My Mommy communication skills faced a whole new challenge this week. Aside from the drama going on in the news, T1 had a little classroom trauma of her own.
Two boys in her class were caught smoking marijuana in the bathroom at school. Once the smokers were caught, the principal and the teacher talked to the entire class about the incident and asking the other students questions in an attempt to piece together the details.
Part of the class conversation included other boys from the class recanting a conversation where one smoker said to the other, “Pass me the blunt.”
As I processed the entire story and experienced the grief with learning these things go on in our small, suburban neighborhood school, I decided to let her talk. As she talked more and more, I listened more and more, and discovered something very important. My baby girl was scared.
If she was scared, then I definitely did not need to show my fear. Especially since her brother and sister were listening. And brother said out loud, “I am scared.” We talked about how fear is a normal reaction to something like this. I told them that’s why I serve on the drug prevention board for their school, and I told them about the addictions that cause some people to become regular users and abusers of drugs.
The conversation didn’t have to have a solution. They just needed a forum in which to talk, and for me to listen. And then I asked if they had any questions for me about drugs? And they did, about slang terms. What is weed? Why did he call it a blunt? And the list continued. And I stopped in my tracks.
I took a breath, I answered the questions the best I could, and if I didn’t know, I said I didn’t know. And in a world like this with so much going on, I realized what the tweens need from their mother. The ability to speak without being interuppted, the ability to ask questions, and the trust that adults will be honest with them.
And for the next two days, more drama surrounded the school with the incident. Drug dogs were brought in to sniff all the students’ desks and backpacks and eventually, another student was taken into custody for selling the marijuana to the students caught smoking it.
And we talked some more. Our conversations also included physiological affects of drug use on the body, the premise behind innocent until proven guilty, and the juvenile justice system. While the conversations had me rattled, I noticed that this is how the tween years are. And because honesty and trust are at the root of conversations like this, sometimes you do have to just be blunt.
How do you process circumstances that your tweens face?