The CDC has currently estimated that 20% of high school students smoke regularly. Is your son or daughter part of that population? Although there are many resources to help our nation’s youth quit smoking, perhaps this statistic could be drastically remedied via simple prevention methods. Preventing tobacco use among teens can be an uneasy and challenging matter for parents.
As a parent, focusing on preventing tobacco use may be a lot easier than getting a teen to quit. Using the simple acronym “CLEP” may help you aid your son or daughter to stay on the right track.
Yes, praising your loved one for facing the struggles of peer-pressure and making the right decisions can go a long way. Receiving a, “I’m proud of you”, or a “I know it isn’t easy, but you are doing a great job” can significantly promote your son or daughter’s chances of continuing to stay smoke-free. Teens receive a considerable amount of pressure from peers, and the ability to make independent decisions can be difficult. However, knowing that mom and dad are proud of them for doing a good job can greatly enhance the chances of continuing to make the right decisions.
Teenagers may be greatly influenced by their peers, but parents also have a tremendous impact on many lifestyle decisions. You may not realize how much your teenager is looking at what you do and say, but they are subconsciously taking notes on every move you make. Nothing is more powerful than, “If Dad does it, it must be fine.” Express how much you are against your teen smoking by not doing it yourself.
Who said health class ended in school? Although your teen probably gets all the facts from school, there is no problem with you being a large part of the teaching process! Gather facts from sources, or work with a local youth services organization to get some ideas. Discuss ways to refuse tobacco, methods of using tobacco, or the long-term health effects. Teens hear “Smoking is bad for you” all of the time; make it credible by personally educating your teen with some real scenarios. Be sure to relay the importance of open communication, and to ask you if they have any questions.
Instilling the importance of healthy activities among your teenager is crucial in keeping them on the right track. Many teens begin to smoke out of boredom or stress. From chess club to the soccer team, counteract these feelings by encouraging extracurricular activities. Not only will these programs keep your son or daughter busy, but also provide skill building opportunities, leadership training, and even promote stress management.
As 1/5 of the high school student population regularly uses tobacco, there is an obvious concern to help teens get back on the right track. Rehab and treatment centers across the nation have funneled numerous teens through their programs; however, the real treatment can begin at home by preventing the habit before it begins.