In this article, I offer 5 tips to parents.
The most important way to deter the behavior is by doing the following:
1.) Educate: Ensure that your teen understands the downsides and that they are not getting swept up in the “lack of education culture” that says vaping is better than smoking actual cigarettes.
2.) Model: It’s one thing to point out negative behaviors but it’s another when you too exhibit negative habits. Kids won’t listen to you.
3.) Research: Research the topic together and see what you both can come up with. Spend 45min to 1hr looking online together. You can even make it a competition for fun.
4.) Inform authorities: Soccer coaches, teachers, etc. should know what is going on, especially if occurring on school property. They can help you monitor the behavior.
5.) Positive reinforcement: Catch your teen doing something positive and “reward” them. They need to know they are being watched for both positive and negative things.
Above all else, have patience. Kids need knowledge, empathy, and guidance. Not harsh punishment.
I wish you well
Tamara Hill, MS, NCC, CCTP LPC
Internationally certified trauma therapist
This article was originally published 11/18/2018 but has been updated to reflect comprehensiveness and accuracy.