Generation gap can make it difficult for the parent and a teenage kid to have an open discussion around sensitive topics. Can this lead to more trouble?

An internet user asked, “Am I a jerk for not wanting to be lectured by my son for smoking pot?” We need to know your take on the matter.


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The Original Poster, OP (42F) has a son (16M). OP is Canadian so weed is legal there.

OP’s son cannot stand the fact her mother smokes weed. OP only smokes once a week, maybe twice if it’s been rough, and she started roughly a year ago.

Son Hates It

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OP’s son absolutely hates it. Every time she smokes, he starts complaining to her about it without giving any reason, some of the things he says to OP are “You’re so stupid”, and “Stop smoking, it’s annoying”, without ever telling her why despite OP calmly asking him.

OP’s Explanation To Her Son

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OP has explained to her son that she is aware of any medical issues this may cause, as well as her reasoning for smoking weed (it helps OP when she’s having a bad anxiety/depression episode).

OP also does not smoke in the house, she only smokes in her backyard and never forces her son to be present, although he often chooses to be (he is aware beforehand that OP is going outside to smoke). Every time however, he brings up his distaste for OP’s smoking weed.

What Happened Last Night?

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Last night, OP was outside smoking, and her son decided to lecture her about her smoking habits.

She finally decided to put her foot down simply saying “How would you like it if I lectured you about the habits of yours I don’t appreciate?”.

OP was very calm and did not raise her voice, he responded “I wouldn’t like it very much” and then walked inside. “My son now won’t talk to me and I’m worried I’ve overstepped so am I a jerk?”, asks OP.

It Shouldn’t Be A Problem

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“Not the jerk. You’re using marijuana responsibly and legally, and you’ve made efforts not to inconvenience your son with it. However, his feelings are important too. Maybe you could try using edibles or a weed pen if the problem is the smell.”

He’s Probably Mortified Right Now

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“Not the jerk, and I’m cracking up because I’m pretty sure your son thinks you were talking about him watching obscene stuff or jerking off when you mentioned, “the habits of yours I don’t appreciate.” That’s what most teenage sons would immediately fear. Which could be why he’s so quiet, he’s probably mortified right now.”

Isn’t A Child Allowed To Be Concerned?

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“You’re the jerk. Forget that it’s weed and that it’s legal where you live. Let’s say that you smoked “only” cigarettes.

Is not a child allowed to be concerned for the health of his/her parents? I mean, smoking is smoking and it’s still the act of inhaling the combustion fumes of dried plant matter into your lungs.

So no matter what plant you smoke, it’s not very healthy to you and your child is only trying to help you by trying to make you stop your habit.

If there is some arrogance in the way your son expresses his concerns to you, it’s probably because you have not taken his opinion into account. I’m sure the first time he said something to you about your smoking he worded it more pleasantly.”

What Bothers Him?

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“Are you annoying when you smoke? My siblings and I hated my mother’s drinking because she became an insufferable idiot to be around. What bothers him? Are you behaving strangely? Or is he just being holier than you?”

You Need To Teach Him Certain Things

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“I applaud your gentleness and respect for your son’s autonomy but I feel like you’ve perhaps lost a bit of your grip on the parenting aspect. He’s being rude and invasive.

It’s your job to teach him what is and is not appropriate behavior so do not let your guilt make you reward his rudeness by bending over backward to apologize for your niceness.

Stand firm about this, and when he stops being stand-off-ish, sit down and have a conversation about why he hates marijuana use so much.

If he doesn’t know why, explore possibilities with him. It doesn’t mean you need to stop but it is a weird hyper-fixation for a teenage boy to dwell on.”

You Did Nothing Wrong

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“You weren’t over the top abrasive about it. You just simply turned the table to see how he would feel and he didn’t like that he knew you were right.”

Maybe Your Son Can’t Express His Feelings

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“Sounds like your son has a reason but can’t quite formulate it. Your son is in the wrong for sure but don’t take it to heart too much, kinda just sounds like he’s worried for you and doesn’t know how to say it, so he comes off as rash or shaming to guilt you to stop.

I would ask again why and tell him you’ll hear him out while coming off as curious. Also instead of smoking weed, going to therapy might help you better. From what I’ve learned weed is just a band-aid solution and doesn’t fully solve the problem.”

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