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How to Keep Your Child from Ever Smoking

You CAN Help Prevent Your Children From Smoking

If we can figure out what need smoking fills, then we can come up with alternatives to meet those needs in your children. We can then teach our children these skills to meet their needs well before the peer pressure to try smoking kicks in. And these skills are also good for helping them say no to drugs,alcohol, and other risky behavior.

Why Does Anyone Smoke?

Here are a list of the possible reasons why anyone starts smoking:

 

Reason Why Someone Starts Smoking Alternative to Smoking to Teach
Boredom How to Entertain Oneself
Anxiety How to Calm Self Naturally 
Peer Pressure Self Esteem and Confidence to say No
Excitement of Experimenting Safe Healthy Ways to Find Excitement
Mimicking our Role Models Be a Positive Role Model

There may be other reasons, and please feel free to comment below. I will expand now on what to teach your children so that your child will naturally know what to do when confronted with the idea of or invitation to smoke.

How to Entertain Oneself

 

Keeping the TV off as much as possible forces a child to use their creativity. But it is important to guide and support their creativity. Give them some help. Teach your child how to brainstorm about things to do. Try using mind mapping to come up with ideas. Some categories might be painting, crafts (search Google for infinite ideas), write a story, put on a play, invent something, build something. Do these kinds of things with children regularly, say at least 1-2 times per week and watch how they will start to come up with ideas on their own.

 

Also if children come up with ideas that seem too difficult to you, help them find ways to modify the idea instead of just saying no. By working positively with your child to make their vision come to life, you will bolster their confidence.

 

How to Calm Self Naturally walking in the woods

 

Teach your children how to be quiet. It is not natural for children to be too quiet or to sit still, but if you invite them to listen to nature, to discover the “mysteries” of nature, they can become quiet and really enjoy it. This teaches a kind of meditation. Anytime you can get away from modern noisy distractions and focus on one thing, you are meditating.

 

This meditating can be stretching, taking a nature walk, picking flowers, discovering “treasures” outside -even if it is “garbage” it can be made interesting by asking questions about it. Teach them to recognize how they created this calm inside of themselves by asking them how they feel once you see them calming down. This will reinforce their understanding of how to do this again in the future when they need it.

 

Self Esteem and Confidence to say No

 

Tell your child they are great. Be specific. “Joshua, you are very good at listening to things and coming up with your own questions. That is very smart of you. That makes me proud.”  Praise them often. This will not spoil a child if you also teach them humility.

 

Explain how everyone has special gifts, like Rudolph to use a simple example. Teach them to recognize this in themselves and others. Teach them to praise others in addition to having pride in themselves. This will help to develop humility and prevent bullying.

 

Role play with your child from any early age on how to say no to things that are not good for them, like smoking, alcohol, drugs, and risky behavior. Children love pretend games. Make up scenarios where another child asks them to try something bad. Have your child practice what they would say. And then reinforce it by asking your child why they would say no. And then praise them for their strength to do the right thing and their intelligence to know why!

 

children on waterslidesSafe Healthy Ways to Find Excitement

 

I believe what I call “excess energy” is responsible for a lot of drug abuse.  I define excess energy as when you have too much time on your hands and not enough work or constructive activities to fill that time. This happens a lot with teenagers.  So let’s teach our children early on what to do with their energy.

 

Start when you notice that your child has a lot of energy and they are fidgeting a lot, climbing the walls, perhaps driving you crazy? 🙂

 

If you can, drop what you are doing to get them started on an energy activity. Much like finding ways to entertain oneself, finding excitement starts with brainstorming. Let your child lead. If they are at an age where they say “I don’t know what to do” or “I’m bored” it is good to help guide them to come up with ideas.

 

What is exciting? Anything that involves intrigue or activity is usually a good place to start. Here are some ideas:

Close to Home

  • Make up a mystery game. It can be simple or complex, whatever you have time for.
  • Make up treasure hunt.
  • Hide and seek is great for little ones.

Away from Home

  • Go to the beach, waterslides
  • Go to the park
  • Play tag or some other running game
  • Play frisbee
  • Go sledding
  • Any outdoor activity
  • Silly crazy dancing contest

The important thing is to get active, have fun, laugh and then reinforce how you were able to create excitement naturally by asking your child how they feel at a moment when you see them enjoying themselves. “Isn’t it wonderful how we were able to create our own excitement! Wasn’t that fun?”

 

Be a Positive Role Model child looking up

You know what this means. Children mimick their parents, care takers and role models. Even if you have smoked in front of your child for years and think it’s too late, IT’s NOT! (That’s the addiction talking in your brain.) The impact you can have by quitting can be enormous. You know what to do. Find the method for quitting that works for you.

We also need to be good role models in how we handle our own boredom, reaction to anxiety, and need for excitement. Watch yourself how you handle these things. If over time you are more aware of what causes your knee-jerk reactions you can create new reactions that teach your children by example the good habits you would like them to mimic. And remember to talk to them about it, even invite their help! “Mommy is disappointed about not getting an award at work. What do you think I should do to feel better?” Bet they’ll surprise you and make you smile!

Start Today – A Little Today,  More Tomorrow, and So On!

The earlier you can start teaching these concepts to your children the better. It doesn’t have to be within the context of smoking either. A little bit each day. Repetition is the key to learning. And praise your children to reinforce when you see examples of them doing these things on their own. Name them. For example, “Great Job Suzy! You found a way to create excitement on your own and it is safe! How does that make you feel? Good? That’s Great!”

And when you’ve done one of these things, them make sure to praise yourself too!

Please share this with others if you found it helpful. See the email link below.

And please let us know your comments or practices that work for you!

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28 Responses to How to Keep Your Child from Ever Smoking

  1. Des@Easy To Stop Smoking August 20, 2009 at 8:40 am #

    I must admit that I used to be a smoker and I have 3 grown up children, but lucky for me they did not go down the path of smoking.

  2. Oxygen Concentrator March 19, 2010 at 8:32 pm #

    I think children do as they see. So being a good role model is probably the most important way to do your part.

  3. Evergo portable oxygen April 1, 2010 at 2:20 pm #

    As I do agree with everything you stated and I do not smoke myself, but sometimes you have to do more than just that to prevent your children from smoking, many children have role models that do smoke besides their parents, its a scary thought, but we just have to do as much as we can to prevent them from smoking.

  4. Eric de Jesus September 28, 2010 at 8:52 am #

    Smoking can easily shorten a child’s life. To not allow children to smoke, we should set ourselves as role models because our children look up to us. They’ll think what we’re doing is cool and is ok. I’ve already seen seven year olds smoking.
    The only way we could stop smoking is if we really want to stop. Another is researching for the effects so that we can focus on what we want for ourselves.

    • AgentSully October 24, 2010 at 8:46 pm #

      Eric – thank you for your thoughts on this!

  5. Quit Smoking Doctor May 25, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

    Nice article.

    Taking the time to just “be” with your kids helps them to see that you really care about them. It’s amazing to see how much TV, video games, and other diversions occupy a good chunk of time that parents could use to bond with their kids.

    Most people wouldn’t let a stranger spend 4 hours a day with their kid, but they’ll let them sit in front of the TV for that long.

    Tim Ferenchick, MD

    • AgentSully June 1, 2011 at 6:55 pm #

      @Dr. Ferenchick -Thanks for the comment!

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