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To add your comments to this topic, click on one of the 'Reply' links below.

Hired help (teenagers)
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M R    Posted 05-28-2002 at 19:44:05       [Reply]  [No Email]
I have a difacult situation. I have 2 teenagers who work for me around the house. They do yard work help with firewood and many other jobs. I caught one of them smoking cigarettes tonight. That by itself was bad enough what makes it even worse is that he has been lying to me for months telling me that he tried smoking and would never do it again. When I found cigarettes in the yard a few weeks ago he said his brother borrowed his coat and accidentally left them in the pocket and they fell out. I believed him at the time, Should I still believe him? I consider these 2 kids more then just hired help. We go target shooting, watch movies I help them with school projects and do allot of other fun stuff. I consider them friends. it really hurts to think that a friend might have been lying to me all this time.

d. mOSEY    Posted 05-29-2002 at 16:17:22       [Reply]  [No Email]
Let us know how this turns out. Best wishes.

M R    Posted 05-29-2002 at 16:54:26       [Reply]  [No Email]
They are mowing yard right now. He showed me his pockets(without me asking) to prove he didn't bring anything with him tonight. I havn't talked to his parents and I don't plan on doing that. I will let you know how things go in the future.

Hal/WA    Posted 05-29-2002 at 13:13:24       [Reply]  [No Email]
Wow what a great thing for those kids to have a caring friend like you! I wish all kids were so lucky. Like others said, those kids are just trying to figure out who they are, and fooling around with smoking some is just part of that process for most boys. It could be a whole lot worse...

I think most people lie, at least sometimes. Tell the boys you are disappointed in them, mostly for the lying. Do you smoke? I can smell if someone has been smoking from fairly far away, and could not be fooled. But if you smoke yourself, you might not be able to tell the difference. If you smoke, maybe it is time to be a good example and quit. Your health and wallet will thank you.

Do these boys work well for you? If they do, then I would think that is the main idea. I would lay down the rule, so there is no question, that there will be no smoking on your property. You have some control over them there. You may be able to influence them not to smoke, but it really is their decision. I would talk about fire hazards, especially in barns and around fuels.

I don't like smoking and never did. But I fooled around with it for a while, just like my friends did. I know a lot of good people who smoke and maybe tell a little lie now and then that I still consider to be good people and my friends. Good luck. They sound like some pretty good kids with a pretty good friend.

M R    Posted 05-29-2002 at 04:48:28       [Reply]  [No Email]
You have given me a different perspective on the situation. I never thought about him lying to avoid disappointing me. I felt like he was using me and taking advantage of my trust. I'm leaving for work and I expect people I talk to there to tell me to just go find new help and not worry about him anymore. I'm not going to do that, they will be here Thursday to mow yard. I will write more when I get home.

bob ny    Posted 05-29-2002 at 05:16:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
when my brother(bless his soul) and i got caught
behind the silo smoking corn silk with our father's good pipe father got a big cigar and
made us smoke it untill we both were sick needless to say i never indulged agian how ever
my brother continued to smoke and we lost him
just two yrars ago to lung cancer and in 1992
i was involved in a chemical accident and lost
the use of70% of my lungs you figure

Mudcat49    Posted 05-29-2002 at 04:03:53       [Reply]  [No Email]
If u can take these boys to see someone that is hooked up to a O2 bottle 24/7 and gasping for breath!

DeadCarp - consequences    Posted 05-29-2002 at 06:18:52       [Reply]  [No Email]
Nothing drives home a message like seeing the consequences.

About 20 years ago, trail bikes were the rage and our boys wanted one in the worst way. Then a neighbor kid took a tumble off one & broke his arm one Sunday afternoon so we went to emergency.
While we were there, we must have seen 6 or 7 kids come in, bleeding, yelling in pain, faces tore up, in various states of wreckage, and the harried nurse said they're ALL from trail bikes! After seeing that, suddenly the boys got into water polo. Anybody started promoting trail bikes around them, they'd invariably say "Spend an afternoon in emergency and you'll change your mind".

Les...fortunate    Posted 05-29-2002 at 03:07:31       [Reply]  [No Email]
The two answers below are perfect. Smoking ain't a good thing and nobody will seriously tell you otherwise. But it's not the worst thing either. Stay with them. There's nothing good to be gained by cutting them off.
BTW, I do seem to remember a certain prominent person who lied to strangers, friends and the whole country. There are people who are like that. I don't think this kid is one of them, from what you have said.

D. Mosey    Posted 05-28-2002 at 20:41:51       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hello M R,
From what you've said, the kid has some respect for you, might be hard to see it that way though. Why do you think he lied to you? Any chance that he might have feared disappointing you? May just be the embarrassment of getting caught. Does his smoking represent a betrayal to you? He may sense that too.
You have an opportunity to influence a kid for the better now. Could be easy to blow it if you get too worried about how his smoking impacts you. He may already be addicted to it.
A whole lot of kids smoke to enhance their self-worth. Poor self esteem causes a lot of other behavioral trouble too.
Best way to help this kid may be to tell him what a great kid he is, and the smoking business only takes him to the morgue early. Remind him of the success he has had in his work ethic. Is he a good shot? Tell him you notice that. Tell him what you and others see in him that is good. Build him up, being totally honest as you do it because a teenager can smell out a phoney.
Then lay down the rules- no smoking around me or on my place maybe?
I don't know, I'd try my darn best to keep influencing this boy to do good. If he sees that you mean well by him, sooner or later he may feel strong enough about your friendship to seek your help or advice, and that could turn him around, and maybe even save him from worse behavior. Our teenagers are our future, we need them to be honest & strong... maybe now more than ever.
You got a good heart or you wouldn't posted it here to begin with. Let the wisdom of your years carry the day.

bob    Posted 05-29-2002 at 05:47:01       [Reply]  [No Email]
Mossey well spoken. you have to have a good feeling about yourself to do good things in life . I would say this is a phase that they will go through and maybe some day say to you thank you for caring and we stopped smoking because of you. Count your blessungs you can still talk to them God bless Bob

DeadCarp    Posted 05-28-2002 at 20:23:33       [Reply]  [No Email]
Kids look at it differently, M R.

Of course they're your friends - certainly they value your friendship - why else would they bother lying to you? What kinda fool would lie to strangers? What are they getting from smoking that they're lacking otherwise?

Go back to when you were a teen. We all lied to our folks didn't we? Heck, there's things i still wouldn't tell mine even if they DID come back. Part of life .......

In a way, kids are like dogs. You can't discipline them too much - you can only love them too little.

kraig WY    Posted 05-29-2002 at 07:00:18       [Reply]  [No Email]
I think you hit it right on the head. First off the kids work. Working tenagers are a novel any more. When I was little we were allowed to smoke in school (7th grade and up). Granted, not a good ideal but we didn't shoot our classmates. Still think its funny, could smoke outside and in the restrooms but got beat for chewing gum in class.

Burrhead    Posted 05-29-2002 at 08:12:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
That was the same in our school. You got 5 whacks with a chair back rung if you chewed gum in class but there was a smoke pen out behind the gym and we got 4 breaks aday to smoke.

WallSal55    Posted 05-29-2002 at 08:53:33       [Reply]  [No Email]
Many of my peers (I am 46) who smoke or who have
quit have said they wished they had never started.
The American Cancer society has put photos of an
actual healthy lung compared to that of a smoker's
lung in a pamphlet. What a difference! Perhaps
seeing the real photos may help. (I'm sorry, but
the cigarettes belong to somebody else is the most common used line (among those underage to buy them). I think if you just ask the teen to
be upfront about it, set rules while on your
property, and value what is good about him, you
won't be disappointed. (That's what teenage years are all about, searching for who we are,
self-esteem, etc.) On the other hand, if they
don't like your rules, etc., they are usually on
their way real fast!

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