He can smell the stink of it...

I want to thank you for the email advice and the chance to review material that has helped us. I have to admit we haven't gone step-by-step through the plan; however, just reading and taking different paths during problematic times along with knowing I have support has been so much help. In addition to the material, we do have our son in counseling -- not sure what the outcome will be; but a step we had to take rather than not to and wonder if it could have helped some. We did put our son on medication.

My son has been in and out of dr. apts to the point of almost disappointment. However, after several med changes, we have found one that appears to help him. I know this is not a complete cure, I know he may grow immune to the regimen, but it has given us time to let our guard down at home and work with our son. I never wanted to put my son on anything that could hurt his system and didn't want to because of the many articles you read making a parent almost feel guilty in doing so - but the combination of items is helping us to recover.

Our situation isn't gone and there are days that go downhill, but my son is happier! Our home is more relaxed. I did want to pass along a book title to others who may need to feel some comfort is the Dance of Defiance; a mother and son journey.

Here is my question - and need some advice quickly.

Despite all of the behavioral problems, school trouble, and rebellion, I haven't ever worried about my son smoking, drinking or doing drugs. At this point, (13 years old) he makes comments about headaches from smoke and doesn't like the taste of alcohol. However, like any child without defiance issues, the peer pressure is there to do so.

My son has been given more responsibility and privileges due to positive behavior and has shown significant improvement in his school grades. We also have gone for 8 weeks without a school phone call or detention.

In the earned privileges is the ability to go to his friend's house and spend the night. A couple weeks ago, he stayed the day there and appeared to have a good time - along with going out to play ice hockey with friends. A few days later he told me his friend's sister smokes pot in her bedroom and he can smell the stink of it. I am torn as to what to do now.

The friend has been a friend of my son's for the past few years; it isn't a new relationship. The boy happens to live with his sister with their grandmother. The boy's mother did live with them but moved out with a fiance in another school district and so the kids stayed so as not to change schools. I know the grandmother and mother but they do not have home phones to call and talk - only cell phones. And, do I know actually the daughter is smoking pot?? My son did not show any interest in or didn't talk about "hanging out" with the sister when at the house.

I feel as a parent I shouldn't let my son go over any more. I feel like I should say something but short of driving to their home to talk it isn't as easy as picking up the phone. The other side of me says my son has shown responsibility and is not influenced by the situation - so is it up to me to tell the grandmother her granddaughter smokes pot in her bedroom. I am also torn to tell my son he can't go anymore and not tell him why. I don't feel it necessary to lie to him at 13; and should I tell him the truth he may not confide in us any longer (when I really need him to feel comfortable to do so). And, talking to the family could create a situation at school for my son, which would ultimately against widen the trust factor in my son's mind against us.

What to do next? This situation could turn us upside down after the progress we made going forward - am I gaining anything?

Please provide your thoughts.


Hi K.,

Weighing everything together, I think your son should be allowed to see his friend.

Educate yourself completely about drugs so you will be able to identify any warning signs that your son is abusing drugs: www.nida.nih.gov

Keep a sharp eye out. If you feel he’s getting caught up in something, then intervene regardless of your son’s relationship with his buddy.



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