When it comes to helping teens make healthy choices, fear tactics don’t work but open, honest, safe communication does!

When it comes to helping teens make healthy choices, fear tactics don’t work but open, honest, safe communication does!

Wondering how to talk to your child about tobacco?

Back to school conversations can help your teen make healthy choices this school year

As your family gets ready for back-to-school, now is a great time to check in with your teens about tobacco use and the use of other drugs and alcohol.

“One of the best ways for parents to make a positive impact on their teen’s decisions is to have frequent and meaningful conversations,” said Taylor Lawson, assessment supervisor at Island County Public Health. “Research has shown that adults are the number-one influence in their teens’ lives, so regular conversations really do make a difference.”

Having a hard time getting the conversation started? Keep the following tips in mind:

Conversations don’t need to be ‘serious’ to be effective

In fact, it’s probably best to keep conversations lighthearted. Fear tactics don’t work with teens. Instead, stick with the facts — that way they know you’re a trusted source of information and support.

Conversation flows easier during passive activities

Try starting the conversation while driving your teen to a friend’s house, an event or some other activity. Participate in activities together, leaving ample time to talk, so you both feel more connected. Go on an evening walk, spend the afternoon at a lake or take an art class together — bonus points for activities that your teen really enjoys.

Conversations shouldn’t focus solely on why drugs are bad

It’s probably safe to assume that your child knows that drugs, alcohol and tobacco are not good for them. Balance conversations about the dangers of these substances with conversations about healthy coping, mental health, their peers and their life goals.

  • Healthy coping: Substance use, stress and mental health go hand-in-hand. Watch for signs that your teen is stressed, and use those opportunities to reinforce healthy coping strategies such ase getting creative, getting active and asking for help.
  • Talk about their social life: Getting to know your teen’s friends is a good way to learn what is happening in their lives. It also gives you a chance to watch for early signs that something may be going on, such as a sudden change in friends they hang out with.
  • Short- and long-term goals: Goals don’t need to be concrete to be effective. Something as simple as getting their driver’s license or saving up for their first car can help keep them headed down a healthy path.

Educate yourself about teen tobacco use

Know the facts about tobacco so you can provide accurate information when speaking with your teen. Get those facts online at starttalkingnow.org or InicieLaConversacion.org and encourage your teen to gather their own research from reliable resources such as youcanwa.org

Is your teen already experimenting with substances?

Find supportive resources and partners at the South Whidbey CARES Coalition, Oak Harbor Youth Coalition, and Island County Public Health. Watch for Island County Public Health’s guide to handling teen use of cannabis and tobacco products on Sept. 4 for more support.

READ MORE: Empower your teen to make healthy life choices

The news and editorial staff of Sound Publishing, Inc. had no role in the preparation of this post. The views and opinions expressed in this sponsored post are those of the advertiser and do not reflect those of Sound Publishing, Inc.

Sound Publishing, Inc. does not accept liability for any loss or damages caused by the use of any products, nor do we endorse any products posted in our Marketplace.

More in Local Marketplace

Comcast is committed to making internet connectivity accessible for Washington residents. Photo courtesy Comcast
Comcast is keeping customers in Snohomish County connected as the ACP ends

As the federal government’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) ends this month, Comcast… Continue reading

The Chique team of expert estheticians tailor each treatment to individual skin types and concerns, ensuring every client leaves feeling comfortable and refreshed. Photo courtesy of Chique Lash and Brow.
Indulge in you this season through self-care

Snohomish salon offers premier self-care and beauty treatments for summer radiance

Nearly 7 million people aged 65 and older in the U.S. have Alzheimer’s, including 126,000 in Washington.
Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness month is here, be proactive today

Learn healthy habits and early signs to reduce Alzheimer’s risk while improving brain health.

C-Suite Center for Hope dedicates itself to supporting cancer patients. Photo courtesy of C-Suite Center for Hope.
Bridging hope and healing for those facing cancer in Marysville

Volunteer voices: Cassie Golden on combating cancer with compassion

Now is an ideal time to plan your family’s check-ups and immunizations before the summer flies by. Photo courtesy Snohomish County Health Department
Summer: Sun, sand and scheduling that well-child visit

We’ve reached the final weeks of the 2023-24 school year for most… Continue reading

On June 20, thousands of participants from across the world fight the darkness of Alzheimer’s through an activity of their choice by participating in The Longest Day.
Washington’s Alzheimer’s Association raising awareness for care and research

On June 20 join the global fight against Alzheimer’s with a fundraising activity of your choice

Prepaid services allow customers to pay upfront for internet access for a specific period without the need for a long-term contract
New Prepaid Internet Service Available in Everett

Prepaid service plans are highly favored for their flexibility, affordability, and ease… Continue reading

Black Snohomish County is dedicated to celebrating and amplifying Black voices. Photo courtesy of Change the Narrative.
New ownership aims to connect Black community in Snohomish County

Aims to broaden black representation in the community

Danielle and Aaron Motyka, will participate with their dog Harrison in the Emerald Downs’ Corgi World Championship Races for charity on July 14.
Corgis race to join the fight against Alzheimer’s Disease

Washington family is raising funds and awareness at Emerald Downs’ Corgi Races on July 14!

Every remodel involves hidden complexities, particularly with mechanical and electrical systems. Updating these systems is often mandatory, especially in older homes that need to comply with current building codes. Photo courtesy of Coons Construction.
Why every successful renovation begins with a comprehensive plan

Good planning will help reduce the risk of unforeseen costs and longer timelines

Create the bathroom of your dreams with BathFItter NW.
Turn your bathroom into a sanctuary for wellness

How to craft a multi-sensory oasis right in your own home!

Many diseases have become uncommon in the U.S. thanks to vaccination, sanitation and other measures, however there are places around the globe where diseases like measles or tuberculosis spread. A few prevention measures can help you stay well. Photo courtesy Snohomish Health District
Know before you go: Healthy travels

Sunscreen? Check. Passport? Check. Charging cords? Got ‘em. Protection against diseases? It’s… Continue reading

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.