You thought your child was different. You hoped that your baby would not fall for the appeal of cigarette smoking. You thought that the negative advertising and talks that you had with your child was enough to prevent them from ever start smoking. Nevertheless, you have found evidence that they have started smoking. You know that something needs to be done but are wondering how to help your teenager quit smoking?
In order to help your teenager quit smoking, use the same way of effectively parenting your child as you always have. Just because your teenager is experimenting, or has in fact become a smoker, this does not mean that your parenting skills are useless. Talk to your kids. Ask questions and take an ongoing active interest in your child’s life. Today, it is too easy to slap some cash in a child’s face instead of sitting down and discussing the issues leading to the behaviour. Teenagers are smarter than we give them credit for but know that they are often just as stubborn as they are wise, so be patient.
Understand that teenagers do not have the same concerns as adults. Of course, they have heard that smoking can lead to lung cancer. However, the knowledge of this side effect to smoking will probably not deter their behaviour. On the other hand, if you speak to your star athlete about decreased lung capacity it may have a greater impact. Furthermore, premature skin aging, discoloration of the skin and fingernails are more effective at dissuading a teenager then some of the other bigger picture health concerns.
Teenagers today do not face the same challenges and stressors as previous generations. But it is not an excuse to turn to cigarettes. Teach your kids how to deal with problems head on in a healthy manner instead of masking the issues with dependence on cigarettes, drugs or alcohol. Even if they mess up, even if they relapse, make sure they know they have your support.