Alright, so maybe you smoked a bit of weed in high school or college. Perhaps you even dabbled with something stronger. You want to tell your kids about it so that they can learn from your mistakes. Good idea? According to a new study, no.
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign surveyed 561 middle school students on talks they had had with their parents about drinking, smoking and marijuana. They found that the kids were less likely to think drugs were bad if their parents had shared stories of past substance use with them. Kids whose parents simply drove home an anti-drug message without revealing their own indiscretions were more likely to avoid them.
So does this mean you should blatantly lie to your kids?
“We are not recommending that parents lie to their early adolescent children about their own past drug use,” the study’s lead author Jennifer Kam, an assistant professor of communication, told Huff/Post50. “Instead, we are suggesting that parents should focus on talking to their kids about the negative consequences of drug use, how to avoid offers, family rules against use, that they disapprove of use, and others who have gotten in trouble from using.