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Cher, Teacher
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 19666
Experience:  Extensive Experience working with Children/Teens; M.A. Teacher/Tutor 40+ yrs.; Parent of 2
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I smoked heavily as a young person living in Europe. I quit

Customer Question

I smoked heavily as a young person living in Europe. I quit 10 years ago but recently, these past few months, have been under such stress, I took it up again. I live alone with my five year old and I don't want him to think that smoking is ok, so I do it secretly. But not just when he's asleep (as it started out), now I do it on the balcony when he is busy playing or watching a little TV. I am desperately trying to quit and WILL quit within the next few weeks, I'm doing hypnosis and all that stuff. Should I tell him the truth or just quit and have him believe that I am good role model? What if he already knows...I spray perfume on, rinse my mouth, etc. but still....he's very smart. He hasn't said a peep but what if he already wonders if I'm lying about it? Should I tell him or keep it secret for the few more weeks I may smoke (I will quit soon, take that as a given). Help!
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  danny541 replied 6 years ago.
Hello and welcome to Just Answer!

Since he is 5 years old, its best not to confront him with it. Ask him if he has ever seen someone smoke, and what does he think about it? If he doesn't know, there is no reason to burden, the little guy with it.

But for your own sake I hope you stick to it and quit, and don't allow yourself to pick it up again. Smoking even if you don't realize it, gets into your hair, clothes, walls, curtains, and he is breathing it even if you never do it in front of him, its going through his system too!

You know all the lung problems that are caused because of smoking! I know because of others smoking, I now have lung disease! Don't slowly kill yourself, and teach your son a habit he doesn't need!

He's too young to fully understand, except that its bad and can make you sick!

Please remember to click the green accept button, for my answer!

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.

can someone else please attempt to answer my question? this answer was not helpful for the following reasons:

1. Of course my 5 year old knows what smoke is. There was an assumption made - without that info in my question - that we live outside of civilization and he has not seen smokers. We live in a city and he sees it every day

2. I don't smoke in the house, so all the comments about second hand smoke were irrelevant

3. I don't need a lecture on the health risks of smoking, I obviously know all of that or I wouldn't have quit for 10 years.


What I actually want to know is: Should I risk being a liar in my sons' eyes or should I take the chance and maintain myself as a role model in his eyes? We have talked about smoking and that it is bad, and that I think it is bad. What if he thinks I secretly smoke and is being "sweet" or something by not telling me as he senses that I am ashamed and don't want to admit it to him? Please forward my original question and this response to someone else, or the "open forum" or however it works. I don't want other answers blocked by this answer having been given, as it was not satisfactory but this is VERY IMPORTANT to me and I would like MORE THAN ONE response. Thank you.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I want to make sure my question is still out there being responded to as soon as possible. I got a response when I first posted the question within minutes, and now it's been almost two hours and no further responses. Please refresh my question or something if there is something to do, unless this is just a coincidence that a second opinion is taking so long. Thank you
Expert:  Cher replied 6 years ago.
Hello,Customer and thanks for your question.

I apologize for the delayed response, but I was just notified that you requested a different answer, so I hope I can be of assistance.

If your young son has not said anything to you about the smoking, I don't think you should bring it up at this time. IF he should confront you or ask you why you are smoking, after you and he discussed that it's not a good thing to do, by all means, address his concerns and explain to him that you are going to a person experienced in helping people quit smoking, and you will not be doing it anymore, after the next few weeks.

It's best to just be truthful with him, in that way, and continue to reassure him that you will be finished with smoking, by a certain date he can relate to, like 'after your play date with Andrew', or something along those lines, that can help him with the time concept. Not only will he know there's an end in sight, but it will make it easier for you to keep your promise, once you quit, again. You had the willpower to do it once, so I have no doubt you'll be able to do it now! Please don't think I sound 'righteous'; I'm a former smoker myself, so I know what you're going through. It's not easy.

I hope this helped, and wish you much good luck!

Cher, Teacher
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 19666
Experience: Extensive Experience working with Children/Teens; M.A. Teacher/Tutor 40+ yrs.; Parent of 2
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