While there are all types of things in this world that can cause harm and pain to your children, what’s hardest for many parents to understand is when some children choose to cause this harm and pain to themselves.
Despite how much you might try to teach and protect your little ones, once they get to a certain age, it’s really up to them to decide how they want to live their lives. But while they’re still teenagers and under your care, it’s important that you do your best to instill positive principles within them, especially when it comes to things like substances and substance abuse.
To help you with this, and to help parents who’ve struggled on this front in the past, here are three tips for talking with your teen about smoking or vaping.
Take Every Opportunity To Talk With Your Teen
Although most parents don’t anticipate their teen becoming curious or pressured to smoke until well into their teenage years, these events actually tend to happen much earlier than you might think. Because of this, it’s vital that you speak with your children early and often about the dangers of smoking and vaping.
According to DrugFree.org, it’s best to have these conversations come up naturally, like when you see someone smoking or vaping while with your child. This will give you an easy segue into sharing your opinion and learning your teen’s opinion, too.
Know How To Answer Their Most Common Questions
As you prepare to have conversations with your teen about smoking or vaping, it’s wise to spend some time learning how to answer some of the most common questions that teens have about these habits.
To give you reliable and accurate talking points, the U.S. Surgeon General shares how you might respond to questions like why your teen shouldn’t smoke, why nicotine is bad for them, the safety of vaping or using e-cigarettes, and how to respond if your teen knows you’ve smoked in the past.
Have A Calculated Response If You Do Catch Your Teen Smoking Or Vaping
When speaking with your teen about smoking or vaping, it’s wise to have at least some idea of how you’ll react or respond if you find out that your teen has already experimented or become addicted to these substances.
While your initial reaction might be anger or fear, the American Lung Association recommends that you try to not jump right into threats or ultimatums. Rather, try to get to the root of the problem to learn why your teen has done this and what you might be able to do to help reverse the damage already done.
To help you keep your kids and teens as safe and healthy as possible, consider using the tips mentioned above when speaking to them about smoking or vaping.
Image Credits: Zachary Tan