Real Health Podcast: From picky eaters to teenage vaping – parenting advice with Dr David Coleman
We all know parenting is complicated and new challenges crop up all the time. There are some issues that are more common than others though, like picky eating, helping a child to be more confident and the constant presence of screens.
This week on Real Health I’m joined Clinical Psychologist Dr David Coleman to chat about parenting and give some of his advice on some of the usual and not so usual issues facing parents today.
Vaping has become far more common in recent years. Instead of parents having to tackle alcohol and smoking in teenagers, they may also have to deal with vaping. Dr Coleman says the popularity of vapes is likely down to how teens views them as an alternative to cigarettes.
“I think it's because kids just see it as something that is actually not dangerous. They see vapes, I think, as all the good bits of cigarettes with none of the bad bits of cigarettes as they might have perceived it.
“It still has that aura of cool, it still has that aura of something that's a little bit edgy, that they know their parents don't really approve of.”
For parents, going straight down the punishment route might be the first thing that comes to mind. David says that doesn’t tend to work with teenagers.
"You've really got to be appealing to their better nature and they've got to see that you are talking to them a little bit like an adult.”
“I think really it's about giving them, a clear message that you just don't want them vaping ... that it's never going to be something that you're going to turn a blind eye to, that you're going to accept as being okay or maybe okay for them."
We also chat about some of the issues that parents of younger children face, like helping to raise them as confident kids.
“One of the first things that parents can do is to not try and fix all of their child's problems. We are almost instinctively set up to try and anticipate problems that our kids might face and solve them for them so that they have an easier path through life than we did.
If your child, for example, forgets their lunch, rushing to get their lunch to school doesn’t help them stand on their own two feet.
“Your child will cope fine. But what they will do is they will learn, oh, I better remember to bring my lunch, because that was actually a little bit unpleasant, not terribly traumatic, just unpleasant.
“That's a kind of a natural suffering that we could let children experience without rushing in to fix it for them.”
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And you can get in touch - I’m @KarlHenryPT on Instagram and firstname.lastname@example.org.
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