Children, with their innocence and wonder of the world can provide so much hope and inspiration to others. I would guess that if we asked a parent “what are your top three values?” five years before they had children and then several years after, they would share much different answers. Children, grandchildren, or some other special child in our lives can be a greater motivator for change, especially when it comes to stopping smoking.
While becoming smoke-free is an individual journey that requires a personal decision to quit, creating a list of reasons to stop – both internal and external – can have a tremendous impact on one’s focus and commitment to stopping smoking. Children can be a powerful motivator for many.
We all want the best for the children in our lives. We want to spend quality time with them, playing and watching them experience the simple joys in life. Enjoying these fun activities and having a relationship with their parents, grandparents and other trusted adults is what children wish for. In this context, continuing to smoke is a liability as it damages our health and shortens our life and time with others.
We also hope for our children to be healthy. Living with someone who smokes increases a child’s risk of being hospitalized for a respiratory problem, ear infections, and increases the number of emergency room and doctor visits they have. For people who smoke, it can bring feelings of guilt and hurt to think about what impact our tobacco addiction is having on the children we love.
Stopping smoking is hard; there is no doubt about that. From making the decision to quit to getting through withdrawals, stopping will have its tough moments. However, it is in these moments – especially when it feels we are holding on one minute at a time – that remembering why we are doing this can make all the difference in the world. Stopping smoking is a tremendous demonstration of love for those we care most about in life.
So if you are thinking about quitting or are currently walking your smoke-free path, continue to remind yourself why you are doing this. Use whatever resources are available to you including this supportive and passionate Ex Community. Stop smoking for good and start enjoying time with your child, grandchild or other special children. They won’t stay young forever.