Tips on Talking to Children About Smoking
Dangers of Smoking
- When talking to your children about smoking, you should not act as if it is a bad behavior. Instead, approach smoking as a health hazard. Children have a hard time imagining themselves as adults, so instead of talking about the long-term consequences of smoking, mention the short-term consequences. Inform them how smoking can decrease their athletic ability, stain their teeth and fingernails and cause bad breath and smelly clothes and hair.
Listen to Your Children
- Establish good communication with your children from an early age to make it easier to discuss issues like smoking when they happen. Instead of doing all the talking, listen to your children so they feel that you care about their ideas and opinions. Ask what they think is appealing about smoking and listen patiently. There could be peer pressure from friends that makes your children feel as though they need to smoke to be accepted. Encourage your children to walk away from situations like these.
Establish Firm Rules
- Children, especially teenagers, can be stubborn and rebellious. If your children decides to smoke, you need to establish firm rules. Tell your children there will be no smoking in the house or in your presence. Make sure they understand why you set these rules. They need to know you are not happy with their decision to smoke. Tell them that smokers smell bad and look bad. Not only that, but smoking around others affects everyone's health.
Redirect Your Attention
- Encouraging your children to participate in activities such as sports that prohibit smoking. By getting your child to focus on healthy activities, they are less likely to want to get involved with unhealthy activities. Be enthusiastic about any of your children's accomplishments because it helps built their self-esteem. Lead by example. If you smoke, you are not setting the right example for your children; and if you can't stop smoking, it is unreasonable to expect your children to quit.