Marijuana addiction is real, and teenage users are most at risk

Completly agree with this article.

In the rush to legalize marijuana in Canada, medical experts are warning about weed’s alarming side, particularly for younger users

But after five years of heavy use, Savoie noticed his short-term memory was starting to fray. He avoided talking to people. Worse, festering feelings of anxiety and depression were growing. He tried to mask them with weed, deepening his dependency. He upended his life, quitting his job and breaking up with his girlfriend, trying to find the source of his depression. Nothing worked. “Maybe it’s the drug use,” he recalls thinking, “because I’m constantly relying on it.” (Research shows a link between cannabis use and depression, but causality isn’t clear.) By that time, Savoie was using dabs, a highly concentrated form of marijuana, and he was still grappling with depression. After a minor argument with his sister at the family cabin, Savoie fled and barrelled back to the city in tears. He called a friend to take him to a mental health clinic. Savoie, who had been prescribed antidepressants a couple of weeks earlier, spent two hours with a doctor and was told what he already suspected: he had a dependency on marijuana that was affecting his mental health, and he had to quit.
A survey conducted by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA), published last year, found that a majority of youth were unaware that cannabis can be addictive and lead to withdrawal symptoms.
Stats on this are something we all should take note of:

The risk of dependence among those who use marijuana is nine per cent (it’s 16 per cent for alcohol), and for those who start in adolescence, the risk rises to 16 per cent. “The more people who try it, the more people will become dependent,” says Anthony Levitt, chief of the Hurvitz Brain Sciences Program at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto. “It’s unavoidable.”

It is always important to have good definitions:

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders sets out a definition for cannabis dependence, including a strong desire to use marijuana, unsuccessful attempts to cut back and failure to fulfill obligations at work, school or home as a result.

Please take a few minutes to go through this long article from Macleans Magazine.

Click here for the entire article.

Keeping the Communication Lines Open

As parents communication with our children is paramount. This is a really good article on communication. Please take the time to read.

My parents when I was 7: “Go to your room!”
My parents now: “Come out of your room!”
—Paul, age 16

When I speak at parenting conferences, I usually ask parents how many of them are enjoying good communication with their teenagers. About 10 percent raise their hands. So, if you are having trouble communicating with your teen, apparently you are in the vast majority. When I ask parents if they communicated well with their parents when they were teens, again about 10 percent raise their hands. This doesn’t change the communication challenges you face or the possible hurt you experience, but it’s good to know you aren’t alone.

Click here for the entire article.

7 Crippling Parenting Behaviors That Keep Children From Growing Into Leaders

A really good article in Forbes for parents. Always good to be evaluating how we parent.

“I think both fear and lack of understanding play a role here, but it leads with the fact that each generation of parents is usually compensating for something the previous generation did. The primary adults in kids’ lives today have focused on now rather than later. It’s about their happiness today not their readiness tomorrow. I suspect it’s a reaction. Many parents today had Moms and Dads who were all about getting ready for tomorrow: saving money, not spending it, and getting ready for retirement. In response, many of us bought into the message: embrace the moment. You deserve it. Enjoy today. And we did. For many, it resulted in credit card debt and the inability to delay gratification. This may be the crux of our challenge. The truth is, parents who are able to focus on tomorrow, not just today, produce better results.”

Click here for the entire article.

Dating Bill of Rights and Responsibilities – Thoughts?

I am working on creating a dating bill of rights and responsibilities. I have taken the first run at this and thought I would post and see if people can give me some thoughts. What am I missing? Anything that needs to be deleted? My goal is to make this into a printable PDF for new dating couples to sign as they begin to date.

At the beginning of a new relationship, I think it is really important to outline what is expected from both parties in that dating relationship. It outlines not only what are your rights in dating but what are also your responsibilities in a dating relationship as well.

In this dating relationship, I have the right to:

  1. Leave this relationship at any time. I have the right to not be guilted to stay or threatened to stay in a relationship that I want to leave
  2. Not be physically abused in any way, shape or form
  3. Not be emotionally abused. I have the right not to be verbally abused by someone whom I am dating. Words like stupid, worthless, ugly, fat and others will not be tolerated
  4. I have the right to set sexual boundaries of the beginning of the relationship and I expect these boundaries to be respected.
  5. I have the right to never be coerced, threatened, or forced to do anything sexually that I do not want to do
  6. I have the right not have my dating partner act jealous or possessive
  7. I have the right to not be stopped from seeing family and other friends
  8. I have the right to always be treated with the deepest respect in this relationship
  9. I have the right to be in a healthy, encouraging, supportive dating relationship
  10. I have the right to be treated as an equal in this relationship
  11. I have the right not to be cheated on

In this dating relationship I:

  1. Pledge to not stay in this dating relationship when I know it will not be moving forward
  2. Control my own anger and frustrations and never physically abuse the person I am dating
  3. I pledge to work hard to control any negative talk that comes out of my mouth especially words that can hurt the person I am dating
  4. Will set out sexual boundaries at the beginning of the relationship and I would work hard at not putting my the person I am dating in situations which might make these boundaries be tested
  5. I will never coerce, threaten or force the person I am dating to go anywhere, wear anything, do anything that they do not choose to do
  6. Will work hard to not make my partner jealous by what I am doing
  7. Will have a balanced life seeing both the person I am dating as well as family and friends. I will not isolate myself only being with the person I am dating
  8. I will treat the person I am dating with the utmost respect.
  9. I will work hard at creating an atmosphere that is healthy, encouraging and supportive
  10. I will always treat my dating partner as an equal
  11. I will put boundaries in my life so that I will not fall to the temptation of cheating on my dating partner. If I decide to be with someone else I will break up before moving forward with another relationship
  12. I pledge to get counsel from my family, friends, teachers, pastors and other people giving me leadership in my life to work on all aspects of my emotional, physical, and spiritual well being
  13. Accept responsibility for my own actions. If I hurt the person I am dating in any way I will look at seeking forgiveness and healing that rift I make have caused. If needed I will seek counselling to get help to be a better person.

Thanks for any thoughts

WHO to recognize gaming disorder as mental health condition in 2018

This has been a growing concern for many people over the past few years. I have seen the destruction video game addiction (or you can use the word compulsion) has done in families and in the lives of students. This is not saying that it is bad to play video games just that if you play video games to much or have trouble separating fantasy from reality that there could be problems.

The WHO defines the disorder as a “persistent or recurrent” behavior pattern of “sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning.”
I think this is only the beginning as all this really does is say that there is a problem but not really give any solutions as to what we do to help people.
Gregory Hartl, a spokesman for the WHO, said the new ICD-11 entry on gaming disorder “includes only a clinical description and not prevention and treatment options.”
I assume there will be many more articles on this coming out in 2018.
Love to hear your thoughts on this.

52 weeks of Parenting Questions and Solutions

As we head into 2018 I thought that I would start a new weekly Vlog (video blog) going through questions people have dealing with any aspect of parenting. I have been researching the concept of parenting for my new parenting talk (Parenting: Navigating Everything – Equipping and empowering parents to lead wisely, model vulnerably, and shape faithfully as they help their children launch into adulthood) and the new book on Parenting which I am presently writing. I thought it would be fun to take 1 question per week and do a YouTube video with some solutions to how we actually deal with that issue.

So what I presently need to start are questions parents have. This can be for any aspect of parenting. Below are the categories in the new talk.

Foundations of parenting:

  1. Parenting Styles (what are they, which ones should we be doing)
  2. Communication
  3. Time
  4. Discipline

Topics we must address:

  1. Family Discipleship
  2. Health (mental, emotional, physical)
  3. Sexuality (pornography, dating, marriage)
  4. Media (TV, Movies, Music)
  5. Drug / Alcohol use and abuse
  6. Education
  7. Finances

Please add your questions to this blog or on social media and I will copy your questions over to a list for the next year. You can also email me at

Thanks and Happy New Year to everyone.