What do you do when you find out that your child has smoked marijuana? Ground him.
I hate grounding. It punishes me more than it punishes him. Then, I get to stay home with him while he tells me that there is nothing to do and I should let him play the X-box or think of some miraculous new thing to occupy his time that no one has ever thought of before.
He was grounded expect for going to school. No more walking to school and no more walking home from school. He got to have a free ride from mom or dad both ways.
We also made him stay after school for one hour every day to get help from his teachers and to try to get caught up in his classes. School had only been in session for a few weeks and he was already failing and behind in everything.
Some people would tell us that this was a red flag that we should have watched out for as a sign of possible drug use. It is true that this is a warning sign.
But, our child has had problems in school since he was in 4th grade. For some reason in 4th grade, the main source of learning was completing worksheet after worksheet. Our son started to show a problem with getting the information from his brain to the worksheet. When he didn’t get them done fast enough for the teacher, she didn’t help him, or try to understand what might be going on, she assumed he was a lazy slacker and berated him constantly. He lost his motivation completely.
From that point on, no matter what we tried, school became a constant source of conflict and struggle. Getting assignments completed and getting good grades just got harder and harder for him and for us as parents trying to help him and motivate him.
One day, during the grounding period, when I went to pick him up from school, I caught him walking back toward the middle school from the high school. I listened to all of the excuses about how there were no teachers there to help him in any of his classes, etc.
I also looked at the red, bloodshot eyes.
“My contacts have really been bothering me today.”
Another of our struggles. Since he began wearing contacts, he would refuse to take them out every night because putting them in every morning was painful and time-consuming. So, actually, he often does have red, irritated eyes from his contacts.
But, at this point, his red eyes were another red flag that we had probably been missing.
That day, I was very suspicious because I had been thinking about the red eyes, the overwhelming smell of Axe deodorant at times, and the random showers in the afternoon (“because we sweated a lot in P.E. and I didn’t want to take a shower at school”).
Now that I had caught him where he wasn’t supposed to be, it was time to use one of my new drug testing kits.
He tested positive for marijuana.
I was so angry because I trusted him to stay at school and do what he was responsible for. He was lying and sneaking around and smoking marijuana, instead.
Obviously, we knew at that point that we had been lied to about how much he has used marijuana, and we felt so stupid. It’s crazy because We didn’t ever feel like we had any reason to suspect him. We trusted him and thought we knew how he felt about using drugs, drinking, and smoking. We were always so proud of the way that he seemed to be a good example for his friends and told everyone how he would stand up for his beliefs and that his friends wouldn’t even swear around him because they knew he didn’t like to hear it.
We knew we had a bigger problem than we thought we had a few weeks before.