As your children grow into teenagers, you know there are some tough topics you need to discuss with them. One of those subjects is smoking. You know teenagers have a natural rebellious streak, so how do you communicate your desire that they do not smoke without alienating them? Here are a few tips that will help you deal with the situation.
Be a Role Model
This is the most important step you can take when trying to prevent your child from smoking. If you do it, there is no way you can be convincing when you try to convince them not to smoke. If you do smoke, quit. Watching you work to break the habit will make an impression that your children won’t forget.
Focus on Immediate Consequences
Kids have trouble picturing themselves as adults 30 or 40 years from now. Of course, you can’t ignore the long-term consequences of smoking, yet keep the focus on immediate results. Hone in on how it harms athletic performance, how much it makes hair and breath stink, and how fingertips get stained brown. Talk about how much cigarettes cost and how the habit is becoming more socially unacceptable every day.
Start Talking Early
Don’t wait until your children are in imminent danger of becoming a smoker. Start broaching the subject when they are as young as just four or five years old.
Talk About Nicotine Addiction
If you or someone you know going through a tough battle to quit smoking, use it to your advantage. Tell your kids how difficult it was and how it’s simpler to never start than it is to try and quit. Gather up some statistics on the number of people that have tried and failed to quit as well as the number who have quit successfully.
Talk About Smoking Restrictions
In today’s world, there are smoking bans in many public places. Tell them about people you know who won’t go to movies, ball games, swimming pools, or restaurants because they can’t stand to go without a cigarette for more than a short time. Do they want to give up going to all those fun places because a cigarette is controlling their life?
Ask Your Kids if They Have Friends that Smoke
Without being confrontational, ask your children if they have friends or know kids at school who smoke. Ask them how it makes them feel when they see those kids light up. Are they ever tempted or pressured to smoke? You can even role-play situations so they can learn to turn down cigarettes without looking ‘uncool’.
Smoking is a habit that can take over someone’s life. It can destroy their health and make them social outcasts and you are the first wall of defense between your child and this deadly addiction. Be sure to let your kids know that they can always talk to you about any problem and you will listen without judging. As a parent, it’s your job to lay the foundation for your kids to grow up to be happy, healthy adults. That can start with open, honest communication.
Also Read: Quit Smoking: How to Quit Smoking Today?