Pubdate: Mon, 11 Jun 2007
Source: Hamilton Spectator (CN ON)
Copyright: 2007 The Hamilton Spectator
Author: Gary Direnfeld
Note: Gary Direnfeld is a Dundas social worker specializing in 
parent-child relationships.
Bookmark: (Opinion)


Q: My daughter swore me to secrecy before telling me her girlfriend 
is still smoking pot even though her parents think otherwise. Her 
parents knew she used to smoke pot. My daughter thinks she can handle 
it better now. Should I tell the girl's parents and break my promise 
to my daughter?

A: I advise parents to err on the side of safety and well-being. 
Assuming the girlfriend's parents are reasonable and nonabusive, I 
would certainly go ahead and tell them.

Worrying about her parents getting angry or upset is not the same as 
being abusive and you may have to help your daughter understand this 

Further, even though you promised your daughter otherwise, her friend 
is at risk and needs help. You cannot be held to secrecy on a bad 
promise when someone's well-being is at risk.

In case your daughter thinks smoking pot is innocuous, consider this: 
cannabis alters perceptions of reality and judgment.

Not only is this child at risk from many issues associated with 
smoking alone, but also, statistically, those who do smoke pot have 
more school-related problems and social problems. Girls are at 
greater risk of pregnancy as a result of poor decision making and 
being with the wrong crowd while intoxicated.

Therefore, the risk of smoking pot extends far beyond what your 
daughter may consider. Knowing this now, wouldn't you want to be told 
if your child were smoking pot?

Next week: Our nine-year-old daughter has become sullen and 
withdrawn. What should we do?

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