Tag Archives: smoking

Full disclosure with kids

In this day and age it seems as if no one has any secrets any more. Facebook and twitter and blogs and texting – well, some people use the internet to record every waking moment, every thought, every event. With some of the new applications out there, you can even update your location with maps and everything. (I briefly signed up to foursquare. I deleted the app from my Blackberry yesterday. Not for me).

Some of my friends have their kids as Facebook friends. I don’t allow my children to have Facebook accounts, so I am not worried that they will read something on my page I don’t want them to see. In fact, I won’t add a friend’s kid unless they are over 18 and I know them well.

Our kids are used to knowing everything real time. But how much is too much information? We sit down and talk to our children about the dangers of drugs and smoking. It has to be an honest conversation if we want them to really understand the consequences of certain types of behaviour. But then again, if you were a pot-head as a teen – and your child / teen asks you if you ever inhaled – do you tell them the truth? Perhaps a sanitized version? Perhaps the truth with a huge disclaimer along the lines of “we didn’t realize back then what consequences it could have had, and now I regret it”?

I have told my kids that smoking is bad for them. They know their grandfather smoked a heck of a lot and died at a young age. They also know that if I ever caught them smoking they would be in trouble. “It isn’t the cigarettes that would kill us, Ima would kill us first”. But it’s totally hypocritical of me. As a 17 year old starting college I smoked. Silk Cuts to be precise. For 3 months. I tried hard but I couldn’t get addicted. Thank God!! If the kids ask me if I ever smoked do I tell them the truth? That I did it to fit it with all the other students who were puffing away? That it did nothing for me except make my clothes and breath smell? Or do I lie and say I never smoked? I try so hard to be honest and open with my children – but where do you draw the line?

How about disclosing a previous marriage? Do kids need to know about that? Sometimes people have had a “starter marriage” – first marriage, totally wrong for each other, lasted all of 10 seconds, everyone moved on to bigger and better things, leaving just a tiny little blip on the horizon. Do children of the subsequent marriage have a right to know about the first one? Is it any of their business? Is it a part of what makes them who they are, or is it not necessary to their life? I have a couple of friends who had babies in their teens as unwed mothers and gave them up for adoption, moved on with their lives, got married, had more kids – when do those kids need to know about their mother’s story? Never? What if that child comes looking for his / her biological parent?

As the children get older the boundaries seem to blur a little – their maturity level makes them more understanding and trustworthy. They can handle uncomfortable truths. But does that mean we need to share all those family secrets that we have been withholding up until now? How much is too much?

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Dinner was Smokin’

We just got back from a wonderful dinner at Morty’s Steakhouse. I am sure I have blogged about eating there before. Truly, their steaks are magnificent. Delectable. Delicious. Scrumptious. Perfection. I had an awesome time with the KoD. I totally enjoyed the apple martini the barman made for me.

I was mildly irritated by the incessant ringing of another diner’s phone, but I tried hard to ignore it. What really ticked us off was a guy walked through the restaurant to the bathrooms with a lit cigarette in his hand. He stood in plain view at the entrance to the bathroom, right near the kitchen, taking the last few puffs of his cancer stick.

It is against the law in Quebec to smoke in restaurants and public places. That’s a fact that doesn’t even allow for personal preference. I don’t like being confronted with cigarette smoke as I dine. Luckily we had finished eating and were waiting for the bill, so it wasn’t worth making a song and dance, but had we been in the midst of eating we would have complained.

What bothers me is that the waiters were passing him multiple times on their way in and out of the kitchen, and they could not have failed to notice that he was smoking, yet they said nothing. I watched. He stood there smoking nonchalantly, and got away with it.

Have you been in a similar situation? What did you do? How would you have handled it?

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Dear Selfish Neighbour

I am feeling sick enough today, thank you very much, that I do not need your cigarette smoke drifting into my apartment through the bathroom vents. I choose not to smoke, nor to be around people who smoke. You are not supposed to smoke in our apartment building. You are told to smoke outside on your balcony. Smoking in the bathroom affects more than just your lungs.

Stub it out.

Signed,

I wish I could vomit through the vent so you would get hit with it.

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