When children tend to grow up they do hundreds of inappropriate things. It’s just how they learn and become aware of. Smoking is one of the most common things children are attracted to.
Even statistics support the fact, around 90% of adult smokers started smoking in their childhood or teenage. Probably one of the most unfortunate things for Parents is to have a 9 Year Old Daughter who smokes.
There are hundreds of bad impacts this habit could have on them. Thus ignoring it isn’t an option for any Parent, especially when the kid has been doing it frequently.
But how and where does that all started? What made your 9 year old Daughter Smoke?
Have a look at the list of factors contributing to it;
Parents Smoke as well
The first place any child starts learning from in his toddler years is his home. The only people he looks up to be her Mom and Dad. The child learns everything seeing and trying to copy them. But at places, we set the wrong example for our kids.
If your 9 year old daughter smokes today, maybe it’s because her parents smoke as well and it encouraged the kid to get started. Even if your child doesn’t say so, his biggest inspiration for smoking was you.
There are studies that prove that kids having smoker parents are more likely to try smoking than anyone, before anyone. Thus it’s a factor that can’t be ignored.
Encouragement by Friends
The firmest role played here is by friends. And this is exactly the age when kids have a fear of rejection from their friends. Thus they try to please them and do what most of the kids around them are doing. Most kids start smoking because of peer pressure.
When they sit in a group and children of their age want to try a cigarette they won’t be able to refuse easily. Even research by U.S department of health and human services find out that the rate of smoking increasing 10 times when a kid sits around 2-3 smoker friends because of peer pressure.
So in your case; maybe your daughter had some night overs in her friend’s home and that’s when she tried smoking for the first time, and it kept going.
Children would always admire the movie’s stars. And you might have seen this as Parents as well. Your kid tries to look like a certain movie star, or follow his/her fashion styles, etc.
That’s exactly why companies and brands choose them in their commercials and ads. Your 9 year old daughter who smokes might just be got attracted when an actor smoked in a movie, commercial or any other place.
Proper research has been done on this issue and it’s no longer a theory as 44 percent of underage smokers smoke because they saw some smoking images in a movie. Hence the chances of Your daughter smoking because of the inspiration she got from celebrities are way higher.
Unaware of its Drawbacks
Kids would do everything which they don’t feel is hazardous for them. Ever saw your kid trying to touch something even when you forbade him? It’s because of the curiosity they have to know what’s in it (good or bad) for them.
One of the most basic Ideas behind this can be that your smoking little daughter doesn’t know the drawbacks of it. It’s truly possible because at such a young age maybe she never learned the demerits of smoking. Maybe she never got to go any further than the bright sides like looking cool by having a cigarette in her lips, when it comes to smoking.
Nicotine is known to give sudden relaxation and pleasure when consumed. And cigarettes (or other things) being its source does make one feel good in for a short period of time.
Thus kids who get involved in it feel pleasure smoking, especially when it’s the first time, and believe that it’s helping them cope with stress and anxiety.
This is exactly why most adults rush towards alcohol when are stressed about something. You’d need to detect if your kid was being stressful from quite some days and she thought of smoking as a way out?
Genetics can also be an element, although not that big, affecting your children’s tendency to smoke at a young age. Researchers have found that people carrying a specific dopamine transporter version would be more likely to start smoking in teenage or childhood.
It’s important to note that Genetics alone can’t impact someone for smoking. If your child never encountered smoking as in her environment, she’d probably not start smoking. But counting other aspects, Genetics can be a boost for her to engage in smoking.
How to Stop Your 9 Year Old Daughter from Smoking?
Now when we’ve looked into the root of the problem, let’s now head towards its solution.
The process behind stopping a 9 year old child from smoking would be totally different from stopping an adult from smoking. So you’d need to teach your kid a lifetime lesson, considering their sensitiveness.
Here are the steps you need to follow to stop your 9 year old daughter from smoking;
1. Find out the Extent to which Your Kid Smokes
Before you address your child regarding this problem, you’d need to investigate to what extent does your child smokes? Is she doing just because it looks good to her, or it gives a delightful feeling or she’s now addicted to it?
Don’t be deceived by your child’s ability to get addicted to smoking at such an age. Researchers have found that children can start craving nicotine just by tasting one cigarette. If you think your child isn’t addicted to smoking yet and just do it for fun, follow the next steps otherwise you might need to take him to a rehab center.
2. Quit Smoking or don’t Smoke in front of them
As parents, you are having the most influential impact on your children. So the strongest reason for any kid to start smoking would be that his/her parents used to smoke. If you want your 9 year old daughter to quit smoking you’d need to quit it first (for the following reasons);
First of all, it’s equally hazardous for you as it is for them. Secondly, you might affect their health because of Passive Smoking. And most importantly telling your kid smoking is a bad habit won’t work as long as he sees you smoking.
Even if you find quitting smoking difficult for yourself, just don’t smoke at home or in front of your kids as it won’t leave a good impression on them.
3. Talk and share the drawbacks (Be rational)
This is probably the most crucial and most significant step. Sit down with your child and talk to her about “Smoking”. Tell her how it a bad thing and what are its drawbacks are. Share some serious kind of downsides and share in a relevant method like saying; “Smoking would destroy your lungs, that’s exactly why senior year kids nowadays are short of breath”.
You need to make sure that you talk to your child in a rational way. Just giving an unreasonable aggressive lecture with a motive of stopping your child from stopping would not make any difference. You’d need to give him logical reasons supported with the right points to forbid her properly.
5. Offer Alternatives to Smoking
After you’ve talked to your child the next step is to present some alternative things to her. Every person needs some kind of thing to focus on each day, for example; any kind of sport. Try to engage your child in other activities that excite her. This can also be Video Games or going out more often.
This way your child would have to concentrate on some specific time-consuming things and ‘Smoking’ would be easily eliminated from her day. It’s even better if you find something you can participate in for example playing any game with her.
6. Share Stories of Other People’s Bad Smoking Experience
We all know quite a few people who didn’t have a good time with smoking. And there are people who were hit hard by its addiction. If any of your close relatives, which your child knows about, suffered from bad health and Smoking was the root cause of it, do let your child know.
Or there’s another way of doing it. When you know that your daughter picks up celebrities and actors as a role model to start smoking, you can tell her which actors died or had a hard time because of smoking. This would give them a clearer view of what smoking really costs.
7. Promote Healthy Diet and Exercise
You can bring a healthy diet and an exercising routine for him to boost up the journey of stopping your 9 year old daughter from smoking. As pointed out before, smoking can be really addictive, especially for a child that young. Thus a healthy diet in a good pattern would really help the kid fight the craving of nicotine.
And exercise, on the other hand, can deal with keeping her happy. Exercising releases “endorphins” which reduces the feeling of pain in your brain. Thus we can say that exercising might fill the gap of ‘pleasure’ which was formerly covered by smoking.
8. Keep a Strict Check & balance on her
Even if you keep doing everything perfectly fine, there can be points when your 9 year old daughter couldn’t help herself. Her urge to smoking would definitely be there to disrupt the whole plan. So don’t be an Uninvolved Parent, keep an eye on her activities and especially find out how she spends her time alone.
If you won’t stop her at those points, the progress achieved until that point would be lost. And it would be harder to cope with afterward.
Important thing to Understand
The most important thing to understand here is that your child would always be surrounded by people who smoke. And you cannot limit them to non-smokers only. If you set the right thing in them at such a young age, it’d live in them for the whole life.
Thus it’s important that you instill a mentality in them which makes them hate ‘Smoking’. So they could proudly and comfortably say ‘No’ in a friend’s gathering where everyone is a smoker.