VAPING: Practical Tips & Tools For Parents
HOW TO START TALKING TO YOUR CHILD ABOUT VAPING:
- Educate yourself on the topic as much as possible. Vaping is being reported even in middle schools and serious health concerns are rapidly increasing. (CDC article)
- Don't shy away from the topic. Start by casually asking your child if they have heard of vaping/juuling, what they know about it and if they've seen anything on their campus.
- Resist the temptation to interrogate. Share some interesting facts and news you've seen in a conversational way.They will learn about vaping eventually, and you'll want them to receive facts from a reliable source. Role play how they can say “no” if they feel pressured by a friend.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU FIND OUT YOUR CHILD IS VAPING:
- Avoid lecturing, they may tune you out. Try your best to have a conversation. Information you need to convey might be best in bits and pieces, not all at once. Do not assume it's just a phase that will go away on its own.
- Address it calmly and directly (you may have to wait until you're feeling less emotional/angry). They may deny it. Be prepared to bring up specific facts, news reports or evidence.
- Be sure they know your love is unconditional and that you're coming from a place of concern for their health, not anger. Be firm but compassionate. Their well-being is what matters.
- Be aware that there may be an underlying cause to this behavior (vaping may just be a coping habit).
- Ask them what they like about it, get them thinking about the why. Discuss alternative, healthy coping habits.
- Help them brainstorm ways they can change their behavior. Would it help to change their company/environment in order to make healthier choices? Explain that you are teaching them how to set healthy boundaries.
- It is important they know you do not expect perfection, everyone makes mistakes.
- There should be clear consequences that need to be followed-through.
- They have to earn your trust back, be sure they know you will be checking their rooms, backpacks, etc.
- Consider drug testing (kits available to order online). Requiring a clean test result can be contingent on privileges -especially driving or smartphone/WiFi usage. Do your research, kids are savvy (synthetic urine is easily available).
- Talk with other parents, the school, and your healthcare provider to find a good counselor or other resources in your area. (www.truthinitiative.org)
- Determine how serious it is based on the substance they're inhaling. All vaping is linked to severe lung issues, and even though there are non-nicotine juices, most do contain ingredients like nicotine or THC.
- Keep at it, don’t give up! This may be a journey. Kids (especially teenagers) can be persistent in trying to push boundaries in hopes they will wear you down. Stand firm on your commitment to a substance free home.