Use of tobacco will be reaching its pandemic levels in the coming years. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 4000 people under the age of 18 have their first cigarette every day. Is your kid one of them? While it’s important that you as a parent step up and intervene before tobacco takes a toll on your child’s health, and god forbid, his life, you should also do it for the sake of others. Why? Because your kid may also be responsible for taking someone else’s life. Studies reveal that passive smoking kills 600,000 people annually worldwide. Before your kids get addicted to smoking, here are some unique ways in which you can control their actions.
More Homework Who wants to do extra homework? Well, teenagers would hate the idea of doing extra academic work apart from their school assignments. This can be the method of punishing your children, if you get to know they are smoking. Make them see online videos about the health impact of smoking and ask them to prepare a write-up or a PPT presentation on the topic. Encourage them to find latest facts and praise their work. While on one hand, your children will have a deeper understanding of the negative sides of smoking, on the other hand, they will know that you are supporting them to overcome the addiction.
If your children have the habit of getting a weekly or monthly allowance, here is another technique you can apply to cut down the smoking habit. Stop their weekly or monthly allowance and tell them it is a punishment for their recently acquired habit. Make them understand that you are not supporting any unhealthy action, financially. If your children have other source of income, they may rely on that to buy their cigarettes, but they will think twice before spending it. Once you find out your children are trying to control the habit, re-establish allowance.
Teenage is the time when your children get new experiences and meet new people. This is the growing age and it is particularly found that children tend to hide things from their parents during this time. They feel uneasy to talk about anything. Parents need to be very supportive and try to communicate with them on all the topics. If you find out your kids are smoking, talk to them, but don’t insult. It may happen that your son or daughter is smoking due to some pressure. Anopen and honest communication can help them overcome this stress.
If none of the above techniques work and if your kids still get addicted to smoking gradually, it is time to seek professional help. But before you take that decision, make sure your son or daughter realize the addiction. Also, make them feel that there is no shame in getting help. There will be a number of sessions, and your children will go through different emotional transformation. You have to encourage them, and with time, they will give up their addiction.
The American Journal of Public Health states that youths between ages 12 and17 do not see smoking as harmful. There are even instances that show children become an addict after a period of passive smoking. Staying in the company of chain smokers inspire your kids to adapt to the group. You can be harsh with your treatment, but that will do no good; rather your kids may become more destructive and secretive in their attitude. Be patient and friendly with your children because that is the only way to make them quit smoking.