443,000: the amount of people that smoking kills every year in the United States alone. It's a lot. It's scary. And as a parent, it's natural to want to do everything you can to prevent your child from being part of this statistic. However, new data reveals that you may not be the person that can stop your teen from picking up the cancer sticks. The person who can? Their doctor.
According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, teens are less likely to try smoking if they received some sort of counseling from their doctor or another health provider. I'm not talking about a marathon sit down meeting, either. The study says that even a "very minimal intervention" from a doctor's office like a mailing of pamphlets can make a major difference.
Hmmmm. I don't know if I 100 percent believe getting a pamphlet in the mail would prevent a teen from smoking over a one-on-one with Mom and Dad. Regardless, it doesn't matter what gets them to stop -- it's just that they do.
Sometimes that's a hard theory to accept as a parent, though. When it comes to what's best for your child, you want to be the person who helps instill good values in them. The reality? As this smoking study indicates, that's not always how things work out. What's important is that your child has access to the right information at the right times. What's important is the simple fact that they're learning about the things that are good for them, not necessarily who they're learning it from.
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Besides, we can all relate to that natural inclination that so many teens have to want to discover the world and find things out for themselves. When Mom and Dad tell them what's best, even if it is for health reasons, that curiosity still lingers. It's part of growing up. As a parent, the best thing you can do is keep an open dialogue and let them know that no matter what their decisions may be -- you'll be there to talk it out with them in the end.
Do you think this study is legitimate? Do you think your teen listens to others before you, sometimes?
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