Saturday, February 12, 2011

Clueless In Connecticut

Rant on.

Why is it that when teenagers say or do the most outrageous things imaginable, they expect us as parents to accept what they did with no questions asked and act like little sheeples, but yet when we have the audacity to actually disapprove of what they did, they are shocked, shocked I say, to think that somehow they must've did something.....WRONG!

Case in point.

Sometime last year I found out that my son had taken up smoking (the legal kind after getting busted for smoking the illegal kind), and unlike when I got caught smoking at his age (18), it was treated like no big deal by my mother.


I say "gag" because not only smoking seriously bother my asthma, but it leaves the entire house stinking to high heaven because my son doesn't have the smarts to air out his room while doing it.

Anyways, earlier this afternoon, I was getting out of my car when I noticed that my family was in my mother's car getting ready to go somewhere. I walked over to the car and gave my wife her chocolate bar and I was about to head inside the house when my son piped up and we had this incredibly scintillating conversational snippet.

Son: "So dad, you don't have a problem with my smoking?"
Me: "Of course I have a problem with your smoking, but apparently my opinion doesn't mean squat in this household."

Yeah, the joys of living in a house where my opinion/wishes don't count  for shit.

Now I would like to think that my son was puzzled over that utterance of mine, but realistically, it went in one ear and out the other. I would like to think that this created a little bit of friction between my wife, my son and my mother, of which my mother has a tendency to side with my son on such stupid ass nonsense. I would also like to think that this put a small damper on his day of potential fun (he was planning on doing some quadding with a friend).

I'm sure that mother would say something stupid like this, "Well, at least he isn't chewing tobacco."

Like smoking is supposed to be BETTER than chewing tobacco?

Yeah, I also found out about the chewing tobacco purely by accident one evening, and apparently I was the last to know about this as well. So happy to be a parent of a dumb ass teenager.

Look, if he wants to smoke, fine. We all gotta die of something in the long run. Me, I'll probably drop dead of diabetes related complications when I'm old and gray, but I can definitely tell you I'm not trying to rush things along. I just wish that he waited to take up cigarette smoking after he moved out of the house, not while he's living here and making my breathing unbearable and my clothes stinking to the nth degree.

About the only good thing about this (yeah, there is a good thing about smoking), is that with the average price of cigarettes in Connecticut hovering around $8.50 per pack, he'll try to make whatever he's got last as long as humanly possible.

Rant over.


  1. Well that all sucks. I would have taken back the chocolate bar and eaten that myself...

    Apparently your son has never seen pictures of people who have had parts of their face and neck removed from cancers caused my chewing tobacco. Apparently he also never wants to date. I can't think of a bigger turnoff.

  2. If he wanted to date, he would've done the personaly hygiene thing a little bit better than he's already doing.

  3. Do you think if you were to sit down with your son and let him know that smoking is hurting you because of your asthma, he might actually be given the opportunity to make an "adult" decision and either smoke outside or quit?

    I know opening up to kids doesn't always work, HOWEVER, never opening up especially when it's affecting your health won't. He may know that you have asthma, but he may NOT know that smoke can trigger an attack, or difficult breathing.

  4. Carla: The sad part is that he knows that I have asthma, that his sister has has asthma and that he has asthmas as well, yet he does it anyways.

    Frankly, if he was able to make an adult decision in the first place, I would like to think that he wouldn't have started to begin with.

    I try to deal with it the best that I can.

    The only silver lining in this mess is the fact that cigarettes are so prohibitively expensive in this state that he can't go hardcore with these things.

  5. He may understand that you all have asthma, but maybe he doesn't grasp the medical aspect of how smoking can affect it? I would love to think that if a teen were approached with frankness and honesty that they could listen and feel respected and return that respect. I mean, isn't the whole point of being a teen, to help with the transition into adulthood? I know it won't work with all teens, or all people, but I think they do listen more than people give them credit for, I don't think it's all about rebellion so much as it is about learning how to be your own person and making your own decisions. I guess all you can do, is try to guide them to enlightened and empowered decisions that will be to their benefit and credit, either they will or they won't from there.

  6. Carla: It's been an ongoing battle with my son over things like this for the past three or four years now.

    Thing is, we've tried (wife and I) to be frank and honest with him about some of the decisions he's made, alternating with praise and criticism, but when our parental authority is continually undercut by another person in the house, it becomes a losing battle and any kind of victory we get is simply pyrhhic in nature.

    He does stupid shit because he knows he can get away with doing stupid shit because he knows whenever we try to discipline him over the stupid shit he does someone will run interference for him.

  7. I've heard and seen this story on different levels before. I'm sorry you're dealing with this. The ones I've seen happen in the past seem to surmount until the problems are out of control and it's taken to extremes, such as drug usage etc.

    I don't know what the answer is, since it's clear that the Grandparent in question should butt out, however, it's always a power play, pitting one partner against the other. It can take it's toll, I just hope you and your wife always stand united, despite the obvious difficulties the third party is creating. Even if the grandparent were in a different home, it would still continue similarly (even going so far as to provide the children an "escape" from discipline). I don't know what drives some grandparents to do this, but it does seem to be a growing problem.

  8. Carla: Exactly. You hit the proverbial nail on the head.

    I don't think it would be such a problem if we (meaning me and the family) were living here with my mother.

    Long complicated story but right now, the theme of the day is just trying to survive one day at a time.


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