Parents may not believe it, but studies suggest that kids do give importance to what you tell them about smoking. So before you start talking big about smoking with your kids, you may want to check out these 10 worst things you can say to your kids about smoking.
“Listen only to what I say, not on the things you read anywhere else.” Kids are very intelligent these days as they can easily find sources in the internet. They can easily find sources about smoking. So before you start telling your kids stories make sure you have done a little research ahead of time. Know the basics, and everything else about smoking and its consequences. You don’t want your ideas to be contradicting to what they are reading about.
“Do what I say and don’t question what I do.” This approach won’t get you very far with your kids. Your message won’t get through to their mind. Be honest. Tell them that smoking is bad and that you want to quit.
“E-cigarettes are safer than regular cigarettes because they don’t have nicotine.” E-cigarette manufacturers often tell this to the public. You don’t want to pass this to your kids. Tell them that e-cigarettes have not yet undergone strict government regulations so there is really no guarantee how safe or unsafe it is.
“There is no way I can stop you from smoking when I’m not around.” You need to be clear and firm about your no-smoking policy in the house. Studies show that kids who grew up in households with this kind of house rules are less likely to smoke when they grow up. Even though you can’t totally control what your kids do in school or every time they are with their friends, you need to make it clear that you don’t tolerate smoking.
“You’re grounded if I catch you smoke.” Punishment won’t encourage your kids to avoid smoking. They’ll only become more curious. Instead, you may want to tell them about the negative effects of smoking and how it will affect them. You may also want to know the reason why they smoke instead of just giving them punishments because often, children smoke to cope with problems and other personal or relationship conflicts.
“Experiment with smoking while you’re still young.” Being young might be a good time for experimenting – but not with smoking. Nicotine is highly addictive, the younger they start the harder it is for them to quit. You may want to tell them that the best way to stay nicotine free later in life is never to try and start smoking.
“If your friends offer you a cigarette, tell them that it is bad for you.” Taking a moral stand may not be the easiest way to turn down cigarettes. It will only cause further pressure from their friends. Just tell your kids to simply make up some excuses. For instance, they’re saving for a new pair of shoes.
“Stay away from your friends who smoke.” Telling your kids, especially teenagers, to stay away from
You are not going to reach kids by making-up facts. Know the basics, and everything else about smoking and its consequences. You don’t want your ideas to contradict what they are reading.
their friends will only draw them closer. Instead of telling them and ordering them what to do, make them think and make the right decisions by guiding them.
“Menthol cigarettes are less addictive.” This is an urban legend tobacco companies want you to believe. Don’t let your kids get fooled. There is no single proof that menthol cigarettes are less harmful than regular cigarettes. They are even more dangerous as they contain more chemicals, new studies have shown. Regular or menthol cigarettes, they are all harmful to your health.
“Smokers are bad people, so you need to avoid them.” You don’t want your kids to live in lies and make them hate smokers. Smokers are not bad people. Explain to them that smoking is a choice – a bad choice that is hard to break. But it doesn’t make people bad. Smoking is bad, not smokers. They are just willing victims of nicotine addiction, and what your child needs to do is to avoid the habit of smoking.
Your kids may not show you that they value your words, but somehow it gets through them only if you use the right words and try to be more understanding. Kids are kids, and you need to guide them as much as you can. And the best way is to live as an example to them. If you’re a smoker, you may want to quit smoking, or at least show them that you’re making an effort to quit before you make the big talk about smoking.