25 answers

How to Talk to My Daughter and Son in Law

I have 3 grandchildren and both their parents smoke my youngest grandchild months has been having lots of trouble breathing around them. Now the parents have been on vacation for 2 weeks and I have had the kids. My youngest has not had any trouble with breathing while he has been with me. When they come back and he starts having trouble again what do I do? This has happened many times when I have had the baby for a few days at a timeI mean when he has trouble he turns pale blue around his eyes and mouth. I have taken him to the dr. and so have his parents and of course the dr. said to quit smoking but they won't do it. I can't believe that they will put a cigarette before their childrens health. What should I do about this?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

My daughter and son in law got home and I told them that they were NOT getting the baby back till they quit smoking. The dr. told them that and also the hearing specialist told them that. It is in all the records that he is not having any breathing problems while he is with us. So far they haven't quit or even tried to yet, so life goes on. On a happier note, the baby has improved in his left ear and can hear some-dr. said it was because no smoking and the pollin count has gone down some. Thank you everyone for your help and concern

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I really hate to say this, but it sounds like they are truly neglecting their child's health. They need to be willing to at least stop smoking around the children, go outside to smoke, I understand it's hard. One thing you could do to bring it to their attention is that if the dr or anyone else sees that they're not putting their childs health first then they could report them for neglect.

smoking is bad for anyone. It's enough danger things in the atmosphere to add on. Be wise and live longer

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I guess I'm the big *B* in the group, but I'd tell them if they don't start the process to try to quit, I'll be reporting them to child protective services. If the baby is TURNING BLUE from lack of oxygen, that seems to me like a pretty clear case of child endangerment. It infuriates me that people place their own desires & conveniences over the long-term health of their children.

1 mom found this helpful

Smoking is not something that people do just because they want to tick off others or for fun and looking cool. It's an addiction. It doesn't ruin your life right away like heroine or Meth it does it slowly but it is just as addictive. Only instead of shooting up three times a day or more you inject it every 10 to 15 minutes. It is very powerful because it becomes part of who you are. Everything you do can revolve around it.

I feel sorry for your grand children but you giving them the what for is only going to tick them off probably and they may be leary of letting you watch them - so that you don't ever see the benefit of them being in your home. Don't be to overbearing. Give them a suggestion as to where they could go and them tell them your concerns. And then... drop it.
Invite the kids as much as possible to your house. :)

They go to school so their not in smoke all day. I understand how you feel but pushing one way just makes them push back harder.

God Bless,
I have been smoke free for three years on this past March 28th. I went to have aricular therapy at Leslie-Cams in St. Louis, MO. It was still difficult but it worked.

Hi K.,

I for one have never smoked but I grew up in a smoking home and as I get older I think the more sensitive I becmoe to smoke.
The other posters are right, it is an addiction, for some people. I am a registered nurse with over 25 years experience, 6 of those I worked with a lung specialist in the hospital and in his office. Some people are just able to lay them down and not even think about them again. Some can't. From my observation, it's harder for women for some reason. Although my mom just quit a year ago after smoking 2 packs a day for 40+ years.
The cumulative, long-term devestation of smoking can be horrible. And yes the second hand smoke for the kids can certainly have effects as well. My grandmother was diagnosed with emphysema a few years before she passed away. She never worked outside of the home nor did she ever smoke a day in her life! But she lived with my grandfather, a heavy smoker, for years.

As far as talking to the kids, that's tough. I agree with the other posts that you may risk alienating them. But it is not only the grandkid's health you're worried about, it's their's as well!
There are the obvious risks of lung cancer and emphysema. But there are also the yearly colds and bronchitis episodes that will take longer and longer to get over. They may not notice now because the kids are small, but they will notice at some point the difficulty in enjoying activities/life with the kids because they're tired and/or having problems breathing. And the hidden problems with their hearts and circulation systems that may not be seen for years. My step mother, as I type this, is at risk for losing one of her legs because of poor circulation. And yes she has been a life long smoker. They have even found nicotine in the cells taken during exams of women with cervical cancer!

Have them look at the money they'll save. If both are smoking, have them calculate how much money they could save in a week, month, year, if they quit.

Bottom line, tell them you love them. You are not wanting to be a meddling mother but you want them to be healthy.

Good Luck and in good health,

L. K

It's hard to tell grown folks what to do...try getting a humidifier, air purifier or something for the children. Good luck & God Bless!

Good for you for trying. Can the doctor provide you with any literature to show them about what it does to the kids? Perhaps scare them a little with the facts (even though they are bling to what is happening to their children in front of their eyes). You may not get them to quit, but maybe you can get them to smoke outside or at least in another room and where a jacket or shirt while they are smoking then take it off when they are around the kids. (The nicotene gets into the clothes they are wearing and then when they hold/interact with the kids it exposes the children. The jacket might help with that.) Good luck.

smoking is bad for anyone. It's enough danger things in the atmosphere to add on. Be wise and live longer

I smoked for many years, I would quit when I was pregnant, but after my first two I started shortly after they were born. After my third I knew I could not start again (since I only want 3 kids)and here we are 3 years later and I am still not smoking, I have days where I could. I never smoked in my house or in my car. I know second hand smoke was still a factor but I felt I was doing what I could. Talk to your children! They are your children and your grandchildren, so your kids may get mad, they will get over it! I doubt they will withold your grandchildren from you because you offer them a break. Just be tactful, talk to them about only smoking outdoors and not smoking in their car. They cannot stop smoking unless they really want to but you can encourage them to be more responsible.

Out of desperation, one thing you could do is to turn them in for child neglect. Ignoring the health of their child is a form of neglect. I know you would hate to do this and it would put a split down the middle of your family but you might have to put the health of your grandchild first.

Good luck and many prayers,

I really hate to say this, but it sounds like they are truly neglecting their child's health. They need to be willing to at least stop smoking around the children, go outside to smoke, I understand it's hard. One thing you could do to bring it to their attention is that if the dr or anyone else sees that they're not putting their childs health first then they could report them for neglect.

Smoking is a personal choice - my personal choice is not to smoke. But having grown up with a mother who smoked in the house all the time, I can certainly feel for your grandchildren. It wasn't until years later that I realized that all the ear problems I had growing up could very well have been related to the cigarette smoke I was exposed to.

If your daughter and son in law want to continue to smoke, they are going to. But maybe you can explain to them that you are concerned about them smoking around the children, and suggest that they smoke outside...then the house can be aired out, become smoke free, and your daughter and son in law will be able to continue to smoke. Good Luck.

I have heard this many times and it never makes any sense at all. You need to have the doctor write a note that you can bring home that expresses what the smoke is doing to the children. It will definitely impact your child's health, causing pneumonia, asthma, etc. I mean you can only remove them so far away from it in a close in area and you can't take the children outside every single time someone lights up a cigarette. If you have sat down and had a serious conversation with them and it hasn't worked, I would try the doctor's note approach!!! Good luck to you.

I would document like crazy! Pictures, videos, a diary, everything you can think of. If he can't breathe, he's not going to develope right. Even if you don't sue for custody, you can use it to help show the parents what they are doing to their child.

not to sound mean or uncaring but hotline them. the blue around the mouth and eyes is cyanosis and hypoxia and will eventually cause developmental delays, hearing loss due to repeated infections from the exposure to smoke, and even permanent brain damage. i'm a peds nurse and i see kids like this every day and they just get sicker as they get older...it isn't something they "outgrow." teach them about smoking cessation....gum, patches, whatever, and if they insist on smoking tell them to smoke outside in a "smoking jacket," a piece of clothing they take off AS SOON as they get inside, and wash their hands before touching the kids. the nicotine and smoke lingers in clothes and hair, as well, so teach them about the allergy reducing febreeze. good luck!

I used to live with a smoker I am now 27 and live every day with the long term effects. I have asthma and allergies to smoke. I can't even be in a room with a smoker because I get really sick. I have not lived around it for 10 plus years now but my lungs are still healing from all the damage my father caused to them by me get second hand smoke. my dad did not realize until I took him to one of my appointments from a asthma check and they ask do you smoke i told them no that my dad does a lot in the house. it hit him hard and he from that day on quit smoking in the house and would not smoke much at all when at home. he to this day does not smoke in the presence of my kids or around them he goes into hiding if he smokes. he know that he can't reverse the effects but he can stop and think what he has done to me so he does not do it to my kids or husband. it is his choice to smoke and he knows it but he does not smell like it or smoke in presence of kids because he wants to be a better example then he was when I was a kids.

I grew up in a smoking household. I do not smoke. My mother didn't quit until she had breast cancer and was told by the doctor she needed to stop, and so my Dad quit buying them for her, as she was pretty ill from the Chemo and didn't go out on her own.
I used to have "bronchitis" all the time, I had chronic allergies and ear infections. come to find out, the "bronchitis" was actually asthma. One of my triggers is cigarrette smoke.
My parents knew that the smoke caused me breathing problems, but did absolutely nothing to minimize it. They wouldn't even roll down a car window if I asked them to.
THESE things are addictive, and the people who use them will justify their usage no matter what. It's horrible, and I feel terribly for your grandchild.
Have you had him tested for asthma? This could be a serious problem, people can die from asthma. I have been hospitalized several times, once my lips turned blue due to oxygen deprivation.
Please get this child tested.

I'm not sure there is a lot you can do for people who are addicted and don't want to stop. You can try to have an honest discussion of what the long term affects of their smoking is going to have on their child. Do they want to endure the medical bills, trips to the dr, their missing work, the child missing school? Do they want their behavior to limit their child's ability to play sports?

Talk about the amount of money they spend on cigarettes and what they could do with that money if they stopped.

If you can get them to want to stop, can you offer to take care of kids while they attend a program? Do they need financial help with nicotine patches, hypnosis, etc? Offer them whatever help you can with their rehab. If they fall "off the wagon" encourage them to get back on.

Also, don't enable. I don't allow smoking in my house, period. My mother in law lived with us for awhile and she smoked outside or in the garage when it rained. You do need to take a stand in your home. That you can control. You can't control what they do, you can only support good behavior.

I would tell them the health danger's they are putting on their children,childhood cancer asthma ear infections respitory infection the whole nine yards.They are his parent's and need to respspet their health.My husband smokes and I hate it I have yelled at him and tell my kid's to step away and come inside while daddy smokes He isn't allowed to smoke in front of our children outside only he doesn't smoke around me or in the car anymore.This would be awful if he did and I would divorce him for it yes I would.His mother grandfater and uncle all have empezema and still smoke however it is their own life,I wouldn't give them money they will probably spen it on ciggs than their children I would still continue to buy for the grandkid's even if it put's you in a bind they need thing's and their parent's are being neglagant in provding for them unfortunately we live in a world that grandparent's have become the provider's for their grandchildren.Good Luck and I pray that your grandchildren will live a happylife.

Wow, if the doc has told them not to smoke around the kids and the baby has exhibited such a negative reaction, I don't know what you could say to make them change. My son and daughter-in-law smoke but I asked them when she was pregnant to smoke outside for the baby's sake. She didn't smoke during pregnancy and I told my son that she should not be around second hand smoke. I HOPE they are still smoking outdoors, at least they do when I'm there. Perhaps if you tell them to smoke outdoors, and arm yourself with brochures, pamphlets, etc. about the dangers of second hand smoke. Best of Luck!!

Well, I feel your pain as far as the cigarettes go. My mother in law does the same thing!! My son has asthma and she still did not stop! I finally did everything I could at my job to get fired so I had an excuse not to take them over there everyday while I was at work. I dont understand why it is so hard to take the damn cigarette outside!! My husband smokes but never inside or around our kids. I know it is a hard habit to break and it stays on your clothes and such but iof they could at least go outside it may help a little. If the baby is turning blue I would definantly insist on an emergency inhaler (albuterol) and an epipen just in case. As far as talking to them, people who smoke dont realize how bad it is for other people. I talked and talked to my mother in law about it and her response was "well my kids grew up fine"! Dont get me wrong I love my in-laws, but they just dont get it! My son has been totally healthy since he quit going there every day for the past year.
As far as your grand baby's health you may want to take him to an allergist- there are some great ones at Childrens Mercy he may have pre-asthma. They dont like to diagnose with asthma until the child is 3 years old, but he may need some breathing control. I wish you luck and hope for the best! E.

Before I had children, I was a smoker. I am so thankful I quit before having kids. Anything you say to your daughter will go on deaf ears! There is absolutely nothing you can do or say that will change her mind for her. I am sad to say that to you. She obviously knows that the smoke is bad for her children, but it is a very bad habit. Maybe you could check into hypnosis for her to quit. That is the way I quit and it worked. Good luck

That's just it. Let them know that quitting may be hard, but as a parent your children come first. I have a brother who smokes. We have been trying to get him to quit so i know how hard it is. But he goes outside to have a cigarette. His children have asama. So since he hasn't quit yet he goes away so that the air around them stays clean.

Unfortunately, I doubt if you can make your kids (or anyone else) do anything. I'm a smoker, too, and the mother a beautiful, healthy 11 month old daughter. I can tell you from experience that quitting smoking is NOT as easy as one might think! My advice is that you don't even make an issue of them quitting smoking, but encourage them to designate a smoking area in their home and only smoke in that area. Ideally this area will be a well-ventilated and away from the kids. Appeal to the loving parents in them. Explain that you're asking them to quit, just quit doing it around the kids. A few years ago, my elderly mother (a non-smoker) moved in with me due to failing health. Eventually it became necessary that she be put on oxygen and therefore it became necessary for me to designate a smoking area in my home. I washed and put away all the ashtrays except for the one's in my smoking areas. I keep my cigarrettes and lighter next to th ashtray rather than in my pocket or lying on the table next to me. (Out of sight, out of mind). It was a matter of safety initially. I was amazed at the change. My house didn't smell like a bar anymore. I needed to clean my glass/televisions/computer screens far less frequently (as well as basically everything in my house). Most important probably is that it helped me to cut my smoking in half. I was surprised at how often I lit up without thinking about it. I went from a pack a day to half a pack within the first week. Perhaps if you can get them to designate a smoking area(s) it will inspire to them to cut down or even quit.

Hi, K.. This is probably one of the most infuriating situations to be in! I sympathize with your dilemma as all my husbands family smokes. I do not like my children to be around it at all. I would definitely mention that while in your non-smoky house, your grandson did much better with his breathing. I would at least have them consider not smoking in their home or in their car- anywhere he is exposed to it. I can only say keep trying- we have had no luck with my husband's family. We just stay away from the smoking, say negative comments, and go outside when it is too much too bear. What concerns me is that this baby is having physical reactions to the smoke that you can see- turning blue- which means he is not getting enough good air in his system. He may develop further and more intensive problems later. This warning should be enough to at least get the parents to stop smoking around him. Not being a smoker and being a huge advocate for children, I do not understand the addiction and why it is so hard to quit. If they can not afford treatment to quit, maybe you can help with that. I say keep talking with your grandson's doctor to make sure he doesn't get any worse effects, and keep harping on your daughter and son in law. Good Luck!

Have these children gone to an allergist/asthma Dr? Obviously HEPA Air Cleaners running in each room would help a great deal. But honestly as parents they should stop being so darn selfish and smoke outside so they don't endanger their children. Sorry Im not more help.

Hello, Have you tried asking them to stop smoking in the house, and they could go out side to smoke, I;m a smoker myself and so was my husband but when my son was born i thought with both of us smoking it was just too much so we starting smoking outside, and i noticed that we have cut down alot on smoking since we have to go outside, whicj=h means i breathe better and i dont smell like a big ole cigg butt. Ciggs dont cost 500.00 amonth unless they chain smoke one after another you can buy a carton for 18.00 to 28.00 so they must be smoking something else besides ciggs to be spending that much, or they'r lying !!!!

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