After looking at your teen's attitude, you will probably decide that your teen is the rebel, or the social smoker, or both.
He or she is probably not sophisticated enough to be a truly effective sneaky smoker and probably isn't advanced enough in the addiction process to be a truly stressed-out smoker. To a teen, smoking is all about being cool. Remaining in control at a party, and being considered a rebel fits this scenario nicely (for a while).
Whether or not you were informed by the teen, you are probably aware of the smoking. The questions are, How do I know if my teenager is smoking? how to talk to your teenager about smoking? How do you talk him out of it? Or, how do you convince her that she will be more popular if she doesn't smoke? Those question goes through your head when you have a teenager at home acting differently.
Tip 1- Out of the Box
Prepare yourself for some "out of the box" answers to these questions, because the intuitive answers, such as pointing out the impending evils, don't have much effect on young people who have no concept of actually being middle-aged and regretting their early choices.
Young people often rebel, and they seek attention for their behaviour, good or bad.
Tip 2 - Read about it and be informed to have a great conversation
In an article for Healthbeat, on the website for the Illinois Department of Public Health, there is a sad statement:
Approximately 90 percent of all smokers start before age 18; the average age for a new smoker is 13.
Adolescents have special challenges in our culture.
Tim Elmore, a recognized leader and author in the field of adolescent maturity, points out in his 2012 article for Psychology Today, that the age span from thirteen to twenty-three is a crucial period in forming the ability to make sound decisions. He says,
"From ages 11-14, kids lose some of the connections between cells in the part of their brain that enables them to think clearly and make good decisions."
Elmore also cites Alison Gopnick, Professor of Child Development at UC Berkley, that the brain is going through a "pruning process" at this time. In this same article, Ian Campbell, a neurologist at U.C. Davis Sleep Research Laboratory, is cited as saying that while their brains are changing from "child" to "adult", adolescents often can't explain their own motives or decisions.
Tip 3 - Working in Progress- Understand which stage your teen is in
While language development slows down at the age of thirteen, the centres that govern high-level decision-making are not mature until the early twenties. However brains still develop until people reach late 20's, so understand the stage where your teen is when smoking, it will helping you to decide what to do best, that applies to your teen when it comes to smoking pattern.
Combine these physiological challenges with a culture that bombards children with information that they are not ready to process, including no-holes-barred sexual explicitness, and violent "games" involving everything from murder to illegal activity, and you have a generation of young people who know too much, and are not prepared to handle it.
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