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Four year old learning about tobacco and rolling cigarettes

(7 Posts)
jaimelewis Tue 23-Feb-16 11:28:57

My four year old child's mother and I are separated and she lives with her parents. Before we separated her parents would sometimes have our child for the night (since about the age of 2) and I was not aware her dad was smoking roll-ups indoors but she was and lied to me about it. That went on for over a year.

Now she lives there and our child shares his time between us.

Since that has happened, our child has done these things:
- Pretended to roll a cigarette with paper and then 'smoke it'
- Talked about tobacco
- Stepped out the front door for a "smoke like granddad" (some things are changing)
- Picked up a few items that look vaguely like a cigarette and 'took some drags'
- Most worryingly of all, done something highly suspicious with tin foil and a pencil

Our child has that 'I'm showing you something' attitude when these things happen and I react like it's nothing and he's just wrong about something. Anyway, the mother refuses to discuss it or even acknowledge my concerns. We were messaging yesterday and I expressed these concerns and she's been ignoring me since. When I've mentioned concerns about our child and smoking in the past she has ignored me too.

Do you think there's any justification in this?

MattDillonsPants Tue 23-Feb-16 12:05:46

Look I do see your concerns and understand your pain regarding this. Innocent kids shouldn't see that stuff but they do. They see it on TV at times, in the street and at the homes of their school friends in a year or least they MAY see it there.

I smoked until last year and so did my brother. My children saw it at times and understood that it was a bad thing to do but that it is addictive and that I was trying to stop.

They never approved and if they aped it I was immediately and strongly negative about that.

You can't really make her hide it away but you CAN explain to your child why it is bad (without frightening her) so you say Smoking is very bad and it's silly too. It's not healthy and we don't like don't pretend to do it because it's not nice.

Artioo2 Tue 23-Feb-16 12:27:33

You can't control what goes on in your child's mother's house, but if I were in your position I would be giving my child lots of honest information about the health effects of smoking and discussing what it means with him. Not just 'smoking is bad', but exactly why it is bad and what it does to your body. Four is old enough to understand this. Arm him with the facts himself and he can make a judgement on what he thinks of smoking.

Believeitornot Tue 23-Feb-16 12:29:58

On something like this I would be concerned for the health of my child. Smoking around children carries a real risk of asthma etc.
I would also have no qualms about expressing my disgust and disapproval about smoking if my child did this in front of me. It is disgusting.

I say this as a child of a heavy smoker.

Stompylongnose Tue 23-Feb-16 12:49:56

The last one is very worrying especially when the mother isn't reassuring you that it's innocent.

The others less so. Neither my ex or I smoke roll ups but I'm pretty confident my children have seen people rolling tobacco. I think you can mention the health implications of smoking to her (after all there's even a warning on the packet) but there's not much else you can do unless you're in a position to have her more. (I'm assuming that you don't have 50/50 care)

Mumchatting Tue 23-Feb-16 13:36:39

I understand the grandad smokes outside, not at home next to your son.

If he was smoking AT HOME then I would disapprove.

But you can't really forbid the grandfather to smoke.

I wouldn't roll a cigarette next to a small child though. It's wrong in my opinion.
I don't smoke and I don't let anyone smoke around DS.

Witchend Tue 23-Feb-16 14:35:27

None of my family smoke at all. I don't think any of my friends smoke either.

Ds has still pretended to smoke with a pencil/stick/sweet.

He also wanted to go up to a group of girls outside McDonalds and tell them "if you smoke you make your lungs ill and you can't breathe and will die soon". When I said they probably knew his response was "why do they do it then?"

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