introducing kids to drugs
Wednesday, June 30 2010
This afternoon while out to pick up veggies from our CSA, groceries, and other things, Gretchen also picked up our houseguest for the night, David the Rabbi. David had left his wife and kid back in the city and come up for the night via bus. Mind you, his visit was coming in addition to Ray, our perennial houseguest, who has been living in our Gunther room for so long that he's actually decorated it (if a wall-mounted barometer counts as decoration).
Gretchen made one of her delicious vegan pizzas for dinner, and again we dined out on the east deck. The weather was so cool tonight that we had to wear sweaters, flannels, and jackets. I wore shorts but decided to keep my feet cozy by wearing slippers (which I normally wear only in the coldest part of the year).
The most interesting part of our dinner conversation concerned how to talk to ones children about recreational drugs (whether or not it is okay to take them in moderation, and whether or not one's druggie past should be admitted to). We came into this topic by way of a discussion of an study authored by Gretchen's brother, who is so absorbed by parenthood that it has evidently affected his professional life, causing him to undertake federally-funded statistical studies having the musty smell of parental denialism (think "just say no" and "abstinence only sex education"). We wondered if it made any sense at all to lie to a kid or to downplay one's enjoyment of recreational substances. I took the view that denialism is toxic and can easily be seen for what it is by the child being raised under it. I suggested that a better question to ask one's self when raising a kid is not "What should I tell this kid?" but "What would I have told myself at that age?" Personally, I would have told myself that recreational drugs really aren't a big deal if used in moderation, and I wished I'd started taking them earlier than I did. I wouldn't have wanted to grow up with a drug dependency, but I think the knee-jerk negative view that my parents gave me wasn't helpful either (both of them came of age in largely drug-free environments and naturally found recreational drugs suspect). Of course these issues were purely academic for Gretchen and me; David the Rabbi was the only one at the table who has to think about these things (both for his kids and for those in his congregation who ask for his advice).
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