Ask them about vaping. Get their side of the story.
“How do you feel about vaping?”
Ask opened-ended questions to have a productive, engaging conversation. Don’t question their judgement or perspective. Approach this as a conversation, not a lecture.
Be ready to hear your child has vaped.
“I want you to know how much I appreciate your honesty. I’m concerned because I care about your health.”
A much higher percentage of kids have tried vaping than many parents realize. Start by thanking them for being honest, which is key for continuing an open conversation and relationship of trust.
Avoid scare tactics.
“I know that trying it once won’t kill you, but vaping is addictive, and it’s harmful to your body and lungs. Why take the risk?”
It’s good to share your concerns, but don’t make the mistake of losing your child’s attention with dramatic claims. Equating vaping with other temptations or illegal drugs actually reduces your credibility and chances of connecting with them.
Connect with what they care about.
“You know that vaping can damage your lungs, making it harder to play sports you love like soccer. Are you sure you want to risk something you love?”
You know your kid, so help make connections to how vaping could prevent them from achieving their future goals. Illustrate how vaping takes an invisible toll on mood, memory and attention span, impacting academic or career goals. Use these facts to point out how proven physical damage to the lungs and brain will affect their athletic aspirations.
Help your child manage pressure.
“I know it can be tempting if your friends are vaping and offer to share it with you. What might you do or say if your friends offer to vape with you? And you can always blame me as a way to say no.”
One of the largest motivating factors of youth vaping is influence from friends or classmates. Consider rehearsing or role-playing to give your kid the social tools to refuse tobacco products. Offer some quick facts or an anecdote that they may feel comfortable sharing.
Leave the door open.
“I know it’s a lot to take in all at once. If you have any questions or want to talk more about this later, I’m always here for you.”
This isn’t a one-time conversation. Even if everything goes well, over time there will be new curiosities, product developments and research findings. Fact sharing is a great way to reintroduce the conversation topic.