Page:Your teenage children and smoking.djvu/18

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THEY MAY BACKSLIDE


As almost everyone who smokes knows, to break the habit is not easy. Getting the habit is. A few tries at smoking often starts the experimenter down the road to being "hooked." The habit sneaks in, takes over—for keeps—for many of us.

Should your child—who swears off smoking—slip, go gently with him. It does not necessarily mean that he will never be able to break the habit. Don't let him think that he is weak, or doomed. Back him up. Say that next time he tries you will help him try harder.

And, of course, if you are the one who trips over your declaration of nonsmoking, admit to your child your failure and make your regrets.


LOOK AROUND FOR HELP


It's most likely that you are not alone in your community, or town, city, or State, in hoping to help your child successfully meet the smoking problem. Your close neighbors may have some of the same unanswered questions that are worrying you. Talk with them. Their plan may be of help to you and, in turn, you may be able to give them some assistance.

Parents in some neighborhoods have banded together and made community rules for their children regarding week-night hours for outside activities, week-end hours, and so on. Rules ought to be made on smoking also.

Find out what your health department, your child's school, your church, the Y's and scouts are planning to do about children smoking. Ask how you can help in projects that may be underway or take part in planned projects.

Sometimes—because of the nature of most of us—we seek and take advice from

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