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Am I Out of Line Here?

Discussion forum for parents in Australia

Casual scribe

Am I Out of Line Here?

Hello Evreyone,


First time poster and need a sanity check.   I have three teenage sons, and for YEARS we have been telling them that we don't want them smoking pot in and around our house.    I think this is more than a reasonable request.   After years of asking, yelling, pleading, begging etc. nothing has changed.   Last night, I came home from work and found a water bottle converted to a bong for smoking on my kitchen counter!   This was the last straw for me.   I decided to buy some outdoor cameras and install them around my house,  since every time I ask who's smoking evreyone denies it.


The fact that I want to do this has not been hidden from them.  I told them I was going to do it.   My wife, however, is appalled and angry at me.    She's even threatened to leave me if I put the cameras up.  For years we tried to deal with issue her way with talking, reminders, etc. and it hasn't change anyone's behavior. 


Her way hasn't worked, and I want to try a different deterrent.    Am I out of line here???  Unreasonable?  I'm getting a little tired of being ignored and not listened to.    If doing this is over top, please let me know .



Active scribe

Re: Am I Out of Line Here?

That's a tricky one, @JFinn.  If you were an Australian forum user I'd probably first mention where pot use/possession sits under the law here, etc.  However, being that you are not ...


As long as everyone is aware that cameras are going up in communal spaces, and you don't put them in bedrooms/bathrooms, etc., then I don't think that you are out of line.  You have been clear that this is your next step.  Do you really think it'll work as a deterrent though?  Won't your teenage sons work around the cameras?


Have you tried trying to be, you know, Cool Dad about this and approaching it from more of a harm minimisation angle?


Casual scribe

Re: Am I Out of Line Here?

Thanks for getting back to me, @Lola-RO.   Here in the states (at least the one I live in)  this stuff sits under the law as well.  They could always work around the cameras.  I haven't put them up yet, and honestly I don't know if I will.


I've tried every angle, including "Cool Dad" telling them long term this stuff is not good for you despite all of the publicized information of its benefits.


What's interesting is that here in the states, there is an abundance of education around opioids and the use of heroin directed at kids .  It is a massive problem in the U.S. and the single biggest killer of people between the ages of 18 and 25.  A lot of kids smoke, and I think one the reasons they do is that it  is not an opioid so it's ok.   Not sure if that's the case in other parts of the world.   


Not sure about next steps, just tired of not being heard. Thanks  

Frequent scribe

Re: Am I Out of Line Here?

The question is: What would you do when you get a video of them disobeying your rules?

Will you take the keys and only let them in when you or mom is home for a determinate lenght of time, since you can’t trust they will respect your house rules?

Super star contributor

Re: Am I Out of Line Here?

Hey @JFinn, do you know where your teens are getting the money to pay for their pot? 


I must admit, I wouldn't allow smoking in or around my house either - mainly because it's illegal here and that's a lesson that needs to be learnt. Once they are old enough they can be charged and there is no escaping that fact. While it's going on in your house with minors, parents are held accountable, same as with underage drinking. 


I get that what you and your wife have been doing hasn't been working, and it's only natural to then look at other options. And when you can't get honest answers I think it's understandable to want to go with an option that will give you some leverage. You are sane! Unfortunately without consequences, our teens tend not to listen to us, and I think having made your intentions clear, the boundary has been set. The important thing I think is to be clear yourself as to what you would do with any footage. Would you use it to hold them accountable legally, or to get help for the offending kid or kids for example? Do you think if it was phrased around terms of helping your teens your wife might be more open to the idea? 


Parenting is such a tough job and it can hard to know what the best move is to achieve what we want to see from our kids. I'd be keen to hear how things progress for you.