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Old 08-16-2007, 09:02 AM   #1
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How strict/lax are you with cigarette smoke around your kids?

i consider myself to be extremely strict about cigarette smoke/smokers around my son. this generally is not a problem as we really only know two smokers, my MIL and my FIL. (disclaimer: you don't have to read all of this to answer the question! haha).

we see my MIL often, and since our son was born, she changes her clothes completely and washes her hands if she has been smoking when she sees him. she doesn't smoke that often anymore so it has never been an issue, and nary a word has been spoken about it for the last year and a half. i still hate that she smokes, but what can you do?

now my FIL, that a whoooooooooole different story. we rarely see him, as he is in and out of jail and rehab, resulting from his three-year-long addiction to crack. along with his crack addiction, came his now chain-smoking habit. he has absolutely zero respect for our requests about the smoke residue on him and his clothes (whether it be crack or cigarettes) so it is REALLY hard to deal with! like i said, i am extremely strict about smoke around my kids, I JUST AM, and that will never ever change.

(as two examples of his behavior, when my son was still a teeny tiny newborn, my husband asked his dad that he wash his hands before he held jack because we knew his drug addiction was really bad at that point. his dad scoffed in his face, wiped his hands in his sweaty ARMPITS, and grabbed the baby out of my husbands arms. he then turned to look at me and laughed in my face. i.nearly.passed.out. another time, he and my SIL came to our house, and we thought that she had picked him up straight from rehab, so we thought we were "ok" with the whole drug residue stuff. so only after they left and my SIL called me crying, did we find out that they had spent two hours in his crack house, clearing out boxes, etc. my SIL said that there was a solid, sticky film from the residue of the crack pipes on EVERYTHING, and that she could feel it on her clothes, her skin, in her hair. you get the picture. my FIL hugged and kissed and held my poor baby every single chance he got. the term "enfuriated" does not even begin to describe how i felt, and still feel, actually).

long story short, he's coming to our house on saturday he is coming from rehab, but he's driving himself, so i basically have to hope that he doesn't have a crack connection between the rehab center and our house. not to mention that he will chain smoke the entire time he's in the car.

i just don't know how to deal with this and i hate that it's even an issue. three years ago he was a great guy who didn't smoke anything, now i don't even feel comfortable with him touching my precious baby.

so even if you didn't read all of that, lol, feel free to answer about how strict YOU are about smoke around your kids?

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Old 08-16-2007, 09:07 AM   #2
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Re: How strict/lax are you with cigarette smoke around your kids?

That's totally disgusting about your FIL. Can you not get your DH to say something to him like "you are not welcome here around my family unless you are clean (at least on the outside)"? If not, I would just take baby with me and not be present when I knew he would be over.

I am an ex smoker, and a LOT of my friends are smokers (most, actually). I plan on keeping antibacterial hand cleaner in my purse and diaper bag that I will make them use if they want to hold my baby. I will be babywearing, though, so I don't know that any of them will get to hold her anyway.
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Old 08-16-2007, 09:11 AM   #3
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Re: How strict/lax are you with cigarette smoke around your kids?

Wow, that would be a really difficult situation. My father smokes, but never around my kids. My SIL also smokes, but she goes outside, away from the kids when she does. They both know that I am really serious about keeping my kids away from smoke, especially since my youngest has asthma.
I would discuss with your DH about laying down the law - FIL must be clean and sober COMPLETELY to have contact with your child. That is NOT an unreasonable request at all, no matter who he is.
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Old 08-16-2007, 09:34 AM   #4
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Re: How strict/lax are you with cigarette smoke around your kids?

I'm so sorry you're dealing with this FIL problem. No doubt a really difficult situation. I have NO words of advice, I just don't know!

As far as how strict I am with smoke/kids...I am strict and won't go to someone's house if I know they're smokers and we don't allow smoking around the kids. If we go to a restaurant that still allows smoking, we sit as far as we can away from the smoking section - in the non-smoking section. With all that said, we don't have anyone close to us that smokes and I can't even think of any friends who smoke (certainly not any 'close' friends).
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Old 08-16-2007, 09:37 AM   #5
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Re: How strict/lax are you with cigarette smoke around your kids?

I feel for you. My thought are a drug addiction is a drug addiction. My mother smokes I desperately tried to get her to quit before my kids were born but you can't make someone quit. I did however set up some rules for her and my children. She has to smoke outside her house or my children will not be allowed there. This is mainly a problem in the winter when she says its too cold outside. She can absolutely not smoke when she watches my kids, inside or out. She also washes and puts on clean clothes before she is around my kids. Its not just the smoke but the chemical residue that permeates everything. I know how hard it is and you feel like your children need the time with all the relatives that love them. Luckily for us its only my mom who smokes and she knows that with my kids its my way or she will not be there at all. My relationship with my mom has always been one where I can openly talk to her about this and she knows how serious I am. While I can't make her quit, I can make my kids safer. So after much rambling I just want to share that I am strict with my mom about her smoking. I have no problem being like that because they are my kids and I want the best for them.
i know how hard it can be to have loved ones with drug addictions.
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Old 08-16-2007, 09:40 AM   #6
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Re: How strict/lax are you with cigarette smoke around your kids?

Everyone in my family except me and my bother smoke. I do not alow smoking in my house at all including DH, there is also no smoking in my personal vehicle. I hate it but I really can not tell ppl not to smoke at their house or at a family fuction when it is only me and my bro that don't smoke.
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Old 08-16-2007, 10:04 AM   #7
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Re: How strict/lax are you with cigarette smoke around your kids?

Being an ex-smoker , now I really don't like the smell , But that aside we don't know really anyone who smokes anymore, But i would DEMAND that they washed their hands before touching my child. And i'd hand them a stick of gum..

Don't wash your hands with soap and water... Don't touch my child... Put your foot down if he tries to do that again...

Sorry you FIL has issues and is bring that stuff near your child..
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Old 08-16-2007, 10:11 AM   #8
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Re: How strict/lax are you with cigarette smoke around your kids?

thanks for all the support mamas.

this situation with his dad has been so unbelievably hard. there is just no way to describe what it's like to watch someone you love, who had a great life, spiral downwards until they have nothing left but their addiction. it's all because of this stupid woman he met and "fell in love" with, who introduced him to crack. he was just being stupid and then lived in denial about the fact that he was addicted. in fact, he's still in denial. he would not even be in rehab right now if it weren't court mandated.

the whole situation sucks. my husband is afraid/worried/shy? about saying something about the smoke around jack, and certainly has never been willing to say, "you're a drug addict, you're not allowed around our kids". i can't say that i know what i would do if this were my own father. i just don't know what it feels like to be him right now. he essentially lost his father, their relationship is obviously very, very strained, and then i'm asking him to confront his dad about the smoking . i just think it's too much for him to handle.
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Old 08-16-2007, 10:22 AM   #9
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Re: How strict/lax are you with cigarette smoke around your kids?

We are extremely strict with allowing our kids to be around smoke. It just doesn't happen. Unfortunately that means that we don't go to my Grandma's house on the holidays because there are a lot of people inside smoking. I don't want to put people out and ask them not to smoke...so we just go the day before when no one else is there.
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Old 08-16-2007, 10:28 AM   #10
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Re: How strict/lax are you with cigarette smoke around your kids?

I'm so sorry about your FIL. UGH. I myself am uber strick about smoking. I have always hated the smell of other people smoking, even when I was a smoker (go figure). Thankfully, we live in a place where smokers are a very tiny minority and all of my friends have quit. Or they hold off a few hours when they visit. DH's friends aren't so good about it but we don't see them as often.
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