Is it my business?
Is it my business to be outspoken about smoking when a family member who is a mother of two young children says she loves smoking cigarettes all day and doesn't care if she dies young?
I have a rule of thumb about things like that. Is it my body? Is it guaranteed to hurt someone else? If the answer is no to both those questions then it is none of my business.
Since there is no guarantee your family member will die from smoking then it is none of your business. As much as we may not like some things it's best to avoid telling others what we think they should do.
If it were me, I would offer my unsolicited advice once, then mind my own business.
Well, there's a high probability that she's hurting her kids via secondhand smoke.
Yes, but do we go around telling parents they can't feed their children junk food because it is slowly killing them? I agree it MAY impact the children, but the OP didn't specify if mom smokes around the kids.
I tend to agree with you, and I have not yet tried to lecture her in any way. She, however, is the type of person who likes to tell people how to live yet no one is allowed to do the same to her. She thinks she's a real rebel because she smokes.
The children suffer from breathing the second-hand smoke. The long-term health risks are becoming more apparent to pediatricians, but the suffering from being trapped with it in houses and cars is immediately awful.
When I answered she didn't say she smoked around children. I smoke and NEVER smoke around my kids so I wasn't going to assume the worst.
I would probably focus more on why, especially as a mother of two young kids, she doesn't care if she dies. That's not a very healthy attitude to have in regards to her own health, and she doesn't seem to be thinking about how that would affect her children. Kinda sounds like a cry for help to me. I hate smoking but in this case I think it sounds like more of a symptom than the actual root of the problem.
That said, if she's smoking around the kids all day I'd have a really hard time not being vocal about that.
If you only go so far as berating her for smoking around her children then it's still the scope of your business. Whether they're your children or not they're your family and you have an inherent interest in their well being. If you berate her for not caring about her own life over the use of tobacco then you've probably gone too far. That decision and opinion is stupid, but it's hers to deal with.
She'll probably come to her senses around the point when she's unable to smoke anymore physically and has to live for years under the constant desire to smoke and the constant pain and suffering she brought upon herself.
Yes, she also complains that she is sick almost daily so I suppose she just doesn't think it's the smoking. She has a smoke den in her garage but does also smoke around the kids. Thanks for your answer and I hope one day she does come to her senses.
I feel if she wants to kill herself that is her choice. If she is exposing it to the children then you should say something to her or maybe try to take it farther by reporting it as abuse.
I may be prejudiced in this answer because I deal with asthma and have copd from a smoke filled childhood home. My parents knew It was making me sick because they were taking me for allergy shots for pollen and smoke. It has affected my life.
It should be a form of child abuse.
Very true, and I'm sorry for your experience. I think it started to upset me when she smoked while pregnant. Her husband begged her to stop but she wouldn't. I think her children would miss her a lot if she did die from cancer due to cigarettes.
In this day and time, with all the knowledge we now have about the effects, it is child abuse.
Of course you want to be outspoken about it. That the woman needs help is evidenced in her selfishness. Smoking is not her biggest problem, though from experience I can tell you that the children are suffering from the second-hand smoke. She cares only about what she wants at any given moment and it is important to be aware that she does not even really care about herself.
The important thing is to be effective in addressing the issue. Much thought should go into the approach if you decide to do it. For your own sake it is also important to realize that such people simply walk away from good advice and take the children with them. If you can spend time with the children away from the woman (difficult to call her mother) that would be a good thing, but not possible if she knows you have strong feelings about her behavior.
Your goals should be carefully assessed by considering her attitudes and what you can expect from any effort to help her. For instance, she already knows the truth about her behavior and her response proves it. What you want to achieve will help you measure your tactic(s) in helping the children.
Do you want to spend time with them? Do you want to develop a network of family members who will spend time with them? Do you want to approach her from the perspective of offering parenting classes? Or, is the best hope for the children to remain quiet as a family member and encourage the woman to have them involved in outside activities that would expose her to others who would discourage the smoking.
Saying so once in a while out of concern for her health is reasonable.
Based on the tacky response, I think she was being mean in response to perceived nagging by you.
A different approach may be better.
Try giving the family a couple of electrostatic air filters to clean the air, take the kids to the park to get them out of it while looking kind, give her over the counter treatments to use in place of nicotine.
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