Your child is growing up and becoming more independent and responsible! However, parents still need to help their older children get medical care and make healthy choices.
Some preteens and teenagers act in risky ways. For example, we know eight out of ten adult smokers started before they were 18. Peer pressure is not the big problem we once thought. The bigger problem is misunderstanding and misinformation. Teenagers underestimate how addictive smoking really is. With smoking or other unhealthy choices, the risks they take are almost invisible to teens.
An important part of helping your older child make healthy choices is talking to them. Talking to your child about relationships, the Internet, alcohol, tobacco, driving, drugs, and other difficult subjects will help your child become informed and make better choices.