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Helen Pike, the head of Magdalen College in Oxford, has brought to attention the fact that parents of some of the students share the moment of smoking cannabis, better known as Marijuana, with their kids. There are many middle-class parents who smoke cannabis with their children. What is it that has pushed the parents to take such a step? Their reason for doing so is to let the children experiment under supervision.

The world is progressing really fast and the generation gaps are becoming wider. The parents of today would have had a childhood very different from what their kids are going through. The peer pressure is higher than ever and the chances of kids going down the wrong path are high. The children have unlimited access to information and parents have limited control over the use of such information.

According to Helen Pike, there are many middle-class parents who don’t mind offering their children a drink or two at home and also don’t step back from offering them a joint. 

Though the basic parent-child relationship remains the same, there are small nuances, which make it different. Parents, in an endeavour to maintain a close relationship with their children, have had to evolve with their parenting skills. There is more freedom and hence it becomes even more difficult to control any misdemeanour on the child’s part.

To overcome this, parents try to be a friend to the children and explore new things with them. Smoking cannabis also comes under this. Parents would rather be with them when they want to try something like that as against letting them do it without being aware of it. If they are with them, they can guide them without really giving them a feeling of being supervised. The children today are averse to being told what to do and could easily turn rebellious.

Children may not realise the seriousness of using cannabis the wrong way and could get deeper into it. If you offer these to children during their gatherings at home, your child might understand your intentions, but you could very well be held responsible for how the other children perceive it. If they get into any bad habits, how will you absolve yourself?

If you do wish to experiment with your children, ensure that they take responsibility for their behaviour and you should leave the experimenting with other children to their parents. Do not extend your parenting to your child’s friends, especially in this respect.