Van der Pop

Pot for Parents

ADVICEApril Pride


Dear Vandy,
I feel like a better parent when I smoke weed. I'm more patient and sweet to my kids. This New York Times Op-Ed nails it.  Am I bad person because I'm high around my kids? Or is this a good thing because I'm a kindler, gentler parent?
PFP (Pot for Parents)

Dear PFP,
Mark Wolfe's self-described Parental Attention Surplus Syndrome seems as though it can only be a good thing, right? Shifting the exercise of learning letters from a must to a moment is one way cannabis offers a new filter for parenting. But like any too-good-to-be-true fix, there are always two sides. Remember that while you're high, well, you're high. Your kids - or partner - are experiencing the life you are enhancing - or escaping.  Harsh, I know. And if I hadn't recently listened to Dear Sugar Is My Husband a Pot Addict? it's possible my advice to you would be to simply relax and get with the times. In this podcast, the son of a former pot addict profoundly articulates to Sugar that there are two sides to every childhood. 

My claim that cannabis should be approached exactly like alcohol is definitely informed by self-imposed parenting parameters that result from, well, being on the wrong side of that two-sided childhood conundrum. While completely personal, I think we all can agree that there are obvious red flags when it comes to drinking. The same holds true for cannabis but the flags are not as obvious as covered in Sugar's podcast.  

Any regrettable experiences when I've mixed kids and cannabis? As far as I can remember (wink), no. Perhaps it's due to the hyper-awareness associated with cannabis that simply doesn't exist at chardonnay laden playdates. (reread Cursing Mommy in The New Yorker) Where there's awareness, there is also thoughtfulness and preparedness. That formula leaves little room for regret. 

Do we regret enjoying wine after a long week, beer on a hot day? Apples to apples and no threat of addiction, what makes cannabis a less acceptable way to relax, connect and mute the worries of the week? Can't we finally just say yes?!?!?! Well, I did and found myself hanging out on a tiled bathroom floor talking about everything from the profound to the preposterous with a five year old who in a somehow all-knowing voice finally whispered, "Why are you being so funny?" This hour ranks as a top ten life moment. Not as a parent but as a person who fancies themselves as having had a lot of exceptional life moments. 

Although I'm sure Thursday night spelling quizzes and homework review would be hysterically funny with just a bit of that truffle, the goal is to end up on the Dean's List not the bathroom floor. Right place. Right time. Right?

You are not a bad person, PFP. You may have chosen a life of great responsibility but the BAND-AID protecting our youth was ripped really fucking fast. Just like that, we're the decider. So don't reserve kind and gentle only for your kids. Save the self-judgment for calorie counting. Do your best in the moment with the future in mind. 

Highest regards,

Van der Pop does not endorse or condone the illegal consumption of cannabis.


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