Talking to Youth Ages 17–20


Keep Talking

The first talk should not be the only talk. Even if you’ve talked before, their issues and opinions change all the time. Plus, as teens and young adults get older, they can feel more pressure from friends and classmates.

Stay Connected

Be involved in their life. It will help you to be able to key into what they're thinking and feeling. Remind your children that you are there for them and they can always count on you. Let them know you are a source of support and information.

Set Clear Expectations

Make your rules clear and stick to them. Let them know what will happen for not following them. Keep reinforcing your expectations for your kids: doing well in classes at college, being a good employee, etc. Encourage them to stay proactive about achieving their goals.

Give Them Responsibility

Teach them to take charge of their own sleep, health, schoolwork and more. Having control over parts of their lives helps to teach youth how their decisions impact their health and future.

Keep Them Balanced

Celebrate the things they do well and the things that keep them balanced. Getting a job or scoring a goal in a big game are good examples.

Stick to Your Word

Listening to how they feel is important. Also, remember to stand your ground on how you feel about marijuana.

Help Them Achieve Their Goals

Help them figure out what their hobbies and dreams are and what freedoms they want. Help them prioritize those interests over using marijuana. If they're focused on goals that mean a lot to them, they'll be less likely to let marijuana get in their way.

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talking with youth

What you think matters to the young people in your life. As an adult they trust, you can impact the choices of the youth you work with. What you say, and the example you set, makes a difference. These tips can help you get talking.

Remind young adults that they're role models

Let them know that younger students and siblings look up to them as examples.

Remind them what can happen for breaking the rules

Teens that break school rules may have to go to drug counseling. They can also be suspended or kicked out of school or off a team, or even face legal prosecution.

Effect on school and sports

Stress the fact that teens who use marijuana regularly have trouble learning and memory issues. They also have lower math and reading scores. Marijuana can also affect the way they play sports because it can affect coordination.

Learn how teens are using marijuana

Because of vaporizers, edibles and drinks, it is easier than ever to hide and use marijuana at school or during school activities. Learn the different ways youth can use marijuana, so you know what to look out for.