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how do i talk to my teenager

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Teenager Life: High School and 4/20

by Dee Brun

On April 19th 2011 my world changed forever, yet again. When you have children you know that this can be a daily occurrence. When you have teenagers, it can happen hourly.

So on this day my sweet, innocent, lovely 14 year old daughter walked through the door at 3:36 on the dot as she usually does and said…

Her: Hey mom, do you know that no one is going to school tomorrow?

Me:  Ummm no… why is that?

Her:  ‘Cuz it’s 4/20

Me:  Ummm OK… and what is that? [change about to occur]

Her:  It’s the day everyone skips school to go smoke DOPE!

Me:  [stunned silence…]

DOPE? 4/20? DOPE? I know nothing about this!  Well I know a little about dope, I mean I smoked a little back in the day but it was never my thing. It put me to sleep, and I missed the party, really didn’t see the appeal. I have to gain knowledge and understanding IMMEDIATELY!

So I went straight to the source…and Googled it.  To the Urban Dictionary I go.

“4:20 was the designated time for a small group of smokers at San Rafael High School in California to meet at a specific location and light up. The number originates some time around 1971. It has since been adopted by smokers the world over as the ‘universal time to get high.'”

There are other definitions but this was enough for me. So now what? What do I say? Do? Who do I call? DUDE like this is sooooo not cool. I then realize I am looking at her like a deer caught in the head lights and she is waiting for me to say something.

Me:  So you’re saying NO ONE goes to school? At all?

Her:  Well no, only the good kids go.

Me:  Make sure your ass doesn’t miss the bus then.

I am sensing there needs to be more to this conversation but I am not going to lie, I would LOVE it to end here. This shit is really awkward to talk about. Drugs, sex, periods and hard-ons.

OH MY… Is there not a Facebook page I can direct her too?

I try to swallow my angst, not easy now that I have a severe case of anxiety related dry mouth, and I start the conversation. I chat about drugs and ask her her opinion on the whole thing. I tell her how stupid they are, what they can do to you and…and then I stop, the sound of my own voice is making me nauseous. This isn’t about me, I have already learned to say no, it’s about her…What does SHE think of all this?  So I ask…her…

Me:  So what do you think about the kids that celebrate 4/20?

Her:  I think people can do as they please. I don’t do weed cus I’m not into and neither are my friends. But on the up side, the less people that are in class, the less work I have to do. So let them celebrate all they want.

I burst into laughter, spoken like a true 14 year old, all about them, love it! I especially love the simplicity of the answer, and the key message. NEITHER DO MY FRIENDS…this is huge for me…KNOW THEIR FRIENDS! Ok..I knew this but the affirmation is always nice.

So what was my take away from this 4/20 summit? Honestly… I have no fricken clue, I am just taking it one day at a time. I did realize one major thing, my daughter CAN talk to me. This felt so cool, that she felt comfortable and secure enough just to blurt out and start up a drug conversation on her own. **mom pats herself on the back** I will celebrate ALL wins big or small.

TALK.. talk…TaLk..tAlK..taLK…TAlk…Did I mention TALK?

Talk to your kids, all the time and about EVERYTHING. Talk ’till your sick of the sound of your own voice, because out of every 1000 words you utter…maybe 10 successfully pass through the “my parents know nothing” membrane. That EVERY child has no matter how well they pretend they are listening.

Normally I always add a cocktail to my articles, but for this one there is truly only one fitting end. TEQUILA….straight up!

Cheers!

Dee Brun is the author of the stirring book Libations of Life, A Girls Guide to Life One Cocktail at a Time. She has combined imaginative cocktails with witty accounts of dating, carousing, dieting and simply put, the ups and downs of Life. Follow her on Twitter.