A teenager can easily fall into the habit of smoking, usually due to social pressure and ignorance about the terrible consequences that tobacco has for health . It is important to educate children with their own criteria so that they learn to say no when they do not want to do something or when they see that the consequences are bad, without being carried away by peer pressure.
It is very important that you help your adolescent to say no to tobacco, because in this way they will also have the necessary willpower to say no to other types of substances that are dangerous to health as well.
TALK TO YOUR CHILD TO SAY NO
As much as you may not want to believe it, peer pressure is a real thing and children often fall for it. If your child is offered a cigarette and you have never talked to him about how to reject it and the bad consequences of smoking, he will most likely say yes and agree to smoke to be better accepted by others.
It is a good idea to have a role play in which you offer cigarettes to your child and teach him different ways to say no. Some ideas are:
-No thanks, I don’t like the smell it has
-No thanks, I need to be in shape to play sports
-Thank you, but I prefer not to smoke that cigarette
-I don’t like how it makes me feel
PAMPER CONVERSATIONS WITH YOUR CHILD
Talking too much to your child or becoming obsessed with not smoking and talking about it all the time will only increase the chances that your child will smoke. If you tell your child things like, ‘You never have to smoke’ or ‘All smokers are bad people’, you’re really just tempting them to try it and check it out on their own. Remember that a teenager is likely to perform all the behaviors that you forbid him to do. It is better to inform and let them make the right decisions.
Pampering conversations and making them high-quality conversations with your children can make you never pick up a cigarette. Studies show that the same conversation doesn’t work for all teens equally. You are the one who knows your child best, so you should consider the best way to reach your child. Even if it is a serious topic, you must keep the conversation free of judgment, threats or punishment … remember that it is he who must make the choice.
EMPHASIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF MAKING GOOD DECISIONS
Instead of just talking about the dangers of smoking repeatedly, talk about the importance of making healthy choices. Discuss how eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly can help your child keep his body in good shape.
When your child values his ability to run fast or when he recognizes that getting enough rest helps him pay attention in school, he will be less likely to engage in behaviors that would put his health at risk.
BE A GOOD ROLE MODEL
Children who have parents who smoke are more likely to smoke because they don’t consider it to be such a bad habit. Even if you tell your child that you want to quit smoking or that you want them not to smoke, their words may not be effective. Children imitate what they see you do.
So maybe it’s time you gave up smoking, for your health and the health of your child. Talk to your doctor about resources that could help you quit smoking. Nicotine replacement therapy, certain prescription medications, support groups, or a tobacco hotline can be instrumental in helping you quit smoking.
Studies show that limiting children’s access to tobacco smoke or watching others smoke will greatly reduce the chances that they will start smoking. In this sense, you will have to establish a general rule that no one smokes in your house.
If you have friends or family who smoke, you will need to gently explain that you cannot smoke inside your home. When your child is consistent in setting limits, even with adults, they will be less likely to smoke as an adult.