Originally Posted by BedHead
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.
First of all, I really need to gently point out to you that comparing the dynamic between you and your 20yo son to the dynamic between you and a DP is a boundary issue that I think you'd benefit from addressing. He's NOT your partner. At all. He's your child. And he's hiding his behavior from his mommy (extremely immature) because he wants to continue doing something you don't like. It would be inappropriate for you to demand he quit smoking, however setting and enforcing the boundary of NOT smoking IN YOUR PROPERTY is completely acceptable.
Second of all, how is it 'hard ass parenting' to say to an ADULT: "This particular issue (whatever it is), while you may not agree with it, is a dealbreaker to the current living arrangements that you enjoy. I still love you, and of course I want you to be happy, but this is affecting my health/sanity/happiness/etc and it either stops immediately or I will be redecorating that room of yours into a scrapbooking mecca
It sounds like you don't battle a whole lot of issues with him, which means making this a big deal is worth it in the long run because it REALLY matters to you.
Is he paying rent (at 20 and working 35hrs a week I certainly hope so), because if so then yes he is a renter. Because he's your son I can totally see letting some things slide, I'd do the same, but this one is NOT OK. It's not like you haven't made your point clear, so why do you think he's ignoring you, other than the very likely possibility that he knows you may rant and rave, you may throw away his smokes, you may stop speaking to him (days of no nagging, how is THAT a bad thing for HIM?), but ultimately he still gets his place to hang out, smoke, and play on the computer.
If he isn't paying rent then he's leaning a lot more towards freeloader, even if he's a charming and usually pleasant one. In either case you are WELL within your rights to respect your own home, your own health, and your own boundaries and make it clear. Smoking in the house results in eviction. Period. That IS gentle discipline. So many times people confuse gentle discipline with NO discipline. He's an adult working full time. If he doesn't like the conditions of his current home he is more than capable of finding somewhere else where he can smoke in the house. What's the worst that happens? He gets angry? How angry do you get to be when your house is reeking of cigarettes and your health deteriorates? What about the health of your other children? What about the personal respect that you deserve when you set a boundary?
I'm curious at what point you would ask him to move out? If it's not this, then what? He is completely capable of being independent. Our job as parents is to guide them towards independence, and refusing to allow them to take that final step prevents them (and us) from achieving that goal. It's ok if he stumbles, it's ok if he figures some hard lessons out for himself (like...I can't just do whatever I want with other people's health/property/personal boundaries). He'll be ok, you'll be ok, and it sounds like you've raised a very self assured and extremely confident son who will navigate his world with his head held high once he's given the opportunity to do so unencumbered.