Talking to children about tobacco use from a young age is incredibly important. Many children will be exposed to people using tobacco products in the media, out in public or in the home. Opening conversations about tobacco use is a great way to help children learn about how and why to avoid tobacco.
- Ask Questions
Starting a conversation by asking questions can be a natural way to open a dialog. Find out what children know and if they have tried or been tempted to try tobacco. Try to remain calm and refrain from judgmental statements, as children who feel pressured or threatened may shut down and not be open to sharing in the future.
- Discuss Consequences
Let children know, in an age-appropriate manner, that using tobacco before they are legally allowed can lead to consequences. Talk to them about any punishments they may receive at home, such as being grounded from certain activities or having certain privileges suspended. They may get into legal trouble and need to pay for expensive court cases or bail bonds near me Allentown PA. The damage done to the body should also be discussed. Lung disease, certain cancers, dental issues and a weakened immune system can all result from tobacco use. If either of the parents use tobacco, then they can discuss the impact it has had on their lives and any efforts they have made to quit.
- Practise Scenarios
Peer pressure can be intense, and children who do not know how to say no to their friends or classmates may give in. Brainstorm different scenarios with the child and practice conversations that might happen, so they are ready if something happens.
While it is not possible for parents to monitor their children’s activity 24 hours a day, they can give their children the tools they need to navigate difficult situations successfully.