Vaping A level idiot. Confront?(28 Posts)
DS1 is about to start his A levels. A lot is resting on him being able to up his grades from his AS exams (to do what he wants to do, not what we're pushing him to do). He is very stressed and not sleeping well. (Back story: last year he had a bit of a panic thing going on in exams and did much worse than expected.)
Today I was looking for a guide book that he had had and went in his room (which I have agreed not to do). On open view was an e-cig receipt and rows of bottles of vaping fluid. In an open drawer were further lighter fuel and a lighter plus alcohol bottles galore.
Apart from the fucking idiocy of him vaping and god knows what else (what's the lighter for?) I'm so pissed off that he has been asking for money from me to help pay for a holiday, for prom clothes, for new sunglasses etc etc when he's obviously got plenty to spend on this shit. (Further back story - I'd persuaded him to drop his weekend working hours to concentrate on his A levels so he has less income of his own.)
My dilemma: Do I admit I've snooped in his room, confront him on his idiotic behaviour and stop funding his luxuries? (Risking a big row and upsetting the balance just before his exams?)
Or do I turn a blind eye, let him carry on spending my money on his bloody stupid druggy stuff in order to let him approach exams stress free?
Please tell me what you'd do.
I'm confused as to what you're worried about specifically? Do you think he's vaping lighter fluid? I don't think that would work but it would probably be a bad idea yes... Do you think he's sniffing the lighter fluid? If so that's obviously really worrying and needs action asap, it's extremely dangerous and deadly.
Hmm. Is he vaping the stuff with nicotine, or without? Why did you agree not to go in his room?
I hope he wouldn't be stupid enough to vape lighter fluid
but wouldn't put it past him.
No, the lighter fluid shows he is clearly doing more than just vaping whether it's smoking normal fags, weed or sniffing lighter fluid.
The bottles say 'may contain nicotine'.
I have agreed not to go in his room as he has requested his own private space as long as he promises to clean it, make the bed, hoover etc, which to be fair he does.
Try and keep calm about it, throwing a wobbly won't help. I'd tell him you went in to look for the book and saw his stuff. Just start a conversation about what he's doing and accept whatever he says. Stay on an even keel and hopefully he'll feel able to talk to you about it.
My DS2 20 smokes and has done for maybe 6 years. I can't do anything about it, so I let it go and hope he'll stop sooner or later. He doesn't smoke in the house though.
Hmm. Well you don't have to do anything today, give yourself time to think it over.
When do his exams start and finish? How much money might he ask you for in the meantime? You might be able just to defer the conversation
row until after it is all over?
But, whattodo I'm fairly sure calmly telling him what I saw will make him not calmly at all overreact and cause a godalmighty row.
He has a history of not telling us anything much at all about his life (including girlfriends etc) and he has recently started being much more open and honest with us about friends and what he gets up to. We are not strict scary parents - he just admits its his 'weird thing'. I'm worried about pushing him away to be even more secretive.
George, I was wondering if I could save 'the talk' until after he finishes. Is that cop out parenting?
I don't think so. I think it is considered parenting. It's not a time sensitive issue, is it?
What about the alcohol - are we talking beer/cider or spirits? Are you worried about this part of it?
True, it's not time sensitive, whereas exams are.
Do I still cough up cash when he doesn't have enough for his fancy prom outfit?
The alcohol was spirits (Jack Daniels and vodka). I realise alcohol is as harmful or more than other drugs but I have less concerns here specifically because ds has told us about drinking socially. (He is 18). I don't think he drinks alone - but it's the done thing to take a bottle to parties etc.
Maybe you need to have a chat about how much money he currently has, so as to better estimate how much he might need? I have paid directly for The Prom Suit, so I knew where the money went. But I know how much money DS has and I expected to pay for it, it sounds as though your situation might be different. I guess you need to work out what you are most worried about - exams results, physical health, mental health, honesty, drug use, contact with undesirable people, excessive alcohol... You can almost certainly let some of it go until later, it's a case of working out what.
Somewhere on the bottle there is probably a number to show nicotine strength - either a percentage: 1.8%, 1.2% or in milligrams: 18mg, 12mg.
Really though, it's the alcohol and smoking you need to be concerned about, not the vaping, even if he is using nicotine. If he has gone as far as buying an ecig he is almost definitely already smoking - the lighter points that way too.
This is worth a read.
Sorry cross post. So the alcohol is a worry you can shelve for now in that case. I guess if he goes to uni this year he may well have spirits in his room. And you aren't worried he will make himself ill and mess up his work that way.
George you sound very wise. Thank you.
Your very good question about what I'm most worried about really made me think. I wanted to answer all of it! But I think my honest answer is what is important to me is ds's' overall well-being and in that sense his well-being is wrapped up with his mental and physical health and at the moment with his exams.
Looking at it that way, the money is irrelevant. The honesty is a work in progress. Friends, alcohol, drugs or whatever are all areas of his life where he has to make his own decisions and I can't control these
as much as I want to
I don't feel wise. But I have teenagers. And I have learnt to think things through before I say anything. Sometimes I think that is the only thing I do get right!
if he is 18 im not sure you can say anything... at 18 I was drinking, shagging, had been engaged and was clubbing three nights a week - never smoked though nor did I do any drugs.
Thanks Pubes. Useful article. Just looked at one of the bottles. 3mg. So lowish?
I've never smelled tobacco on him but I have a hunch that cannabis is not unknown to him from comments he's made. Perhaps not unusual.
And crossed posts again George to be fair he's never got totally messed up and vomitty drunk
unless at the festivals he's been to
And really thank you everyone. You have talked me down from exploding at ds as he walks in through the door this afternoon. I massively appreciate it.
This is the problem with snooping around... often you will find things you don't really want to see. I think you need to stop that as he is 18, basically an adult.
You encouraged him to reduce his part-time job (for good reasons) but I assume you promised to top up his cash as a result? It is going to look quite controlling if you now turn around and say he can't spend his money on X or Y, so I'm not sure you are onto a winner really.
I think I would be leaving the discussion until after the exams if possible.
My understanding is that nicotine in itself is not especially dangerous, it is all the other crap they put in the tobacco and then the act of inhaling the smoke.
if he burns the house down (which is a reasonable risk with all that flammable liquid and lighter around, especially if he is a drunk or a stoner) 'I didn't like to snoop around' won't be much comfort.
if he wants to play adult games, tell him to behave like an adult and buy it himself. And perhaps he could consider going independent after exams and funding his entire lifestyle.
The only dangerous thing about nicotine is that it's addictive- very addictive. I've recently weened myself off cigarettes and despite only smoking for 6 months it's been tough and i'm using a E cig which I hope to eventually stop using. You can buy varying levels of nicotine e juice- high, medium, low and no nicotine (marked as mg on the juice I buy) I've just checked my nic free bottle and it doesn't mention about there being traces of nicotine in there- so if the bottles say theres nicotine, chances are there is. Obviously it depends what your DS is like- but I didn't smoke because of peer pressure, I did it because I was stressed out at work and it was my excuse to go out for 5 minutes and have a think. E cigarettes, while there isn't concrete evidence, are deemed to be safer than analogues.
Honestly though? I think you need to accept the fact he's 18, he's going to experiment and confronting him about it now isn't going to do him any favours with exams coming up. If you want to have a chat with him later in the summer about it- then do so. But I honestly don't know what good it will do- if he is planning on going to university in September, assuming he will be moving away you won't be able to keep an eye on him 24/7. He is technically an adult now.
With that said- I wouldn't fund it. If he asks for some pocket money say your skint. You can order his prom suit online or take him to the shop to buy it.
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