Program Overview Talking to Kids Parenting Expert Parental Advice Tell A Friend Additional Resources
Quick Tips Conversation Starters Warning Signs Ways to Say No Other Topics

The key to finding out how your kids feel about the topic of smoking can be as simple as sitting them down, asking them good questions and listening carefully to their answers. But getting this conversation started is anything but easy.

As parents, we need to find ways to break down the uncomfortable barriers and address the issues candidly and honestly, discover ways to keep the topic in our communication, and explore inventive ways to help our kids say no. As our children grow, the need for this type of open communication remains constant. Kids change their minds all the time. That’s why we, as parents, can’t ever think we’re "home free." Influences from movies, television, advertising and friends constantly make it challenging for kids to say no to smoking. We need to find ways to open the door to communication, and keep it open so our children feel comfortable talking with us about peer pressure, feel confident asking tough questions, and are open to the idea of seeking our advice when it comes to saying no. Remember, in these conversations, it’s important to speak from the heart, avoid being judgmental and never lecture.

By establishing this type of open communication environment, we can be sure that our children will feel comfortable and confident talking with us and listening to the advice we have to share.

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Q: How do you make the risks of smoking more real and immediate?