Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Topic of Smoking is Offensive Says the Tween

I guess the latest discussion during guidance at my tween daughter's school is smoking. You know that part where the school teaches you how awful smoking is for you and in many instances darn right scares the kids in a way to attempt to keep them from smoking. While my oldest is very well aware of how bad smoking is for you, her Mom is a smoker {me}, she just isn't in a place to need to hear this topic at the moment in the way it's being taught. I smoke. I have quit. I have gone back. I have quit. It's a never ending mind game. I allow my daughter to lecture me and share with me information on why I should quit, she has zero issues with lecturing me and I let her in hopes that some day I will just wake up and quit for good.

I smoke outside, which means during cold months I don't smoke as often but I still smoke. I do not believe the guidance classes are really offending my daughter about me, she is all about me quitting, I think it's that her Papa (grandfather on her Dad's side) passed away recently. Her Papa was a smoker for many, many years. Papa was on oxygen and actually quit smoking only to find out it was not the smoking that made me have all of the health problems he had. Papa was a carpenter most of his life and due to that occupation, he ended up with COPD among other things which were apparently deemed not related to his smoking in later years, after he had already quit smoking.

My daughter is still coping with no longer having her Papa around, which is even harder since her Dad lives in Nana and Papa's home so when my daughter visits her Dad she is right there in their home with Nana and Dad but Papa is obviously gone. It's hard. The last thing my daughter wants to hear is smoking lectures about people going on oxygen and getting as sick as her Papa did then blaming it on cigarettes only. My daughter had a good point, she said, " I am not trying to say smoking is good for you or that it doesn't cause the problems that the teacher is sharing in the class, I am just saying that the way they are talking about the health issues is as if smoking is the ONLY way you can get this sick. And it is not the ONLY way. I find that offensive".

While I have compassion and can understand this may not be the best time in my daughter's life to partake in this sort of talk, having so recently lost her Papa who had a lot of the sickness that is being relayed to have to do with smoking in her class, I also know that it's good the schools teach this sort of topic. I am more for the parents teaching kids about smoking, drugs and drinking - having an open dialogue about such topics may better deter the children. I simply let my daughter know that life can be offensive, not everything she hears or sees in life is something that is going to be easy or happy go lucky.

I am not someone who wants to never be offended, it's called life. So while I am extremely compassionate and let my daughter know I understand why she is being so defensive about the topic that the truth is some kids need to learn this in school because their parents are not home engaging in the much needed conversation surrounding how bad these things are to get into.  I am just thankful she could open up to me and let me know that she was bothered, rather than lash out in other ways, like towards the teacher who is trying to teach a lesson that many kids need to learn. My daughter is just beyond her years, I always say she is 10 going on 30 and she proved it last night citing her angst about the topic of smoking being the the ONLY cause for some of the health issues her teacher is citing.