Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Heart to Heart Chat

On the weekend, Heather glanced at my computer as I did a quick check on Facebook and she wanted to know who the person in my profile photo was:

Grandma Heather

Me: That's Grandma Heather, my mommy. This was one of the last photos taken of her. You know what is weird? See how pretty and healthy my mommy looks? She had cancer in that photo but we just didn't know it yet.

Heather: Did she die from smoking?

Me: Well, I guess she did. She died from lung cancer and lung cancer is usually caused by smoking.

Heather: I'm never going to smoke!

Addie: Neither am I.

Me: That's wonderful! I am so glad to hear that! What about when you are older, like maybe 12 or 13, and one of your friends says to you, "Hey, do you want to try smoking?".

Heather: I will say NO!

Addie: Me too.

Me: But what if they say, "Aw, come on. Don't be such a chicken!".

Heather/Addie: (Screams) NO!

We talked a little more about it and how if a friend is calling you chicken because you don't want to try something, then they probably are not a "good" friend to begin with. We thought of the Berenstain Bears book, "The Berenstain Bears and the Bully" and how Too Tall and his gang of friends call Brother Bear chicken because he doesn't want to steal a watermelon.

It was a great conversation to have with the girls. I will be curious to see what really happens as the kids get older and they are faced with peer pressure. All I can do is hope that these conversations that we have now will help guide them as they get older. Ack! I am dreading the tween/teen years!


  1. At our house, we talk about Grandpa Jim (my father-in-law), whom the older kids remember, and who died of cancer, too, after a lifetime of being unable to quit smoking. We talk about how addictive it is--so addictive that Grandpa Jim couldn't quit even when he was in the hospital, or at home getting sicker and sicker, and even though he tried to quit many times.
    I can't be there when they're making some of these big decisions, especially during the tween/teen years (fast-approaching!), but I hope our frank conversations do make a difference when they're faced with peer pressure. Here's hoping.

  2. That is a great point Carrie. We have also talked about how addictive it can be. Even if they try it just once, to see what it is like, they may become addicted. Better to just not try in the first place.

  3. And now I know where Heather's name came from. :)
    Good for them. There is a lesson in just about everything, isn't there?

    How did the race go today?