experiences concerning weed and the things they’ve seen.
Tell the Facts
Since your conversation is all about informing the children about marijuana, tell them the facts they can verify.
The truth is, if kids don’t get the correct information from you, they’ll look for it elsewhere, and the chances of misinformation are high out there.
Here are some of the facts you can share with your children:
- Marijuana addiction: research shows that regular users below 18 years are up to seven times more likely to become dependent on the drug.
- State of mind: weed has psychoactive properties that’ll affect your mental state, making it difficult to focus on school work and other activities.
- Brain development: studies have found that the drug impairs brain development in adolescents.
- Mental illness: although the connection is unclear, marijuana is linked to an increased risk of psychosis.
- Lung damage: when you smoke or vape marijuana, the toxins can affect your lungs the way cigarettes do.
Talk About the Good
Weed is not all bad, just not advisable for minors. Let them know that before they find out from other sources and think they have conflicting information.
Talk to children about medical cannabis and its healing properties, which can be used for various ailments.
It’d help if you learn more about the laws surrounding medical cannabis and what goes into getting approved as a patient. This Veriheal page on applying for a medical marijuana card in California is an excellent example of how the process works.
When you open the door for a candid conversation, it’s possible you may not like what you hear. But the last thing you want is to frighten a child into shutting down.
Try keeping the conversation going and arm them with the correct information. Show them that you’re a source of support rather than another authority figure to be avoided.
The sooner you talk to children about marijuana, the better. Of course, handle the conversation depending on their age, but you don’t want to hold it off until they are “older”.
That’s all for our top five ways to educate children about marijuana. Take advantage of these tips, personalize them as desired, and have that talk.