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At my wits end with oldest ds - Page 3

post #41 of 143
Flat out kicking him out would be harsh, yes, but asking him to stop smoking in the house is completely reasonable. More than reasonable. Totally normal, acceptable, and respectful to all parties.

My little bro is here right now (he'll be 24 in a couple days, kind of an immature 24) and he and I both smoke. I smoke at work and occasionally will smoke at home, OUTSIDE, if I've had a beer. He smokes on a regular basis, sometimes in his house, sometimes outside, and neither of us would EVER, EVER, EVER even THINK of smoking in our parents' house. My brother says that your son is walking all over you and is being a UAV by continuing to smoke inside. Asking someone to go outside to smoke is OKAY! If your son gets all butt-hurt by it, well, that's his problem.

Parenting him out of the house, gently, seems like the best solution for everyone.

Also, those air purifiers don't work that well. Your house is still going to stink if he's smoking in the basement - it just travels up the vents and stairs. It's not going to solve anything.
post #42 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. We would legally separate until such time as he got his act together and decided to act respectful and thoughtful. And he would do the same to me-- and he would also try to stop me from being a SAHM to our kids-- if I was smoking in front of them and in their living areas!

This is SO disrespectful!

DH's mom smokes and she is an angel and we love her to death. However. We have totally given her ultimatums about time with the kids vs. smoking. If she decides to smoke in common areas of her house, we don't visit. If the house smells strongly of smoke, we don't visit. In fact we have walked into the house, and immediately turned around and left before. We LOVE her so much, she's great; we do not tolerate the smoking.

Have you ever read the Explosive Child? The book doesn't really relate to this case at all, since it's for parenting children. But I'm going to use his description of the Plans:

Plan A: your concern and solution are on the table-- authoritative, child's concern can be empathized with but ultimately you only care about enforcing your solution. Most mainstream parents parent only this way pretty much all the time. This is a very good parenting method for when your child runs into the street and there is no time for discussion. This is also the Plan you have to use with people who have no desire for working with you or respecting your concerns.

Plan B: your concern and your child's concern are both on the table. You collaboratively come to a solution that satisfies both of your concerns, is feasible and realistic, and satisfies both parties. This is a good way to approach most problems, especially your concern right now with the smoking-- as long as he's willing to cooperate. It's not Plan B, however, if your child's solution (smoking behind your back) isn't satisfying YOUR concerns as well as his own. If he lacks a basic respect for you, you may have to go to Plan A.

Plan C: your child's concern and solution are the only ones on the table. This is a good Plan to use when you realize that your expectations were unrealistic or infringed on your child's basic rights. Inappropriate use would be when you compromise your boundaries or values-- then it becomes permissive parenting or being a doormat.
post #43 of 143
Thread Starter 
Thanks. The last few replies haven't rubbed me the wrong way like the first ones were. Some excellent advice.
post #44 of 143
Your son is hurting your health, damaging your property and being disrespectful. I have a very hard time believing that this is the only issue going on between mother and son. It just seems strange for a person to be very respectful in every other aspect of the relationship and then start smoking in a house even though he has been asked not to.

If this were my child, I would not tolerate this behavior. He would stop smoking or stop living in my home.

By the way, an air purifier will not completely remove the smoke smell. To people who are very sensitive to it, it would still be a problem.
post #45 of 143
Reading the OP made me really sad, b/c there is a blatant disprespect going on. Getting a special ashtray or air filter is not really the issue here. The issue is that the OP has tried many ways to say she REALLY does not want smoking in the house and her son just doesn't care.

He is an adult, and I have to wonder about a kid who is that blatantly disrespectful of other adults, especially ones he especially loves.

I would absolutely be VERY upset if my DP or my adult kid was that disrespectful of my very valid requests. (On a side note, comparing a son or daughter to a partner/husband is weird to me as they are very different relationships).

OP, I hope your son has a desire to look at why he is so blatantly disrespectful to you, and I'm sorry he is being that way. He seems to truly not care about your feelings. I hope he turns it around.
post #46 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Porcelain Interior View Post
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....)
He's being totally disrespectful. I'd kick him out in a minute.
post #47 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.
Yes, not even remotely a question. I'm not sure I'd stay with my partner if he smoked at all as I am severely severely allergic. However smoking in my home? Not a chance there would even be an option. It would be choose to smoke in your home and your home will not be my home too. The kids and I would be gone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
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."
That being said I agree with Ruthla... I would not just say get out now. I would however insist that they either follow the rules of the house or else work out a plan to live in a space where the rules they want to follow can be arranged for them.

This is not the same as a child not washing the dishes when it's their turn or coming home late (not that a 20 year old has curfew, but I just mean any household rule). This is a rule that when broken has the potential to cause illness or even eventual death for not only you and your partner (if you have one) who are adults and can choose to take on that risk but also your younger children who can't choose to just move out. That is totally unfair to them and I would never allow someone who was putting my children's health in danger to continue to do so.
post #48 of 143
Tell him he can either stop smoking in your house or find another place to live. It's YOUR house, and he needs to obey YOUR rules, I don't care if he's 10 or 50. I'd never let my rommate or husband smoke in the house, and I wouldn't let my child do it either. He is blatantly disrespecting your boundaries and you are enabling him to do so.
post #49 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?
Yes, he would absolutely be out of the house within minutes of taking a second smoke in there. With the first I'd tell him that there is no way that is happening in my house around my kids and me, so never ever do that again. And if he did, he'd be out.
And he would do the same to me.
Actually, I wouldn't even be with him if he smoked at all, there's no way I will ever expose my kids to a smoking parent (or bigger sibling), or myself to a smoking partner. (Even if it was only outside.)
Guests are not allowed to smoke inside either. No way, no how. And we will not visit people who smoke inside their home. (Not a problem though, nobody we know does.)


And besides that, Ruthla said it, this is what I'd do:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
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."
post #50 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.
I don't know that anyone was suggesting you pack his bags and throw him out tomorrow. If I were in your shoes, I would simply tell him that the choice is his and give him a deadline. He's an adult. You can't discipline an adult. At some point, discipline has to come from within.

I'm not a harda$$, but I'm not really a follower of gentle discipline, either. I believe that natural consequences are the best teachers, but sometimes the natural consequence is too impractical or dangerous. Sometimes, there is no natural consequence that matters...as in your case. The natural consequence of him smoking in the house is that you become upset with him. Your son apparently does not care that you are upset by his actions. So, an imposed consequence is in order. A 20yo is plenty old enough to be held accountable. Anything else is enabling or coddling, IMO. Lack of personal responsibility is a huge peeve of mine.

And I can't imagine myself in a situation where my DP smoked at all, let alone in the house. Smoking is a deal-breaker for me. I'm an asthmatic and I also have an asthmatic kid. Nobody is welcome to smoke in my home or car, whether friend or relative. I would never date a smoker. The residue on their clothing is enough to trigger lung problems for me.
post #51 of 143
I agree that this is a boundary issue.

I've raised my daughter pretty harmoniously, but I've always been very clear about where my boundaries were. By age twenty I think it really takes two to tango, and if he's not willing to work with you to find a solution that's respectful to you and your needs (not to mention lying to you about it) then I wouldn't feel very accommodating towards him... and yeah, I'd basically say that I own this house (or it's leased to me) and I'm not willing to put up with this in my home.

I didn't even consider that he wouldn't be contributing to the household in other ways (paying rent, doing dishes, washing his clothes).
post #52 of 143
My dad smoked in the house and car while I was growing up. He still smokes- far less- but he's stopped smoking indoors or around other people.

The trigger for changing his habits? I developed cancer.

I think you have an obligation to care for the health of the other members of your family, and that obligation trumps his habit. Are you really willing to allow your desire for him to feel warm and fuzzy about you (which, as evidenced by this disrespect, he doesn't) to come before the health of your family as a whole?

You can love him, and still say, ' this can't happen in this manner any more.' In the end, you might just earn the relationship you're trying to foster with him- and a cleaner and healthier home. When push comes to shove, if he's the great kid you know he is, he'll make the choice that's right for him now. If he needs to cling to the smoking indoors and move elsewhere- then developmentally he probably needs to make that break, and this may be the necessary catalyst. If he decided he's capable of respecting the family health and values and say where he is- maybe that's a better fit for his place in life right now. Either way, he's an adult, and all you are doing is asking him to make an adult decision.
post #53 of 143
He's 20 I was married at 20 and moved out at 18. If he insists on smoking then I would suggest he get his own place and be his own man...
post #54 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by LionTigerBear View Post
Yes. We would legally separate until such time as he got his act together and decided to act respectful and thoughtful. And he would do the same to me-- and he would also try to stop me from being a SAHM to our kids-- if I was smoking in front of them and in their living areas!

.

The idea that someone would have tried to stop my mom (a really great mom, btw!) from being a SAHM for smoking seems wrong. You really think I would have been better off with strangers who did not love me and were paid to take care of me? (no offense meant to daycare workers - I use one myself on a part time basis and even though she is great she is not my kids mom)

I would not leave DH over smoking (although I would make it close to impossible to smoke in the house - or, our house is large, we could try a designated area with filter). I think the fallout of divorce on my family would be worse than the smoking issue.

I do think The OPs DS probably does not realise the impact his smoking has. I know it is nuts - but smokers often do not smell the smoke , and it does not bother their lungs as they are used to it. They genuinely think one cigarette is not going to affect much. He needs to be made aware.

I also think smokers are vilified in our society. Whatever the Op does, she needs to make sure she does not vilify him....sometimes smokers feel defensive and then they do not always make good choices.

Op...it might be interesting to let your son read the thread and see what he thinks....

Kathy
post #55 of 143
Not worth the risk to your other childrens health. If he cant abide by the rules then he needs to find a new place to live. If he where renting and there was renters rules he would have to follow them. Same goes here.

Yes I would kick my dh out in a heartbeat if he smoked in the house. To me that would be like allowing him to drive them around without car seats it is a possible life threatening thing.
post #56 of 143
Smoker here...
I have smoked for 7 years (except during pregnancies) and I have never smoked in the house or around my children or husband. It's really not that hard to go outside. If one of my children (16 or so years from now) continued to smoke in our house even after I said "no" we would really have to renegotiate the terms of our living situation. The reason we do practice gentle discipline is because we do want our children to grow up to be kind and most of all respectful individuals. He could be a great kid- but if he is continuing to smoke in the house and play video games all the time and not contribute to the family financially - then the lines may be blurred between gentle discipline and being too permissive to the point that you are being disrespected on a daily basis.
post #57 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
The idea that someone would have tried to stop my mom (a really great mom, btw!) from being a SAHM for smoking seems wrong. You really think I would have been better off with strangers who did not love me and were paid to take care of me?
I would NEVER let my hubby be a SAHD if he insisted on smoking around the kids and in our living space. Ever. I would quit my job and stay at home full time if he refused to compromise on this, so I see that poster's point. Smoking & second hand smoke kills. I have never heard of one case where smoking was not harmful in one way or another.

Quote:
I do think The OPs DS probably does not realise the impact his smoking has. I know it is nuts - but smokers often do not smell the smoke , and it does not bother their lungs as they are used to it. They genuinely think one cigarette is not going to affect much. He needs to be made aware.
As far as the OP's son goes, this isn't just an issue of him not being aware. His awareness of the issue has NOTHING to do with the fact that he is being blatantly disrespectful of his mother's wishes. That is the problem - the disrespect and dishonesty, and that's what needs to be addressed.
post #58 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sancta View Post



As far as the OP's son goes, this isn't just an issue of him not being aware. His awareness of the issue has NOTHING to do with the fact that he is being blatantly disrespectful of his mother's wishes. That is the problem - the disrespect and dishonesty, and that's what needs to be addressed.

If making him aware leads to him being more respectfull then where is the harm???? Indeed it is a good outcome. I also think it is quite normal for people to want to understand WHY something is being asked of you (such as "do not smoke in the house".) Personally, I can tentatively comply with something (such as at work) if I do not understand, but I can wholeheartedly embrace soething when I do understand.
post #59 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
TBH the families I know where kids are "kicked out" (often simply because they are 18) are not close.
amen sister!
post #60 of 143
Kicking someone out because of a certain age is worlds away from kicking someone out for putting the rest of the family at risk and disrespecting the rules.
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