Dilemma: While walking my pup last weekend, I encountered my friend’s 15-year-old daughter smoking a joint. I’m really torn about what to do: Should I tell her mom? Should I mind my own business?
Every Friday at 8:10 p.m., readers meet on the Chicago Parent Facebook page to help solve parenting dilemmas.
“If you have contact information for the daughter, tell her it’s not something that you are going to keep a secret from her mom. Give her the opportunity (1-2 days) to talk to her mother before you do. Either way, Mom needs to be informed.” — Rachel B.
“Leave it be. She was smoking a joint, not committing a crime.” — Jenn T.
“It takes a village! Depending on how comfortable and close you are to them, if you care enough about the child.”. — Marina B.
“How close friends are you with her mom? If she’s your bestie and the daughter is like your niece, then I would talk to the daughter, and then tell her mom. If the mom is just a casual friend or acquaintance, then leave it alone cuz it is only pot after all. To me, it’d be the least of my worries in today’s world but still worth a discussion.” — Nicki W.
“Everything in life is not cut and dry. It would really depend on how close you are to the family and it would even depend on the family dynamics. Some parents go totally stupid when their children do things they are not supposed to do and yet they did the same thing when they were children. … I would not just automatically tell anyone anything. I would want people to tell me, but I also have communication with my child as well.” — Dianna A.
“Tell mom. Even if you aren’t that close with the mom I would want to know if someone saw my child smoking a cigarette, smoking pot or drinking. It’s all illegal under 18.” — Emily P.
“I really don’t understand the comments of mind your own business. Even if you don’t know the parents well, you simply say this is what I saw. Whether they believe it or not is on them. But you informed them of something that could have devastating effects. And to those who have said it’s only pot … marijuana can lead to issues with mental health and depression in SOME teens. It is NOT worth the risk if even one teen suffers. By ignoring it and minding your own business, that child could be in serious trouble.” — Kelly K.
“Mind your own business. Telling the parents will change absolutely nothing. The child will be more careful where she will choose to smoke and what will parents do? Punish them, take away their phone, tie them to the bed, talk to them lovingly, talk to them harshly? I would be more concerned with vaping and smoking tobacco.” — Norma H.
“I’d want to know if it was my kid. You should privately reach out to the parents.” — Kimberly G.
“Absolutely tell her parents.” — Yvonne C.
“MYOB.” — Melissa B.
“At 15 years old? Give her opportunity to tell her parents herself, otherwise tell them yourself. Too young to be smoking anything.” — Meriam U.
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This article also appeared in Chicago Parent’s June 2020 magazine. Read the rest of the issue here.