DSS is 16. He has been smoking (and drinking) for a while as well as having a lot of problems at home and school with regard to getting very drunk and out of control and being violent/punching walls. He is involved in a rather negative group of friends. He has asthma, so obviously his smoking is a health concern, but his Mum has asthma and smokes in the house and gives him money for cigarettes, although he buys tobacco and makes roll ups.
I absolutely hate smoking with a passion. DH is an ex smoker and hates it too. My Mum is going to die due to lifelong smoking, although she has given up now, but she can barely breathe and has COPD (I think this is a form of emphasema)
So, DSS has been staying and we have made it clear to him that smoking in the house is absolutely not allowed under any circumstances. We have other DC in the house, including a toddler and I am pregnant. We have also made it pretty clear to him that we don't agree with him smoking and pointed out the potential health risks to him and others if he is around them while or after smoking, particularly when the baby is born. His clothes still smell of smoke even after being washed.
However, I could smell smoke when I went upstairs last night and asked if he had been smoking. He denied it. DH took him out this morning before he had to go home and asked him and he denied it. However, DH has found a filter dropped in the bedroom, ash on the windowsill and cigarette butts in the front garden, where the window opens to.
DH rang DSS's Mum and she just said 'he lies about everything'.
I don't want to alienate DSS, but I absolutely do not want any smoking in the house. I also feel sad that he has lied to us and felt he had to.
Any ideas on how to deal with it? DH is so cross he wants to ban him from the house, but I feel that's not an option and not fair or helpful either.
At 16 he should know better and have some respect for your request, I'd tell him about the risks of smoking around pregnant women and that he may not care but you do and you will not put up with his selfish behaviour. If he wants to smoke fine, but outside!
I would be very firm and tell him that smoking indoors is not allowed, but that he can smoke outside. If he continues to flout your rules and undermine you then I think your DH has a very good point - I wouldn't want anyone in my house who had such little respect for me, my children and my rules either.
I know I am being very particular, but I don't really even want him to be around DD or me or the baby in smoky clothes. They really do stink of it. Obviously if they still stink after they have been through the machine, that is one thing and I assume fairly harmless, but is it unreasonable to expect him to change clothes after he has been out for a cigarette?
I suppose I hope that the above would also point out to him how harmful passive smoking can be, but maybe he'd think we were maniacs.
If he sticks 2 fingers up at your rules at the moment then I wish you well with getting him to change his clothes after each cigarette!
I have a 16 year old, and whilst there is often a lot of posturing and bluster he is still a child and we expect him to do what we say in this house. Don't feel that you don't have that right Midori - you do.
It's difficult. My own DS is 16, about 6 months older than DSS and although, as you say, there is a lot of bluster, he wouldn't defy me or really be rude to me.
DSS and I didn't always have a very good relationship, I think due to pressure from his Mum, but as he is getting older and therefore naturally less of a 'mummy's boy' I think that's improving, so I am reluctant to damage that if I can help it.
Just to add, I think also DSS probably isn't as grown up for his age as he could be and as he is used to smoking in the home he may find it difficult to really see why it wouldn't be OK to smoke out of the window.
Tell him that he can't smoke in the house, say its fine outside but if you catch him doing it in the house then he isn't welcome.
It is your home and I may be flamed for it but be strict and firm, don't worry about upsetting him, an upset 16 year old who is sitting in the cold smoking is much better than poorly damaged children from his selfishness!
And I say that as a SMOKER who operates a no smoking house
You really can't ask him to change clothes after smoking but you certainly can demand he smokes outside of your house and I am a smoker. I wouldn't even waste my time telling him about the evils of smoking, he won't listen to a word of it so let him get on with it. I'm afraid there will be times when you can smell smoke off him and it does linger, you'll have to put up with that, it's his choice to smoke, just like it's someone's choice to stink cos they don't wash. Hard for you yes but really it's his choice. Do not give in though, police his smoking so he knows for definite the house is OUT of BOUNDS.