11 year old and smoking?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-30-2003
11 year old and smoking?
Tue, 08-19-2003 - 6:45am
Hi Everyone,

Just looking for a little advice on how other families might handle this situation. I've recently found out that my ds (age 11) has tried smoking cigarettes. He and 5 of his friends were all in on it together. Mind you, unfortunately my son was the one who stole the cigarettes from his grandmother and brought them along for everyone to try so just to add salt to an already open wound!!

Is grounding enough? For how long? A 'project' on lungs and lung diesease? Of course, repayment to Grandmother and an apology...

Just looking for some feedback


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2003
Tue, 08-19-2003 - 11:27am
Hi and ((((hugs)))),

As you said, of course he will repay his grandmother and apologize. As for the rest? It depends on what is the most effective consequence. In our home, grounding doesn't work - he doesn't really care. I don't know about a "project" on lungs and lung disease, though that could be extremely effective. Perhaps if this is the first (and only) time he's experimented, that simply sitting down and discussing your feelings/values/beliefs, etc about smoking could be just as effective. Sean's birthmother smokes so we've talked with him since he was about 6 about smoking; always walking a fine line between letting him know it's dangerous but without making him worry excessively about his b-mother.

I found an article for talking with children about smoking which included additional references and resources: http://kidshealth.org/PageManager.jsp?dn=KidsHealth&lic=1&article_set=21731&cat_id=146& I hope that you might find something useful in it.

Best Always,



Sherrie Rainbow

Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Tue, 08-19-2003 - 12:58pm
I think what I'd do is go to the library (I check via internet as our catalog is online and has a great search engine) and find an age-appropriate video or books on smoking or cigarettes - I did a quick check and we have quite a number of juvenile books on the subject, even published after 2000 (thus more current). Maybe watching or reading those might open his eyes more than making a project out of it (which could lead to resentment and trying to be sneakier next time)...just suggest that while he's home for x number of days being grounded, he might want to watch/read such-and-such, and might just find it very enlightening...it's going to need to come from within. JMHO... Good luck!


Avatar for cl_janetlh
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Tue, 08-19-2003 - 6:04pm
I agree with Sherri's and Sue's suggestions of age-appropriate articles and videos you could watch and discuss together. Our school district shows the kids the awful, and scary, stuff that can happen to you when you smoke, and they've definitely gotten the message about how harmful it is. I think repaying his grandmother, and some type of punishment that means something to him without going overboard, is also very appropriate.

Welcome to our board. I'm glad you posted to us on this important topic. Please let us know what you learn when you discuss this further with your son.




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