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smoking and 13 year old ds

(61 Posts)
Ghostsgowoooh Sun 05-May-13 19:33:50

I caught him smoking, in his room angry. I went nuts (as you would) he started crying and when we we both calmed down we had a talk about why he was doing it.

It turns out he has been smoking for a while and a lot of his mates smoke, Ive put consequences in, grounding, given him a lecture about how dangerous it is

He was very honest with me and said he feels anxious and stressed a lot (he has asd and adhd) and his relationship with his dad has hit an all time low and he is very upset about that. He has problems at school which are not helped by the schools attitude and lack of support and ds says smoking helps calm him down sad

I can't be angry with him, I just can't. I'm disapointed and upset that he has started to smoke but he has been through so much. He has struggled to accept his diagnosis of asd and its either his way or the highway.

All I can do is put in boundaries around the smoking, he never ever does it in front of me or the other dc, I will not be providing him with money to smoke and just hope he sees the light.

So come on I'm a fool aren't I? But Ive been through so much with ds, violence, aggression, truanting, asd diagnosis and so on that I just can't get worked up about the smoking (although it worries me yes) and he's only 13.

TheOneWithTheHair Mon 06-May-13 10:01:27

Nehru do you not remember how much friends stick up for each other? They would provide for Ghost's ds whether he had money or not. It makes no difference.

Ghost it is a good sign that he wanted to get caught. He's asking for help in his own way and you have a good oppertunity to help him now. Push the school and your gp. Go to school and kick off if you have to. In the meantime try to keep talking to your ds. Try to keep close.

Nehru Mon 06-May-13 10:03:13

Oh I didn't see he has SN.

shellandkai Mon 06-May-13 10:03:58

Smoking eventually I think would make him feel worse! I've been smoking since I was 15 I'm now 26 the addiction once you start never goes away even when you quit (I've quit twice for 2 years at a time) I have also noticed since smoking again I seem more stressed out so I know it's the smoking making me feel like this and alot of my smoker friends agree!

Ghostsgowoooh Mon 06-May-13 10:04:41

I will do Theone. I am going to get very cross with the school and the doctor. He's already under camhs but are crap too

noddyholder Mon 06-May-13 10:04:46

I think it is easy to say don't stand for it but in reality with teens it is harder. I am very anti smoking and I think this definitely stuck with ds He was terrified of being caught and so was very restrained in his smoking and he still is very take it or leave it but I think really knowing and controlling what teens do is hard. I have turned up at the skate park unannounced twice in an emergency and I was shocked at all the smokers esp the little ones! I would withdraw money for sure and keep driving home the message but with his SN and age it will be a long road! They do see the light at around 16/17 with most silly teenage things but ime smoking seems to hang around a bit esp with girls.

flow4 Mon 06-May-13 10:06:00

Just to say... I stopped every penny of my DS's money for about 9 months, to try to prevent him smoking and buying other drugs. As a tactic, it failed completely: it made not one bit of difference to that, but he scrounged from friends, sold all his possessions, stopped eating lunch, didn't go to college on days he 'needed' to spend bus fares on tobacco, and took money from me until I started locking it up. It was an utterly miserable time. sad

He's still smoking (tobacco and weed) but he is starting to control his consumption because (a) he now also recognises how awful that time was, and doesn't want to repeat it, and (b) he's on a college course that (usually) motivates him to get up in the morning.

Ghostsgowoooh Mon 06-May-13 10:09:25

My dad died from lung cancer 6 years ago and it still hasn't deterred him but I suppose that's the addiction isnt it sad

Nehru no worries

Branleuse Mon 06-May-13 10:10:27

I do have a child with SN who is 12 and quite anti smoking at the moment.

Both my ds dad (exh) and my dp smoke though, so i guess realistically this is a possibility

I dont really think its the worst thing they can do, so while i would disapprove, i wouldnt go mental over it. Id tell him i was disappointed and i wouldnt be funding it

Maryz Mon 06-May-13 10:16:05

ds was the most anti-smoking child in the world, until he started sad. He was also the most anti-drugs, the fittest, most athletic teenager I have ever come across. He knew more about health, nutrition and fitness, he was fantastic at three sports.

But the anxiety caused by school (and by the sports to be honest) ate away at him. He was told to smoke to "calm his nerves), and once he started the nicotine withdrawal made him more and more anxious. Thus the search for something more "calming", and the move to cannabis and vallium.

Ghosts, would your son accept medication?

My younger son was diagnosed with ADHD at 14. He immediately asked for medication - having seen how ds1 ended up, he recognised immediately that he might go that way. He has talked to me about the "need" for something, anything to calm his brain, and talked to me about the temptation of cigarettes, drink and drugs.

Because he has seen what happened with ds1 he doesn't want to go that route, so is much more open to counselling, to legal medication, to talking about his problems.

Your son sounds as though he would accept help, so push for it. Is his ADHD medicated? It might be worth considering. Ritalin has made a difference to ds2 - he is on a very low dose so I often wonder is it as much a psychological effect as a physical effect. Either way, it doesn't matter, he is much happier.

As an aside, if they rolling they are even more likely to use cannabis. You just need one of them to have a packet, they put a bit into each rollie and they are away. And once they start cannabis it is very hard to stop them, because of course it really does calm their brains sad

flow4 Mon 06-May-13 10:16:49

I think us parents fail to realise that teenagers smoke because they genuinely feel it is one of the best things in their otherwise shit lives. The trouble with 'cracking down hard' is that you thereby make their lives worse, and increase their motivation to smoke. sad With hindsight, I now strongly believe that the best tactic is to make sure smoking is very definitely not seen as one of the 'best things in life', by helping them find plenty of other things they love. That's easier said than done, but I think it's the approach most likely to succeed.

Ghostsgowoooh Mon 06-May-13 10:17:13

flow4 that's how I think ds would be if I stopped all his money, I caught him stealing from my purse the last time I withdrew money. I'm glad your ds seems to be coming out the other side though, I am holding on to that thought that ds will come right in the end.

Noddy it astounds me just how much smoking is rife in ds year group, Ive seen them in town, on the street and he tells me who smokes and who doesn't. And a lot of them are kids whose parents are uberstrict, the last kids I would have though are into fags.

Maryz Mon 06-May-13 10:20:26

All of ds2's friends (now 15) are very sporty. And his immediate friends don't smoke. Many of the non-sports-playing boys do, though, as do many of the girls.

Almost all of the girls in dd's year (now 16) do, mostly to "keep their weight down".

noddyholder Mon 06-May-13 10:21:09

Ghosts I agree! I have laughed over the years at the kids of veggies eating burgers at my house and the sons of school councillors selling hash in the park! One mum 'caught' me coming out of McD's one day armed with a load of ice creams and said Oh no my Louis doesn't touch McD I have politicised him on that ( He was in our car awaiting one!)

Ghostsgowoooh Mon 06-May-13 10:21:13

Maryz my ds was also very anti smoking until he started. He hated it with a passion-until he tried it and saw his mates smoking

He's already on meds for adhd which has been a battle to get him to take those if I'm honest. Its certainly worth a try though even if I have to bribe him with something.

Thank you all again, though, for understanding. You have all given me hope and ways I can move forward with this

Meringue33 Mon 06-May-13 10:22:31

Is it worth getting him a book like the Allen Carr method of giving up smoking (if he says he wants to)?

It worked for me at 25. I think part of the allure for young people is that they think smoking makes them a maverick. I found it much easier to stop when I realised smoking was exactly what "the establishment" wanted me to do and was enriching people like Margaret Thatcher who had shares in BAT.

Appreciate this line of argument may be totally inapt for your son but thought I'd share just in case.

Maryz Mon 06-May-13 10:22:31

And they all know it's bad for them.

Unfortunately they pick and choose which health advice they want to listen to. And many of them pick on the "it's never to late to give up" advice given to older people.

One of ds's friends years ago said to me "it's ok if you smoke at our age, as long as you give up by the time you are 40 your lungs will go back to being healthy - that's what it said in the ad"


Ghostsgowoooh Mon 06-May-13 10:23:07

Noddy that made me chuckle smile

noddyholder Mon 06-May-13 10:23:17

I was always very dismissive and said yuck to it if I ever found smoking stuff in his clothes. My son is very vain though which I think deters him as I drum in the ageing and teeth rotting aspect!

InNeedOfBrandy Mon 06-May-13 10:24:29

I started smoking around 12/13 gave up last year and end of may will be a year.

Could you buy him the Allan Carr easy way to stop smoking for teens? It's really quite interesting as he explains when you first start smoking it's actually more harder to stop then someone in their 50s who has been smoking for years.

Maryz Mon 06-May-13 10:25:39

Sorry x-posted.

He may be getting old enough to understand the need for the ADHD medication. The doctor ds2 is under was fantastic at explaining why he needs it (a lot to do with accelerators and brakes). ds really bought into the idea.

This might be the time to talk to your son about the fact that nicotine is like a medicine, and the going to the gp and discussing more appropriate medication for his anxiety would be a mature step to take. Also (from a financial point of view) he can get anti-anxiolytics on the NHS, freeing up his smoking money for (insert craze of the moment) grin

Ghostsgowoooh Mon 06-May-13 10:27:52

I think our dc think they are invincible at their age, I know I did. Its only since I'm in my mid 30's and I've seen my dad die from lung cancer and my friend died 3 weeks ago from the same disease that I realise just how vulnerable we all are

Maryz Mon 06-May-13 10:28:12

Did I ever mention the time ds1 fell off a motorbike and broke his wrist?

He was prescribed difene for the pain, and told to then take nurofen plus or solpadeine.

He refused to take any of them because "you do realise that solpadeine as codeine in it, mum, and codeine is addictive shock".

This from a child who was smoking dope, taking internet vallium, and anything he could get his hands on on a Saturday night


TheOneWithTheHair Mon 06-May-13 10:29:45

I bet there was no irony from him Maryz.

You'll have to remind him what he said when he's grown up. grin

Maryz Mon 06-May-13 10:30:51

Oh, no. He was perfectly serious [baffled]

TheOneWithTheHair Mon 06-May-13 10:33:06

Ghost I'm mid thirties and part of me still thinks I'm invincible. It's very hard to get past the idea that it's only something that happens to unknown statistics.

I'm sending you a hug, just because life can be a bit shit sometimes.

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