One mantra I have used to get through this time of uncertainty is “success is your duty, obligation, and responsibility.” Lately, I’ve been thinking about that from a parenting aspect. The success of our children is our duty, obligation, and responsibility. As 2020 comes to an end and the holidays approach, one thing has remained constant all year – CHANGE. History has shown we as Americans are resilient. We adapt and solve almost any situation we are presented with. Throughout the year, many of us have dealt with significant impacts on our family, social lives, careers, financial well-being, our own personal and loved ones’ health.
I recently had a conversation with my son’s high school counselor, and rest assured that these challenging times are affecting our children as well. Please take a moment and speak with your child on proper ways to deal with the increased stress and anxiety levels they may be experiencing. One common way that teens deal with adverse situations is through substance use. As parents, it is our responsibility to do everything in our power to GET IN THE WAY of destructive behaviors. As marijuana has become legal in some form across most of the nation, another significant change is the types of cannabis products available. Not only is the THC level higher in the plants themselves, but concentrates are becoming readily available to teens. Cannabis concentrates are made by extracting the THC from the plant and creating a highly potent THC delivery method. High levels of THC in the flower itself range around 15-20%, well above the levels THC from years ago when they were sub 10%. Concentrates, on the other hand, are available from anywhere between 50% and 99%. Concentrates come in many forms, and users can discretely inhale them, without the distinct odor that occurs when smoking a flower-based joint. Concentrates come in many forms, such as oils and solid forms known as dabs, shatter, butter, and wax. Users can put the oil or dabs into a vape pen, and mostly no one knows. One school district reported that 93% of the vape pens confiscated last year contained THC. As parents and role models to our children, we need to be aware and take appropriate action to help our kids be the best version of themselves they can be.
Life is starting to move in a familiar direction as businesses reopen, students return to brick-and-mortar learning, and sporting events are taking place. Our interactions outside of your house are still evolving and are not how we remembered, but we always learn to adapt and make the best life we can. With Thanksgiving approaching in a few weeks, for most of us, this may be the closest experience to what our families knew as “normal” in almost a year.
Let’s all take this time to let our children know that we are there for them and appreciate the joy they bring to our lives. Even small gestures of a hug and saying, “I’m proud of you,” will help your child get through the stress they feel as they learn to adapt.