Search the Healthy Living Web Site


Advanced Search

This Week's Discussion Topics

Home | Message Board | About Us | Alternative | Bookstore | Exercise | Health Issues | Gatherings | Member Photo Gallery | Newsletters | Nutrition | Our Stories | Recipes | Recommended Software | Resources | Weight Maintenance | Site Map | Contact Us
 


Healthy Living

October is Child Health Month

How To Keep Your Child Tobacco-Free

A child with healthy self-esteem is less likely to smoke or abuse drugs and other substances.

Many factors contribute to children feeling good about themselves. Good family relationships and feeling successful at school and in other social settings are very important.

Here are a few ways you can help strengthen your child’s self-esteem:

  • Raise your child to feel he or she is important in your life. Let your child know his feelings and thoughts really matter.
  • Be respectful of your child’s wishes. Try to understand her views.
  • Show an interest in your child’s schoolwork. Participate in your child’s hobbies and other activities.
  • Spend time reading books together or playing games your child chooses.
  • Be honest with your child. Parents who lie or break promises give their child reasons to distrust them. This could change a child’s desire to please his parents, including when it comes to talking about smoking, drinking or drugs.
  • Celebrate your child’s successes in school, with peers, and when he shows responsibility at home. This can help build your child’s confidence.
  • Be clear when you talk about your own attitudes about substance abuse.
  • Above all, examine your own use of substances and what kind of model you are to children.

There are other ways you can help your child to avoid cigarettes, alcohol, and other drugs. An important step is to remind your child of the dangers of tobacco use.

  • Smokers are ten times more likely to die from lung cancer than nonsmokers.
  • Cigarettes double the risk of heart disease.
  • Cigarettes are the most common cause of lung diseases like chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Even though these serious diseases may take years to develop, tell your youngsters that the earlier they start smoking, the greater their chance of developing these conditions.
  • Smokers who start before age 15 have cancer rates 19 times higher than nonsmokers.

Most children find it hard to think about or understand health problems they might have in the future. So, remind your child of the more immediate effects of smoking.

Smoking...

  • stains teeth
  • causes bad breath and a hacking cough.
  • leaves a strong tobacco odor on clothes.
  • and for children who like sports, the use of cigarettes can keep them from running and swimming as well as athletes who don’t smoke. High school coaches now routinely demand that their young athletes do not smoke.

Copyright © 1998-2002 SLM & Healthy Living
All Rights Reserved

Back to Top


Home | Message Board | About Us | Alternative | Bookstore | Exercise | Health Issues | Gatherings | Member Photo Gallery | Newsletters | Nutrition | Our Stories | Recipes | Recommended Software | Resources | Weight Maintenance | Site Map | Contact Us