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Grandchild not allowed to visit my home

(107 Posts)
scarlet1 Tue 10-May-16 00:53:38

My son has told me that my grandson can't visit my home due to third hand smoke. My husband smokes and has never smoked in the presence of our other grandchildren or when they are visiting or in the car and as I have an a compromised immune system I am super clean walls are washed down every month leather furniture washed every two days. Inside of books hovered carpet vaxed monthly. I have looked at the empirical evidence which is not clear and spoken to my other son and daughter and they say my house never smells of smoke and they think he is being unfair and it is an excuse. Whilst I respect it his child and his decision, when I visit they talk about staying at his partners family home and visiting friends it tears me apart to think he will never be allowed in my home.

FarNorth Tue 10-May-16 04:17:45

Do you have any idea why your son would be making an excuse, if smoking is not the real reason?

obieone Tue 10-May-16 04:23:17

I would look out for evidence that they do not carry this through with other people.

But if they do, it may not be an excuse.

I wonder whether, do to your compromised immune system, that your son is super alert to all things medical.

janeainsworth Tue 10-May-16 06:31:46

I would not go down the route of looking for evidence that your son's ruling is an 'excuse'.
You are bound to think you have found some and that could be the start of the rocky road to estrangement.
I'm afraid you will have to accept your son's reasons at their face value, and build a relationship with your grandson within those limitations. Babysit him at their house, or take him out to places.

The really important question is why doesn't your husband stop smoking? His health would improve, and you wouldn't have to do all that tiresome housework.

kittylester Tue 10-May-16 07:14:16

Everything jane said.

thatbags Tue 10-May-16 07:14:56

Unjustified though it might be, perhaps your son wants to protect his child from what could be viewed, wrongly or otherwise, as obsessive cleaning behaviour. In other words, it may not really be about third hand smoke.

Whatever the reality of the case, I think you just have to accept his decision. So long as you are able to visit your grandchild at his own home (or perhaps to meet up with your son's family elsewhere), you are getting the important part: seeing your grandchild. Whether you see him in your own home or somewhere else is really a small detail.

morethan2 Tue 10-May-16 07:42:32

I'd feel the same as you. I'd be heartbroken and hearing he visited the maternal side of the family I expect I'd feel exactly as you do. I think you could tear yourself apart looking for the reason but honestly it'll do no good you may never really find the answer. All you can do is be the best nanna you can when you do see him. Put on a brave face and bear the pain in private and of course with us. The other route could tear your family apart setting sibling against sibling. Handled sensitively things might improve over time. I hope they do flowers

absent Tue 10-May-16 07:52:40

What on earth is third-hand smoke? Of course most parents, who don't smoke themselves, want their children protected from second-hand smoke – in the house, residue on the hands, body and hair. There is evidence to suggest that that can be hugely damaging, but what is this?

Luckygirl Tue 10-May-16 08:49:05

They are being entirely reasonable to make this choice - their child, their choice. But it is a great shame that this situation has arisen. How about sending OH on a smoking cessation course?

As to your cleaning habits, personally I would say that you are missing out on an immense amount of real living while you are scrubbing and vacuuming. And, it seems it will not influence their decision one whit, so if I were you I would scrap the obsessional cleaning and get out and have some fun! Life is too short for cleaning on that scale.

Izabella Tue 10-May-16 08:52:57

Perhaps have a conversation along the lines of "......if grandad stopped smoking when can you visit?" Then you would know if that was the real reason. I am also intrigued why you have carpets as they harbour all sorts of stuff that Vaxing won't shift.

There is a lot of evidence for toxic smoking residue in homes. I can't get the link to work on this but if you google -
Scientific American+what is third hand smoke. Is it hazardous -
you should be able to find a basic resume and other links to follow. Hope that helps.

rosesarered Tue 10-May-16 08:57:31

I think this is very sad.We still took our children to see parents/grandparents/aunts and uncles and they all smoked.Very few of them did so when our children were actually there,yes you can smell smoke ( in a smokers home) because it gets into the soft furnishings, but as long as they are not smoking when the child visits there is no danger.One of our grandchildren visits his other Grandma ( who smokes) but not when he comes to visit.We don't smoke but feel this is really punishing both the adult and the child not to allow the child into the house!

rosesarered Tue 10-May-16 08:58:41

It's overkill, like lots of things these days.

GandTea Tue 10-May-16 08:59:55

As a total non smoker I have some understanding where the child's parents are coming from, nonetheless it must be very upsetting.
I doubt that any amount of cleaning would eradicate the smell of smoking form a house where a smoker lives, even if they only smoke outside. I don't think smokers realise just how the smell lingers on their clothes, hair etc.
Our daughter lived with a smoker for a while, he only smoked outside, but we could even smell smoke on her when she visited.

Greenfinch Tue 10-May-16 09:21:05

Perhaps he is worried that his son would make a mess of your super clean house and so he gives a more acceptable excuse .

trisher Tue 10-May-16 09:30:04

No it is a very real excuse. The pollutants left on surfaces are 'third hand smoke' and babies and young children are at most risk. It is linked to damaging development, asthma, and many other conditions. Sadly for you scarlet1 normal cleaning does not remove the pollutants. I am sorry to say I can't see any way for you to change your son's decision, even if your husband stopped smoking today the residue would remain in your home. Maybe as your GS gets older your son will allow visits as he will be less at risk. More info here

jinglbellsfrocks Tue 10-May-16 09:55:46

That article has made my blood run cold. DGSs' other grandparents smoke. Never when the children are present, but they stay in their house, and have done since they were quite small.

Sorry. No advice apart from what has been said. It's a very sad situation for you and you have my sympathy for what that's worth. sad

Izabella Tue 10-May-16 10:06:31

Thanks trisher for posting the link. Could not get it to work when I tried earlier. I think a brief perusal of this will make any doubters on the dangers sit up and think.

Shazmo24 Tue 10-May-16 10:07:37

I may be stating the obvious but it's okay for you & your husband to visit them?...surely this "3rd hand smoke" would follow you?
It does always seem that grandchildren see more of the daughters family than the son'so

Jalima Tue 10-May-16 10:08:08

I am concerned about you because of what seems to be excessive cleaning and whether or not you are using harsh chemicals frequently.
Is your husband the father of your son and DGF of this grandchild - if so, can he have a word with your son? Promise to give up smoking, try patches etc? Some surgeries offer group counselling sessions (ours does). Buy him a garden shed? Don't laugh, friend's DH won't give up and she won't let him smoke in the house so he has a cosy shed where he goes to indulge.
Smoking around you if you have a compromised immune system is not fair either and I hope you can come to some arrangement in the meantime to see your DGS.

trisher Tue 10-May-16 10:11:00

I also just wondered if your son perhaps thinks your compromised immune system is a result of your exposure to third hand smoke and feels he must protect his child even more?

AmMaz Tue 10-May-16 10:47:55

What does your husband say? You seem to be taking all the responsibility around this hurtful situation.

moobox Tue 10-May-16 10:49:23

So many husbands have to go outside to smoke anyhow these days, irrespective of if children visit, so personally I would push him down that route, and use your cleaning time to do something nice

GrannyJan1 Tue 10-May-16 10:49:46

Totally agree with janeainsworth. Your husband's decision to smoke is totally his, however the consequences escalate. You may clean as much as you like, but the residue is still there. My parents both smoked and died over ten years ago. I have a few books and mementos of theirs, which, after all that time being in a NON SMOKING house, still smell of cigarette smoke. For me it is somewhat comforting but I can understand how this would worry your son.

harrigran Tue 10-May-16 10:53:15

I would be more concerned about the amount of cleaning chemicals used.

scarlet1 Tue 10-May-16 10:59:19

Hi I can see that this has divided opinion, and I am sorry for that. I was a medical researcher before I retired and I have looked for Empirical evidence. They refer to chemicals over time. Whilst I searching I have found that open fire houses, painted rooms, old properties. environmental pollutants from being in a car or opening a window or using plastic and having a kitchenette dinner all increase the and BQ al increase the risk. The NHS have given some guidance on there website, the article is not based on opinion not physical evidence.
I take on board that my Husband would be better quitting altogether, however he is a hard working man who never smokes in the presence of others, he does not drink he pays his bills and has provided us with a beautiful home. I will not be forced into badgering him into changing. to be fair I have asked people to Be honest about my home and my daughter who is a medical professional and she allows her daughters to visit, she stated that as we don't even have ashtrays in the house and her children have never seen the grandad smoke are unaware he does.
My compromised immune system is a result of injury to my stomach and not due to smoking and as I have osteoporosis, I have been advised that laminate flooring is a slip hazard that should be avoided.
My husband feels that we are in a no win situation, we have been given the gift of Shame as what do we say to him when he older, sorry you can not come to our home because it is a health risk, whilst he stays with other relatives. who may or may not have had someone the past who has smoked in the house or bought furniture from a smoker.