Q. I recently found out that my 15 yr old daughter is cutting herself and also started smoking weed. I was brought up in an abusive family so the only way I know how to react to the pot smoking is anger. I do not physically abuse my kids,but I feel like smacking my daughter because I have had so many talks with her about this. I threatened to take her to the dr. for a drug test thats how I found out, she came clean with me then. She says she does not remember anything during the time she smokes. I do not smoke it I tried it one time and got sick. I don’t know anyone who has who has experienced blackouts while smoking pot. I found out today that she smokes it every morning before school. She told me last week she stopped because of the blackouts. I bought a drug test and will start testing her randomly.I have grounded her,but I can’t keep grounding I need to know how to handle this because I am not handling it properly. I need to get her into counseling for the cutting I know this. How do I keep her from smoking pot? Help.

A. I would highly recommend books about “tuff love.” Read them. Yes, she needs counseling but you need to recognize that your daughter very well knows what you want but chooses, let me repeat, “chooses” not to respect your choices. What penalty does she pay? I suspect it is a very small one with a price tag she finds to be quite a bargain. This is why I mentioned “tuff” love. Parents who have been abused as children tend to either themselves become abusers or become just the opposite, weak parents who are afraid to administer effective punishment. I am not accusing you of the later. I have no idea how you raised your daughter. I do wonder where she gets the money for her heavy use of marijuana, since it is very expensive to buy. Are you willing to take all of her money from her? Are you willing to take her paycheck or forbid her to work? Are you willing to search her room and listen in on her phone calls to discover the truth? Lastly, are you willing to turn her into the police for her illegal activity? If not, you will need a great deal of luck to help her. You may be lucky and I hope so for both of your sakes. However “tuff love” will give you the greatest chance to help your daughter. I wish you both the best and please keep me informed as to new developments.