Q: I found an opened pack of cigarettes in my 14-year-old’s jacket. His father and I don’t smoke. How should we handle this?
A: Just be factual and resist the urge to jump to conclusions. Comment simply that you found the cigarettes. Then listen to what your son has to say. The smoking may have been a one-time happening and not worthy of a big argument. It can be hard to stay cool, but it’s worthwhile for the message it sends to your son: You can talk to us about difficult, even controversial issues in your life because we won’t go crazy.
Whatever his response, you can take the occasion to calmly remind him of the dangers of smoking and that you certainly don’t approve.