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Co-Parenting A Teenager That Is Vaping Behind Your Back

Raising a child as a single parent thanks to divorce is no mean feat. If that child is a teenager, then things often become more complicated and you need to know how to handle it..

Take, for instance, the vaping craze that’s exploded among teens. What happens when you discover that your teen is vaping behind your back? How will you handle it? How do you and your ex work together to discover a solution?

Why is Vaping Dangerous?

You might be wondering why vaping is a serious issue. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Most parents and teens are under the impression that vaping simply involves inhaling harmless water vapor and flavor. There’s a misconception that e-cigarettes are better than conventional cigarettes.

However, while e-cigarettes are smoke and tobacco-free, most still contain nicotine. This is a dangerous, highly addictive substance that can wreak havoc on teens’ developing brains, affecting their learning ability, attention span as well as their mood and impulse control.

Additionally, the CDC reports that the vapor or aerosol from e-cigarettes isn’t as benign as once thought. It contains chemical fruit or candy flavorings that have been linked to certain lung ailments. What’s more, the nicotine in e-cigarettes might put users at risk for addiction to other drugs in the future.

Co-parenting A Vaping Teen

Teens can turn to vaping for several reasons including acting out because of divorce or because of peer pressure. Here’s how you and your ex-spouse can handle the situation:

Discuss the issue with your ex-spouse.

You and your ex-spouse need to sit down and discuss how you’re going to handle this situation. Things won’t work if one of you sees that vaping is a problem and the other thinks there’s nothing wrong with it. Get on the same page on how you’ll raise the issue with your teen, the consequences they’ll have to face and what kind of help they should receive, if necessary.

Have a discussion with your teen.

Next, have a discussion on vaping with your teen either separately or together as his parents. Avoid scolding or lecturing and instead, ask open-ended questions to initiate dialogue. This way, you have a chance of discovering the root cause of their behavior. During the discussion, educate your teen on the dangers of vaping.

Outline consequences to your teen.

For consistency, both you and your ex-spouse should agree on suitable consequences for your teen’s vaping. These consequences should be clear and should match the committed offense. For instance, you could ground your teen for some days or withdraw some of their privileges for a while. Ensure that consequences set are enforced by both of you and that rules are the same at both homes.

Seek professional help.

Finally, if you both notice that you’re not having any impact on your teen, seek professional help. It can be hard to quit vaping but it is possible as long as your teen is willing to do it. There are trained professionals who can guide your teen on how to become vape-free.

As parents, both you and your spouse should find ways to co-parent your teen through a vaping incident, keeping in mind that his well being is the most important thing.

Author of this article, Tyler Jacobson, enjoys going to the mountains near his home in Draper, Utah to connect with his wife and children through camping, hiking, and quality time together. When he isn’t rebooting in the outdoors, he shares his fatherly experiences with the world through writing and creative work. Tyler shares the ups and downs of family life and the solutions he’s found through lengthy research and involvement in the industry and his own experiences to help parents everywhere. Follow Tyler on: Twitter