To my surprise and dismay, what I found in the article was a lesson on dismissal of dangerous behaviors and acceptance of abuse in moderation. In showcasing one family's struggle with a child's marijuana abuse, the father, a medical doctor, states, "I thought she [his wife, also a medical doctor] was overreacting...After all, kids experiment." This family didn't even wage a battle against the secular issues involved here -- like teaching the child right from wrong, respect for the law, respect for themselves, etc. It seems they abdicated their responsibilities as parents long before marijuana ever became a problem.
When fathers and mothers begin their parenting from the perspective that "kids are going to do what kids are going to do", they've summarily given up. They have admitted defeat before the enemy is even in the camp, and have handed over their prisoners before there is even an engagement. They have denied their children one of the most fundamental needs in their lives -- parents who will protect them from harm.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church offers this with regard to family relationships according to the 4th Commandment:
The Christian family is a communion of persons, a sign and image of the communion of the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit. In the procreation and education of children it reflects the Father's work of creation. It is called to partake of the prayer and sacrifice of Christ. Daily prayer and the reading of the Word of God strengthen it in charity. The Christian family has an evangelizing and missionary task. (CCC, 2205)Parents, in living out their duty to love, nurture and educate their children, are a reflection of God's work of creation. That is no small comparison. Parents have a responsibility to their children, just as children have a right to be parented. They are not little adults who need to experiment to find and make their way in the world. They are given living, breathing, thinking parents who are supposed to be the voice of wisdom and reason to help them learn and grow to be good people -- not just happy people, but GOOD people.
The Commandments are the foundation upon which we develop a life of virtue (society would have us call them values). Without a strong grounding in what is right and wrong that is clearly defined by parents/guardians and in keeping with the common good of society, children live in a state of entropy. The chaos they encompass and often create as a result of having to make their own way without appropriate guidance can be catastrophic to their futures, and to their families.
It is important to recognize that some children, no matter the level of nurturing and involvement, will balk against obedience to their parents, but they are the exception not the norm. Most children desire, even crave, boundaries. Children need those boundaries to help them navigate the pitfalls that relativistic society presents. They need us to be wise, experienced parents who can help them be good by means of our own personal example. We may have made mistakes, but we can't rationalize our mistake by expecting the same of our children. We are supposed to learn from those mistakes and teach our children how NOT to make them.
Winerip goes on to say:
Trying to teach moderation to my kids has been the toughest challenge I've faced as a parent. If I'd had my way with the boys, there would have been absolutely no pot while they were in high school. I didn't start until college and smoked my last joint well before they were born.If parents are complacent, even permissive, with regard to illegal and dangerous behaviors, children will learn that their parents don't care. Of course a child will experiment if the parents don't teach them that "sense gratification" on any level is not to be lauded. "If it makes you feel good, just do it" is a very frightening mantra for parents to espouse in this day and age, even in moderation.
Children are precious gifts from God, this we must never forget. Parenting is the hardest and most rewarding job on the face of the planet -- another thing that is critical to remember. Our children deserve better than a complacent attitude from their parents. They need us to be role models of virtue, as well as good citizens. They need us to teach them, love them and provide for their needs, not necessarily all their sensory wants.
The book of Sirach sums up pretty well the family dynamic that will lead to life:
Children, pay heed to a father's right; do so that you may live. For the LORD sets a father in honor over his children; a mother's authority he confirms over her sons. (Sir 3: 1-2)Our children deserve better than a "marijuana in moderation" attitude from their parents.