Can you help your Teenager to stop Smoking?
In the past, smoking has been glamorised in the movies and on television, but today, the media shows the harm smoking does to our loved ones. If your teen smokes, remember that you are not alone. And, you have more power than you might think. Parents are the most important influence in their child’s life.
Communication is the Key to Success
Every parenting book gives weight to communication as the key to successful parenting. But, you might be surprised how many parents are afraid to talk to their teen about smoking. If you want to be successful in getting your teenager to stop smoking, you must be willing to talk to them.
Even at an early age, before your child picks up a cigarette, the communication lines should be open. Start talking to your child about smoking when they are five or six years old and keep the conversation going through their high school years. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), many kids start smoking as early as 11 years old and become addicted by the age of 14. Kids need to be aware of the statistics and the addicting power of nicotine.
It is also important to address the unpleasant physical damage that cigarettes cause. Your child needs to know about the side effects of tooth decay, bad breath, stained teeth and nails, wrinkly skin, and restricted lungs. Many times the reality of smoking outweighs the glamorized ideals teens have built up in their minds.
Quick Tips for Parents
Tip 1: Set a good example for your children by not smoking. Research shows that parents who smoke are more likely to have children who smoke. Quit today – it can be a family effort.
Tip 2: Try to make sure the events and activities your child attends are smoke-free. Communication is critical. Keep the communication flowing and ask questions. You’ll build a trusting relationship and avoid coming off as critical.
Tip 3: Always avoid threats and insults. If you catch your teen smoking, don’t give them an ultimatum, just ask a few questions and try to determine why your child is smoking. Perhaps it’s peer pressure or a way to get attention. Discuss the possible changes that can be made in your teen’s life to assist with the quitting process.
Tip 4: Create a smoke-free home. If you and your teen smoke, establish a smoke-free policy in the home. Never allow anyone to smoke inside the house. It’s particularly unfair to the non-smokers living in your home. Instead, establish boundaries while the quitting process is being carried out.
Tip 5: Offer support to health programs and tobacco prevention education. You can even get your child involved. Supporting tobacco-free schools is a great way to establish awareness for your teen while contributing to society and humanity.
Tip 6: Provide awareness for your teen. From the addictive power of nicotine to the billions of dollars spent each year on branding and market appeal of the tobacco industry, your child needs to understand the manipulation. Teens, by nature, don’t like to be manipulated. No one does. When your teen is made aware of the manipulative power of tobacco companies, he or she may get angry enough to quit.
I have been helping both adults and young people quit smoking for many years now. I am a trained addictions counsellor and a hypnotherapist. Looking for assistance on getting you or your teenager to stop smoking?