Amy and her husband of 15 years, Chris, are the parents to two young boys, Trevor, 9, and Tyler, 8. The couple is fortunate that their boys, for the most part, follow the rules set by their parents. Amy has spoken to the boys about not smoking, but realizes that having a one-time talk about such a serious subject will not suffice. She believes in giving the boys multiple reasons why smoking would be a bad choice, instead of simply telling them it is bad for them, or that it is a house rule not to smoke. By telling them how smoking smells bad, is expensive, and even how it is now considered less socially acceptable than in the past, she hopes to hit on a reason that will resonate with the boys and help them make the decision not to smoke.
“Constantly talk to them. Reinforce and reiterate that smoking is a bad thing in a lot of ways. Keeping the lines of communication open is a good thing.”
Amy and Chris are very involved in their boys’ lives, be it at school, through participation in sports or just at home. They realize they cannot dictate values, but hope that by building a strong relationship, it will give them more influence. Amy hopes to fight peer pressure by telling her boys that they need to be their own person. She tells them if a friend smokes, it doesn’t mean you can’t be friends with him or that he is a bad person, but you need to have a strong enough sense of self to not participate yourself.