Humans are inquisitive by nature and while an adult might keep their comments or questions to themselves for risk of offending you, your kids are unlikely to worry about whether they are coming across as rude.
Whether you’re explaining why you vape, why the gentleman working down the street vapes or why they’re talking about vaping on the news, sometimes you have to call in reinforcement and as a parent to a parent, there’s no shame in that.
I believe that honesty is the best policy when it comes to children. You may have already heard the idea that children are sponges, they soak up everything: What you do. How you talk. Who you spend time with. How you present yourself to the world. There are many of you whose first instinct is to shoo your children away when they start asking tough questions around vaping, in the following paragraphs I’m going to try to help you develop a way to talk to your children about what vaping is, without making it sound appealing.
I remember when I had to talk to my daughter about what vaping was and why we do it. A unique situation, I worked in a vape retail store, every time she came to see me at work she would be immersed in vape culture. I would smell like sweets and baking when I got home. But mostly, she didn’t understand why I went outside every couple of hours and why she wasn’t able to come with me.
I’ll break it down for you, so that hopefully, you can break it down for your kids.
First of all, remember, you don’t have to give your child all the details as to why you vape. In many situations, this one included, less is more. Give them a general understanding, for example: “I use my vape to help me quit smoking.”
Explain to them that vaping is not for children. Vapes are not toys and e-liquid is not something to be played with. Nicotine can potentially be very harmful to children, as Robbie explains in his post “For the Love of Vaping, Please don’t Vape Around your Kids”.
All animals have a survival instinct, children are no exception to that. When you tell them that this product could potentially make them very sick, they’re not going to try and drink it. This is also your responsibility, if you feel like your child’s inquisitive nature is going to get the better of them, remove the threat. Keep your vape up high and out of reach of little fingers. There’s no need to tempt them.
Now, you don’t necessarily want your child to be afraid of vaping products but you do want them to respect them as tools to help you make the switch from smoking. In the same way you don’t want one of your children running around the house with a saw, you don’t want your kid running round the house with your vape. We all know what a saw is, we all know why they are used and like vapes, they are a tool that deserves to be respected as such.
If you’re really feeling stuck, try and imagine how you would explain to your child why they can not play with the saw. You may find that when you take the “taboo” out of explaining your vape to your child, it gets a lot easier.
Every child is different, some may be more persistent than others, but that doesn’t mean you should give up. Being open and frank with your children now can benefit you for years to come.
Who do you want your children going to when they’re 16 and Johnny from biology is vaping?
You? Or Johnny?