Why I let my children smoke

Published: November 30, 2011

Forbidding children to smoke and drink will only drive them to it - it is the thrill of disobeying parents that amplifies the joy of rebellion.

 “Amma, you’re very chalaak, sly and cunning too,”

My son stood squarely in front of me, his face red with accusation, teenage angst writ large all over it.

“Your whole reverse psychology business has made everything unexciting and boring for us. When my friends gather furtively behind an expansive leaf laden tree to share a smoke, I think to myself, big deal, I can do that at home too,”

He relayed to me accusingly.

“You were always enticing us with the choice of brands we should try, menthol or no menthol. At the same time telling us to make our own decisions and not be taken in by peer pressure.”

“Kissi cheez ka maza hee nahee raha (there isn’t any fun left in anything)!”

These and charges are often hurled in my direction and still are. In retrospect all I did was preempt a choice they would probably make outside the home, and in a hurry so as not to appear lame or scared or sharif - the biggest allegation. Anti-smoking campaigns are popular on the media and relate information on the deleterious effects of smoking on health. We have heard them state time and time again that not only is smoking damaging to all body systems but it increases anxiety, nervousness and concentration.

Yet, how many of us can truly say that we never tried a cigarette while growing up?

It’s all tied up with this hormone-induced desire to rebel and rejoice at hoodwinking the adult custodians of good behavior. However, when these adults give a message which says go ahead try it but in my presence or in the comfort of your own home’ it takes the excitement and feel-good factor out of it, and all you are left with is a stick of nicotine which doesn’t even taste that great and is no longer the symbol of freedom and joyful abandon.

 “The system may be obsessed with purity but it excelled in defining the flavor of sin.”

I read this statement somewhere and it has stayed with me because it is reflective of the times we live in. Spiked Red Bulls and Benson & Hedges laced with cannabis; these are the fruits of prohibition in the land of the pure. Sure abusive substances should be made illegal and possession of them punishable by law. However, we remain essentially a society in transition. Trying to keep up with the Jones’s especially the ones who speak the King’s English, yet retaining an umbilical relation with this concept of the ummah and a Muslim fraternity.

Alcohol was available when we were growing up in the 70s and just by virtue of availability, it was not the substitute for water. Declared haraam in our religion those who abstained did so out of conviction not coercion. One wasn’t made to not drink it rather it was a judicious choice based on morality and not state policing. Since it was not prohibited those who did drink had regular, measured quantities after sun down and didn’t go crazy drinking as our youth does these days. I’m not an advocate of free living without consequences, but yes I do believe in exercising the right to choose -choose, decide and take responsibility for your decisions. Have the courage to be upfront and not a hypocrite.

It’s the same with smoking; if it’s bad for your lungs, it’s bad for your lungs – end of story. When my children entered their teens I told them that if they wanted to experiment with nicotine or even something stronger I would rather they do it under my roof than hidden and huddled in some dark corner of a café with a group of equally hormone crazed youngsters. I did this not to condone the act but to control it because the flavor of sin is always heightened with prohibition. I like to think of myself as a parent who is always breathing down the necks of my progeny and has always been there for them.

A friend with children whose age groups are similar to mine chastised me for being too friendly and pliable in motherhood. My explanation was that I want to know what they do even if I may disapprove, but I don’t want them to do it on the sly. She was of the opinion that a certain permissiveness can be mistaken for permission. I don’t agree. These children will become adults in the world we live in. they will be bombarded with temptation – emotional, social, cultural, physical etc. How will they be prepared to avert this onslaught if kept in a cocoon of isolation? Tempered doses of the world around them will hopefully give them a ‘been there, done that’ kind of grounding and make it easier to walk the tight rope that life has become for us so-called educated, semi-westernized South Asians.

Earlier this month there were reports of the mother of all prohibitions – our thoughts and words were to be scrutinized by none other than a government agency. It’s worse than the Gestapo – all they had to go on were rumors and here we have the ultimate incriminatory evidence, the written word. Apparently regular words like deeper, deposit, and devil have been laden with innuendo and were not be used. Dirty minds, dirty old men! Don’t be surprised if the morality brigade comes calling at your doorstep because you asked your husband to bring home latex rubber gloves – for dish washing. For now – happy texting!

Mariam.Ashraf

Mariam Ashraf

A doctor who works in a postgraduate medical institute where doctors come for postgraduate training. Mariam is a teacher, a housewife and a mother who desires the Pakistan that Jinnah dreamed of.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/iQuotePakistan toobahatif

    Figuratively lame stupid … Reverse psychology worked for her child… wont work for every one.. 98.9 % kids wont be able to get benefited cause of this reverse psychology’s so called trick..
    And even if it did JUST SUPPOSE… we are taking away the reason why we shouldn’t let our kids drink or smoke.. mainly because its injurious to health and primarily because religion or ethics says way shouldn’t
    Ma’am trust me drinking and smoking has nothing to do with THRILL OF DISOBEYING! its a habit and then become addiction.. and cause of your this experiment if your children would’ve become addicted.. you would’v been regretting this act of yours your entire life..
    Dont do this to your children!Recommend

  • http://khizer-jalal.blogspot.com khizer Jalal

    I enjoy smoking both at home and outdoors. U just need a good company mann!!!Recommend

  • Smoker

    I’m sure people don’t start smoking to disobey. It just happens :)Recommend

  • oliver

    I wish you were my mom ! Recommend

  • HNC

    The writer is not trying to put forward the idea that everyone should do what she has done, nor is she trying to convince you to adopt such a temperament with your children.
    And it becomes a habit only when its enjoyed, its enjoyed most of the time because of how rebellious it feels. :)Recommend

  • http://www.zurmat.com Xurmat Xara

    but i really hate smoking :ORecommend

  • MM

    BS! i have seen plenty moms think this rubbish works… well it doesn’t! What little modicum of decorum n respect n that lil’ bit of hesitance and fear that is left goes out the window too…. kids need to experience things n yes experiment n falter but our encouragement helps naught! Of the worst things i have sat thru is a remote friend’s 16yr old smoking and drinking not with us but in front of us. I would rather kids feel that there is a line n thats drawn at home somewhere.. its good to have an open relationship with ur kids but become a peer or an enabler is just taking it a tiny bit too far.Recommend

  • Asad

    “I would rather they do it under my roof than hidden and huddled in some dark corner of a café with a group of equally hormone crazed youngsters.”

    What if they start taking heroine, want to rob somebody, even rape somebody, kill somebody, would you say..”I want you to do all these adventures in front of me”..I am in my late twenties, professionally very successful Alhamdolillah, faced similar teens as your children are facing, am far away from even ciggerete, never drank, am social, sits with westerners and still not labelled as pampered, shy and fundamentalist…How about me? Sorry to say its a gradual process and starts from the day when your child was born.Recommend

  • Ahmad Butt

    This is very thoughtful and useful article.
    Thanks for taking out the time to point this out. Two thumbs up!Recommend

  • Sana

    I totally agree with Toobah.it’s a high risk using the reverse psychology with your children, especially in the case of smoking and drinking. spoiling them with love, being friendly with them is okay, in fact i am that way too, but i would not go ahead and tell my kids, go ahead, try smoking at home, it’s fun!!
    but, yes, if god forbid, i did fine out my son is into smoking, i would kindly tell him it’s best to avoid such things as it is bad for health, and a bad habit, but if he has to do it, do it at home, not hiding away with friends. if you know what i mean. whatever he wants to do, he can let me know about it, not hide it from me, as i want to be his confidant.Recommend

  • http://www.moizsays.blogspot.com/ Moiz

    @toobahatif
    Its revolting to say the least how your comment is literally verging on paranoia. Life and decisions aren’t black or white always. I wonder people categorize actions under “angelic” or “demonic” only completely ignoring the multiple zones they can occupy within these two extremes. Neither does allowing smoking make anyone a chain smoker nor does drinking. And smoking being a habit taken up as rebel, or fun, if actually not disallowed will definitely take out the “thrill” factor associated with it. Youth have their own ways of thinking and interacting, and they need to be understood to forge better policies.Recommend

  • Sumaiya

    dumb theory…Recommend

  • Dr. Bilawal Ahmed

    What about if your child once brings a packet or 2 of dunhill with an imported Black Label with some white powder and have it like a popcorn watching a Saturday night movie with the family …. all UNDER YOUR ROOF, nothing secretative you know as he is very obedient….. I would love to hear then your believe in exercising the right to choose -choose, decide and take responsibility for your decisions …. and let him die :)Recommend

  • Aima

    I completely agree with you here, I understood that it can’t be the same for everyone but this does work. My parents treated me in the same manner, they never stopped me from anything, just told me all the rights and wrong and not to hide things from them. My slightest step towards the line etched by myself cuz of their teachings used to and still does bring immense amount of guilt.Recommend

  • Muhammad Hassan

    That’s pretty lame, to be honest. Smoking, drinking etc etc are not done usually as an act of rebellion. Kids do it because THEY THINK its fun. I even doubt the authenticity of this
    “experiment”Recommend

  • wise
  • Anum Rasheed

    I kind of agree with her- She thinks quite like me. Since I am not a mother yet everyone else tells me its just a thought and not so practical and its different when it comes to implementing it. I am glad she gained the confidence of her kids this way. Recommend

  • S

    @ toobahatif
    we wish there was an absolute way to good parenting.
    Mariam’s way may not be fool- proof, but it has a higher chance (compared when children are outright forbidden to do a certain thing) of turning your child into a responsible adult who chooses not to fall into such temptations because they are wrong, not because someone is watching.
    Like Mariam says in her article, this way works with teenage or older children.
    It is wrong to assume that the writer advocates this work when dealing with younger children.Recommend

  • Anonymous

    I agree but i think what you’re trying to say is that we should be vigilant and alert about the activities of young adults, the title is definitely misleading.
    What you say in your piece is actually hands-on parenting and not permissive parenting.
    Express Tribune change the title to reflect the message behind the piece!Recommend

  • ali g

    really well written! and a pretty good argument!Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/Mr.Ali.Omer Ali Omer

    The writer is apparently a Doc who teaches in some Postgrad institue so she ought to know abt the effects of smoking and/or drinking.
    I am not defending her in any way and for the sake of argument, i disagreeably agree to her point of view. Even after knowing where this article is headed to, i kept on reading it for the joy of her writing skills!
    She might not be the smartest mom, but she sure can write!Recommend

  • https://twitter.com/#!/iQuotePakistan toobahatif

    @Moiz:
    Arright go head.. ask your kids to drink and smoke..and as we know it can lead to lungs cancer liver malfunction.. enjoy watching your own blood dying in front of your eyes.. Am sorry I’d rather be a fanatic then see my children suffering in front of my eyes.. religion or no religion .. Angelic or demonic …
    If simple reasoning doesnt get you to understanding simple thing that it can get them addicted the chances are really high… they might end up in an asylum.. if you are ok with all of enjoy watching your blood wasting there life for nothing..
    But I wont..
    I’d rather tell em whats good and bad and then let them choose.. then exposing them to bad directly Recommend

  • anonymous

    you do realize the children will do whatever they want to whether they are allowed or not. with letting them do these things you can atleast REGULATE the activities . trust me, kids are now coming up with more and more innovative ways to sneak around and do all the things they arent ‘allowed’ to @toobahatif: Recommend

  • Amna Iftikhar

    The fact that the writer is a mother and still so strongly believes in her argument is laudable. However this style of parenting and giving freedom is not for everyone, neither parent nor child. I think parents in the end do know what’s best for their children. In this case the freedom was better for them but, the title really is very misleading.Recommend

  • Humza

    @Dr Bilawal Ahmad
    I think that every teen has the opportunity to do what he or she wants. They cant be put under surveillance 24/7. Would you rather your child indulges in something bad, with you being in the dark about it or you know what your child is upto and you guide them??
    its a matter of perspective. This approach maybe called a tad too liberal, but definitely it has its advantages. The case you presented is an extreme, things are seldom all black and white. Recommend

  • Ayesha

    Parenting is a full time job.
    I’m a student and a teenager and i was brought up with a solid value system of recognizing right from wrong by my parents, especially my mother.
    I always felt free to share my anxieties and innermost thoughts with her without the fear of reprisal.
    Because of the confidence that my mother gave me, i couldn’t cross the self imposed line of right or wrong.
    I think the article reflects a positivity that is required to bring up balanced children.Recommend

  • http://bakedsunshine.wordpress.com Shumaila

    Wonderful article. Its true that repression is often the cause for rebellious activities like smoking. Your method is particularly good, so long as children are aware of the disadvantages and know right from wrong. Its not ‘encouraging’ children to do wrong stuff, like the paranoid comments above suggest – its just removing the temptation of forbidden fruit. Recommend

  • Yo boy

    It is infact that when they are of age, only then they can be made to understand or play around with. Small children should blatantly be denied of the right to smoke. It is also to note, most of our mothers are not that educated as yourselves. It just isn’t a viable solution.Recommend

  • ekbal

    Why I let my children smoke?

    Eh… Bad parenting, I guess!!!

    If parents not telling children what to do or from what to abstain, then I don’t know who else would?Recommend

  • http://www.oocities.org/~oldbrit/Keatonpies.html Custard Pie Chucker

    Although I follow a similar practice with my sons, such an approach simply cannot apply to every parent. You need to know your children inside and out and have very open lines of communication while maintaining an appropriate level of respect. It is a very difficult balancing act and the last thing you want to do is relinquish your role as a parent and become their best buddy.

    Parents also need to be wary of pushing their childhood regrets through their children because their own parents were too restrictive.Recommend

  • Anam

    Using reverse psychology on kids takes the thrill away. That is all very nice but please tell me, what happens when these kids make it into a habit and get addicted to the smokes and booze? Such non-chalance attitude will not stand a chance when health problems begin. Recommend

  • Rafay

    well said but not everyone can understand the basic logic behind it.Its about intelligent parenting where you give a nuanced message of control and concern.Recommend

  • AMNA

    i sort of agree with the fact that one should be upfront and not a hypocrite.if you do something own up to it.i have friends belonging to conservative families and they all smoke and drink when out with friends or away from home.their parents dont have the slightest idea what their kids are upto.everytime i question my friends as to why smoke when away from parents?the only answer i get is oh well you see they dont know and if they find out they will kill me,well they tell me not to do this not to do that but i will make sure i do everything they stop me from.they stop me from everything,treat me like a 12 year old,i cant do anything until they agree,what the hell it’s my life and i will do what i feel like…so yeah putting everything on the table and telling your kid whats right and wrong and taking them in your confidence and giving them the right to choose and making decisions on their own is a goodway.everyone has a different way of parenting and for some such parenting like mariam does work out.there is always a way of telling your kid and in the end its the childs understanding that will lead him/her to making the right decisions.Recommend

  • Salman

    Declared haraam in our religion those
    who abstained did so out of conviction
    not coercion.

    It is haraam, means GOD told us NOT to drink. You can choose to go to heaven or hell but why would you want to go to hell?Recommend

  • Saulat

    Would let you kids experiment with drugs? What if they get hooked? Certain things or habits are very addictive and you really cannot give up on those habits just because Mama does not care anymore.Recommend

  • muzna

    i am in my 20s nd pretty much a youngster but i wouldn’t want my mother to allow me smoking or drinking in her guidance not that i do but honestly as far as i have studied ethics and religion and psychology, trust me lady your son does not find smoking fun anymore but he would get addicted to it similarly his psychology and reasoning would later ask him to attempt or try something which you wouldn’t allow him for example adultry. what do you have to say about it? these are animal insticts in human which if let free would get untamed and you will not be able to fix it with your reverse psychology trick. these sort of issues regarding your kids doing right and wrong can only be fixed through the values you drill in their minds when they are little babies, teaching them the limits is the key. Recommend

  • Ali Akbar

    Where do you draw the line? What if your kid wants to get cozy with his girlfriend under your roof? Then what? The solution is to make sure your children have and are in the right company all the time. Let’s go back to basics when parents wanted their children to befriend the most studious children in class….Recommend

  • Maria

    What the author talks of has its validity in the level of trust you develop with your children… Please note : She isn’t saying “its RIGHT to smoke in the home” … Her strategy is as she puts it “not to condone the act but to control it” She is simply put: open with her children and obviously does not want to turn them into smokers … Where I grew up, there were rules … lots of them, and maybe were there for the right reasons too. I may have grown in that cocoon of isolation she talk about … and maybe not into the perfect daughter but a very rigid and serious one… but even I know what right and wrong is. It’s simple … with parenting, there are no hard and fast rules … I respect your perspective! Recommend

  • LT COL RETD BASEER WARRAICH

    I cO OOan from my personal experience why i started smoking 1. my father and most of my uncles used to smoke 2.there was no check on me once i joined GC LAHORE IN 1970 and out of my meagre pocket money i would buy one or two fags 3. company of friends created an smoking frendly envirenment 4. i had thought that it was a manly habit.I gave up this habit after ten long years at my own.SO the bottom line is 1. more friendly relation between parents and childrens2.KEEP YOUR KIDS engaged physical activities 3. set personal exampals by not smoking4 .NO TENSION AT HOME 5.keep an eye on kids friends and his/her activities6.LEAVE THE REST TO ALMIGHTY ALLAHRecommend

  • Anam

    Couldn’t agree more with @toobahatif. True that there are different kinds of parents with different methods of dealing with their children..its called self to its own.Recommend

  • http://bestbloggingtools.com Faizan Elahi

    I think the approach to parenting discussed by the author is too extreme and is likely to prove harmful in the long-run.Recommend

  • Sana Kamran

    Very well said . All the good readers expect more articles from you on such type of issues.
    great job once again.
    REGARDS!Recommend

  • MA

    I think most people have a problem with the article’s title than its body ( which is a well-thought piece of writing and gives parents a genuine chance to guide their children ). My eldest is in his teens. I would rather know what he’s upto than being under the illusion that all’s well.
    Good job, Mariam!

    And Express Tribune, change the article’s title and picture. They send the wrong mesage. Definitely not what the writer wants to put through!Recommend

  • http://London Abdul Rahman Khan

    Woman and mother are two different persons. A woman who doesn’t have any furture (I don’t mean career) of herself, she is not bothered what is good or bad for her or what the society she lives in will form opinion about her. ‘Free for all’ is her motto. A mother, however, is different, she has to evaluate her each action in terms of what is good or bad for her posterity and what the other womenfolk will judge her for her words and deeds. That’s why compared to a woman (who is not mother or, say, married), a resposible mother commands full respect and love from her husband and children and also from the society at large. Regrettably, old social values are fast being eroded now and it is difficult to conrtinue upholding the positive old social values. To be a responsible mother these days is somewhat difficult, but those who are blessed with this virtue are GREAT.Recommend

  • Raja Jawad Kiani

    Okay so this has got to be one of the most honest pieces of writing I have read in ages. Not only does it illustrate the correct principles of Psychology but also talks about the truth that goes on in teen circles these days in the most simplistic and matter of fact way. Hats off to the author for that. Recommend

  • Parvez

    This is a complex topic. What works for you and your child may not work for another.
    The child looks up to the parent as a role model, so teaching by example is very important. Recommend

  • waleed zafar

    awesome u the bestRecommend

  • Domlurian

    Is Amma the name of her son, or does it refer to the mother?Recommend

  • http://faisalarshad.wordpress.com faisal arshad

    The authors strategy can work well for starters…cigarette really does’nt taste that good without the company of equally crazed youngsters. But for smokers who have made it a habit (say 5+ cigs a day), the reverse psychology could be damaging. They may perceive the lenient parenting attitude as a baseline for advancing to other drugs, alcohol, etc. Recommend

  • smokers corner

    i doubt the idea! it might lead a child to be addicted if he ever tried nicotine whether before his parents or beneath expansive tree or cafe… Recommend

  • Baqar

    I wish you were my MOM… :PRecommend

  • iram

    I can totally relate to what she has written! I have two boys and believe me as a parent I would much rather know the activities that they indulge in first hand rather than hearing it from somebody else. We all aspire to be good parents! (better than our own!) and along the way realize that they must have had to face the same difficulties and dilemmas that we face each day. The fact is that parenting is not something that you can learn from a textbook or a class or internet or a workshop, that is why it is so exciting, wonderful, tedious, difficult and one of its own kind experience! Kids will be kids and they do require guidance and yet they are individuals who have to make choices and decision and take responsibility for those decisions. In these conflicting times it is even more important that kids look at their parents as people that they can turn to! needless to say that she writes extremely well and I would love to read her perspectives on other issues in life :)Recommend

  • http://www.twitter.com/adnanjabbar Dr. Adnan

    the idea is good but there should be a point where you draw the line. everything does has a limit.Recommend

  • LT COL RETD BASEER WARRAICH

    Very well said ,All the good readers expect more articles from you on such type of issues.very good job once again.Recommend

  • LT COL RETD BASEER WARRAICH

    Very well said . All the good readers expect more articles from you on such type of issues.good job once again.Recommend

  • bilal warraich

    VERY WELL WRITTEN AN A PRETTY GOOD ARGUMENTS..Recommend

  • bilal warraich

    VERY WELL WRITTEN AND A PRETTY GOOD ARGUMENTSS…..Recommend

  • SFB

    What a load of crap? What if my child wants to practice bondage and kinky things, should I invite him and his girlfriend to the living room? (we can hire one if he doesn’t have one). The approach is extreme and retarded, I would not suggest other people to experiment with their children in the same way. Sadly not all of us are privileged to go to english medium schools and be taught anything near reverse psychology.

    I’m sorry I don’t buy your secular-cool-mom approach at all. Be a hardliner “takhnon” se upper shalwar. Shun what is evil, do not promote it or even explore it. If this practice has worked for you then please keep it to yourself, misleading common men/women can not be greater than your freedom of speech or your responsibility.Recommend

  • Radial

    I had my first cigarette at 14 in front of my parents. They occasionally smoke. One day they asked me if I’ve ever smoked, and if not, would I like to try it? So I tried it, in front of them. It was awful, and I coughed for a good 5 minutes. After that there was no mystery or interest about it and when I was 18 and many of my friends were smoking, I felt no need to do so. I’m almost 40 now, and still not a smoker (though I have occasionally tried it). The author of this article is right on.Recommend

  • Hareem

    You are exactly like my mom! She did the same, and now both my brother and I are in our twenties and much better individuals than our friends/cousins because its just the curiosity that one has. Having tried it all and not been scolded on it, it takes out all the fun! Recommend

  • Fg khi

    @ Well Said TOOBAHATIF………….

    I totally agree with Toobahatif. and would advise every parent to be friendly with your kids always. and try to teach them the life as it is according to religion, society & culture.

    These are the sign of our national & internal identity.

    Try to lesson old chap specially who suffered these addiction stuff.

    When you try it as a doctor (Mz. Writer) you’ll see the difference and you will see and fee your methodology of life/education given to your kids.

    Now you see the later version of your kids life every one know that learning process goes on tell death and every one experience deffers …Recommend

  • Hassan

    I’m gonna time travel back to when I was a kid who was so scared to touch Cigarettes because of his parents, meet and persuade them as a third person to use the reverse psychology trick on their child.
    :D Lets see how it works out. Recommend

  • india

    @tooba whatever – The author is a lot older than you. Have you no respect. Dont use words like ” lame / stupid ” When you talk to people ur age it is ok but not for people who are older.Recommend

  • bilal

    A very interesting idea..great work! keep it up!!Recommend

  • Vigilant

    @Author
    You are lucky if your idea of reverse psychology is working….&…it’s not just smoking & drinking which teenagers want to try without their parents consent…..there are a lot of other things & interests in which many teenagers are interested…..what about them???
    Your argument in support of reverse psychology “Let them choose…let them bear the consequences….let them face it…..” is just one side of picture….what if some teenager wants to ride bike at 250Km/h speed, wants to do stunts……of course he cannot do that at home….he go outside & will do that but one day if he become a iron-man due to accident while driving bike at high speed….will he bear the consequences alone? will he face it alone? i do not think so….Parents will suffer more or less the same……so if someone is sharing your good & worst times they have right to stop & prohibit harmful things…..Recommend

  • Vigilant

    But idea of befriending your kids is best…..Recommend

  • zalim singh

    there is nothiong grt in smoking. only thing it should not irritate others.Recommend

  • abid

    I think everyone should ponder upon views of Mr Asad & Col Retd Baseer.Dear Writer, perhaps you are thinking of only ‘Smoking’ but based on your “theory” your KIDS can do anything at home. What would you do at that time. OD you any moral authority to say them NO??Recommend

  • http://utterlyurban.com/taylor-swifts-newfound-sisters/ Taylor

    I just don’t get what pleasure can one derive just blowing smoke out of your mouth and nose. I actually find it very patheticRecommend

  • Someone

    ” how many of us can truly say that we never tried a cigarette while growing up?”
    U have no idea lady..Many never triedRecommend

  • Talha

    man i wish you were my mom!Recommend

  • Dah

    @Asad:
    You “sits with westerners”? Sure. =DRecommend

  • aamz

    ….this trick is just crap for drinking and smoking…. but you may use the same for other purposes to groom your child.Recommend

  • Mehr-un-Nisa Syed

    ….some very good advice for parents like us who have to deal with similar issues in the next decade or so…..another very good article MariamRecommend

  • -Chughtai

    Reverse psychology or ‘drug education’ may not really work, for even if you’re trying to educate someone along the lines of the bad effects a substance may have; you are in a way passively pushing them to fall under the abuse. A relevant example is that of ‘sex education’ in the West, where being taught about ‘protection’ doesn’t curb such sexual activities to follow but induces in the hormonal kids a greater urge to do it.Recommend

  • samiya

    well.. its a good effort! and everyone cannot agree by the method you adopted as it doesnt works! yes parenting does contribute, the kid should be guided properly n parents should keep track of their children company as well as hobbies! As one of our teacher used to say they recommend our moms to have doubts on your children .. check them at mid night :D Surely some moms can try and adopt that too :D Recommend

  • Rafay

    what the writer here wants to say is that the consequences of prohibiting something might be grave while allowing something takes the charm out of it.Maybe she allows it, even if she disapproved of it in the first place, only because she knows it will help lessen the charm of it.Recommend

  • Rafay

    Oh and i forgot to commend the author.Good work keep it up i hope to see more from youRecommend

  • JAVAID KHAN

    Parents have failed as PARENT if their children start smoking or using other addictive substances.I have never smoked in life and my children have followed the same.My house is a smoke free house.Smoking is the first step towards other drug addictions.Recommend

  • abhi

    I don’t agree with this approach. Now your son can smoke it at home so it may not thrill him, but that doesn’t mean he will quit smoking. I don’t mean to be negative here but most probably he will be smoker for the life. So instead of letting him try it out it is better to educated him about harm of smoking before hand and make sure that he doesn’t get this habbit.Recommend

  • Tina

    I feel those who are against this approach are the people who prefer to stay in denial that their sons and daughters are the angels who they see at home and not face reality. While parents should be role models as in they should not be smokers and drinkers themselves, the idea of telling your child that you are open to their weaknesses is the best way of raising your child. This is the reason when our kids go abroad, how they find all these things so attractive just because their parents or society made such a hoo haa about it. Please my country men, come out of denial and accept that we are all being a hypocrite! Recommend

  • Nabeel Malik

    I am literally amused by your reasoning for letting your children smoke. Keep up the ‘good’ parenting.Recommend

  • Abraham Dave

    Shwag, mids, dank, dro, budha, big bud, californian skunk, b52, ,mystic, kabul, sour diesel… and the darn list goes on. Them are the weeds I have tried so far from Indus to Texas and it all started with the same cool parenting crap that you just practiced with your kid. Ya know what I am feeling miserable right now as from behind this curtain of smoke its really hard to find the keys that are already buried under the ashes of my cigar.Recommend

  • http://india khalis

    reverse reverse psychology. i just let my mom thinks that this idea works, just make her feel that her steps do work.
    at her back, i just light my cigRecommend

  • Sadaqatullah

    What kind of mother you are? You think your kids are true to you but are you true to yourself?, You think your kids will be more mature in front of the world such that they can face hardships of the life, but will they really be mature?. . How on the planet can a person learn to face the hardships of life by smoking in front of mother? Madam wake up, this is reality not a video game, or film. If you think that your kids are not hiding anything from you then believe me they are not mature at all. Mature kids tend to hide at the very least something from their parents and you yourself might have done that in you childhood. Whatever you are doing is nothing but spoiling your kids, wake up before its too late.Recommend

  • Muslim Lady

    I have a problem, or atleast I think it is. I have two year old son, and he is very active MashaAllah.
    One day I noticed him holding a pen the way one would hold a cigarette, and pretend to puff out smoke.
    Nobody at home smokes, my mother told me that he probably saw it on TV or something.

    I don’t want to encourage such habits, (duh!), any suggestions on what should I do? Or how can I make him forget what he saw or did?!

    aNYONE?Recommend

  • Mariam

    @Muslim Lady:
    You may not believe this but neither of my children smokes. my husband doesn’t smoke :). If you are a loving parent and make your children your only priority ,give them a patient hearing ,guide them through example and not preaching trust me they will grow up to be balanced and even tempered.InshallahRecommend

  • Hira

    “Yet, how many of us can truly say that we never tried a cigarette while growing up?”
    ummm, there are ALOT of people out there who never smoked!Recommend