Page:Your teenage children and smoking.djvu/19
persons other than the ones closest to us. So don't be surprised if your child does that. Such action is no reflection on you. Many teenagers don't take advice from their parents, regardless of how much they respect them.
Encourage your child—before he decides to smoke or not smoke—to talk with his doctor, his minister, his teacher, the public health nurse, or anyone else he respects and who will give him sound advice.
A FEW PARTING WORDS
Many teenagers are choosing not to smoke. Your child may be one of them. In that case, you won't have much of a job on your hands. But some teenagers have not been convinced. If your child happens to be one of them, it's likely that your job won't be so easy.
One or two or three sessions of talk may not do it.
You have to go slowly. Hunt up your facts. Sit down with your child a great many times and talk them over. Listen. Respect feelings and beliefs. Be patient when your son or daughter doesn't want to listen or may not agree with you.
If you try to ram your "truths" down his throat or beat him over the head with your "facts", you just might find yourself up against a wall of resistance that may amaze you.
Attacking the smoking problem with our children is not the kind of job that some of us would seek. In fact, too many of us—for our own personal reasons—put it off. We would like to keep away from it—like to duck and run.
This is especially true when we ourselves are smokers.
But we can't afford to. Just as we can't afford to delay action at any time a danger threatens our children.