Believe it or not, children and teens listen to their parents. In fact, studies have shown that when parents talk to their children and express a strong disapproval about vaping, they are less likely to try it. Just remember — you can make a difference.
When it comes to proper communication, remember these three simple rules:
Choose a time
when there is no upcoming activity and you and your child aren't thinking about doing something else.
Choose a place
to talk that is free of distractions and interruptions.
Let your child know that you always have their best interest at heart.
Tips for Talking
Stay calm, be direct, and approach the conversation with love.
Approach the conversation with a non-shaming and nonjudgmental attitude. Take a sincere, loving approach.
"Miguel, there is something I want to talk about with you that has been on my mind lately. Is now a good time to talk?"
Go for some “milkshake therapy.”
Go take some one-on-one time when your child feels like they can talk safely and openly. Going for a treat gives you a destination and something to do without a lot of distractions.
“So, I was thinking we'd go grab a milkshake tonight and catch up. What do you say?”
Ask them how they're doing and really listen.
Are they stressed? Feeling lonely? Knowing how they're feeling will help you understand where they're coming from. This serves two purposes: It works as a conversation starter, and it helps to build a connection.
“How was your day, honey? Things must be tressful at school right now.”
Tell them about what you learned.
Share what stood out to you during your research. Letting your child know that this is also new to you will help them feel like you're not talking down to them.
“I learned something really interesting today about vaping I wanted to share with you.”
Ask them, “Have you ever considered this to be a problem?”
This could be with themselves, their friends, or their school. This helps you understand their experience and gives them something to contribute to the discussion.
“So, what do your friends think about vaping?”
Ask them for suggestions and make them the expert.
“My co-worker found out her daughter is vaping and asked for advice. What do you think I should tell her?”
If they minimize the issue, help make it real.
Talk about both the physical and mental effects of vaping, and how common they are.
“Jason, 99% of e-cigarettes contain nicotine that can harm your brain and lead to addiction.”
Set clear boundaries.
Don't leave room for confusion. Tell them directly and lovingly what is and is not allowed.
“If your friends begin to vape, I want you to call me.”
Help your child learn how to say “No.”
Kids face immense pressure to fit in. Help them learn skills to say no so they can confidently decline an offer without feeling like they'll lose their friends or status. Ways your child can say no to vaping:
- “It's just not for me.”
- “We're too young for that.”
- “I have future goals and I don't want vaping to get in the way of that.”
- “I don't feel like it.”
- “My parents would be really upset.”