Your kid is entering a world full of temptations and peer pressure. How do you get them ready to face their peers, to say “no” to cigarettes, alcohol and drugs? Should you say something? Is it too late if they have already dabbled in it?
When I was a kid, smoking was everywhere, and I still remember my first cigarette at age 7. Yep, 7!
We thought it was cool, it was everywhere, we even bought candy cigarettes.
Today things are a bit different. We know how dangerous smoking is to our health, and it is mostly the kids on the fringes with low self-esteem who get caught up in smoking. They are lonely and believe they have found a new friend who has introduced them to smoking.
Then there is alcohol. This one is a big deal these days! Peer pressure is strong.
The best way to prepare your kids for this onslaught is two-fold:
1. Give them a secure home, where they know who they are, and where they belong.
2. Give them freedom to make the choice themselves. It is a matter of free will.
They will make the choice either way, so by granting them in fantasy the right to smoke, drink or try drugs, it will take away the urge to rebel. Tell them, “It is your choice, but we hope you’ll be secure enough to make a healthy decision.”
And, importantly, if you have a family history of alcoholism, it is important for you to tell them about their chance to become an alcoholic.