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HELP! 5 YO & Pot (Marijuanna)

Posted by on Jun. 30, 2013 at 4:58 PM
  • 19 Replies

I found my 5 year old son playing with his Legos today and pretending they were smoking pot. With inquiry as to where he had heard/witnessed the phrase "smoking pot", he first said Minecraft, then Mario, then finally... his dad. I currently have an injunction on his dad, and the only communication between us allowed is email about his well being... and his dad gets unsupervised visitation every other weekend. I know you guys are probably thinking, "call DCF", but I'm on the verge of getting fined for false reports because I've called them so much already about the things our son has been reporting that his dad does to him, and besides that, they never really investigate it anyways, even when our son tells them face to face that he's being abused by his dad... even when his therapists report stuff to them... so yeah, my hands are pretty well tied there, and the last report that was made wasn't even made by me but spurred my husband and his mom to start emailing both me and my mom threatening to press charges for false allegations if I didn't stop. Anyways, lawyer is out too... can't afford one, and can't get Legal Aid to call me back for intake about anything to do with this. Any evidence I take to court for modification of the injunction gets invalidated somehow, and last time the judge told me point blank it would take physical witnesses testifying and a lawyer on my side to question them for him to actually do anything. There are some witnesses, but no lawyer. Anyway...

*sigh* The best I can do is just try to help our son through this. But I don't know how to approach the drug topic with a five year old. I've only found two articles in search engines relating to it. One recommends telling four year olds that they're bad and icky and will make them sick. I don't really agree with that kind of reasoning... because let's face it, if drugs were that horrible, no one would do them. The other wasn't about drugs but about a 5 year old's dad going to jail. Someone pointed out that the lesson of consequences could be used to help the child understand why their dad went to jail. I was thinking maybe just approaching the topic as something that's illegal could work?

Do any moms out there have advice or experience with this? What can I do to show him that smoking pot is NOT ok? I mean, I would expect some experimentation in his teens, but at this young of an age I really don't want him even knowing about it, much less thinking it's a cool thing to do.. what if he finds something and tries to light it? :(

by on Jun. 30, 2013 at 4:58 PM
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by on Jun. 30, 2013 at 5:42 PM
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Wow! The court system lets him keep his vistation after all of that? What state do you live in? Is there family that can help you pay a lawyer? Some lawyers will work with you financially, and you definately need one. In the mean time, maybe some anonymous tips to law enforcement about his holding drugs? Incarceration will certainly keep him from visitation.

by on Jun. 30, 2013 at 7:00 PM
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While I'm sure you are wanting to believe anything that your son tells you, the fact that he gave three different accounts of what he was doing would lead me to believe that he kept giving you answers until he found one that you latched on to and reacted to.  You may never discover where he picked up this could even have been from a friend or at daycare or just about anywhere. 

When my kids were younger, they would watch cop shows with me (nothing too violent) and any time they'd see someone smoking or doing drugs, they would talk about it being bad and that they didn't want to do that because they would get arrested.  I didn't take them to task or have a specific lesson about it...just when it would come up on tv.

That said, given your situation, I would be more cautious about what your son says and believing every word.  You also have no idea what he may be saying about you to his dad.  It's very likely that he has picked up on the fact that you and his counselor want to know everything bad that may happen at dad's house and because of all the attention he gets from that, he may even be making stuff up.  Again, not saying that he is....but it is entirely possible and I've seen this happen in a number of cases, especially with important people in the child's life asking him all kinds of questions specifically about stuff like this.

by Gold Member on Jun. 30, 2013 at 7:34 PM
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I'm guessing that there is a lot more to this story than what you have typed.

However, from my understanding of the court system lately, marijuana is a "soft" drug and as long as dad isn't smoking it around son the courts won't do much. Not to mention most 5 year olds do not know the difference between pot, cigarettes and rolled cigarettes.  

Kids imitate what they see, or in my case growing up, we had candy cigarettes. My kids have only been around their dad smoking when he is drinking. My youngest son imitated smoking a few years ago, as much as I wanted to freak out and tell him no to do that I chose to ignore the behavior and he stopped. To me its one of those, "pick your battles". 

by on Jun. 30, 2013 at 10:27 PM

A 5 year old pretending his legos were smoking up? So the father assuming he just smokes right in front of his child. I wouldn't let him go over there. Sounds unstable.

by on Jun. 30, 2013 at 10:32 PM
Is there anyway you could get proof? Or give an anon tip to his work where they would have to test him?
by on Jul. 1, 2013 at 9:34 AM
Quoting BeachMommy07:

A 5 year old pretending his legos were smoking up? So the father assuming he just smokes right in front of his child. I wouldn't let him go over there. Sounds unstable.

Unfortunately, a 5 year old exhibiting this behavior is not proof of what may have happened at dad's house especially when the child changed his story several times.  When there is a CO, you can't just decide to not let the child go over to dad's because child was acting inappropriately.  If that were the case, non-custodial parents would get much less visitation than the little they get now.

by on Jul. 1, 2013 at 11:52 AM
I would tell him smoking anything is wrong for children. I personally don't smoke it, but don't think pot is harmful, so I couldn't tell him that. I guess you could explain that it's a bad thing to do and that's why it's against the law and people can go to jail for it. Idk honestly. But I would email the ex and let him know if it happens again you're gonna let ds tell the police all about it.
by on Jul. 1, 2013 at 12:57 PM

Well, I had a talk with him about it today. I left it at explaining to him that it's illegal except for very sick people that have it prescribed to them by their doctors, and explained things like you can go to jail for it, you can't find work when you do it because they test you for it before hiring, it can cause your grades to drop in school and lead to you failing a grade, etc. He got defensive about his dad while I was saying this, even though I didn't even mention his dad.

Where ever he got this from, it wasn't from me or anyone around us. No one babysits him, and we don't have cable television nor do I watch any morally questionable material. And he himself is only allowed to watch children's stuff. Pre-school/day care is plausible, but he did go to a Christian day care/VPK program.

And I know for a fact his dad does smoke it. He did when we were together, as does all of his friends. We had MANY fights over his right to do it/talk about it in front of our son while we were together. I didn't allow it bottom line, but I don't have much control over the situation any more now that we're separated. I don't have a serious issue with it, but I do very strongly believed children should not be exposed to it any more than they should be exposed to smoking cigarettes. And even when I did smoke cigarettes, I would tell him about the ill effects I was experiencing, explain to him that I was addicted, etc. in order to emphasize to him that it was not behavior he wanted to immitate. And when I developed COPD symptoms, I explained to him why, and I quit, and he got to see the improvement in my health from that.

You're right when you say there's a lot more to this story than what I told. There is, and it gets a lot nastier than just his dad smoking pot in front of him. Courts won't do anything to take away unsupervised visitation, even though his dad is a sex offender to begin with. DCF has gotten involved quite a few times, but won't do any serious investigation, even though our son has told them to their faces that his dad has been abusing him. Most paperwork on the situation gets turned down in court, with the judge saying people like his therapist have to testify and can't send in reports as evidence. There are court ordered emails with scores of evidence that he is not only abusive towards me but also has placed our son in dangerous situations as well and neglects him, but just like the therapist's reports, I doubt they will hold up in this court as evidence. I just have to put up with the manipulation and verbal abuse because I'm court ordered to do so. :-/ This injunction has actually mostly been used by the courts and cops to uphold his rights and deny me any protection from him. It's no surprise that county has the highest rate of domestic violence in the state... the legal system there doesn't protect anyone. I'm beginning to think we would have been better off if I had just ran off with him and applied for emergency custody in another county. Yeah there would have been legal backlash from that, but it really would have been less of a mess than this injunction stuff has been. And I wouldn't be treated like nearly as much of a criminal and woman out for revenge as I am now that I got an injunction. The main problem though was that he was quite literally forcing me to live with him in my own apartment that he was not a lease holder of, and even when I managed to call the cops, they wouldn't help. All I could do was sneak out to take a bus to the courthouse and get the injunction so they would take him away. And the injunction became permanent when he willingly admitted that he physically abused me, trusting the "she's crazy and I was trying to protect her from herself" excuse would fly, but all it did was set me up with a court ordered psych evaluation, which showed I was not crazy... and sealed the deal on the injunction because as the judge said, crazy or not, what you did was abusive and illegal. But yet... even with that admittance... he still retained visitation.

To make things worse, our son behaves fine when he spends enough time away from his dad. But when he's been at his dad's, he comes back acting like a hooligan, and actually helped in us getting kicked out of our apartment. My husband did his part by promising a cs check was coming in the mail and encouraging me to spend our rent money to buy our son clothing when he was having a huge 4 yo growth spurt. The cs check never came. So yeah, now we are homeless and temporarily staying with family until I can save up enough for a new place.

He is quite devoted to his dad though, and he actually won't talk much any more about anything he suspects his dad is doing that is wrong. So if he implicates his dad in something, chances are he's telling the truth, not the opposite. And also... he just turned 5 about a month and a half ago. He is only starting on the lying stage of his development.

I have no family that will help with a lawyer. In fact, I don't have any supportive family at all outside my mom and my youngest brother, both of which are in no position whatsoever themselves to help with paying for one. The family I'm staying with now only tolerates us being here. I didn't exactly have a happy childhood. Lots of abuse, control, greed, racism (I'm biracial), and neglect/abandonment. I pretty much raised and financially supported myself while in some ways living the life of a servant. Which goes to show how I got in to this marriage to begin with without seeing the red flags that it would take this kind of turn.

by on Jul. 1, 2013 at 9:48 PM
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 Get a lawyer take him back to court. The judge will take your child in chambers and ask him questions as to his dad's actions. There is NO WAY IN HELL, that I would let my 5 yr old go for unsupervised visits. They would have to take me to jail first.

by on Jul. 1, 2013 at 11:47 PM

Heh, every time I start talking like that other people talk me out of it by convincing me I'm of more use to him out of jail. Yet DCF has used my compliance with the court as evidence I don't really think there's anything wrong going on over there. Crazy...

Moms? What would you do? Think I should nip these visits in the bud, court ordered or not? There's way more to this than I've mentioned. He's told me all kinds of crazy stuff that goes on at his dads, like being put in pull ups even though he was fully potty trained and being spanked every time he tried to go to the bthrm at night... and behavior to match... like during the time period he told me that, he would go to his dad's fully potty trained, and come back wetting himself almost every time he had to go to the bthrm. He has even told me his dad has been masturbating in front of him... and soon afterwards, started drawing pictures of phallused, angry characters and once I caught him "playing with his winkie" as we call it in the way a grown man would and not his typical childish batting it around after I had put him to bed. Not to mention all the pictures he draws of himself half frowning, half smiling, the smiling side always having something to do with our home, and the frowning side always bringing destruction to his dad's home, usually shooting at it with fires erupting everywhere. And things he's told me like that if he destroys our home he will get to see his dad sooner... that if he tells DCF I'm mean to him they will take him to his dads... all sorts of crazy stuff I'm not even going to try to list here (it would take a book for that). He also was disassociating in his last two months of prek... staring off in to space and not responding to his teachers or anyone until he saw me show up to pick him, during which a big grin would break out on his face and he'd be back to normal. Also, for a while he had two "personalities" going on, one which called himself Asay and didn't think I was his mom and called his dad "master" (seriously, I'm not joking here). Asay was always the one that purposely physically destroyed our home and belongings/food no matter what punishment he knew he was facing.

As for the judge questiong our son... I've been told by court and DCF repeatedly that a child's testimony is not considered valid, and they're specifically not allowed to use a young child as a witness in court because of the psychological damage it may incur. I admit I have to agree on this one. Imagine how you would feel if you knew your testimony was what made your parent lose custody of you or stop being able to visit you, no matter how badly that parent treated you. That would bring on loads and loads of guilt and self blame at some point.

BTW, I live in FL.

Quoting SAMI_JO:

 Get a lawyer take him back to court. The judge will take your child in chambers and ask him questions as to his dad's actions. There is NO WAY IN HELL, that I would let my 5 yr old go for unsupervised visits. They would have to take me to jail first.

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