Originally Posted by karina5
I feel that anyone who is suggesting such things as special ashtrays and laptop computers and the like are ignoring the larger (and more important) issue that this son is being very disrespectful regarding this issue.
It's kinda frustrating...what is that saying..."can't see the forest for the trees"??? The one that means that you can get hung up on the details, but you need to see the bigger issue.
Anyway...the respect/passive-aggressive thing is much more important to me than the it being just a smoking issue (although as many have stated, that is a real and valid issue, too, of course).
Disrespect can go both ways. Anyone who asks how to "punish" their 20 year old child is ignoring the fact their kid is no longer a kid. Unless he is going to college, paying rent, or has some kind of disability, it really is time for him to find his own home—if not for the sake of his relationship with his parents then for the sake of his own independence. Even then, you can always work on ways together on how he can get out on his own.
I've known few adult children who grow up to be happy and well adjusted. The ones I've met who continuously live completely rent-free without consequence or contribution in their parents' homes usually end up to be very miserable later in life. We're talking about 30 and 40 year olds who have never had adult relationships with other people. 30 and 40 year olds who finally move out on their own—only to move into poverty—despite receiving good educations (and the student loans that go with them), because they've never been motivated (or had the self esteem) to have good careers. It's not just the fact they live at home that causes it, but the way they are continually treated as children by their parents.
I've seen this happen to a few acquaintances and two close friends (one from high school and the other college). It was very heart-breaking to see it happen to my friends. They both had so much talent and potential to be successful and happy, but never could get past seeing themselves as nothing more than children. Neither of them moved out until their parents got divorced (possibly from the strain of having an adult child under their roof)—and this was a very traumatic way to move out.
They lived in poverty alone, and to this day (10 years later) are still very lonely sad people. I'd never wish this on anyone, and it is why when my DD is an adult, we'll be gently encouraging her to stay in a dorm or get an apartment as soon as she can unless she is going to school or paying rent at our house. It got to be hard for me (and others) to stay friends with these folks. While we were growing up and moving on, they were staying in a time capsule. While, I haven't been in contact with either of these people for a couple of years (it got to be too frustrating), I know through mutual acquaintances that they are pretty much the same, and that makes me very sad for them.
Anyhow, there are ways you can help an adult child move out that is not "throwing them out." You can help them look for a place to stay, help them pack, tell them they can call you if they need help and even help them out a little financially until they are completely able to stand on their feet...but there's got to be very firm boundaries—and this does include some conditions. This is what keeps your relationship with them healthy and it helps them grow up so they can be happy, healthy adults.