Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: orbiting the earth
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We are lucky that nobody in our family smokes, but dd has one friend whose mom is a smoker. She only smokes outside, not in her house (she has a four-year-old and a baby), so it isn't too often that dd witnesses it, especially since the playgrounds in my area have a no smoking rule. But she is aware that this friend's mom smokes - she's seen it enough times.
The first time dd saw someone (not the friend) doing this, I explained that it is something some grown-ups do and that it is an unhealthy choice. I have told her that the smoke goes into the person's lungs and makes it harder for them to get the oxygen they need to be healthy, and that the smoke has chemicals in it that are unhealthy to a person's body. She understands all that.
My problem is how to answer questions dealing with WHY a person would choose to smoke. Lately, when dd witnesses someone doing something unsafe (like riding a bike with no helmet), she'll say, "I guess that person isn't very smart." I'm not always sure how to respond to this, and usually say something along the lines of, "Well, we don't know that person, so we don't know how smart she is, but she is not making a good choice about her safety." I guess I could say the same thing in response to questions about smoking, that the person is making poor choices about her health, but I still don't think this addresses the question of WHY a person would choose to do something unhealthy. And those are the kinds of questions she has asked me about this friend who smokes. She seems concerned, too, because she cares about this person!
How would you answer?