Page:Your teenage children and smoking.djvu/17
In a few years teenagers will be fathers and mothers. Then they will have a responsibility to their own children. They owe it to their children to do everything now to keep healthy and to live as long a life as possible.
PLAY IT EASY
When given the facts, some children want to make up their own minds without suggestions from their parents. But many others want their mother and father to take a firm stand and tell them what to do or not do.
You will know best how to handle the problem with your child.
Some parents get results by "laying down the law" not to smoke. Such action may work with some children. For a great many, it will not.
If you don't smoke, it may be wiser not to take on a "holier than thou" air.
And don't preach. Try to be calm. Keep a check on your emotions and harsh feelings. Avoid getting into an argument. That's not always easy. But it pays off.
DISCOURAGE INVESTIGATING SMOKING
Most children try out smoking. That is one of the many things that most of us do in our pre- and teen-age years. After a puff or two, most leave it alone.
When you learn that your child has been smoking, try not to make a big deal of it. Firmly discourage it. Yet don't make him feel guilty.
At each time when you know that your child has been investigating smoking, again tell him of its dangers. Impress on him how easy it can become a habit—whether he wants that habit or not.