Social Question

Aster's avatar

Is it understandable a teenage boy would smoke weed if his dad dumped him?

Asked by Aster (20016points) March 18th, 2012

If a boy is thirteen years old and his father lives one hundred miles away and has called him about four times, never visits him, and is raising a different son from a different woman would you think it’s reasonable for the boy to begin smoking pot at thirteen to deal with the anguish? Or would you think the boy is just a loser, maladjusted and headed for disaster.
Please don’t suggest what I should do for him or ask if I know him. I’m just interested in how you would view such a child.

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27 Answers

Sunny2's avatar

The father’s absence may be one of many factors. It’s usually more complicated than that.

Aethelwine's avatar

I would not think he is a loser. I feel bad for the kid and understand why he has turned to pot.

john65pennington's avatar

This is a much more complex situation, than just a yes or no answer.

Smoking marijuana is just a “crutch” for him to lean on.

Psychological treatment is called for.

serenade's avatar

It’s called “self-medicating” and can be done with drugs, food, sex, shopping, video games and any number of escapist behaviors.

I have a friend who grew up with lots of abuse and chaos and coped by doing a ton of drugs as a teen. Today, she’s a year from finishing her Ph. D. Not that this is typical, but she turned out fine.

chyna's avatar

I would never call or think of a child as a loser.
He could be smoking pot as an escape or just due to peer pressure.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Perfectly understandable, everyone has a different way of dealing with things. To be honest I would be surprised if he had not turned to some kind of crutch to “help” him.

In worst cases, even suicide has been seen, so this does not surprise me at all. NOT A LOSER, those who dumped him are the real losers!

Coloma's avatar

Right, as @chyna and @Sunny2 said. Lots of kids experiment with pot in their teens, regardless of their parents relationship status. I was a very bright kid and experimented myself, part of my generations indoctrination in the early to mid-70’s. Of course I do not advocate drug use in developing children, but, lots of people smoked pot in their teens and have gone on to lead functional and productive lives. To call someone a “loser” that has smoked marijuana is extremely unjust.

13–14 is a jumping off place for most teens when their peer groups take precedence over their families. This boy is not doing anything over the top, but his behavior merits monitoring certainly.

marinelife's avatar

It would be impossible to feel that the loss of his father was not a strong contributing factor.

LuckyGuy's avatar

There are plenty of 13 year old boys with both parents that use pot.
Don’t give the kid an excuse. It does not matter what anguish he is going through. He needs to do well in school so he can get out of the mess he finds himself in.
Pot won’t do it. Education will.
I know I sound like a Minnesota Lutheran but sometimes you just need to do what needs to be done. We all need to learn to play the hand we’re dealt.

tom_g's avatar

Are we making a connection here between fatherless kids and pot use? I would really love to see that data.

CWOTUS's avatar

Lots of kids smoke weed. Period. End of sentence.

Aster's avatar

@LuckyGuy I agree and GA but education won’t bring his father to him nor will all the Ph.d’s in the world sooth a boy’s soul. It will serve to give him a nice income and a decent house but that isn’t enough.

Coloma's avatar

@tom_g I don’t know about that, but I do know that 1. fatherless boys do have a higher rate of criminal and sociopathic behaviors and 2. Psychology Today did an article on why the more intelligent kids tend to experiment with drugs more so than some less bright kids. Having to do with evolutionary risk taking and willingness to explore the novel which ties in with higher intelligence.

Not saying that drug abuse is healthy, and the article clearly states that intelligent people can do stupid things but, from an evolutionary perspective it seems that brighter people are more risk taking and willing to go where others are not.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Aster Sadly, nothing will bring his father back. Nothing – Ph’ds, therapy, money, – and most assuredly, pot.
He needs to recognize that, start the next stage of his life, and make his future the best it can be. Life is not fair.

Aster's avatar

Maybe he thinks using drugs will get his father’s attention for once. It did get the principal’s attention.

Coloma's avatar

@LuckyGuy Well said, and just what I said in a Q about antidepressants.
Growth and healing always come from inner transformation, acceptance of what is and going forward from this perspective. Big dif, between chronic self medication of repressed emotions and occasional use of marijuana for recreational purpose.

tom_g's avatar

@Coloma – Th Pyschology Today study (I’ll check it out) makes sense to me. In my experience, the kids who were smoking pot were the rich kids with strong nuclear families. The rest of us had to deal with bad alcohol.

Coloma's avatar

@tom_g Yep, that was my crowd, parents taking off for weeks of vacation and leaving us kids with a house full of cash and credit cards. We’re talking parents that were University profs, architects, lawyers, doctors…poor little rich kids laying out lines on the marble coffee table and throwing 3 day keg parties. lol

Anyone remember the book ” I’m okay, you’re okay? by Dr. Thomas Harris?
I was friends with his daughter in HS and lived near their home, amazing house and while psychiatrist daddy was out promoting his book we were having drug and sex orgies at their mansion. Oh, the cobblers children have no shoes. lol

Aster's avatar

^^^^^ wow @Coloma; and I thought drinking beer at a friend’s house was wild. Eye opener!

Coloma's avatar

@Aster Well, I guess I am sharing this as an example that inspite of my wild youth I turned out just fine, high integrity, good morals/values and no life of crime and gutter dwelling for this experimental gal. :-D

CWOTUS's avatar


Thank you so much for lighting the path for me in explaining my (prior) drug use: “Of course I used drugs! I’m no dummy!”

Coloma's avatar

@CWOTUS LOl..well ya know, it is true, IF one is going to experiment the more intelligent ones are likely to be able to get away with what some less intelligent peeps could not. Again, I am not glorifying drug use, but, if you’re not the sharpest knife in the drawer to begin with you’re going to dull what blade you have far more quickly than us Ginsu brains. lololol

Blackberry's avatar

People don’t need excuses to smoke weed.

deni's avatar

Maybe he’s bummed about his dad and also enjoys getting high and giggling. The two are not necessarily related. Most people don’t turn to weed when they need a reason to feel better. It can just as easily make you feel worse, more sluggish, lazy, worthless, whatever.

augustlan's avatar

I wouldn’t conclude anything, either way. Pot smoking and the absence of the parent may or may not be related. He might be self-medicating, or he might just like to get high… there’s not enough info, really. If the boy is having a hard time, he needs support and help to get through it. If he’s getting high just to get high, he needs better supervision. In either case, I wouldn’t excuse the pot smoking.

Nullo's avatar

I would suspect bad company before paternal abandonment.

Avangelo's avatar

Smoking weed is normal behavior for a lot of people. It may be a young age for him to start though. I wouldn’t put it against anyone for going down that road. Although if he touches other drugs it may be a problem.

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