How to Tell Parents You Smoke: 12 Steps

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How to Tell Parents You Smoke: 12 Steps
How to Tell Parents You Smoke: 12 Steps

You smoke? Are you worried that your parents don't know yet and might be disappointed to find out? Smoking is not good for your health, and dealing with parents is never easy. However, hiding the habit can be as difficult as telling the truth. If you're ready to quit smoking and discuss the problem with your mom and dad, choose an appropriate place to talk, speak in the right tone of voice, and accept their support.


Part 1 of 3: Defining the time and place

Tell Your Parents You Smoke Step 1

Step 1. Choose a quiet time

Your parents will respond better if you choose a quiet time to tell them when they are more relaxed and can give you their full attention.

  • The best time for this is at night, when the workday is over and the mind is less full.
  • Dinnertime can be perfect for bringing difficult subjects to the fore. Another alternative is to bring up the cigarette issue while helping to prepare dinner or when everyone is gathered in the TV room.
  • Don't comment if one of your parents is experiencing a stressful time at home or at work. The news can trigger a negative reaction, and that's not what you want.
Tell Your Parents You Smoke Step 2

Step 2. Keep privacy

Choose a moment that is not only peaceful but also private. It's better to have an open conversation in a place where you don't risk being interrupted and where you can express yourself with an open heart. The same goes for your parents.

  • Having the conversation at home can work if there are no visitors. In the car or during a walk are also possible alternatives if you are alone.
  • Counting over the phone is another option, as long as they can talk in the moment. Say “Am I calling at a good time? Are you free to talk?”
  • Public speaking is not a good idea. Your parents may feel embarrassed if they learn of your habit in a place like a mall, at a friend's house, or anywhere else where there is no privacy. It's important to keep this in mind to avoid drama.
  • Avoid telling by email or text message. This type of conversation needs to be discussed in person or at least in real time. The emotional charge is great, and talking by message can lead to misinterpretation.
Tell Your Parents You Smoke Step 3

Step 3. Start the conversation

Start with a regular chat. Don't bring it up right away, first let your parents feel comfortable in the conversation and throughout the conversation comment on your smoking habit.

  • You can start a conversation by asking how they are doing: “How are things? How was work today?". Proceed with answerable questions: "Dad, was the week too busy at work?"
  • Starting with this kind of dialogue will give you an idea of ​​their mood. Are they ready to have this conversation? Are you stressed? Or are they minding other problems?
Tell Your Parents You Smoke Step 4

Step 4. Mention the subject carefully, taking into account the time and place

You're probably worried that you'll generate anger or disappointment in your parents with the news, but don't let fear stop you. Instead, put your concerns into words as part of the conversation.

  • Try to feel the vibration of the environment for this type of conversation. How's your parents' mood? Are you in a private location? Do they look calm?
  • If you feel the time is right, start the conversation. Say something like "Mom, we need to talk" or "Dad, there's something I want to tell you."
  • If you feel that they might get angry or refuse to support you, try to defuse their irritation from the start. Try saying something like “Mom, I have something to tell you, but I'm afraid you'll be upset with me” or “Dad, can we talk? It's something I'm not proud to say.”

Part 2 of 3: Using the Right Tone

Tell Your Parents You Smoke Step 5

Step 1. Reassure them

Take a deep breath and go for it. Before getting into the details, remember that your parents have no idea what you're going to tell them. Reassure them that you are not in danger.

  • Be clear that you are not involved in any confusion. They will probably be relieved to know that you have not committed any crimes, for example, and are not even under academic suspension.
  • Say something reassuring, such as "First of all, know that I'm not in danger or involved in trouble."
  • You can use this to your advantage. For those concerned with more serious issues, knowing the issue is about smoking may seem irrelevant.
Tell Your Parents You Smoke Step 6

Step 2. Be objective

Do not wrap. Tell your parents you're smoking and want them to know why you care about their opinion.

  • Try saying something very straight, like "Dad, I want you to know I smoke" or "Mom, I'm sorry but I'm smoking."
  • If they are totally against smoking, supplementing the sentence with an apology may ease their reaction. “I know what you guys think of cigarettes, and I'm really sorry. All of this kind of happened and I feel like I let you down.”
Tell Your Parents You Smoke Step 7

Step 3. Be honest

Keep an open and honest conversation with your parents. Don't lie about when you started smoking or how many cigarettes you smoke if they ask. Give an honest explanation so they can understand the situation.

  • Tell us the details. Explain when and how the habit started, and how many cigarettes you smoke. For example, “I started a few months ago when I was extremely stressed. I bought a pack at the convenience store and they didn't ask for my ID. Now I smoke half a pack a day and it's starting to get out of hand.”
  • Speak with ease. Put on a concerned tone of voice and make eye contact with your parents. Try not to use a challenging or aggressive tone.
Tell Your Parents You Smoke Step 8

Step 4. Listen to what they have to say

Your parents can be supportive, but they can also assume an attitude of disappointment and irritation, or all at the same time. Anyway, listen to what they have to say, even if you don't agree. Keep the respect.

  • Let them absorb what you've said and give them time to think and react. Wait until they say something, and don't interrupt them when they're talking.
  • They may have questions about their relationship with smoking. Respond clearly and objectively.
  • Try not to whine or argue. Even if your parents are upset, don't take a defensive posture so you don't end up exploding. If they are very angry, try to defuse the situation by stressing your need to be helped.

Part 3 of 3: Asking for help

Tell Your Parents You Smoke Step 9

Step 1. Keep calm

Don't be mad at your parents. Their biggest concern is for your well-being, even though they are sad to hear you smoke. The most important thing is to have their help to get you to stop.

  • Take responsibility for your decisions. Remember that you are the one who chose to start smoking, even if the problem is out of control.
  • Your parents will remark that you made a bad choice. Instead of taking a defensive stance, admit it was a bad decision. “It was a really horrible decision. I shouldn't have even started.”
Tell Your Parents You Smoke Step 10

Step 2. Ask for advice

Your mom and dad have a lot more life experience than you. Are they smokers or were they once? Maybe they know what you're going through and can give you advice on how to stop smoking. Don't be shy, ask for help.

  • Be clear that you need help. Say something like "I know this habit is not healthy at all, so I need your help."
  • If either of your parents has been a smoker, ask about the experience. Say “Dad, I know you stopped smoking when I was little. How did you get?".
  • Make it clear that you are having difficulty quitting smoking and that you need their support.
  • Throw away your cigarettes to show your parents that you are willing to try to quit smoking and that you care about their taking care of you.
Tell Your Parents You Smoke Step 11

Step 3. Create a plan

Make an action plan together with your parents to begin the process of quitting smoking. Pay attention to their advice, accept help, and do what you can. They will want to collaborate in some way and will do anything to support you.

  • Choose a day to stop the addiction. Whether you want to stop for good or start using supplies to deal with withdrawal, pick a day that's right.
  • Talk to a doctor. With or without your parents, talk to a doctor about smoking. He will be able to advise you to stop, including using products such as nicotine patches, gum, or inhalers.
  • Ask for solidarity. The biggest role your parents can play during this process is to support you, encourage you, and lift you up when you're down. You will need them on your side.
Tell Your Parents You Smoke Step 12

Step 4. Be prepared for obstacles

Quitting smoking is not going to be easy. Follow the plan and keep the lines of communication open with your parents. Talk to them about what you're up against and ask for help when you need extra support.

  • You're likely to feel irritable, anxious, and have trouble concentrating – all of which are signs of withdrawal, and it's normal because of nicotine addiction. You can also have wishes.
  • Limit the things that trigger these desires. It could be anything, like watching TV, drinking coffee or being with a friend who smokes. Watch less television if it makes you want to smoke, for example. Or drink less coffee if the drink makes you crave a cigarette.
  • Stay hydrated and active. In fact, exercise can help to lessen your cravings.
  • If you have parents who smoke, invite them to join the program as well. If they are not smokers, they may be willing to exercise with you or at least offer a helping hand on the toughest days.
  • The first ten days are the most complicated. Don't be discouraged by slips, keep trying.


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