Imagine that you are in a waiting room at a doctor’s office. A mother is standing, talking with a friend. Her young daughter, grabbing at her knee, is making it difficult for the two women to talk. The only words out of the little girl’s mouth are “mommy, mommy, mommy.” Her mother finally acknowledges her child, telling her that they will be leaving soon and that she has to wait. This sends the little girl into a rage. Her face turns red as tears pour down her face and she soon is screaming at the top of her lungs.
“Okay . . . okay,” her mother finally says. She apologizes to her friend and reaches into her purse to grab a pack of cigarettes. The child immediately becomes quiet and is now immediately focused on everything her mother is doing.
The mother lights the cigarette and holds it as the toddler takes a puff. The mother lets her take a few draws off the cigarette. After a few puffs, the mother tells her that she has had enough and she can have the rest later. Now content, the toddler lets go of her mother and turns to play with the blocks and toys on the floor.
Her mother returns to the conversation with her friend and says, “She gets so fussy when I don’t give her a smoke.” Her friend nods knowingly and smiles, “Mine too. It is the only way I can force my kids to eat all their dinner. They know if they don’t finish the green beans, they don’t get their smoke.”
The other mother nods knowingly.