One of the main subjects that are enforced on parents is prevention of smoking.
I'm OK with the subject, but not with the way the government and other organisations are dealing with it.
In a way they're signaling young people that they're not responsible for their own behaviour, but their parents are, regardless of their age.
I think parents are responsible for raising their children. I also think that a good upbringing stretches far into adulthood in most cases, but people are responsible for their own choices.
Another important aspect is that at the moment advertisements suggest children should be informed about smoking when they're going to secondary school or whatever the school is called when they're 12 or older. This to prevent kids from smoking at an early age.
I strongly disagree with this.
At 12 they're at an age that many changes are taking place in their lives and they're less open for good advice and information. Some will be even acting directly opposite the behaviour that's expected from them. They're too young for a critical review of research and they will pick out what they want to hear, not what they should hear.
Teaching kids the difference between right and wrong should be done earlier than at the age of 12. That's not only for matters of the law, but also with matters of health.
My children grew up with non-smoking parents.
We set the example, and we made clear that smoking was not healthy. At a young age very simple and more educational when they grew a bit older.
It's a pity not all teachers were an example too. But those smoking people, standing in the cold outside the schooldoor, raised serious questions, and we answered them each and every one. We showed respect to the teaching skills of the teachers, so the children wouldn't disrespect their teachers, but smoking was unhealthy nevertheless.
I'm happy my children didn't feel the need to try out smoking.
That's a lot of self-respect.