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To think my parents shouldn't smoke around my children

(28 Posts)
Doomandgloom Wed 09-Jan-13 10:07:00

Parents have smoked for 40 years,after a major op (dad) a few years ago they both claimed they had given up. I never believed they had completely given up as the house would often smell of cigarettes,clothing smelling of smoke and you would see ashtray contents in the bin. If I mentioned this they always blamed a neighbour who had called around! They do childcare for me a couple of times a week and sometimes dc clothes have a whiff of cigarette smoke about them. Have always wanted to mention this to them but I know they would just deny it and I didn't want to create an awkward situation regarding the childcare. Fast forward to a week ago Dc were staying over at there house and my dp called around unannounced and spotted my dad about to light up in the kitchen where dc were. Now dp never said anything at the time and I don't think my dad knows he was spotted. I am angry that they appear to be smoking in the house when dc are there,I thought they would at least go outside. So today is the first day since then that they will be looking after Dc. I feel it needs mentioned but I don't want to create an awkward situation.

HDee Wed 09-Jan-13 10:09:08

Then pay someone else to look after them.

GozerTheGozerian Wed 09-Jan-13 10:12:26

To be honest I'd say they either quit smoking round the kids, or I'd find alternative childcare. I'd rather pay money than have people smoking round my son. We've had this with the ILs (including the lying and covering up). They seemed to believe they were impervious to smoke smells and we were being paranoid. Er, no, it's quite easy to tell when someone's had a fag actually.

I think you'll just have to brave this conversation out. Kids clothes smelling of smoke? Boak. Ugh.

bedmonster Wed 09-Jan-13 10:17:14

Their house, their choice.
Pay someone else for childcare if you don't like it.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Wed 09-Jan-13 10:30:32

Been in same boat as you sadly. Even though I was paying them to do it they still never managed to keep up with smoking out side. Biggest mistake of my life trusting them my daughter was perfectly healthy til she started going to theirs then she started getting chest infections and asthmatic episodes. I repeatedly asked them to stop smoking around her but even the money wasn't enough for them to do it. If this was your parents driving around with no car seat then everyone would thing that's outrageous but cos smoking is legal endangering health seems to
Be acceptable, I say do it!

GoldenHandshake Wed 09-Jan-13 10:40:44

Doom that is awful behaviour on their part, whilst it's lovely they are helping with childcare, it should not be at the detriment to the children's health. I would find alternative care as soon as possible and make it clear why, that you cannot trust them to put your childrens health and well being before their addiction to nicotine.

ppeatfruit Wed 09-Jan-13 10:46:15


Wheresmycaffeinedrip Wed 09-Jan-13 10:48:17

Forgot to add yanbu!!! On my post

CatsRule Wed 09-Jan-13 12:03:13


Like a previous poster said, I would rather pay for childcare than have someone smoking around my ds, or indeed smelling smokey around him.

We also have this problem with family and we have just made it clear we will pay for childcare.

I do agree that it's their house, they can do what they like so they also have to accept we will not be visiting. It works both ways!

I do think that they shouldn't be lying to you though, and should at the very least care enough about their grandchildren not to smoke in a confined area...or tell you they can't do childcare for you because they aren't willing to not smoke/smoke outside.

janey68 Wed 09-Jan-13 12:19:26

I can't understand why anyone smokes around children ( or indeed smokes full stop)
However you can't dictate what happens in their home so I would definitely find proper childcare .

Sirzy Wed 09-Jan-13 12:30:12

I agree pay for childcare elsewhere

thecook Wed 09-Jan-13 12:41:55

YABU - I take it you have other options, childminders, nurseries, nannies etc. Well use them instead.

Nanny0gg Wed 09-Jan-13 12:50:20

I agree you need to find other childcare whilst you work, but how about other times?
Having DGC overnight/for the day is a fairly usual part of grandparenthood. Are they prepared to not see them at their house?

shotofexpresso Wed 09-Jan-13 14:01:43

If they only smoked outside I would say YABU,

but if they smoking around them indoors its a bit yukky, I say that as a smoker.

ppeatfruit Wed 09-Jan-13 15:31:08

I don't think that smokers realise how BAD they smell; I was on a train and one of the passengers had gone out at a station to have a fag. I could smell him half way down the carriage when he returned and one of the other passengers made a face so she could smell him as well shock.

To think of yr. ILs breathing all over yr L.O.s. yeuchhhhh

ppeatfruit Wed 09-Jan-13 15:33:02

Sorry your parents !! Effing hell!!! Poor you!!! Doom

SarahWarahWoo Wed 09-Jan-13 16:33:22

Yanbu but maybe give them another chance?

Look into alternative child care arrangements and confront them, if they admit to it and say that they will reform their ways around the DC then great, do drop in unannounced (making it look innocent) a few times, if they are smoking them take the alternative child care option with a clear conscience.

SarahWarahWoo Wed 09-Jan-13 16:34:49

Also I agree with "ppeatfruit". Smokers have no idea how bad it smells, remember to tell your parents that you can smell smoke on the DC sometimes.

Sleepstarved Wed 09-Jan-13 16:44:14

I told my DM who smoked on and off for years while I was pregnant that I would not allow her to hold the baby if she smelt of smoke (actually smoking was not even discussed as beyond the pale).
She quit a couple of weeks before DD was born and hasn't smoked since. smile
My DSis on the other hand does still smoke, but not in the house and changes her clothes and has a wash before playing with DD.
Its not just second hand smoke, but third hand smoke from clothes. This especially affects little babies as you are holding them close into you and they breathe it in from your clothes.
If it were me, I would not have them look after the DCs at all, cuddle them or be near them if they smelt of smoke.

Doomandgloom Thu 10-Jan-13 21:29:27

Well I have had the awkward conversation with parents. I told them I appreciated it was there house and they could do want they want in it and it was probably very difficult for them to quit after 40 odd years. I said about the dc clothes smelling of smoke etc and dp spotting my dad in the act.

They denied it all. Insisted they hadn't smoked for years wouldn't dream of smoking where dc are! The blatant lies are frustrating. As far as alternative childcare goes dd goes to nursery one morning a week,but I work shifts and unsocial hours and I don't work the same days every week.

gimmecakeandcandy Thu 10-Jan-13 22:21:03

Then you have to decide what is more Important to you - they obviously don't give a shit about their grand child's health and now you need to decide what is more important.

ComposHat Fri 11-Jan-13 02:25:32

Well it was something you've suspected for a while, but turned a blind eye too. I would keep turning a blind eye. They know they are on a warning and have been rumbled so hopefully will be more careful not to smoke close to the kids. They probably won't admit it or properly give up, so your options are limited.

it is far from ideal and will probably earn me pelters but in the real world I wouldn't want to alienate my parents and in more stark terms provider of free childcare over the occasional secret ciggie.

Mother2many Fri 11-Jan-13 04:12:29

Their home, their rules...goes the same with X partners too... I can't stop him from smoking around, in vehicles, etc. with my children either... angry


FellatioNels0n Fri 11-Jan-13 04:32:17

I don't think that smokers realise how BAD they smell; I was on a train and one of the passengers had gone out at a station to have a fag. I could smell him half way down the carriage when he returned and one of the other passengers made a face so she could smell him as well .

^^ This.

I think most smokers are a bit deluded to be honest.

Look, you can't stop them. If they don't see the importance of doing it for the children and would rather lie to you than actually make the effort to do the right thing, then what can you do?

If they smoked around you your whole childhood and you haven't fallen down dead and are not carting round an oxygen tank because of it they probably think you are being a bit hysterical.

You have a simple choice to make. Either put up with it, it's only a couple of times a week - and do you want a situation where they can never visit, ever? But encourage your children as they grow up to say out loud how unpleasant they find it if the GP's kiss and cuddle them and they stink, or if they light up in the car and it makes them want to vomit, or if they light up around food. Make sure your children do not feel they need to be polite and suffer in silence. Hopefully that will shame them into making changes.

Or, you will just have to make alternative arrangements for childcare, and tell your parents why. And tell them that the children can no longer visit them unless you are with them, so that you can remove them from the house if your parents won't remove themselves.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Fri 11-Jan-13 04:45:53

What are you going to do?

I just couldn't let the kids go there sad

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