Is this considered abuse/neglect?

Shannon - posted on 04/21/2010 ( 204 moms have responded )

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My stepson's mother smokes in her home and car even with her child. He's 4 and has severe asthma! He has at least 5 asthma attacks a month. Mostly because she smokes around him. He has been coughing so bad (since last night when he got here from her house) it's to the point where he's vomiting because he's coughing so hard. I have to use his inhaler and breathing treatments every 2-4 hours because he just keeps having attacks. His mother told us that his doctor said cigarette smoke has no affect on his asthma! Well we called his doctor just to make sure cause that sounds ridiculous! The doctor laughed and said there is no way we would EVER tell anyone cigarette smoke has no affect on asthma, thats the number 1 reason for attacks.

Is this abuse/neglect? And if so, what should I do?

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Sharon - posted on 04/21/2010

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Despite what the other ladies have to say and despite my own personal judgement on her behaviour...

Your state/province/country may not feel the same. I would make an anonymous call from a phone that was not mine and did not belong in my home to a non emergency police number and your child protective services office and ask them.

Other wise you get labeled as a vindictive bitch by both if they aren't sympathetic. I used to think smoking was on the decline but as far as I can tell.. its holding steady. Over half of my co-workers smoke.

She's a nasty, lying piece of shit. Just to get my feelings out.

Renee - posted on 04/21/2010

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She is a liar and selfish. You can call CPS and report her behavior. Your partner (husband) can also get a doctor to write an order that the child cannot tolerate smoke. She can lose her parental rights for putting a childs' health in danger.

Angie - posted on 04/21/2010

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I think what she's doing is abusive. BUT, I'd make darn sure that if she is reported that your husband does it, not you.

Kelly - posted on 04/21/2010

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It's only illegal if it's marijuana, not cigarettes. If it were illegal, so would smoking in the presence of a child, ever, which it is not. (Think about people at the mall smoking right outside the door, people smoking outside of restaurants, etc.) She sounds like a pretty irresponsible parent, but be careful what you accuse her of. The next thing she will be doing is calling you a bad parent because you have an alcoholic drink every once in awhile in the child's presence, or you feed him or her McDonalds food which is also detrimental to his or her health. If she is smart and doesn't like you, she could annihilate you and remember that she probably has more legal rights over the child, as you are the stepmother and she is the child's biological mother. Your best bet is to approach her in a respectful manner and voice your concern about her smoking around a child that has asthma. Also, make sure that you are most concerned about the baby and that this is not some old annoyance that you have with this women as your husband/boyfriend's old flame. Don't let her get to you, but remember that you catch more bees with honey than with vinegar and that's better for the child too! Good luck!

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It may not fall under the laws for neglect or abuse, but it likely can be considered criminal as negligence or reckless endangerment of a minor. You guys should definitely look into getting full custody with her having only supervised visits if you're in a position to do so. It wouldn't be hard giving the circumstances. You should document all of the BS excuses she gives u in case u ever have to take it that far. U don't wanna wait until something really REALLY bad happens to take action. Sounds like it's already bad enough. Lucky for this little guy that he has a stepmom and dad that care about him.

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Kathy - posted on 04/24/2010

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I personally agree that it is neglect that with his health problems she continues to do this, but I'm with Sharron, make the right phone calls and get the right info for where you live first!! In the car I agree that is definitely a no no, in her home is negotiable, but if she insists she should be making sure she is not smoking around her child, maybe pick a room and tell him he can't be in there or something, but better to go outside. My fiance smokes, he hasn't smoked around me since I found out I was pregnant, he's never smoked around our daughter at all... most weekends he doesn't even have a smoke and only smokes while he's working. He's even said that when/if we start using his car rather than mine for her he'll be cleaning it and not smoking in it at all. BUT his moms common-law refuses to not smoke in his house when we have baby their, when we asked him to smoke outside or at least not around her we got "it's my house!" so I can relate to a point. I do wish you luck and hope you manage at the very least to get her to stop smoking with him around.

Marcie - posted on 04/24/2010

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OMG!!! YES - both neglect & abuse, she simply HAS to quit - or at least smoke outside away from him. That's terrible, people can die from an asthma attack - having asmtha myself I kow how scary it - the feeling, you just can;t get air in due to inflammation. Although they say smoking outside away from the child it not much better then smoking right infront of them - obvioussly the best would be for her to stop smoking,however I have to believe it's still better if she go outside & DO NOT smoke in the car even when he's not in it as you fill the car w/ nicotine & smoke anyway - so he will still have problems - she should have her car steam cleaned & stop smoking in the car & stop smoking in the house period - I don;t care if it's 30 below her son has a serious medical problem that can become life threathening

Susie - posted on 04/24/2010

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I know,that I hate to see people smoking in enclosed places,where children are present and have had cases,within my job,where Children have had severe Asthma and the parent's have continued,to smoke,around their children in confined areas. It's one thing to smoke yourself,when you have Asthma,but it's a completely different thing,to do it around a poor innocent child,who has no say,in the matter and is inhaling toxins,constantly.
I hate smoking full stop,although I did use to smoke myself,prior to having children,but never did so,close to children,I would always move well away.The sad thing is,that babies and young children breathe at a more rapid rate than an Adult does,so they take chemicals more rapidly,into their bodies.Considering that Cigarettes contain Rat poison and so many more really nasty chemicals,I think it is a crime,to smoke around children fullstop and particularly,in enclosed areas.
My sisters both are smokers and when they visit my home, I send them out doors to smoke and tell them to close the door behind them.
I have a feeling that it has become illegal,to smoke,in your car,with children present.You should be able to contact the Department Of Children's Services and find out,what steps you can take,to prevent this from continuing,but I think this will need to come from your partner,the child's father.
It must be very frustrating to be in this situation and to worry for your stepchild's health.

Brooke - posted on 04/24/2010

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ABUSE!!!!! with capitals, You should be commended for noticing, now the trick is doing something about it RESEARCH what you can do and do it. It's sounds to me you will be saving your stepson's life. Best of luck and a big cuddle for that innocent child.

Jessica - posted on 04/24/2010

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Definetly abuse! I think it is disgusting that a mother would do that to a child. I see parents smoking in there cars all the time and it never gets easier to see. Those poor little kids breathing in that smoke with no way to avoid it.

Kim - posted on 04/24/2010

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I have a friend whose son is VERY allergic to cigarette smoke so, when she went to court with the biological father, she put in a request and was granted an order from the judge stipulating that the father could not, under any circumstances, smoke around the child. If he ever does, his rights to see his son could be completely taken away. I would look into that avenue. I do know that there was talk (and I don't know if it passed) about making it illegal to smoke in a car with minor children.



By the way, I am a smoker and my 10 year old son has asthma. I NEVER smoke around him. I do not smoke in my car or my home and I don't even smoke around him outside. I would never put his health in danger like that. It is a completely stupid habit and he should not have to suffer for my bad choices. Good luck with the selfish witch!

Angie - posted on 04/24/2010

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I would make an appointment for you and your husband to go in and meet with the doctor. You should discuss your concerns with him. Maybe he will report her to CPS. In the US, a doctor is a mandated reporter, which means they are required by law to report suspected child abuse or neglect. This is also true of teachers/school nurses and EMS personnel.



I know in our area they do not take calls from ex's and second spouses on first spouses very seriously. They consider it just fighting between the two. So a call from an independent third party would be taken more seriously.



Be very careful with this child. Asthma can be DEADLY. An asthma attack can KILL you! I have asthma which most of the time does not seem too bad, but I have taken an ambulance ride courtesy of it. I had an attack that just would not stop. It is not something to play around with. If he is having a severe attack take him to the ER or call 911.



Good Luck!

E.Carla - posted on 04/24/2010

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that's ridiculous...she doesn't care of her kid at all...she should be reported...

Michelle - posted on 04/24/2010

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I'm sorry, but I don't think this is just about smoking. It seems like a lot of people are commenting from their own perspective on the smoking / non-smoking controversy, instead of looking at this as a mother knowingly exposing her son to something to which he is allergic.

What if the child was severely allergic to peanuts, but the mother refused to keep her home peanut-free? What if the child was constantly having allergic reactions because of having eaten from a dish that had come into contact with peanut oil, or kissing his mother after she had eaten a peanut-butter cookie? What if the mother insisted that the doctor said it was ok for her to have peanuts around her peanut-allergic child? I mean, peanuts are legal, common, even healthy (for most people)! How can we judge a mother just for eating a peanut butter cookie? Even though she is repeatedly and knowingly endangering her son's life?

Unfortunately the court system may see things in that same political light. They might excuse her for smoking when they would have crucified her for exposing her son to peanuts, because smoking is controversial. It's ridiculous.

BTW, I'm not a smoker, but my husband is and I am generally opposed to laws banning smoking. But I can't excuse a mother who is knowingly and unrepentantly causing her son serious injury by provoking his asthma.

Jaclyn - posted on 04/24/2010

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Well Shannon i am a smoker i have 2 boys and i do not smoke in the car in the house and when i go outside for a smoke i make sure my kids are not close to me. I believe that if you are a parent you have to make sure that your kids are not in any way getting the health at risk. Even when i fell pregnant with both i quit smoking straight away due to me worrying about their health. In Australia it is an offense to smoke in the car with any child under the age of 16. And i think that if this is affecting his health this bad..you should tell her that she can't see him unless she stops what she's doing..this is your son and you have to speak up because he cant.

Lisa - posted on 04/24/2010

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I agree with Jennifer, “When in doubt-report”. Why is everyone saying to do it anonymous though? If you truly care you would want your name on a report unless of course it is vindictive and an attempt at pulling rank? I think smoking in a vehicle is neglect and ignorance for sure! If the state has a law now, I would report her to the police as soon as she heads over to drop the child off for visitation if the case is that much of an emergency. If the asthma is that bad though, wouldn’t pet dander, dust in the house, fresh cut lawn, flowers and playing outside be considered means to remove a child as well? This birth mother needs educated and given ample warning if indeed was seen doing it! Otherwise I think all involved should have to run through a battery of tests such as the white glove across the fire place mantel or getting rid of Fiddo and Mr. Kitty. I just think it’s scary to tell someone to run and steal a child away from their mother’s arms for something like this, she is not sticking a crack pipe in his mouth for crying out loud. But again I will type, she has no right to subject her son to harmful cigarette toxins especially in his condition.

Allyson - posted on 04/24/2010

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In Australia it is an offence to smoke in the car when there are children present and smokers are actively encouraged not to smoke in their homes with children. With all the publicity surrounding the major cause of SIDS and asthma in children to be cigarette smoking by others in their presence, this woman is nothing short of a moron. Asthma is a life threatening disease (especially in children) and not to be treated lightly, as it is obvious you are aware. Next time your stepson has an attack, take him to the doctor or the ED (ER in USA) of your nearest hospital and have him assessed and treated. Do this every time, and every time make sure you say he lives with an irresponsible smoker. In Australia, if this problem presented regularly in the ED, social workers and educators would become involved to advocate for the health of the child.

Just curious ... what does his father have to say about this? Any action should really be taken by him.

Ilona - posted on 04/24/2010

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it is defo neglect and if lying about what doc says she is in denial and needs help as well as a jolt from social services. maybe an anonamose call from "someone" might get her to see sence. sorry about spelling but typing fast because so angry. it is abuse and in britain there are adverts banning smoking in cars with kids in them no matter what age.!!!!!!

Wanda - posted on 04/24/2010

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Taking video is a good suggestion. Any social service advocacy or legal entity will suggest careful logging. Doctors appreciate it too.
Here's the risk of getting too legally involved. Financially strapped social service entities and lawyers could also look at this from the perspective of a fued between 2 women over parenting styles. If Dad is in charge it is viewed as what's in the best interest of the child. Catch my drift? The family is better off to get some professional help if communicating with the mother is too daunting. If you take legal action, in most states,you'll end up in co-parenting classes and mediation anyway. Judges are reluctant to punish parents and lawyers love to keep charging you for your attempts to impose punishment. Catch my drift?
I've noticed many posts asking about Dad's role. From my own experience I can't stress enough that if Dad isn't engaged in the sick duty and asthma education project himself there is no incentive for him to act if the new mother figure is dealing with the problem. I realize the temptation to make excuses for the parents and act on behalf of the boy for the sake of his health, but this is more than just the question of neglect or abuse by the mother. It's about developing a family dynamic that will or will not embrace and participate in solutions for the boy.
I stick by my original suggestion. Facilitate a meeting with the doctor, Dad, Mom Make a plan. Let Dad do the work and ask you for help. Everyone has a stake. If Mom doesn't buy the problem, participate in the solution then Dad might consider private mediation or, as a last resort, legal action.

Maria - posted on 04/24/2010

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Here in Tasmania Australia it is illegal to smoke in a car with a child. You are right that the smoke is bad for asthma sufferers, but perhaps the child should also have an assessment for a better prevention routine. Good luck with asking mum to smoke outside away from the child, and not to smoke in the car. It sounds as if she is a dedicated smoker unlikely to change habits. She may just be uneducated as to what triggers his asthma versus what is BAD for his asthma.

Shirley - posted on 04/24/2010

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I am so sorry to hear that the little boy is being subjected to such abuse... and yes it is definately abuse... I am not sure how she has gotten away with it for so long... I believe the best thing to do is get a hold of Childrens services and let them know what has been happening... I am sure someone there will know what to do... and any type of proof that she gets will help... Cigarett smoke is one of the worst things for anyone.. and the second hand smoke as we all know is even worse then that... Something needs done and a Children Service Intake person will be able to tell you what to do or what she needs... They are required to check up on abuse... and they can keep your name out of it... so you will have no ptoblems with the people in question... I wish you well with it... God bless

Ann - posted on 04/24/2010

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I gather you and your husband have custody of him? This is so sad, i can't imagion a mom doing something that can hurt her child so much!!!



I have no idea what state you live in, or what the laws are there. Best advice anyone can give you is to consult a lawyer and see what he/she says. I certantly would try to get a letter from the dr on their letter head, that will be extremely important, to take to the lawyer!!!



I saw where you said that you and your husband have talked with his mom about quitting smoking 3 times to no avail. Obviously it's not working, nor would it if you talked to her about it 20 more times.



I had to deal with my exhusbands now exwife, we got along off n on I did not like it when she would do the talking for him, or if we were on the ph say things in the back ground. She was a real piece of work though!!! I don't know what all goes threw his ex's mind, perhaps you need to let your husband handle this one Shannon and just be there for him, supporting him, reasuring him, go to everything he has to go to, stand by him every step of the way? Just a thought. I wish you all well i hope that they actually would give her supervised visitation, so the lil guy doesn't suffer so much!!!

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Smoking in a car with a child is against the law in California! Let alone the child has asthma on top of it. I would report her.

Patricia - posted on 04/24/2010

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I have asthma myself. I have a 6 year old and a reformed smoker husband. Until I formally sat down with my family and said I am unable to visit or be around when there is smoking. My family has been respecful since then.

Daniela - posted on 04/24/2010

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EEEK!! Does she have a brain? Holy moley tie that woman's tubes!! Definitely abuse and neglect, she doesn't deserve to be alone with him until she straightens herself out!

Jamaica - posted on 04/24/2010

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That is most definetely abuse and neglect!! The dad need to put his foot down and take all steps to have his son removed from the mother's care before its to late.

Martha - posted on 04/24/2010

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It's not for you to do. Where is the child's father? He should be at the attorney's office right now if not sooner! As the step mother you have few rights. I am a step mother to two children...both grown now. But when my step children were young we had to deal with similar issues with their mother. It was my husband..their father that had to take the lead, as well he should, and deal with the problem. It was my place to support andlove him and the children. If your husband hasn't taken the first step you might want to reconsider the relationship because it jsut shows what a non caring deadbeat he really is. His child is SICK! He MUST act IMMEDIATELY if he truly cares at all. Many times parents don't necessarily care about the child as much as they enjoy badmouthing the ex.

Tina - posted on 04/24/2010

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I'd have your husband (her ex) call his lawyer as this is detrimental to this child's health. Also, make sure she knows that you contacted his doctor about what she said and tell the lawyer that as well. Someone needs to get that poor boy out of that house before he has an asthma attack that lands him in the hospital or worse. Good luck Shannon and keep us posted. And BTW I do think it's abuse but legally I just don't know that's why I suggested the lawyer route. Tina

SHERRY - posted on 04/24/2010

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I DISAGREE ! JUST LIKE ADULTS, THEY ARE BREATHING IN SECOND HAND SMOKE WHICH IS EVEN WORSE THAN SMOKING ITSELF. I CALL THAT ABUSE AND NEGLECTFUL. I DON'T HAVE ASTHMA BUT IF I'M AROUND SMOKERS IT IRRITATES MY BRONCHIAL TUBES AND I USUALLY END UP WITH A COLD. THEY ARE PUTTING THERE BABY IN HARMS WAY AND I THINK IT'S SELFISH OF THEM. IF THEY WANT TO DESTROY THERE LIVES FINE, BUT DON'T DO TO INNOCENT BABIES AND CHILDRN.

Christie - posted on 04/24/2010

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I totally believe that it is neglect....She needs to but him first not herself. His dad needs to have a chat with mom,or take some action..

Linda - posted on 04/24/2010

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I would definitely speak with your hubby the bio father, and see if he'll stand up for his child. Maybe have him sit with him during these attacks so he sees first hand. You should do this together so the B knows what shes up against. As a parent that fought for my child--remember to document and video!! Its the best way to prove your issues! Get as much documentation as you can from DR specializing in pediatrics and asthma. SAVE THAT BABY!

Wanda - posted on 04/24/2010

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I really sympathize with you! Where's his Dad? Does the boy live with you or is there a joint legal and physical custody situation. I'm an experienced step-mom of 5 and have been through it all...legal fights,..the works. I found that if Dad doesn't take charge and ask you for specific help you will burn yourself out and be blamed for everything. If the boy's mom doesn't take charge you are fighting the wrong battle. Why isn't she sitting up at night with his coughing fits? You are the intruder, not the savior. Here's how to maintain your dignity and care for the boy. The best you can do is ask your husband and the mother to go with you and the boy to the doctor and talk to the doctor. Ask your husband what he thinks, ask her what she thinks, what she wants to do and what you can do to help. Your husband will have to make a decision about what to do. It could involve legal action, family mediation etc. If the boy's mother doesn't care she doesn't care.

To answer your specific question...it's both neglect and child abuse. What's dad going to do about it?

Bianca - posted on 04/24/2010

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I agree w/ Sharon G. I think it SHOULD be illegal but your state may not think so. You can always call child services in your area and ask. But I have to say, if it's "legally" defined as abuse, his doctor has an obligation to report it. There was a case of child neglect in my son's school that I reported and CPS told me, by law, they couldn't investigate abuse unless a nurse or teacher reported it! That said, you may not get anywhere w/ the state. I wish you lots of luck in this and I pray for your son :)

Barbara - posted on 04/24/2010

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I would call it medical neglect. She knows he has it and obviously lied about the dr. statement. I think it should be investigated by DHS and if she won't take better care of him, would a change of custody be possible?

Gretchen - posted on 04/24/2010

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If you don't call CPS and your family lawyer it's neglect in my book. But first I would get the doctor's diag. in writing. Cover you back. She should only have supervised visitation if she can't control herself.

Julie - posted on 04/24/2010

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What I would like to know is why isn't his father doing anything about it? In my opinion he has cause for seaking sole custody of his son and should do so.

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Yes. If a child has a Astma and the mother refuses to take steps that might help prevent attacks.

Bonnie - posted on 04/24/2010

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Yes! She needs to be reported asap before the little boy ends up dying during one his attacks. She obviously doesn't care one way or the other...she could smoke outside, away from him if she wanted, but it doesn't sound like he is that important to her. Report her.

Susan - posted on 04/24/2010

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I think I want to revisit the protective services issue again. The agency has the reputation for being somewhat ineffectual. So, even if a case has been established, unless the abuse or neglect is particularily egergious, and even sometimes when it is, protective services doesn't just swoop in and snatch up your kids. First, they have to visit and investigate. At that point, they may or may not intervene. Usually, however, that initial visit is enough to put most parent on alert, and encourage more effective parenting behavior. That is what I hope would happen in the case of this mother who smokes around her asthmatic son. Then, if that isn't enough, they drag you into family court and pose restictions and requirements on you like parenting classes, home visits and extra doctor's appointments. Only if you are unable to comply with court orders do they consider pulling your kids out of the home. It's really not the best system, certainly not the fastest, but its sometimes the only way to get things done.

C. - posted on 04/24/2010

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What a liar!!! No doctor would say that cigarette smoke DOESN'T affect asthma!!!! Cigarette smoke is one of the major causes of asthma in children!



I would call CPS to have her investigated b/c doing something to your child that you KNOW is causing them physical or emotional harm, IS CHILD ABUSE. Good luck, Shannon! I hope everything works out and that woman gets what she deserves!

April - posted on 04/24/2010

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You need to take care of this matter! He needs someone to step up for him, speak out and help him. Call the pediatrician back again and ask them what their thoughts are and what course of action they think you can take. This way (A) it will be in the medical records then and (B) that way is services get involved they WILL pull his records regarding the asthma and have notes from his doctor regarding the smoke. Do EVERYTHING and ANYTHING you can to stop this, again he needs you guys to do this for him as he can't do anything about it. This is not fair for him and a child should not have to go through these attacks and treatments because of someones selfish behaviors. He should be playing and happy, not gasping for air and miserable!!!!! Best of luck and we will keep you all in our thoughts.

Di - posted on 04/24/2010

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How good is Canada!!! Come on Britain, lets follow suit & make it illegal for people to smoke in their car with anybody present under the age of 16! 18 even! Lets do it! We shouldn't need a law - its common courtesy! can't these parents put their children first??? Yep! This is abuse/neglect and sheer downright pig-headed selfishness! Shame her!

Di - posted on 04/24/2010

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How good is Canada!!! Come on Britain, lets follow suit & make it illegal for people to smoke in their car with anybody present under the age of 16! 18 even! Lets do it! We shouldn't need a law - its common courtesy! can't these parents put their children first??? Yep! This is abuse/neglect and sheer downright pig-headed selfishness! Shame her!

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The woman does not deserve to be the mother of that poor child and should absolutely be reported to social services! Asthma is no joke it can be fatal! What a selfish, terrible thing to do!

Candice - posted on 04/23/2010

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Call Child Protective Services. Or ask the Dr. of he can help. They're mandated to report things they consider abuse or neglect. If she's willingly doing it and she knows that its harmful (why else would she lie about what the Dr. said) then I would consider it abuse.

Val - posted on 04/23/2010

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the mother is obviously a nutcase only interested in her own wants instead on the little guys needs. argh follow your heart..good luck

Stephanie - posted on 04/23/2010

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I have a child with severe asthma. The slightest change in the wind can set him off. I've watched him stop breathing and suffocate to death and then have to be resuscitated back to life in the ER. Before this ever happened, I was a smoker. Then I had him, and I stopped cold turkey. I can only imagine what kind of life, or lack there of, he would have if I chose to continue smoking; especially with him in the car or home while I did so. What a selfish thing to do to a child. You make your own choice to put toxins into your body, but that doesn't give the right to do the same to your child. If it's against the law to put bleach in your child's bottle of milk, then why would it not be just as illegal to blow smoke in the face of your child, especially when they suffer from asthma. If he's having attacks every 2-4 hours, I highly recommend taking him to the ER, explaining what's been going on, and having their hospital staffed social services come talk to you and your husband about what's going on. They will be likely to look into this. Don't let this problem go. It could be his life. Trust me. It's not easy to watch your child turn blue and go limp with no life in them because they suffocated to death.

Lisa - posted on 04/23/2010

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I have to apologize in advance for my opinion to anyone that it may offend. I actively started smoking when I was 12 years old. It was legal to buy them and legal for me to smoke them in public. Back when I was little, I remember my father sipping beer from a bottle while he was driving on occasion. It was frowned upon but it was not really enforced. People smoked in hospital waiting rooms and in malls even at school we had a “smoking area” inside for all of us to get our hall passes signed out to! Studies show now that smoking is dangerous for you. Now all the non smokers are up in arms saying years of second hand smoke is killing them.

Smoking in your houses and your vehicles used to be a very common thing. But now that we are all educated there is a scare! Ok, I agree that non smokers have a right to be smoke free because of this education and mothers by no means should smoke in their vehicle. I have a precious 17 year old son and a precious 8 month old daughter that I would never light up for them to inhale it!

I was also a step mother to three wonderful step sons for 20 years. Their mother hated me and I disliked her at one time also. They would tell me things like “mom said she is going to beat you up”. I would smile and say, “wow, she must be in a bad mood”. I would just brush it off. They would then tell me that their mom lets them smoke pot at home” and that she left them sleep in a vehicle on 3rd shift one time when they were 4, 7, and 9 years old in a dark parking lot because she couldn’t find a sitter when she had to go to work. I was told by the oldest that Mommy used to have 3 guys in her bedroom with the door locked so they could play Monopoly. I was told how they sat in a cold car over winter time while Mommy was visiting her guy friend in his trailer. I became the hero that they could turn to because they knew I didn’t like their mother. The children sensed the anger between the two of us and fueled it. I went to an attorney and had paperwork drawn up because I was going to fight for custody alongside my husband. Before I finished this I decided I was going to finally talk with her. She stood in an alley in the cold and started to shiver. She cried and begged me not to take her babies away from her. She told some of the things were a lie and I believed her. It was at this moment that I knew the children were playing us back and forth for many years. I became friends with her for the children’s sake and have never regretted it. I could never take them away from their birth mother, I respected her for doing the best she could without harming them.

How do you know that she is smoking in the car? Has your step son seen it and told you or did you witness this first hand? Children can sense power struggles so be careful if a 4 year old is the witness. I honestly don’t feel that one has a right to take a child away from a birth mother for something of this nature. I think she needs educated about the increased potential of issues associated with second hand smoke. She should cease smoking in the vehicle with his issues if she is doing that. My best advice is stop bickering and nit picking and try togetherness for the sake of a wonderful up bringing for your step son.

Jennifer - posted on 04/23/2010

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im not sure were ur from but maybe this night help in the state of ohio it is against the law to smoke around a kid under the age of 12 it is child abuse here and i have a nephew that has asthma and they dont smoke around him b/c he goes into an attack everytime u do so yes it is very dangerous and she needs to realize that ur stepson can make that decision to stay away from her when shes doing it b/c he dont know so she needs to be the responsable one and just get up and walk outside atleast....

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