Question:

I’ve heard about vaping-related illnesses and that a lot of teens are trying e-cigarettes. I want to talk to my son about it but I’m not sure of the best approach. Do you have any advice?

Answer: 

Ask your son what he knows about vaping and the illnesses being reported in the United States, and to a much lesser extent, Canada. It’s great to make sure he is educated and has all the facts. Let him know that you hope he never tries it, but don’t assume that he will blindly comply. (Wouldn’t that be easy!) He needs to be able to make his own choices. You can’t police him 24 hours a day. I would look up some articles together with a non-judgmental and curious attitude of learning more about the potential health risks. In fact, I hope this is just one of many conversations you will have with your son about substance use, whether it is alcohol, cannabis, prescription drugs or tobacco.

Read the rest of my answer at The Globe and Mail

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Sarah Rosensweet is a peaceful parenting coach and educator. She lives in Toronto with her husband and three big kids (ages 12, 15, and 18). Sarah teaches parents a non-punitive, connection-based approach that uses firm limits with lots of empathy. Find her at sarahrosensweet.com