CURIOSITY KILLS THE CAT
HAS YOUR CHILD PICKED UP SMOKING?
Teenagers yearn to try new things. It’s who they are. They may see vices such as smoking and drinking thrilling. It may appear even more thrilling given the fact that they are underaged. What can parents do?
More pocket money
If a teen suddenly requests for more pocket money, parents should beware. For example, if a teen receives $7 a day and suddenly asks for an extra $10 a day, it could mean something. Secondary schools have nominal canteen food prices, there are no cafes or expensive eateries. It is unlikely that extra pocket money always goes into school supplies such as notes, as notes are normally provided for in secondary schools. If the child insists that it is for school necessities, check with his teachers.
Friends and cohort
What kind of friends is the child mixing with? What’s he up to in social media? This is not to espouse spying, but parents should have an idea of who his friends are. Invite his friends over, or meet up with his friends occasionally for a meal or a movie.
If you notice that your teen is always carrying breath mints wherever he goes, it could be a worrying sign. Frequent use of breath mints is probably used to conceal the smell of smoking.
Frequently stepping out
A teen who keeps leaving home for short periods of time could also have started smoking.
Don’t be overly angry or disappointed if you find that your teen has picked up smoking. Most teens are just looking for cheap thrills and are curious about many things. Have a good chat and see how things go. But don’t take too long. Once smoking is entrenched, it is very hard to kick the habit.