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Question
Posted by: Mum | 2010/09/03

Teenager smoking

My husband and I recently divorced after 201 years of marriage.
He was very abusive towards me and the kids.
I moved out prior to the divorce 8 months ago.
My son who is 15 has been smoking... this seems to have started over the last 6 months...
He is also repeating grade 8 and not doing too well in school.
How do i deal with this as I dont want to get the ex involved.
Thank You

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageTeen expert

Hi there,

A good place to start would be by speaking to the counsellor at your sons school if they have one. They may advise individual therapy for your son if he is having emotional difficulties. It should be noted that he is at the age where experimenting with things such as smoking begins, so the smoking alone would not necessarily indicate emotional problems per se.

It sounds as if he would benefit from having someone to speak to, given the abuse that you describe.

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3
Our users say:
Posted by: Mandy | 2010/11/09

201 years? thats a very long time!

Reply to Mandy
Posted by: Teen expert | 2010/09/08

Hi there,

A good place to start would be by speaking to the counsellor at your sons school if they have one. They may advise individual therapy for your son if he is having emotional difficulties. It should be noted that he is at the age where experimenting with things such as smoking begins, so the smoking alone would not necessarily indicate emotional problems per se.

It sounds as if he would benefit from having someone to speak to, given the abuse that you describe.

Reply to Teen expert
Posted by: Gary | 2010/09/03

I think the most important thing for you is not to make a huge fuss about this. You know how teenagers are, if you shout at him and demand he stops, he will hate you for it and keep doing it behind your back anyway.
From the sounds of it, he had a difficult childhood, and this might be more the cause of his struggling in school etc.
The problem is, he is old enough to understand the dangers of smoking, and to make informed decisions, so reciting to him that he might die, probably won''t help.
I almost want to say, at least it is only smoking, and not something worse.
My advice would be that you immediately start to try and build a trusting and open relationship with your boy, a place where he can feel comfortable talking to you about his life and what he is going through. Get him to trust you and confide in you, even if it means that you allow him to smoke, if it will make him trust you. Tell him that you know about it, and even though you are against it, you will allow him to make his own decisions. Talk, communicate, be patient and try and understand.
Then, if you can afford to, it might be great if you both could get to a therapist of some sort, to help you deal with underlying issues.
If your son can trust you and talk to you and confide in you, he might not feel the need to hang around the wrong people to get attention. Life is not easy these days for teenagers.
Love and support him as much as you can, and show him that you do not need to fight like his father.

Reply to Gary

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