updated 8/28/2007 7:49:11 PM ET 2007-08-28T23:49:11

"What do you think you're doing?" is a phrase parents often use with kids caught in the act. But what do you say when it's your children asking the question because they've caught you smoking pot?

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"I just said, 'Oh s*&^' and tried to hide it," Nancy from Virginia admits.

But as a recent article suggested, parents ought to come clean about their pot-smoking past , and many readers agreed. "My kid asked and I told her the truth," writes Ed from Orlando, Fla. "No past 'mistakes' could be worse than building a relationship with your child based on lies."

Read on for stories about how parents were busted and how they reacted.

Yes, my 14-year-old did when he caught my boyfriend and I 'sneaking' away for a puff. When he asked why do I smoke pot, my response was honest but I also didn't have much of an answer as to why, as I didn't quite know myself WHY! Never having smoked cigarettes (which I detested), pot seemed at the time to not have as much of a stigma. I do suffer from chronic pain and it was a great relief to me to have it available when I needed it. Knowing now what I do about the dreaded 'weed,' I wish I'd never started. Adult decisions have adult consequences!
— G., Calgary, Alberta, Canada

I busted my father when I was in 4th grade (now 28) and taking D.A.R.E. classes. I was so disappointed in him and had a crying fit for a week. Then I got older and realized that pot wasn't the horrible drug I was taught, it was in fact no worse than alcohol.
— Anonymous

My son walked in on me smoking in my bathroom. He was 11 and I decided not to lie to him about what I was doing. He was freaked out because of brainwashing through the D.A.R.E. program at his school. I explained to him that smoking pot does NOT and did not lead me into trying and using other "drugs." His discovery led us into several conversations about marijuana, alcohol and how we cope with stress. I did not smoke pot until I went to college and do not advocate it for high schoolers, much less middle school kids. My son's discovery of me smoking led me to evaluate my choices and to honestly communicate with my child about pot, biochemistry and his future.
— Christi, Scottsdale, Ariz.My kids found marijuana in my bedroom drawer. The way I handled it is not for everyone, but it worked for me. I told my kids that if I ever caught them going through my things again or if they ever think about stealing my good weed ever again, I'll send them off to their yenta mother for a year. Believe me, they cleaned up their act real fast.
— Jim, San Francisco

My daughter's 16. She was out with friends and came home early. She confronted me the next day over the smell she'd smelled. She thought I'd suddenly started smoking pot. I was straight with her. I told her I'd been smoking since 1989, don't do it often as bills and responsibilities are more important. I let her in on some of the side effects of smoking pot. ... She understood and stated she didn't feel the urge to smoke anything. She also opened up about a few experiences she'd been exposed to while hanging out with friends. ... It was an open, truthful conversation and I'm glad we had it. She knows who she can go to now with questions, and I know she really doesn't like the idea of doing any kind of drugs at all. It made me rethink my occasional use and how it reflects on me.
— P. Cook, Fort Myers, Fla.

When my first child found my stash, I was up front and said I was wrong and flushed it down the toilet with her watching. I was never confronted by my other children until they became college-age, and when asked I was honest with them because I wanted to keep their respect. If I can't be honest with them they won't be honest with me.
— H, New Jersey

Several years ago, my older daughter asked me if I had ever smoked pot, and I told her the truth — yes, but it wasn't anything I enjoyed or had a habit of. I really didn't like the feeling of not being with it. She has never smoked pot. A few days ago she joked with my younger daughter who is 15 that Mom used to hang out in the cornfields and smoke pot! Ouch. I had to go through the whole thing with her. Thought I could at least wait until she asked me herself.
— Kelly

My daughter was about 10 when she busted me in the bathroom. Having already learned about pot through anti-drug programs etc., she was curious. I decided rather than to try to hide it or forbid it, I showed her and tried to teach her the way the world views marijuana. She understood what I told her and guess what? She grew up knowing about drugs and when she was finally first approached to smoke pot, NO was answer. Needless to say I was proud of her for her answer.
— Anonymous

Like most parents, I tried to hide it from my kids at first. After they caught me, I realized that the last thing I wanted to do was to lie to my kids. We teach them from day one that they should always be truthful — if they lie it will only make things worse. Well it was from that time on that I chose to be honest with them about my smoking pot. ... My girls are nearly full grown now, and we have had many discussions about it over the years. I have always told them that if they choose to try it when they are older, then that is their choice to make. ... I have also told them about the dangers of trying it too soon. They need to let their bodies and brains fully develop before experimenting with drugs or alcohol.
— Anonymous

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