Discovering that your teen has started smoking is never a good thing. We all worry that our child will be the one to try cigarettes, but at the same time we hope that our anti smoking messages will win out over the pressures of adolescence. Needless to say, are hopes are not always realized.
Teens who smoke often become hopelessly addicted very quickly-they are some of the tobacco company's favorite customers for that reason. The younger you are when you begin smoking, the more likely it is that you will still be smoking long into your life.
Despite the problems that smoking can cause and your initial distress at the idea that your teen has potentially incurred a lifetime of those problems, it can be difficult to convince your teen to stop smoking.
The only way that you are going to be able to have a meaningful conversation about your teen's cigarette addiction is if you come to the table prepared to truly listen to what your child has to say. Open up a discussion about smoking by indicating your interest in why your teen has decided to begin. Alternatively, you can express your initial disappointment with your teen's choices. Still, you must leave the lines of communication open.
You will not be able to effectively end your child's habit by brute force. You can disapprove, you can refuse to subsidize the habit by providing funds you know will go to cigarettes, but you also have to be there for your child in spite of the habit.
Once you and your teen are able to discuss the matter rationally, try addressing the issues that underlie the smoking habit. If your child is using cigarettes a crutch, then you need to help them learn to stand before they will willingly or successfully move on. As part of this process, you can begin to outline a plan for quitting with your teen. Focus on the positives that quitting will bring to your teen's life and ignore your personal concerns for your child's future health.
They are unlikely to be moved by a prospect of someday cancer, maybe. When your teen is really ready to work on quitting, contact a doctor who can help the two of you get started. A doctor can let you know where there are any products on the market that are appropriate for your teen to use while quitting, he or she can also point you towards support groups and even counseling, if you feel you need it. Throughout the process, make sure you stay on your teen's side. Don't become the enemy or you will never will this battle.
Instead, support your child with as much positive reinforcement and encouragement as possible. You must keep in mind that it's your job as a parent to pick your children up if they fall. Smoking is a definite fall, but your child can bounce back and the sooner they realize that, the better.