Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Parent Finds Weed Under Son's Bed

DEAR HARRIETTE: I was cleaning my son’s room, and I found a stash of weed under his mattress. I am so mad. I have talked to him about drugs many times. I am no prude, but I know that my 16-year-old son has no business smoking marijuana. He has not been doing well in school, and he spends way too much time hanging out with his friends who don’t seem to have any goals. I believe that some people can smoke weed and manage their lives; my son cannot. How can I get him to know this is a bad idea? -- On the Brink, Washington, D.C.

DEAR ON THE BRINK: Talk to your son about his goals and dreams. Ask him what he wants to do with his life. Encourage him to talk about what his life might look like when he graduates from high school. Does he want to go to college? What type of work does he want to do? Do your best to get him to talk about his vision. This positive approach may help to open the conversation about the obstacles in his way.

Once he has opened up about his future, ask him what may be impeding his realizing those dreams. If he doesn’t bring it up, point out that smoking weed can be distracting. Tell him you think that he smokes too much and that it is affecting his school work. Suggest that he reconsider how he spends his free time. Smoking weed is known to slow people down. Ask him what is more important: his habit or his future. Keep reminding him of his dreams. Work to guide him in that direction.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)

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