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How would you confront an 18 yr old about a lighter?

OK, my 18 year old son doesn't smoke (or at least I can't smell) but I found a lighter in his bed as I was cleaning up this morning. He's at high school right now or I would have said something. Nothing was burnt in the area I found it, which was right in the middle of the bed, under a book. I'm ticked. His room is next to the "playroom" where my younger kids play. Maybe I'm over-reacting but the first thought is that the whole house could burn down over something so stupid. There's no doubt in my mind that I should say something but not sure how to go about it. Let's face it, teens can be quite defensive & irrate at times. How would you handle this? My husband, his Dad, wants to raid his room to make sure nothing else is there that shouldn't be. I'm on the fence about that one... (No one in our house smokes, if that matters to anyone)


Asked by since_3.18.93 at 10:36 AM on Apr. 11, 2011 in Adult Children (18+)

Level 10 (390 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (39)
  • First, what are you doing in is bed? He is quite old enough to clean his own room.

    He is 18. He is legally allowed to buy a lighter and cigarettes. I would tell him that he needs to be careful with his possessions and think about the safety of your family.

    Answer by SleepingBeautee at 10:39 AM on Apr. 11, 2011

  • Tell him you found it and ask him why he had it. He's legally an adult now.

    Answer by CraftingMama at 10:37 AM on Apr. 11, 2011

  • Tell him you found a lighter in his bed as you were cleaning up this morning, and it is very important that things like that need to be put where the younger kids can't get a hold of it and set fire to the house.

    Answer by SWasson at 10:54 AM on Apr. 11, 2011

  • I don't mean to sound like a smart butt here, but at the risk...a lighter could lay in that bed for the next five years and not cause a fire; lighters take a two-prong action to ignite. So the whole "burn the house down" thing is a little far-fetched. Second, raiding his room because of a lighter?? Uh, that's a little over the top too. *IF* - and only *IF* - you have reason, good solid reason to believe that he's doing drugs then raid his room.... without good solid reason all you're gonna do is break trust with him and REALLY stir up trouble that you don't necessarily have. Handle this in a nonchalant manner - and gauge his reaction. When he comes home, hand him the lighter and tell him "you had a guest in your bed last night"....then ask him (just like you'd ask a perfect stranger) "is this your lighter, you know there's no smoking in our house". If you come at that boy all holier-than-tho, you may regret it.

    Answer by ShelbyShareAlot at 11:04 AM on Apr. 11, 2011

  • @ ambr2006 - No, you're wrong. The legal age of drinking is 21 BUT smoking is 18, at least in the USA. Her son is a legal adult and has the right to own a lighter. Should she not want it in her house that's fine but the OP then needs to decide if a lighter is worth having her son move out when he finds out that his parents have absolutely no respect for his privacy or adulthood.

    Answer by Octobersmom at 10:48 AM on Apr. 11, 2011

  • I would just leave it be. I use a lighter to burn the strings that hang off my clothes or fix shoelaces... maybe he is doing the same thing. ask before assuming

    Answer by zoejains_momma at 10:38 AM on Apr. 11, 2011

  • Just ask him! He may be smoking but he's old enough or he may have it for alot of other reasons. I wouldn't make any judgements until I asked him why he had it. Good luck.

    Answer by MommaKath1975 at 10:43 AM on Apr. 11, 2011

  • Okay 18 is the right age to buy smokes, sorry sleepinbeautee. Alcohol require age 21.

    Answer by ambr2006 at 10:45 AM on Apr. 11, 2011

  • Youngins? Seriously? So, the fact that my parents respected me as an individual and an adult at the age of 18 means that at 32 I'm still a child to you?
    I'll have to let them know what bad parents they were since my academic scholarship to college and waiting for sex until I was married might have given them the idea that they did a good job raising me.

    Answer by Octobersmom at 11:01 AM on Apr. 11, 2011

  • I'm sorry ambr2006 did you just say that the legal age for cigarettes is 21? that would be 18, which this young man is. once your kid turns 18 he isn't suppossed to be treated like a kid anymore. maybe you shouldn't be snooping around in his room like he's 14 anymore. should he besnooping around in your room looking for things to confront you with. law sayshe's an adult.

    Answer by pregoagain2010 at 11:03 AM on Apr. 11, 2011