Watch out for signs of smoking in your kids

 Watch out for signs of smoking in your kids

Team L&M

Smoking among older teens is something that is most dreaded by the parents. As these youngsters experience newfound freedom and a realisation of having “grown up”, older teenagers tend to experiment with a number of things with smoking, chewing tobacco and drinking alcohol topping the list. There are a number of reasons that explain why children are drawn to cigarettes and tobacco; they want to look cool, act older, seem tough, or want to feel independent.

Once your child turns 17-18, watch out for

  1. Smell in your child’s clothing
  2. Coughing
  3. Throat irritation
  4. Hoarseness
  5. Bad breath
  6. Decreased athletic performance
  7. Greater susceptibility to colds
  8. Stained teeth and clothing
  9. Shortness of breath

How to prevent you child from falling into this bad habit is a big question that several parents face. Following tips will help:

  1. Once you know that your child has gotten into this bad habit, discuss the perils of it in a way that doesn’t make kids fear punishment or judgment. Tell them the dangers of it to the health and their social prestige in later life.
  2. Ask your child what he/she finds appealing about smoking, and listen patiently. This shows that you value your child’s views and thoughts and make him/her get closer to your emotionally.
  3. Involve yourself into the life of your child. Read with them, watch TV as a family and even go to the movies with your kids as a family. Tell your child gently that if his/her favourite hero is shown smoking in films it doesn’t mean that he is doing so in his real life. Explain the difference between reel and real.
  4. Slowly and steadily keep reinforcing that smoking isn’t good for health.
  5. Involve your child in sporting and other physical activities.
  6. Discuss ways to respond to peer pressure to smoke. Make him confident enough so that he can say “no” to his peers when offered a cigarette or a drink. And walk away if his wishes are not respected by his friends. Self-confidence of a child’s is the best protection against peer pressure.

Once you have successfully motivated your child against not smoking help him in quitting this habit.

  1. Try not to nag but help your child develop a quitting plan and offer information and resources, and reinforce the decision to quit with praise.
  2. Stress the natural rewards that come with quitting: freedom from addiction, improved fitness, better athletic performance, and improved appearance.


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