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At my wits end with oldest ds - Page 2

post #21 of 143
Thread Starter 
Would you all kick your dp out of the house if they smoked in the house, but other than that you had a great relationship? Or would you try and work out a solution? I think that's a far more accurate comparison than asking what I'd do if he was a renter. At what age exactly does the gentle discipline end and the harda$$ parent emerge then? I'm not going to kick him out of the house just BOOM like that - surely people can take that at face value and try to offer constructive solutions instead of telling me if I won't kick him out I'm letting him walk all over me.

Thanks kathymuggle for understanding things. I guess I could try to argue my point here, but I'm at work and don't have the time. I guess I'll just figure it out on my own.
post #22 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by BedHead View Post
Would you all kick your dp out of the house if they smoked in the house, but other than that you had a great relationship?
Yes. If I had asked him repeatedly to stop, if it bothered my lungs, affected our children, etc., yet he continued to persist doing something he KNEW offended us and hurt us. Because you know what? That would mean we would NOT have a great relationship. It would mean I thought we had a great relationship on my end, but on his end he was happy just to do as he pleased, make empty promises, and walk all over me.

That's just disrespectful.

Quote:
Or would you try and work out a solution?
Isn't that what you've been doing? And he agrees but then changes his mind? It sounds like your solutions aren't working and he knows you aren't going to do anything "real" about it.

Quote:
At what age exactly does the gentle discipline end and the harda$$ parent emerge then?
Gentle discipline, I'm sure, doesn't mean allowing oneself to be a doormat and enabling adult children.

Being a parent means more than just coddling someone's destructive behaviors, esp when those behaviors affect the rest of the family. Sometimes it's about doing what you know you need to do to make an adult child "grow up" and be accountable.

Quote:
I'm not going to kick him out of the house just BOOM like that - surely people can take that at face value and try to offer constructive solutions instead of telling me if I won't kick him out I'm letting him walk all over me.
No one's telling you to BOOM - kick him out. They are telling you to give him two options. They are:
1. This is my roof, respect it and do your smoking OUTDOORS or in the GARAGE.
2. If you cannot respect my rules, find another place to live.

The choice is on HIM, not on you. You make the rules, he gets to pick which one he wants to live with.
post #23 of 143
My Dad smokes, and my mom has taken the approach for years that she can love him, but not love his smoking. He is not and has never been allowed to smoke in the house or in her car. He smokes out on the porch, and could smoke in his car but chooses not to.

Part of her taking the hard line was protecting us - she didn't want us raised in a smoking household. Not only is it not healthy, but she didn't want us reaking of smoke.

I see that you have two other children at home. IMO, your 20 year old is damaging your health, as well as the health of the other kids, by smoking in the house.

It's one thing to be a hard-a-- and say, "My way or the highway," but it's another to say, "We all have to share this living space, and the majority rules - 3 healthy lungs outweigh your 'want' to smoke indoors." That's not being a jerk, that's being fair to all.
post #24 of 143
I don't know how well any of these work, but how about an ashtray that sucks up smoke???

http://www.nextag.com/smokeless-ashtray/compare-html
post #25 of 143
He's a grown up. Does he contribute financially to your household? Wash his own clothes, or do any other grown up type stuff?

If he's otherwise responsible (and not an immature kid taking advantage of free digs and food) I would work with him on this issue, but if he's otherwise getting a free ride honestly you're doing him a HUGE disservice as a human being by allowing him to do whatever he wants without consequence.

Sometimes kids need to be alienated (not the word I'd use- I'd use the term shown boundaries), especially when they don't see their parents as valuable human beings worthy of respect and consideration.

*And my husband smoked inside until our first child was born. Then he stopped. And if he continued smoking inside my house behind my back or around my children I would give him the ultimatum. Damn right I'd tell him to leave if he continued imposing his cancerous habits on the rest of us- that's pure BS and selfishness.

No one person in any household has the right to hold the health of the other family members hostage to their own addictions and selfishness.

It's not ok.

I'm sorry that seeing this in black and white is making you defensive for your son (I'm sure he's an awesome person!), but you do have the right here to make a stand. It's not going to hurt him, in the long run it will help him.

I think sometimes parenting includes making really hard choices. I think this is one of them. You don't want to push him out, yet he won't respect you. I'm not sure what else you can do to get through to him besides helping him to grow up and take responsibility for his own actions.
post #26 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.
This EXACTLY. And as always, Ruthla is full of wisdom.
post #27 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sancta View Post
Yes. If I had asked him repeatedly to stop, if it bothered my lungs, affected our children, etc., yet he continued to persist doing something he KNEW offended us and hurt us. Because you know what? That would mean we would NOT have a great relationship. It would mean I thought we had a great relationship on my end, but on his end he was happy just to do as he pleased, make empty promises, and walk all over me.

That's just disrespectful.
And this too. My dad was a heavy smoker my entire life, but he NEVER smoked inside. Mom did not allow it, and he agreed because EVERYONE in the household deserves respect.
post #28 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?
post #29 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
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..
No one is talking about kicking a child out to force him to stand on his own feet, or due to age. Surely a 20 yo realizes how disrespectfully he is acting. Surely he knows he is not treating his mother and siblings well.

I wonder if he would smoke in anyone else's home against their wishes?
post #30 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by BedHead View Post
Would you all kick your dp out of the house if they smoked in the house, but other than that you had a great relationship?
Yes I would. If my husband was willing to be that disrespectful, I would say that we no longer had a "great relationship".
post #31 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by cschick View Post
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.
I think most people are framing the choice this way because there aren't a lot of other "consequences" that can be imposed in this situation. If the young man doesn't care that his actions are disrespectful and potentially harmful to the other residents, then what logical consequence can be imposed?

I agree that he should show the OP the respect of not smoking in her house, just as he (hopefully) would not smoke in a mall, church, or a friend's home without permission. If he will not agree to it and abide by the rules, then he should be parented out of the home, as a PP suggested. With emotional, not financial, support.

Good luck OP. Relationships are really complex and I hope that your son will be mature enough to do his part in fixing the situation.
post #32 of 143
As a former smoker, and a person who believes that a person has a right to smoke in their own home, car, or in a public space (this is not allowed where I live); I do think that your son is being horribly disrespectful by not honoring your request to smoke outside.

I agree with previous posters that you should sit down and speak with him. Let him know that you would like him to only smoke outside. If he cannot or will not respect your request then he has 30 days to look for another place to live. I would not make it an "I will throw you out" situation. Rather, I will help you look for a place to rent, help you pack, help you move.

Another thought, he maybe 'dirtying the nest'. In other words he want to makes his own rules, his own decisions, even move out but is unable to make the move on his own so instead he is attempting to force your hand.
post #33 of 143
My mom smoked for awhile when I was a kid (she stopped before I was born and restarted when I was 13). She never, ever, smoked in the house.

As for "what if it was your husband?" Honestly, I can say that I would not have married a smoker if he was smoking at the time I met him, and I'd marry with the understanding that our house was a smoke-free zone and any future smoking by ANYONE would be done outdoors.

I would be tempted to install a smoke-activated sprinkler system in my basement, frankly. When it shorts out the computer he's playing WoW on, it'll probably get his attention, since it sounds like he respects his WoW buddies more than his own mother.
post #34 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuzyLee View Post
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.
We are currently in the market for a new house, and I was thinking this exact thing! I won't even look at a house that's been smoked in. You can never really get that smell out of everything without replacing everything down to the drywall.

I agree with the pp's that have said the decision to quit or not is his--I'm sure you aren't happy with his decision to smoke, but it's his to make. Until he owns his own home, he's going to have to play by someone else's rules to an extent. Not smoking in the house is not an unreasonable or uncommon request from a landlord. You obviously love him and don't want to push him away, but mama, you are allowing another adult to disrespect you and your values in your own home. Your son is perfectly happy with the situation, but at what price to you?? Would you condone him treating his future spouse this way?
post #35 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by BedHead View Post
Would you all kick your dp out of the house if they smoked in the house, but other than that you had a great relationship? Or would you try and work out a solution? I think that's a far more accurate comparison than asking what I'd do if he was a renter. At what age exactly does the gentle discipline end and the harda$$ parent emerge then? I'm not going to kick him out of the house just BOOM like that - surely people can take that at face value and try to offer constructive solutions instead of telling me if I won't kick him out I'm letting him walk all over me.

Thanks kathymuggle for understanding things. I guess I could try to argue my point here, but I'm at work and don't have the time. I guess I'll just figure it out on my own.
Basically this is a health issue, your health. People have gotten ill and died from second hand smoke. Your son is probably reacting to the issue like you're trying to tell him what to do because you're his mom instead of understanding that you don't want the toxic stuff in your house because you don't want to compromise your own health. Young adults feel the need to assert their autonomy. You don't have to kick him out just make him understand that the real issue is you don't want to be poisoned. Sit him down and say "hey I don't want to get sick or have health problems from toxic smoke. If you were a paying roommate or tenant I would have kicked you out, but you're my son. I know you wouldn't knowing poison my food, but this is poisoning the air I breath. If I feel self destructive and change my mind I'll let you know but until then don't smoke in the house."

We moved when I was pregnant and no one was allowed to smoke in our house after that. Our roommate, who paid one third of expenses, and any of his guests had to smoke outside. My DH was supposed to quit before my DD was born, but couldn't quite do it. He was still smoking maybe 3 cigs. a week. He smoked outside too. After my mom died from obstructive lung disease when my DD was 2 months old my DH had to change shirts and shower anytime he chose to smoke. I just got too upset if I smelled it on him. He quit when my DD turned 3. By that time it was an every once in awhile thing.
post #36 of 143
I'm continuing to read this thread and another thought popped into my mind.

I am a big studier of the concept of boundaries (having been raised with none myself, and having grown up with a really immature attitude until someone explained this whole boundaries thing to me)...and a question occurs to me that this term "great relationship" should be defined.

I am not being glib. Some people define "great relationship" as one where there is no conflict, no fighting, etc. But that could just mean that one person is being endlessly accommodating. Another way a relationship would be great is when both people get their needs met and when they have a conflict of needs/wants/desires, they have an attitude of respectfully trying to work it out, not just by paying lip service to it, but seriously trying to work it out.

But when I see that some of the responses to the infuriating behavior arre to "smack him" or "not speaking to him", I wonder if healthy assertiveness is not lacking, and that the "great relationship" could mean that conflict or the necessary negotiations are just being avoided.

I'm just thinking out loud here...it reminds me of things I've heard when people say about a couple "those two got divorced!! I can't believe it....they had such a great relationship! they never even so much as argued!!" Sometimes peace comes at too great a cost, and it not a healthy and sustainable peace.

This can't be easy. It sounds like we're beating up on you. But I come from this exact dynamic....the dynamic of peace-at-any-cost vs. conflict/confrontation = abandonment. Too extreme. It didn't serve me well. This new, assertive, healthy-boundaries thing does NOT come easy if you weren't raised that way. So I can empathize.
post #37 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by BedHead View Post
Would you all kick your dp out of the house if they smoked in the house, but other than that you had a great relationship? Or would you try and work out a solution?
When dating, smoking was a deal-breaker for me. I have problems with even cigarette particulates--they cause my allergies to flare up in rather nasty ways.

If my husband took up smoking at all at this point, that still would be a deal-breaker. It would be extremely disrespectful of me and my health.
post #38 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
But he should be parented out of the house - not kicked out which does sound very harsh.
Oh, absolutely. There's a big difference between saying "That's IT!!! I've had it with the smoking- you've got until January 15th to find someplace else to live!" and saying "Look, we need to find a solution here. I can't live with smoke in my house. I love you, and I enjoy your company, but I'm very angry about the way you've been treating me and it's affecting our relationship. I'm feeling disrespected every time I smell smoke in the house, after you keep on promising to stop. If we can't find a way to live together respectfully, then maybe its' time you got your own place."

Quote:
Originally Posted by BedHead View Post
Would you all kick your dp out of the house if they smoked in the house, but other than that you had a great relationship? Or would you try and work out a solution?
Yes, I would. It wouldn't be "a great relationship" if he disrespected me and my health like that. I wouldn't even be able to enjoy his company at all if I was hacking and coughing every time he got within 10 feet of me.

Obviously, you're not as sensitive to cigarette smoke as I am, or you would be reacting differently to this whole situation. You would have set up different "ground rules" in the first place. And it's hard for me to fully comprehend exactly where you are now, since this exact same situation would feel very different to me.
post #39 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by BedHead View Post
Would you all kick your dp out of the house if they smoked in the house, but other than that you had a great relationship? Or would you try and work out a solution? I think that's a far more accurate comparison than asking what I'd do if he was a renter. At what age exactly does the gentle discipline end and the harda$$ parent emerge then? I'm not going to kick him out of the house just BOOM like that - surely people can take that at face value and try to offer constructive solutions instead of telling me if I won't kick him out I'm letting him walk all over me.

Thanks kathymuggle for understanding things. I guess I could try to argue my point here, but I'm at work and don't have the time. I guess I'll just figure it out on my own.
Oh yes. DH would be out in the cold. It is a serious health issue and expensive so spending money we don't have. And it's just disrespectful to inflict your bad habits on someone else despite their protests. That kind of self-centered behavior does not yield happy relationships.

I think maybe you and your DS aren't well suited as roommates right now at this stage of the game. So I would frame a 'find your own place' discussion in that light. It's not punitive. The fact is, neither of your needs are being met by living together.

Of course, if you can come up with some other stop gap measures then do so, but I would not encourage my child to live with me in the circumstances you have described.

V
post #40 of 143
I agree with Ruthla. I'd also make sure when you are talking to him about this that you're very clear that the problem is that he's smoking in the house, not that smoking is bad or that he's harming his health or any of the other ways you can think about this. Young men can have a whole "I'll do what I want!" mindset and do harmful things to themselves because they feel like it. You should make sure you're separating that (the harmful health stuff) from the boundary issue (you own the house, you should get to dictate whether it smells like smoke).

Be clear: your house, your rules. You're not telling him to stop smoking. You're telling him that you don't want your house smelling like smoke. If he can't respect that, then yeah, find an apartment. And it should be clear that it's his choice that is requiring the change.
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