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At my wits end with oldest ds

post #1 of 143
Thread Starter 
He's 20 and will NOT quit smoking in the house and it it making me want to really really smack him.

I wake up in the middle of the night because I can smell it - he's downstairs smoking. He smokes while I'm at work. I tell him not to and he says OK and then just keeps doing it. I've reasoned with him, gotten mad at him, thrown out his smokes, his lighter, not spoken to him for days, nothing works. He spends a few days smoking in the garage and next thing I know he's back in the house. How do I punish an adult who simply ignores the rules like that??? He works 35 or so hours a week and other than that he's home almost all the time, in the basement, playing WoW. And smoking. My house smells disgusting and I am SICK of it. Right now I just want to puke the smell is so gross.

I can't make him do anything - that simply doesn't work. Hasn't for a few years now. I need to come up with a way to make him want to do it, or for it to be more uncomfortable for him to do not it than do it, if I want him to do anything.
post #2 of 143
Would a really good air purifier and containing smoking to one room work?

He should pay for the air purifyer as it is his habit (although Christmas is coming!)

Does he say he wants to quit?

Kathy
post #3 of 143
I'm sorry but I would kick him out! If he has money to burn then he can find his own place to polute. Sounds harsh but why put up with someone who shows you no respect?
post #4 of 143
Maybe my way of thinking is not in line with MDC standards, but....he's 20, right? Old enough to find his own apartment if he wants to smoke indoors.

I'm with Hillymum. Except I don't think it sounds harsh at all.
post #5 of 143
I second the pp that said to kick him out. It is harsh but thats showing too much disreapect imo. Maybe just the threat of ir will be enought to get him to listen. Hugs & good luck!
post #6 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by hillymum View Post
I'm sorry but I would kick him out! If he has money to burn then he can find his own place to polute. Sounds harsh but why put up with someone who shows you no respect?


I have to agree. If you have given him numerous opportunities to comply with the rules and he refuses to then I would ask him to leave. I think living with adult children needs to be based on mutual respect. If that respect does not exist it is time for the child to move on and set up their own home and their own rules. If his life is made too easy (like being able to sit around and play WoW all day) then he will never learn to grow up and take responsibility for his actions and for his life. In that way I think you are actually doing him a disservice. It is time for him to grow up... whether he likes it or not!

Sorry, mama... this must be really tough for you!
post #7 of 143
Ha! I knew someone whould say "kick him out" and in the course of 15 minutes 4 posters did

I must say there are offenses that are "kick out worthy" but is smoking one of them? This is something you have to decide for yourself.

I think talking to him is in order. Find out if he wants to quit. Have him brainstorm solution to the issues. Having to go outside to smoke may be something he comes up with on his own - as "smoking being inconvenient" does cut down on smoking for some people.

If he does not want to quit - but is willing to smoke in one room only and the air purifier works - problem solved.

If he continues to smoke everywhere in the house or if the air purifier does not help, you could bring up the topic of getting his own place. I would help him transition to this, though. The bottom line is you do have a right to a smoke free environment, and he has the right to smoke. It might be that you two cannot live together if his habit is not manageable.
post #8 of 143
My son is only 4 so I have no real insight BUT I did read once about a parent who was living with a young adult child with a similar issue and she levied a "health tax" of an extra $200 rent, and informed the child she was saving it towards chemotherapy and hospice costs for when the child would be dying of lung cancer. The child quit 3 months later.
post #9 of 143
Thread Starter 
Kick him out?? Seriously?? Um, I'm not going to do that. I'm looking for solutions here, not a way to completely alienate my son for the rest of his life. Take my word for it that other than this, I love him to pieces and he's a great guy.

The air purifier is a really good idea - I hadn't thought of that. I also like your approach kathymuggle - I haven't taken that tack in our numerous conversations. Thanks for the input!
post #10 of 143
Um, yeah, IMO smoking in the house IS a reason to kick somebody out. I won't even allow guests to smoke in my home- they're welcome to step outside if they can't wait until they're home for another cigarette. I already have multiple chemical sensitivities, plus a cold. I felt sicker when a friend came into the house a few minutes after smoking, due to residual smoke on his clothes. I can't imagine allowing anybody, ever, to smoke inside the house itself, because of its effects on my health (not just long term, but my immediate response.) I'm even having trouble breathing after some olive oil got smoky when we were making latkes!

I personally have no qualms about saying " These are my house rules. If you can't abide by them, then you need to move out." It's hard for me to comprehend "smoking in the house" as being "a minor annoyance" rather than "a serious health hazard."

I think Kathymuggle said it pretty well- you have the right to a smoke-free house and he has the right to smoke. If he can't find a way to control his habit, he may need to move out. Maybe you could set up his computer for WOW in the garage?
post #11 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by BedHead View Post
Kick him out?? Seriously?? Um, I'm not going to do that. I'm looking for solutions here, not a way to completely alienate my son for the rest of his life.
Why would enforcing your (very reasonable) personal boundary mean completely alientating your son? He is 20 years old. He knows how disrespectful his behavior is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
I personally have no qualms about saying " These are my house rules. If you can't abide by them, then you need to move out." It's hard for me to comprehend "smoking in the house" as being "a minor annoyance" rather than "a serious health hazard."
This exactly.
post #12 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by BedHead View Post
Kick him out?? Seriously?? Um, I'm not going to do that. I'm looking for solutions here, not a way to completely alienate my son for the rest of his life. Take my word for it that other than this, I love him to pieces and he's a great guy.
Loving him to pieces doesn't mean you have to let him treat you badly. He obviously wants to live by his own rules, it sounds like the solution is for him to move somewhere where he can do that. Your current relationship doesn't sound very healthy, is it really worth hacking and coughing and being miserable to maintain the status quo? If he moves out you may alienate him, or he might grow up and learn to respect you. The current situation doesn't sound like it's bringing the two of you closer together.
post #13 of 143
You can't "discipline" a 20 year old. Yes, I would absolutely have a conversation with him, but the conversation would end with "If you can't abide by this as a consideration for everyone else who lives here, you will have to find another place to live. I'll give you 30 days and help you pack."

I wouldn't ask/tell him to quit, but would offer help if that is the way he wanted to go. That isn't the real problem - smoking in the house is a problem. Being a smoker at 20 is just a bad personal choice, not a parental problem.

I certainly wouldn't be having him brainstorm solutions. There is only one solution if he wanted to continue living with me - smoke outside, or in the garage if that is acceptable to you. An air purifier wouldn't hack it with me.

Even my DF didn't smoke in our home when he was a smoker (he quit a year ago - yay!).

If you had a 20 year old renter who wasn't following the rules of your home, what would you do?
post #14 of 143
It would be HIS choice to continue smoking and have to find a new place to live if you made that a condition of living under YOUR roof.

(Sounds like he's smoking in the house because he knows you won't do anything about it....)
post #15 of 143
Nah, this situation TOTALLY deserves an ultimatum. If he refuses to follow your very reasonable, simple and healthful rule of "no smoking in the house", then he doesnt' deserve to live in your house. What else is he doing that you don't want him to do? I have trouble believing there is only one thing he lies to you about.

If he can't promise to and live up to his promise, to not smoke in the house, then he doesn't deserve to live there.

Gosh. My husband quit smoking this year (finally, with the help of patches and lots of sunflower seeds), but for over 12 years of living together, he smoked and never ONCE smoked in the house. Never. I don't smoke, hate smoke and he knew I (and our children) had the right to live smoke-free so he smoked outside.
post #16 of 143
If you think that holding him accountable for behavior which, in your house, is not only miserable and uncomfortable but life-threatening for you both will "alienate him for the rest of his life," then you must be getting walked on in other areas with him too.

Why don't you just move out? I am sure he can handle the mortgage, rent, bills, repairs, and whatever else you're currently shouldering in order to keep a roof over his head.

I'm only being half sarcastic here. A person cannot control what OTHERS do or think, but they can, and must, control their own own boundaries and behaviors.
post #17 of 143
Your house smelling like smoke (which it will... forever...) also really hurts the property value. Something to consider.

If telling him he can't smoke in the house will alienate him forever then you have bigger problems on your hands then jsut the smoking.
post #18 of 143
Remember, you are not doing your son any favors teaching him that it's okay to smoke whenever/wherever he wants, regardless of others' feelings. In fact, if he acts like that, he is limiting his future relationships (who will be friends or lovers or partners with him), he is learning that his wants trump the wants or needs of others. He is learning that even if he promises something, he doesn't need to stick by his word.

Perhaps you need to take him to family counseling to get someone objective and reasonable to weigh in on this.
post #19 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by NellieKatz View Post
If you think that holding him accountable for behavior which, in your house, is not only miserable and uncomfortable but life-threatening for you both will "alienate him for the rest of his life," then you must be getting walked on in other areas with him too.
Actually, I think she said "kicking him out" would alienate him - not asking him to stop.

I do think it is a legitiamte concern. I would have been seriously alienated if I was kicked out. I have a friend whose parents insisted she stand on her own two feet at a time when she was not ready - and she felt quite abandonned. It is still an issue years later. TBH the families I know where kids are "kicked out" (often simply because they are 18) are not close.

I think if no other solution works (including: quitting, smoking outside, air purifier in one room, smoking in the garage (may work better in warmer weather, lol)) leaving may be an option. But he should be parented out of the house - not kicked out which does sound very harsh.
post #20 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
I think if no other solution works (including: quitting, smoking outside, air purifier in one room, smoking in the garage (may work better in warmer weather, lol)) leaving may be an option. But he should be parented out of the house - not kicked out which does sound very harsh.
Most people are suggesting that he be offered a choice: follow the rules of the household, or find somewhere else to live where he doesn't have to follow those rules. There's a difference between saying you're 18 so get out, and you're 18 and if you want to continue to live here, you need to follow the house rules or you need to leave.
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