Finding Marijuana in My 14-Year-Old’s Room
By Jody Cole
One of the most memorable and absolute best days of my life was that moment I busted my daughter with pot. It was a turning point, a moment of reflection, and a wakeup call of sorts.
I looked at my daughter, this child standing before me that suddenly seemed a woman—all 14 years of her. Gosh, when did she get so mature looking? Yet she stared back at me with wide eyes—scared and worried.
Before her, I held out the evidence. She tried to lie, but once she saw the joint displayed before her in my outstretched hand, her story fell apart.
I had two choices: I could lose it on her and tell her how badly she screwed up, how ashamed and disappointed I was. Or I could stop and make it about her, look at her—I mean, really look at her—and open that door. Ask her why. Share my stories, and share my soul with this child now a woman. Love her, hug her, save her. And that’s just what I did.
First Instinct is to Teach Your Teen a Lesson
I had no plan going into this. Okay, that’s a bit of a lie—I really wanted to teach her a lesson! My first instinct when I found the joint was to yell, scream, kick … whatever it took. But something took over me. What would I want if I was her in this situation? What would I do if I were her?
I softened as I looked at her. This was the best thing that could have ever happened. It was a rude awakening that showed me what I had been neglecting, an opportunity gifted to me and to her. Up till then, we had just gone through the motions of mother and daughter—not connecting, and arguing often over nothing and everything. Otherwise, I didn’t pay much attention unless she left her dirty dishes lying around.
I guess I just hoped, prayed, and trusted that she was doing the right things. My random scowls with sarcastic remarks made me hopeful she was getting the point. I thought scaring her was the way to do it—just enough scare to make her think about the sort of choices I’d want her to make. I was so naive!
Perhaps not wanting to believe or think drugs could happen to my daughter, I ignored the danger and assumed things would work out. But did I truly believe she lived under a rock? That day I found my daughter’s pot was a relationship savior, and I am so grateful. My daughter did me an absolute favor by slapping me into reality—without the actual physical slap, of course, or even intentionally knowing what she was doing. She gave me an opening, she showed me her world, and she needed me. Gosh, I really needed her too.
Getting to know her all over again has been an experience I may have otherwise missed out on, and I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. I am in no way suggesting the use of pot or that a joint will solve every mother-daughter relationship but what I am saying is, Wake up! Take note, our daughters need their mothers just as much as we need them. And every day is an opportunity to grow and to learn with them.
This world is forever changing—what was once difficult for us, like getting pot, has become easy and accessible to them, and the speed of information has dramatically changed from when I was my daughter’s age. I can’t even comprehend a day in the life of a teenager today.
Booze and weed are the least of our worries—the biggest investment into their future is our communication with them. Don’t wait for the pot to show up—talk, talk, talk, and then talk some more. Show some interest, ask them questions, and share. Support them and, above all, love them.
Even when they leave their dirty socks on the living room floor.
Judy Cole is a freelance writer and Your Teen contributor.