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I think my 17 year old may be smoking - UPDATE--we had a talk

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 He keeps going outside at night. Now that there is snow on the ground, I have hard evidence.  It was only suspicion before.  I know my ex let my boys do whatever they wanted when they lived with him. He even let them have a Hookah in the house and all the neighborhood kids would come over and smoke Hookah.  :( That is one of the reasons my son wasn't successful with me before. I actually have rules and expectations.  He isn't actually going anywhere. He is staying in the yard.  The only thing I can think of is that he is smoking.  Why else would he go stand outside in the middle of the night in frigid weather? A few months ago, I did find a lighter in his pocket when I was doing laundry. I asked him why he had it and he said he had used it to light some candles. Sure enough, there had been candles lit. 

I have never smelled smoke on him.  I am pretty sensitive to it.  I asked him why he went outside last night. He was asleep when I asked and he said, "I can't remember." He never really asks for cash.  He wants me to buy him this game or that game or wants me to get him a ticket to attend whatever event. I have no idea how he would be paying for them.

I am really worried he is smoking. Smoking is not something I will allow in my home at all by a minor child. I will be pretty upset if I find out he is.  I guess he and I are going to have to have a big talk.  His father and I never smoked, ever.  I always hoped setting a good example would keep my kids away from that stuff.

I am sure smokers will come in and say it is no big deal, but it is a big deal to me.  You may want your kids to be smokers, but I don't.

Update~~

So, I pulled my son into the kitchen while I was making dinner so that we could have a talk.  Basically, this is what I told him:

Grant, I am going to ask you something and I want you to know that you can be completely honest with me.  I am not going to freak out or be mad, but I really need for you to tell me the truth.  I want to know if you are smoking.  I know you have been going outside at night and I know you have a lighter.  It has caused me to be really suspicious.  I know you are almost 18, but that doesn't mean that I am not your parent.  I am going to let you know when I don't approve of something and I am going to let my expectations and any limitations be known while you are living in my home.  I am not going to pretend that I can tell you what you can or cannot do at this age because I know that just because I do not see it does not mean it doesn't happen.  If you really want to do something, you will.  I just want you to know that we can talk about these things.  I know sometimes it is scary to talk with your parent about something if you know they are going to be disappointed. Disappointing a parent is almost harder to take than just getting yelled at sometimes.  But, if you are smoking, I am not here to be a bitch about it.  If you were to come to me and tell me that you were, but you wanted to quit then there are things we can look into to help.  I worry about you and I want to help you if you need it.  I know you already know smoking is bad for you, so I am not going to lecture you on that.  But, if you are, the faster we deal with it the easier it will be for you.

 

We had some conversation in between all of that, but that is the jist of it.  He told me that he is not smoking.  He said that he admits that he was when he was living with his dad, but when he came back here he decided to change things for the better. He quit when he came back. He said the reason he goes outside at all times of the day is because it keeps him from feeling cooped up.  When he was living with his dad, he never left home. Actually, he rarely has left his bedroom for several years now.  He said he remembers the doctors telling him that even if he just starts small and gets outside a few times a day that he will start feeling better. He doesn't get out much now, but he is trying and doing way better than before. I have seen a drastic change in his happiness since he has been back. His depression and anger seem to have disappeared.

He said he did get used to carrying a lighter when he was smoking and sometimes he would sit and burn leaves and things when he was depressed. When he said he would burn things, I got a little bit of a crazy look on my face. The last thing we need is a fire bug. He noticed my look and said he doesn't do that anymore and all he does is light candles now.

He had kind of a quivery tone to his voice. For some reason, I thought he was going to cry.  He was very understanding of my concern and agreed with everything I said about worrying about him and letting my expecations as a parent be known.  He understood that if he needed to come to me about something that we would work together to fix it and it wasn't to punish. I told him that I want to trust him and I will, but if he wants to keep that trust to please not lie to me.

In the end, he actually said, "Thanks, mom, for caring so much."

I guess this explains why I never smelled smoke. He really seemed honest and understanding of everything. 

 


by on Jan. 2, 2013 at 8:17 AM
Replies (31-40):
Neuro
by on Jan. 2, 2013 at 8:37 AM

Well, I started smoking at 15 and I quit at 20.

Go out into the snow next time and look around for cigarette ash or butts, you could follow him out there and look out a window or every morning, come in his room or go close to him and take a good whiff. If you smell cigarette smoke or uncharacteristically strong perfume/cologne smells, then maybe you will have a cause for concern. Kids can be sneaky but they usually aren't always 100%.

I'd recommend you ask him when he is awake too but don't push the subject. I know when I was 17 and I was smoking if anyone gave me hell about it I'd just smoke somewhere else.

TrouserMouse
by on Jan. 2, 2013 at 8:37 AM

 I am not positive that he actually partook in the Hookah. I know it was in the house. My ex allowed it.  It was said to belong to my older son.  I saw pics on my older son's FB with lots of kids smoking it. I never saw evidence that my 2nd son was though. He has always been against smoking, so I don't know.

Quoting Anonymous:

There would be ash on the snow around where he was standing. Hookah is smoking. If he has started you won't be able to stop him.

 


momof2boy2girl
by Valerie on Jan. 2, 2013 at 8:38 AM

I caught my ex stepdaughter smoking at the age of 14. She was stealing them form me and her dad. I hope he isn't. I started smoking at 12 and didn't quit until this year.

angelmj
by Silver Member on Jan. 2, 2013 at 8:39 AM
Hmm he is getting kind of old for you to get too upset, and also he should be working at his age and not needing to ask for anything. That is just how I was raised I went to school and worked and had my own place by 20.
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TrouserMouse
by on Jan. 2, 2013 at 8:40 AM

 He isn't you. His situation is much different.

Quoting angelmj:

Hmm he is getting kind of old for you to get too upset, and also he should be working at his age and not needing to ask for anything. That is just how I was raised I went to school and worked and had my own place by 20.

 


elliem87
by on Jan. 2, 2013 at 8:41 AM
Quoting TrouserMouse:




I smoked under age. I thought I was clever because my mom did catch me for almost a year. Turns out not so much and I smoked pot in high school too. She informed my a couple of years ago she knew.

Telling him all the dangers of smoking isn't going to help. He is 17. He thinks he is going to live forever, he won't care. That whole smoking an entire pack in one sitting may help, smoking does make you sick if you chain smoke that much. If he feels like crap (and he will for a couple of hours) he may not do it again.
Anonymous
by Anonymous 5 on Jan. 2, 2013 at 8:46 AM
It's actually fairly simple to hide the smell of smoke, even inside. Good luck
TrouserMouse
by on Jan. 2, 2013 at 8:48 AM

 I have never smelled heavy cologne on him either. That is why I haven't pushed the issue too much yet.  I don't have any hard evidence. It is just a feeling.  Mostly, if I find out he is, I am going to just talk to him about it. He already knows the dangers, but I want to make my disappointment and expectations clear.

Quoting Neuro:

Well, I started smoking at 15 and I quit at 20.

Go out into the snow next time and look around for cigarette ash or butts, you could follow him out there and look out a window or every morning, come in his room or go close to him and take a good whiff. If you smell cigarette smoke or uncharacteristically strong perfume/cologne smells, then maybe you will have a cause for concern. Kids can be sneaky but they usually aren't always 100%.

I'd recommend you ask him when he is awake too but don't push the subject. I know when I was 17 and I was smoking if anyone gave me hell about it I'd just smoke somewhere else.

 


GaleJ
by Gold Member on Jan. 2, 2013 at 8:48 AM

I do so hope that your son isn't smoking, it is a horrible and addictive habit and is the one place where I feel so strongly that I've failed as a parent. My husband and I are vehemently anti-smoking, neither of us has ever smoked anything and that's saying something for people who came of age in the late sixties and early seventies, and we've seen the negative health effects of smoking and second hand smoke first hand with family members and couldn't imagine our beloved son would ever take up that filthy and dangerous habit. But the truth is he began to smoke sometime in high school and despite his repeated declarations that he would like to quit and several attempts he is still smoking at twenty-two. We've never allowed smoking, he doesn't smoke in the house but he is an EMT and works the 24/48 hour shift and most of his co-workers are smokers believe it or not and he can's seem to break the addiction and habit. It absolutely haunts me and I direct as much positive energy as I can in his direction that he might be able to, once and for all quit.

levansbx
by Gold Member on Jan. 2, 2013 at 8:49 AM
Maybe he is smoking pot. Weed smoke didn't linger on clothes the way cigarettes smoke does.
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