Wednesday, October 24, 2007

"You've Got to Walk the Talk!

I can remember the first time. I tried to hide the fact that I was smoking from my Mother by putting the cigarette on my stomach and placing a hard cover book that I was reading at the time on top of it, thinking albeit stupidly, that the weight of the book would eventually put the cigarette out. Consequently I burned my stomach quite bad and I still have the scar to this day. My Mother sat there giving me a lecture on smoking and why it was so bad for me when she herself smoked. I accused my Mother of being a hippocrate but she never saw that side of it and grounded me for a month.

Luckily I gave up that discusting habit in my twenties and not one of my four children ended up being a smoker as of yet......

Remember as a parent you have the biggest influence on whether your kids decide to try smoking. Talk to your kids about smoking at a time when you are both comfortable and relaxed such as during a television program or on the ride to soccer practice. Your kids are going to be pressured by their peers to smoke and sometimes it can be a little tempting to try it if the so called "cool kids" are doing it. Remember kids learn best by example and if you tell them that you disapprove of smoking while you are are still smoking, you will be giving them mixed messages. It is also important to keep in mind that kids who feel good about themselves have a better chance of not becoming a smoker especially if they are involved in activities that require cardiovascular fitness like sports or other physical activities.

You can also help your kids to develop their self esteem by letting them know when they do something that pleases you as opposed to when they do something you disagree with. Positive reinforcement is a parenting tecnique that works really well in helping your children develop more self confidence so the next time they are asked to try smoking by the so called cool kids, they can say NO and really mean it!!!

Happy Parenting


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