Is it okay for parents of adolescents to be “snoopy” about what’s going on in their child’s life? My answer is absolutely, yes.
During the early adolescent years and into the young teen years, these kids are caught between thinking like a child and being able to reason like a young adult. They are pushing for independence, but their ability to weigh the positives and negatives of their choices and actions is still limited by brain development.
The rapid acceptance of vaping by this age group is an example of the group-think ways of adolescents. The rise in lung injury as a result of vaping puts adolescents at risk and it is causing parents to hit the stop button.
Although it might be difficult to believe that your adolescent is participating in this unhealthy experience, remember that he or she is at an age when emotion has a lot of control over reason. Also, their drive for acceptance in their peer group is very strong. Before you let yourself think, “my child would never do this,” become snoopy and investigate what is going on. We can hope the local leadership in our community will stand up against the flavored vaping opportunities, but they can only do so much. This is ultimately a parenting issue.
I want to encourage you to take time to do your own research about vaping. Sit with your adolescent and explain what you have learned. Help them to understand the potential long- term consequences of their choice.
This is not a one-time talk. Keep your eyes and ears open, like while you are driving your adolescent to different places with their friends. It is amazing what they say to each other if they forget you are there. Talk regularly with parents of your child’s friends so together you can sort out what is happening with your adolescents and be a support network for each other.
Don’t let fear overtake you when it comes to facing these challenges. Stay informed, be snoopy, and keep the dialogue going.