Do I really need to start talking to my tweens about vaping?

I feel like I’m in a golden age of parenting. My kids are in their tween years (defined as being between the ages of 8 to 12 years). The exhausting days of early parenting are far behind me. My kids are doing more things on their own and often surprise me by what they can do. Yet they still need me and I have lots of input into their decisions. Sure, their brains are still developing which makes for regular emotional outbursts leaving me to wonder at times, who are these children? But for the most part, I love it!

Two sisters hugging ages 9 and 11

So when I hear about the rise of vaping in teenagers, I am tempted to think, “I’m glad I don’t have to worry about that yet!” I’d rather ignore the fact that my kids are getting older and hope for the best.  Then I hear about youth starting to vape as young as Grade 6. GRADE 6?!?!? I hear stories of kids vaping in elementary school washrooms, on school buses, and vape juice flavours that are tempting for youth…and…okay…I’m paying attention.

Talking about vaping with my kids is the same as talking about other topics like sexual activity, body image, alcohol and other substances. It’s not a one-time big conversation. Instead, it is having smaller talks with them more often and starting when they are young. It’s about creating a space where kids feel comfortable talking about any topic. Okay, well that’s easier said than done.  The good news is that as parents, we can be the greatest influence on our kids as they enter into their teenage years and beyond.

So how do we talk about vaping with our tweens?Mother and daughter having a talk

  • Be prepared with the facts. Youth respond to facts over lectures. Focus more on health and safety.
  • Bring up the subject when you see it, for example, bus shelter ads, news headlines, or when you see someone vaping in the community.
  • Talk with your tween about what you expect and what your family values are on vaping.
  • Problem-solve with your tween how to say no if they are offered substances. Practice with them and let them know you will come and get them if they ever need help.
  • Be prepared to listen and let your tween express their thoughts and feelings. Don’t judge or lecture. Use open-ended questions, for example, ‘what do you think,’ ‘how do you feel about that,’ over blurting out your opinion.

These small conversations over time stay with our kids and can help them make better choices. Keeping our kids from getting older isn’t an option (the last time I checked). So instead, let’s take a deep breath and know that we still have an important role in supporting our children with whatever challenges they face.

What helps you to have open conversations with your kids? Let us know! We would love to hear from you. Connect with us:

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For parenting information or to speak with a Public Health Nurse (every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) simply call 311 or 905-825-6000

 

 

Posted in Children & Tweens, Emotional Well-Being & Mental Health for Your Child/Tween, Keeping Your Child/Tween Safe, Parenting, Parenting Your Child/Tween | Tagged | Leave a comment

Edible Cannabis: how to protect your kids from unintentional poisoning

I’ll never forget the feeling of panic when I saw my 3 year-old holding a bottle of household cleaner. I left a cupboard door unlocked in the bathroom as I went to answer my phone. Fortunately, he only looked at it. At that time, edible cannabis was not on my list of potential safety concerns. If I were to have a young child now, that list would be different.

In Canada, the number of young children hospitalized after the ingestion of cannabis has increased since cannabis legislation. Between September and December 2018, sixteen cases of severe reactions were reported to the Canadian Paediatric Surveillance Program.

Girl's Hand Reaching For Cupcake On Kitchen Counter

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Posted in Babies, Children & Tweens, Emotional Well-Being & Mental Health for Your Child/Tween, Healthy Eating for Toddlers & Preschoolers, Healthy Eating for Your Child/Tween, Keeping Your Baby Safe, Keeping Your Child/Tween Safe, Parenting, Parenting Your Baby, Parenting Your Child/Tween, Parenting Your Toddler & Preschooler, Play, Growth & Development, Play, Growth & Development for Babies, Toddlers & Preschoolers | Tagged , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Supporting breastfeeding in public

On August 1 to 7, let’s celebrate World Breastfeeding Week!

Breastfeeding is the natural way to feed a child with major health benefits for parents and babies. Parents have the right to breastfeed anywhere, anytime – a right protected by the Human Rights Code in Ontario. However, we still have some work to do to help parents feel comfortable breastfeeding in public places. Continue reading

Posted in Babies, Breastfeeding Your Baby, Breastfeeding Your Child, Parenting, Pregnancy, Preparing to Breastfeed, Toddlers & Preschoolers | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

My baby went to university! This is what we learned.

One year ago we prepared to send my oldest daughter off to university. The final year of high school had kept us busy: driver’s license √, university acceptance √, prom √. We made it; but we had a new mountain to climb. She was moving away to go to school.

First day of College

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Posted in Emotional Well-Being & Mental Health for Your Teen, Keeping Your Teen Safe, Parenting, Parenting Your Teen, Teen Brain, Teens | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Your school age child is stealing: what can you do?

Put your hand up if you remember stealing something when you were a kid. I bet there are lots of hands raised right now!

It’s not unusual for kids to take something that doesn’t belong to them, without asking permission, especially between the ages of five and eight. But by this age, they know it’s wrong and a parent’s response is very important. If we ignore the behaviour, it encourages your child to keep trying to get away with it.Mom talking sternly to daughter, daughter looking down

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Posted in Children & Tweens, Emotional Well-Being & Mental Health for Your Child/Tween, Emotional Well-Being & Mental Health for Your Teen, Keeping Your Teen Safe, Parenting, Parenting Your Child/Tween, Parenting Your Teen, Teens | Tagged | 7 Comments

What about Dad?

You lie in bed, hearing the cries coming from the crib. The baby’s awake again, but you are so tired you dread getting out of bed. The days and nights are starting to blur together, and you’ve lost track of feedings and diaper changes. In your darker moments, you long for that time when there was just the two of you, with lots of time after work to relax together over dinner, watch a movie, and cuddle.  No one told you that fatherhood was going to be like this.Father and baby watching television

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Posted in Babies, Depression & Anxiety After Birth, Depression & Anxiety During Pregnancy, Parenting, Parenting Your Baby, Pregnancy | Tagged | 1 Comment

From your baby, with love

Hi Mommy – it’s me again.

Baby sleeping on mom's chest skin to skin

Yes, it’s dark outside, but I can’t read clocks and all I know is that I need you. When I wake up because my tummy is grumbling, I need you. Continue reading

Posted in Babies, Breastfeeding Your Baby, Depression & Anxiety After Birth, Depression & Anxiety During Pregnancy, Parenting, Parenting Your Baby, Parenting Your Toddler & Preschooler, Toddlers & Preschoolers | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment