To let my daughter smoke

(131 Posts)
GreenAmy Sat 05-Feb-11 13:38:51

Be easy on me as I have been having a nightmare with my 11 year old daughter since November when I first caught her smoking. Posted on parenting a few weeks ago but did not really get any answers.

I have stopped her allowance and took away her dS Lite, grounded her, took away her phone, MP3 player, TV and all I have achieved is to drive a wedge between use.

We used to get on so well now she is like a stranger, yet I know she still smokes, she says she has friends.

I watch her smiling and being polite with other people, everyone tells me how sweet, polite, helpful she is.

I worry where she gets her cigarettes from and where she goes off to smoke also.

So as this section is more busy I will post here and ask for suggestions.

I am tired of the situation and prepared to give in to her.

Her father died in a traffic accident in 2009, so not around.

BooBooGlass Sat 05-Feb-11 13:40:37

Of course yabu. You are the parent and she is 11 years old. If you give in now you're in for some nightmare teenage years

Gleekfreak Sat 05-Feb-11 13:41:07

Sorry you're having such a hard time Sounds like maybe some counselling/family therapy may be a place to start?

KnittedBreast Sat 05-Feb-11 13:42:19

can you not bribe her with something she would really love if she gives up?

short of locking her in her room there is NO WAY you can stop her smoking, all her friends and at school will have access to ciggies. if she has school dinners she probebly skips lunch and uses the money to buy them with.

BuzzLightBeer Sat 05-Feb-11 13:43:45

she's 11. She shouldn't be anywhere you don't know, or with people you don't know. she's a child.

lollipop69 Sat 05-Feb-11 13:45:04

YABVU. My parents found out I smoked when I was 12 and never allowed me to smoke in front of them making it very difficult for me to smoke at all as I had very strict curfews. If you give in to her demands at this age you are going to make it very difficult for yourself to discipline her as she grows up. Your DD may not be very nice towards you whilst going through this but you are her mother not her friend.

findingthepath Sat 05-Feb-11 13:45:04

Have you tried telling her and showing her photos of the damage smoking does?

Take her to the quit smoking drop in centres and they can support you and give you advice.

Have you told her how additive smoking is?

Maybe family counciling could help.

Also it could be peer pressure or a new group of friends - it might be worth having a word with her school.

I would personaly do all the above as smoking kills and once a habit is gained it is so hard to stop trust me i have been there and have stoped for the last 4 years and its still hard.

You are the parent. Nothing on this planet would I allow my 11 year old to smoke and I'm pretty liberal.

TattyDevine Sat 05-Feb-11 13:46:15

I dont think you should "let" her smoke, as such.

But if you have stopped her allowance so she is not buying them, and she doesn't do it in your presence, there is not a lot you can do.

Presumably if she got caught at school they would apply sanctions?

If you find cigarettes you confiscate them, and discipline accordingly if you consider something in addition to confiscation of them is necessary.

Dont "let" her though. You can give yourself permission to draw a line under it and consider what she does out of the house is not something you can police all the time.

I smoked as a youngster - hell not as young as that but 16 etc. I never did it in my parents presence. I couldn't do it during school (we did have the sneaky one in the locker room or on the basketball courts but there wasn't time for many) - so it really only left before and after school and in the overall scheme of things, that's not a lot of cigarettes.

Let her do it at home and she'll be on 20 a day before you know it!

fizzpops Sat 05-Feb-11 13:46:49

I don't know what to advise with regard to the smoking only that from her other behaviour it reminds me a lot of myself at that age.

I would be fine at school and polite to people not part of the family. Taking things away and grounding me did no good - in fact in a way it kind of made things worse as it made me feel even more the 'bad' child and if there was more ground to cover in respect of coming to some sort of amity within the family.

Obviously you are exhausted and feeling at the end of your tether but smoking at this age can be something with much more far reaching consequences. I started smoking at 14 as an act of rebellion. I consciously thought if I hurt myself I was hurting my mother - we had a turbulent relationship for my teen years and beyond. I only stopped properly at 33 just before conceiving my first child.

I think my behaviour stemmed from something under the surface I didn't understand at the time but what I needed was not punishment but compassion.

I don't want to jump to the obvious conclusion that it is something to do with losing her Dad but maybe she feels in some ways that she has to more 'adult' and responsible' and is perhaps reacting against that?

bubblewrapped Sat 05-Feb-11 13:47:08

I started smoking at 12. My mum knew, she wasnt a smoker so could smell it on me.. and she wasnt impressed. I was never allowed to smoke in the house at that age though.

By the time I was 14 I was still smoking, and she did let me smoke in the house, only so that I wouldnt smoke on my way to school... (I think she was more bothered about what the neighbours would think! lol!)..

Oddly enough, my dad, who was the smoker in the family, was furious with me, and I wasnt allowed to smoke in front of him until I was 16 and legal.

Its sad that she has started so young, and I wish I had never started, but I did, and I still smoke.

I dont think as a parent there is anything you can do short of keep them locked up 24/7.

HecateQueenOfWitches Sat 05-Feb-11 13:47:24

Yes. You are being unreasonable.

I am sorry for your loss, but you should not let her smoke.

She's 11. There's no point telling her about cancer or emphysema or any of the other ways to kill yourself by smoking because at that age they think they're immortal.

But you have to carry on trying to stop her. You have to let her know that this is not acceptable. You can't be seen to condone it. Before you know it, you'll be buying her fags.

I'm really sorry you're struggling. I agree with counselling. See GP perhaps?

findingthepath Sat 05-Feb-11 13:47:43

I'm sorry you are having a hard time.

But she is a child do not let this slide.

" My parents found out I smoked when I was 12 and never allowed me to smoke in front of them making it very difficult for me to smoke at all as I had very strict curfews. "

So how come they cold say "be in by 9" and you'd obey but if they said "Don't smoke at all" you wouldn't?

mommmmyof2 Sat 05-Feb-11 13:48:06

It is hard, you can't follow her around all of the time watching what she is doing, when she goes to school she maybe getting them there off friends ect...

Do you think she could possibly doing it for a reaction off you?

Has she any brothers or sisters?She may have alot going on, as you said her farther died (sorry to hear about that) but maybe she does need to go somwhere to talk to someone.

I would not personally go buy her a pack of cigerettes either, but I would not make it a huge deal, and hopefully it will be a phase!

taintedpaint Sat 05-Feb-11 13:50:33

Of course YABU, but that doesn't mean I don't sympathise with the situation.

I don't have a DC of that age, so forgive me if I am out of touch here, but do you know where she is getting money from? If you are giving her pocket money, I'd stop that straight away, she's too young to earn of her own accord.

Could you call her friends parents? Or at least threaten to? My memory of being 11 tells me that the fear of being embarrassed in front of my friends was enough to keep me in line.

Has she had grief counselling, this acting out is making both of you unhappy.

Have some hugs

MsKLo Sat 05-Feb-11 13:51:57

Agree with the counselling/ask GP for advice

You should make it clear to her she is grounded from everything and will have no money or new clothes etc etc if she continues

I am very very sorry for your loss

Did your Dd have counselling after the accident? If not, please seek some now x

Olessaty Sat 05-Feb-11 13:53:49

I don't know, I don't have an eleven year old, so I can't understand the reality of your situation.

That said, I don't think I could give in and allow her to smoke, it goes against everything I believe, it's just so unhealthy and she is only eleven, still a child and developing.

I would be grounding her and removing all priviledges, as you sound like you have done. She would not be allowed out without supervision at all if she has continued despite this, including dropping off and picking up from school. I would not allow her to have any money to buy cigarettes. If this meant dropping off her lunch money to the relevant people at school, this is what I would do. I would probably inform the school and ask that they watch her at lunchtimes and breaktimes, if that was an option, or at least make them aware of this situation. I might also seek the support of the NHS stopping smoking service, I'm not sure if they could help? Perhaps a doctor or nurse explaining to her would be more effective than you have been simply because she is rebelling against your authority and thus not listening to what you say, even when it's good advice?

And finally, I might seek some family counselling, if you feel that this is coming between you so much. I had someone come in at a difficult time when I was a young teen and it helped to stop me just impulsively reacting against anything they said, having another adult in the room as a sort of go-between.

It must be awful to feel this come between you, but I think I would rather be hated and stop her smoking than allow her to ruin her development and possibly her life with cigarettes.

agree with Ole
and then when she has stopped for say 3 months I would be making a huge huge fuss fo her

KnittedBreast Sat 05-Feb-11 13:56:05

i think ciggies ruining her development is a bit harsh tbh

BuzzLightBeer Sat 05-Feb-11 13:57:45

why harsh? did I miss the memo that said carcinogens and deadly chemicals are good for children? hmm

SandStorm Sat 05-Feb-11 13:59:40

"She's 11. There's no point telling her about cancer or emphysema or any of the other ways to kill yourself by smoking because at that age they think they're immortal."

Completely agree with this. Tell her how much her hair will smell. Tell her how bad her clothes are going to smell. Tell her how her teeth will turn yellow and she will never have a beautiful smile. Tell her that kissing her will be like licking an ashtray (possibly not relevant yet if she's only 11).

Shock tactics around things that matter to 11 year olds.

saffyronron Sat 05-Feb-11 13:59:57

I smoked when I was 11 (don't now), I was allowed to smoke but I honestly wish I wasn't. I wish someone cared enough to say no, it's unacceptable. Unfortunately, it wasn't entirely unacceptable in my family but even as a child I wished it was. You can't stop her and kids will do what they do despite your best efforts. But you can ensure it's an entirely unacceptable thing to do and show her you care enough to lay those boundaries. I would suggest there's probably something going on for her. Most kids don't smoke and if they do it can be because something's going on. Good luck with it all.

CalamityKate Sat 05-Feb-11 14:05:19

Everything Olessaty said.

Sorry, but giving up as you have done and allowing her to smoke is just pathetic.

If she were mine, until she'd stopped smoking I'd be grounding her/removing privileges until the end of time if necessary.

If you're not sure of your ability to smell whether she's been smoking, they have a gadget at the GPs that measures nicotine in your bloodstream. I'd be taking her to blow into that EVERY DAY if I had to.

If she smells of smoke and insists that it's because she's been hanging around with friends who smoke, I'd be saying "Fine, well you don't hang around with them any more. If you DO still hang around with them, and consequently carry on smelling of smoke, I'll be punishing you as if it IS you smoking. Oh and I'll be telling their parents they smoke".

YOU are her mother, YOU are in charge. Would you still be so "Oh, well..." if she were on Heroin??

bubblewrapped Sat 05-Feb-11 14:05:52

I smoked because I my peers did. It was nothing to do with hating my mum, I had no family trauma that could have been a factor, and there was absolutely nothing going on in my life other than I had reached puberty, wanted to be more grown up, and at that age smoking is deemed "cool" (oh what fools we smokers are.. but at 11 we think we know better than our parents).

I think as a parent, all you can do is say

It is a disgusting habit
I do not approve of it
I know I cant stop you while you are out of the house, but I will not allow you to smoke in the house.
I will not give you money for cigarettes.

I really do not see what more any parent can do with a child who is approaching her teens and has to have some freedom. You cannot be with them 24/7 and unfortunately at 11 we make some choices that are not good for us.

Smoking may be a short lived thing. More worrying would be if she was drinking.

Buda Sat 05-Feb-11 14:08:17

Yes you are being unreasonable to let her smoke. But you know that!

11??? I am just so shocked that 11 year olds are smoking. My DS will be 10 this year. 11 is not far away!

Does she have any sporty interests?

I agree that you need to stop her. She will hate you now but will appreciate it when she is older. A lot older!

GypsyMoth Sat 05-Feb-11 14:09:59

havent read all the posts,so apols if repeating

my dd has started smoking too,she's 14. i have also cut off her money.

also,i have text her friends parents (as they BUY the cigs for their underage dc) to say she is NOT ALLOWED THEM

also,have told local shops that they are serving underage some do get them from asking other people to buy them.

local community police....i have informed them,as dd says if they put hoods up on hoodies and ask weaker looking people,then they will feel intimidated into getting them.....this could move on to alcohol too. bloody wicked kids!!!

bubblewrapped Sat 05-Feb-11 14:13:32

way to go Tiffany... make your daughter really really hate you... hmm

sorry, I can see you are probably very angry with your daughter for smoking, but in my view the way you are dealing with it is going to alienate your daughter even more, and she is unlikely to confide in you and more likely to go to more lengths to keep you from controlling her...

Lamorna Sat 05-Feb-11 14:14:10

You can't just give in because it is difficult, you are the parent and she is only 11yrs old.

This is something i dread. I started smoking at the very young age of 9! (well 9 and two months) I came from a very respectable happy home, my parents smoked when i was young, but were both quiting by then. As they were cutting down to quit but still seemingly buying the same amount of fags i took most of what i smoked between 9-11.

By the time i started secondary school i was on ten a day. I used bus fare and/or dinner money, youthclub money, tuck money etc to buy fags. also would buy a full 10 deck for £1.10 and sell singles off for 30p to buy another pack. everyone at school would always save twos for someone who didnt have any.

I think my parents knew around 14, and i came out with it about 15 and started smoking in my room. buy then i was on 20 a day.

I quit the day i found out i was pregnant with my first DC. i was 22, and on 60 a day shock

I hate the idea of my own kids smoking - who doesnt, but i really cant think of anything my parents could have done. I had a fair amount of cash and free reign to buy what i wanted unchecked. BUT kids who didnt have this smoked just as much, friends are more important than rules at that age and you help each other out.

Sorry im completely useless, blush

shock at 'controlling' an 11 yo
TBH I'm shocked they aren't supervised 24 hours a day at this age
(not criticism, but DS is 4 and I can't envisage a day where he'll have that much freedom)

Baby, how did you get the bus to school then?

twopeople Sat 05-Feb-11 14:17:23

Message withdrawn

bubblewrapped Sat 05-Feb-11 14:18:32

An 11 year old does not normally get taken to and from school by a parent, and an 11yr old normally has a certain amount of freedom to go out with their friends unsupervised.

At 11 I was able to go and do shopping for my mother on my own.. I loved the independence.

Lamorna Sat 05-Feb-11 14:18:51

They go to school StealthPolarBear, they go to clubs, societies and things, parents work. At 11 they need some freedom, they can go shopping without mother etc. It isn't that easy. I would say she is very unhappy and that needs sorting.

...and I can't spell blush

GypsyMoth Sat 05-Feb-11 14:20:18

bubblewrapped.....why would she hate me? it was a phase she went through,pretty much over now as i thought it might be. hence her telling me all the tactics er friends used!!

also,she doesnt actually like the taste/smell/ it was just the looking cool aspect she many actually enjoy the actual act of smoking??

twopeople Sat 05-Feb-11 14:20:25

Message withdrawn

thanks...maybe I need to start a new thread for this. Surely they are supervised at school though - at what point in school would an 11yo smoke?

We walked to school, took 20 minutes on the bus as it went on a long route to get all school kids, or walked direct in 30 minutes. the bus was more of a social thing tbh.

(we always walked on a tuesday as it was market day and we'd have doughnuts for breakfast!..and be late)

TheButterflyCollector Sat 05-Feb-11 14:22:07

YABU. I don't agree with liberal attitudes and protestaations that a parent must give her some freedom, can't be with them all the time etc.

She's 11. Eleven, not 21. Who's the adult here? Who's in charge? If she were mine wouldn't just be without her allowance, phone and the like, she would have her dinner money paid to the school by cheque, she would have no access to cash whatsoever and she wouldn't go outside of the front door nor have any child go through it until she could do as she was told. If she couldn't be trusted to go straight to or from school without going via the shop for cigarettes or without going behind the bikeshed, she would be taken to and from school and if she was smoking at school I would be telling staff that I wanted her kept indoors under supervision at breaks.She'd give in long before I would.

If you aren't prepared to come down hard on her that's your choice but the alternative is not to let the 11 year old play the part of parent and do as she pleases by allowing her to smoke.

I started smoking when I was 13, my mother knew and she tried everything she could to stop me.

I wasn't allowed out except for school, she starting carrying her own cigarettes in her pocket, pocket money was stopped and I started taking a packed lunch to school. I still got cigarettes, from friends or having half of a friends cigarettes.

When I turned 16 I was allowed to smoke in the house and was earning my own money, I really wish she hasn't allowed me because I really do believe I would have stopped eventually. As another poster said, with my mother allowing me to smoke in the house my habit got a lot worse. I went from 2 or 3 a day to 20 and then to 40.

I've only recently gave up, I stopped when pg with both of my DDs but always seemed to pick the habit back up.

Wow! That turned in to a bit of a rant, all you can really do is show your disapproval but do not let her smoke!!

At 11 (at secondary) chances to smoke
On way to school/waiting for bus
Just outside school before you go in
First break
Second break
On way home/waiting for bus
Just before you go into house.

bubblewrapped Sat 05-Feb-11 14:24:40

Tiffany. This is my opinion, obviously I dont know you or your daughter. But if my mother had been so heavy handed ie ringing my friends parents etc, I would have made damn sure she thought I no longer smoked.. I would have said all the right things to her...

I would also have carried on smoking behind her back too....

If that had been her reaction to me smoking, I most certainly wouldnt have ever let on to her that I had occasionally had a drink of alcohol.

Can you see where I am leading to?

thanks BabyDubs...shock

Lamorna Sat 05-Feb-11 14:28:09

I am intolerant of smoking, I can abide it and I can smell it at 20 paces, so I think I would make her strip off in the kitchen, put her stuff straight in the washing machine and then have a shower and wash her hair!
Not possible if you already smoke and have the smell everywhere, but perfectly possible for someone who has a smoke free house.

pointylug Sat 05-Feb-11 14:29:12

This must be so hard.

The big positive is that she is so smiley and polite and helpful with other people. So she seems to be a good kid. Well done.

If it was me, I think I'd sit down with her and tell her (in a calm measured way) how sad I was about her smoking but that there is really nothing I can do to stop her. I'd say that I never wanted to see her smoke and I didn't want the house to smell of smoke at all and that I wouldn't talk about smoking.

I'd tell her that I expected to know ehere she was at all times. I'd say that I wanted to get on well with her again. That I wanted the focus to shift to how we were getting on and away from cigs for a while.

pointylug Sat 05-Feb-11 14:30:31

Goodness, there are LOADS of places an 11 yr old could smoke.

You just cannot police them all the time at that age.

I would find it incredibly upsetting but I do think I'd put my relationship with my daughter above the cigarette issue.

Oh forgot PE, always opted for cross country running. You were given routes so you could jog out of sight, have a nice relaxed walk, a good gosip with a mate and a few fags and limp back pretnding to have fell in a hole or whatever, lovely afternoons at school doing PE. grin

TheButterflyCollector Sat 05-Feb-11 14:32:38

pointylug, you can police an 11 yo all the time. Whether you want to or agree with doing so is a different matter but it can be done.

pointylug Sat 05-Feb-11 14:34:29

My girls were off to the park by themselves from age 7. By age 11, they met up with friends at their houses, went to the park, went down the town together, went to the woods, went to teh leisure centre and the library.

From age 12, they were off to the cinema, into the nerest city, away all day, soetimes away on sleepovers.

It is not possible to supervise an 11 year old all the time. Some of you are being very unrealistic if you think it is perfectly possible to stop any 11 year old from smoking,

duchesse Sat 05-Feb-11 14:35:12

Sounds to me like she may be hanging around with a dodgy crowd of probably much older kids, potentially I'm afraid to say, older boy(s). This is a potentially very difficult situation but I'm afraid that you are going to have to deal with it. It's very hard on you when your child turns away from you like this. Did she have any bereavement counselling when her father died? Is there any chance you could move schools? The best place to post imo would be Teenagers. I'm sorry you are in this situation when you are so recently bereaved but you are going to have be kick-arse about it I think. Can you make an appt with her head of year, tutor and/or headteacher and go through your concerns with them and find out what services are available to you? She's 11, you need to deal with this asap.

pointylug Sat 05-Feb-11 14:36:17

I don't believe it can, butterfly.

My dds walk to school. I cannot see what they do at that time. At school, they can go into town for lunch. Also at school, quite a few kids smoke in the toilets. Happened when I was at school too.

The dds walk home from school. I get home about one hour plus after them.

Therefore, it is completely impossible for me to police my dds all the time. You are being unrealistic.

bubblewrapped Sat 05-Feb-11 14:36:53

I was polite to everyone (except my mum a lot of the time ), I was top of my class in most subjects, I had piano lessons, I was in the girl guides, and swam for my town team. I was also a smoker. It doesnt make you a nasty person, just a silly one. But you cant be told that at 11, or for a good few years after that either, as you think you have just reached maturity and no it all.

I have seen heavy handed parents end up with no relationship at all with their kids, because they say it all in black and white terms, and never tried to put themselves in the childs head. My parents best friends were so strict on their son that he left home as soon as he could, and now keeps them at a distance as he doesnt want their (his words) victorian disapproval of the more relaxed way he raises his children.

I am not saying you should be best mates with your child. That is the other end of the spectrum. You have to be in control, but as the saying goes, you have to pick your battles carefully. You have to have your childs respect, but you also have to try and see it from their perspective and understand that you cannot control everything that they do, but ultimately you want a child that isnt too scared to come to you if they have a problem, because they think you will go off at the deep end.

duchesse Sat 05-Feb-11 14:37:29

I can only applaud Tiffany for her pro-activeness actually. I pity the poor children whose parents don't actually care enough to try to stop them getting into serious mischief. Schools would be much nicer places if every parent were like Tiffany.

Lamorna Sat 05-Feb-11 14:38:25

I think that duchesse has sensible advice, don't deal with it alone.

TheButterflyCollector Sat 05-Feb-11 14:39:59

I don't consider it unrealistic at all, pointylug. It's really not difficult. Your children might have gone here there and everywhere at that age, but that doesn't mean that they couldn't have been prevented from doing so had you chosen to. For different reasons to the OPs I know that it is perfectly possible to supervise a child of that age and even older all the time if necessary.

TheButterflyCollector Sat 05-Feb-11 14:43:25

Sorry, pointylug, I've re-read and realised that it looks like I'm saying that you should have prevented your children from going here there and everywhere, which is not what I meant.

TakeItOnTheChins Sat 05-Feb-11 16:52:55

As for a child grabbing an opportunity to smoke "just before going into the house" - rubbish.

Someone who has JUST had a cigarette stinks. Their breath stinks, their hair stinks and their skin stinks.

You can tell if someone's had a fag in the last half hour or so, regardless of how much gum they chew or how much perfume they spray around.

TakeItOnTheChins Sat 05-Feb-11 16:53:56

To clarify - yes of course a child CAN smoke before it comes into the house - but it seems to be suggested that it is possible for them to do that and not be found out.

Thingumy Sat 05-Feb-11 16:57:57

You have to be 18 to buy tobacco products.

She is 7 years too young.

How would you feel if it was alcohol?

Would you let her drink in the house at 11?

Takeitonthechin, that is exactly what i did, i was adding my experience to the thread, like everyone else thank you very much. and no, i wasnt found out for quite a while. the only thing that smelt was my coat, but as i caught a bus with a load of older girls smoking, it was going to wasnt it - or so i said wink besides, we always got in from school and washed and changed. Other than that, i was a straight A student with glowing reports from everyone, they had no reason to think i was doing anything i shouldnt be, god i got away with a lot!

This scares me! I thought attitudes to smoking had changed but my friend's DDs are in yr 7 and 8 and both say they have lots of friends who smoke.

I think really that everything should be done to stop them. It is so harmful.

I smoked when I was 16, even then my parents tried (and failed) to stop me, but I had a Saturday job and could legally buy cigarettes so there was not much they could do then. Also their tactics were questionable - my dad buying me strong French cigars to try and put me off! hmm I wouldn't recommend that approach.

LisaD1 Sat 05-Feb-11 17:29:50

I'm sorry for your loss, and I would imagine this is a major factor in your dd's rebellion? She lost her dad, she's no doubt hurt and angry and not much makes sense any more. I would suggest counselling and getting the school involved. Until she does as she is told, ie stops smoking, she is grounded, let her go to school under the very watchful eyes of the teachers (assuming they can help) then it's straight home, I would do this for 4 weeks minimum and then slowly reintroduce some freedom but she must prove she can be trusted, the first whiff of smoke and she's grounded again.

That's what I would do if in your situation, I think anyway, hard to say for sure.

bubblewrapped Sat 05-Feb-11 17:38:48

I dont think it is the responsibility of the teachers unless the pupil is caught smoking within the school grounds.

Teachers have enough to do without having to keep an eye on pupils for misdemeanours that do not have any bearing on their education.

tralalala Sat 05-Feb-11 17:46:42

I smoked at 11 and believe this was directly down to my mum leaving us and my parents spliting up (abet temporarily), I was angry at her and wanted to hurt her.

Has your DD had counselling over her dad?

Also their is an Alan Carr stop your kids smoking book (not the comedian!) that's meatn to be good.

Whatever you do don't allow her to smoke, kids secretly like their parents not letting them do all sorts, makes them feel loved.

My friend that lost her DH was told that it is very common for those left behind to be much more lax with their childdren, as is very understandable, but in long the run is counterproductive as instead of the child feeling lucky (or spoilt or whatever), they feel scared at the lack of boundraies.

GypsyMoth Sat 05-Feb-11 18:29:33

bubblewrapped....if you'd read my post you'd see i text the parents....because they were BUYING the cigarettes and PROVIDING my dd with them!!!!!!!

bubblewrapped Sat 05-Feb-11 18:31:29

They were buying cigarettes for their own children. Not for your daughter.

Their children were presumably providing your daughter with her cigarettes.

sharon2609 Sat 05-Feb-11 18:50:10

Tell her she smells like an ash tray when she comes in wink

Tiffany - I think you did exactly the right thing...not sure how anyone can justify not doing the same.

sharon2609 Sat 05-Feb-11 20:01:05

It is possible to keep children under control 24 hrs a day but it would make everyone's life an absolute misery and run the risk of turning the children into outcasts with their peers.

There must come a point when children are allowed some responsibility and freedom, with this comes the risk that they will run into trouble.

Not all parents have the luxory of not having to work and so the children have to walk to/from school on their own at some point.

redflag Sat 05-Feb-11 20:05:46

This may not be possible in your situation, but here is what i would do. Take her to school, pick her up. Tell her teachers she smokes, contact nhs direct stop smoking helpline.

Take the bull by the horns and be militant.

That's what i would do, but i think i may be a bit of a mentalist.

Best of luck though x

itsybitsy08 Sat 05-Feb-11 20:20:56

Tbh, i think if she is going to smoke, she is going to smoke. Im not saying you should 'let' her, but i would not come down too heavy handed, you risk alienating her. It sounds like she has been through a lot recently, which may also have a bearing on her behaviour. You sound like you are doing all you can - stop pocket money etc.

I started to smoke at a similar age, my parents were furious, as they are very anti-smoking. They took all my money sources away, so i just smoked my friends. They gave me lectures about my health but i thought i was immortal so ignored them. They screamed and shouted so i screamed and shouted back. My mam would smell my hands when i came home, she knew id been smoking if they smelled of soap, so i outwitted her by smoking with plastic gloves on. The more they came down on me, the more suffocated i felt, the more i smoked and the more determined i was to.

I think if i had a feeling of disappointment and disapproval rather than rage, i may of grew out it - most of my friends did.

FabbyChic Sat 05-Feb-11 20:23:11

You could say to her that you understand she smokes, and whilst you can do nothing about it you don't like it.

Tell her that she is not to smoke near you and you do not wish to see her smoking, that you will not pay for her cigarettes, but reinstate her pocket money.

What she does with it is up to her she wants to waste it on smokes sobeit.

pointylug Sat 05-Feb-11 21:04:24

"It is possible to keep children under control 24 hrs a day"


Thingumy Sat 05-Feb-11 21:17:24

'What she does with it is up to her she wants to waste it on smokes sobeit.'

I would find that hard to say to a 11 year old.

sharon2609 Sat 05-Feb-11 21:19:16

Pointy.....I was being sarcastic

bubblewrapped Sat 05-Feb-11 21:20:39

Hard, but so long as you dont give her any other money, she will soon realise that cigs are bloody expensive, and she might want other things. In which case, she would have to cut out buying the cigs.

When I was 12, it was 26p for 10 cigs.. so much much more affordable... nowadays I doubt it would be so easy for a kid to afford cigs.

sharon2609 Sat 05-Feb-11 21:21:12

It is IMPOSSIBLE to monitor children all the time.....IMPOSSIBLE

cheechee Sat 05-Feb-11 21:24:15

Not if you don't let them out. grin i would take her and pick her up from school, in my pj's for effect! Go and sit with her at lunch time, extra humiliation also in pj's. She is 11 not 17.

porcamiseria Sat 05-Feb-11 21:25:09

so sorry for you, must be hard, she must be still bereaved too no?

I agree you cant monitor them 24/7

and some kids do start smoking young, I did! I still smoke 4 a day

but you do need to try and do something, just for your peace of mind

Fags are bloody costly, so maybe cut pocket money and tell her WHY

but also have a chat, for example I started smoking to get into a cool gang. try to find out WHY she is smoking, and see if you can bribe her with something she wants if she gives up

duchesse Sat 05-Feb-11 21:29:33

I just read on your other thread that your daughter is in junior school (does that mean she's in an 8-13 middle school or the top year of primary?). I think you may find the school very proactive in wanting to deal with it in that case. I can't imagine many primaries turning a blind eye to this sort of behaviour purely because they are likely to have far less of it and their clientele is a lot younger and possibly more in need of protection on that whole than at secondary. I would make an appointment to see her teacher and headteacher. I feel that they may be harder to deal with than the equivalent in secondary and may take a harder line on it towards your daughter, but I still feel it's really important that you bring your daughter back into the fold. You need to find out everything you can about who she's hanging out with, where she's smoking and how they get the ciggies. Is she coming straight home from school? Does she have to walk any siblings home? Are you able to pick them/her up for a few weeks?

GreenAmy Sat 05-Feb-11 22:02:03

She is still in junior school and although I have to work these days I I have both her and her younger sister taken to school (I usually do this) and collected.

I have spoken to her school they say that they would make me aware if they caught her smoking or caught her with cigarettes. They say smoking is not a problem on school premises.

She had a talking to by her school headmaster.

Yes I have shown her videos of diseased lungs, heart and so on. I recall her coming home from school one day telling me she will never smoke after they had a class about the dangers of smoking. It seems like yesterday.

I also told her she smells many times, she shrugs at this

She had bereavement counselling and has not suffered bad dreams for ages now. I have been in touch with her councillor who advises me very much on the lines of pointylug advice

She does figure skating (which I take her to) and swimming with her friends on Sundays.

She was grounded for two weeks when I first caught her smoking. I was so shocked when I became aware she was smoking again, she was grounded until Christmas but since Christmas I have not been so strict in keeping her in, although she has a 6pm curfew which does not give her much time week days.

I check up on her too, when she goes to her friends for example.

I have not given her things back so far, neither have I restated her allowance, the only money she gets is for her dinner - and her school is instructed to ring me if she has not got it.

There are things like the Wii I can not take off her as it be punishing her sister too

At first she would deny she smokes now when I challenge her she admits it. Many of my family smoke, a lot of her teen cousins smoke.

I have offered bribes too.

However I a also so worry of her getting taken advantage of.

bubblewrapped Sat 05-Feb-11 22:04:39

However I a also so worry of her getting taken advantage of

that sounds like more of a separate issue than about the smoking?

sharon2609 Sat 05-Feb-11 22:07:06

Do you know how /where she is getting the fags from?

GreenAmy Sun 06-Feb-11 14:05:48

I do not know where she gets her cigarettes from. Non of her close friends smoke as far as I know. I suspect one or two of her cousins, I also wonder if one or both sets of grandparents are giving her money. I told everyone not to give her money for Christmas but caught my mother giving her £25. They see this sweet pretty, polite girl. They were strict with me, but so easy going with their GC. MY PIL have been so awkward since their son died. Perhaps my neighbours 16 year old. I do not think she is stealing them from anywhere, I hope not.

But all she says is "friends".

I have been thinking a lot overnight about the answers I got, most of you are right, but I am in Catch 22 situation. I can not cave in now because the last 3 months would have been for nothing and the message I am sending to her that in future all she needs to do is hold out.

Yet if I don't all I am doing is breading more and more resentment and achieving nothing. Can I really keep punishing her for ever, days are getting lighter, she will want to be out more and i can't keep her locked up.

Is she definitely smoking? Not just saying she is to get attention or something? Because if none of her friends smoke it is kind of odd that without money she could be.

GreenAmy Sun 06-Feb-11 14:15:10

Yes, she is obviously not smoking a lot, but she is, I caught her twice.

pointylug Sun 06-Feb-11 14:48:32

No, I don't think you can punish her forever.

Is she in with a bad crowd? Do you think smoking will soonb turn to drinking and trouble with the police etc?

GreenAmy Sun 06-Feb-11 15:17:40

She isn't with a bad crowd, she went to a wedding, she was a bridesmaid and the other bridesmaids where older teens and twenties, she was offered a cigarette.

I worry that she might drive her into a bad crowd and into bad situations.

ChippingInSmellyCheeseFreak Sun 06-Feb-11 15:33:53

No matter what you do, you will have people say you are doing the right/wrong thing.

A lot of it depends on her nature, how she's coping having lost her Dad & why she's smoking. Without the answers to those questions it's hard to say. I would do a lot more talking and more counselling.

However, if I had got to the bottom of it and just figured she was smoking 'because' and couldn't be stopped by talking to her etc then I would come down really hard. She's 11 - it's better to get some boundaries set now! You are and you will be 'in charge', what you say goes. If you start 'just letting her because you can't figure out how to stop her' - her teenage years will be hell.

I would tell her that if she smells of smoke/is caught again, I will do the following (and mean it):

- Take her to the classroom door, hand her over to her teacher.

- Pick her up from the classroom door.

- Get the school to have her sit outside the office/staff room on her breaks & in her lunch hour.

- Get her accompanied on bathroom breaks.

- Do not let her go out anywhere on her own.

- If you take her out she doesn't even get to go for a wee without you going to the ladies as well.

You can supervise her (or have her supervised) pretty much 24/7.

Tell her she can stop this routine anytime she she is willing to stop smoking.

Tell her if you smell smoke on her or catch her smoking you will start this again and it will be in place for a full half term - no matter what she says.

Tough love.

This is about a lot more than just smoking, it is about setting up boundaries and behaviours for her teenage years. It's about showing her that if she can't do as she is told off her own back, then you will ensure she does it. You will keep her safe, you will love her enough to be tough with her.

C0FFEE Sun 06-Feb-11 21:20:10

Hard one this!

I think I would try and convince my DD not to smoke if she ever starts but it's not alcohol or drugs. I would save my battles

Marney Sun 06-Feb-11 22:51:21

I dont think ordering her not to smoke would help its so addictive I think you need to discuss the reasons it is such a destructive thing to do How she will struggle to pay for the habit and things she may not be able to afford as an adult such as holdays.Then over a weekend or holiday go through it with her spend time with her accept she is going to find it hard and if necessary promise to do without something you will miss at the same time so she sees you struggling as well I started smoking at ten and im totally addicted My parents took the ordering the child not to method and disgusted with you line which didnt help if they had tried to help maybe it would have been better

Janni Sun 06-Feb-11 23:06:22

It sounds as though you've tried all sorts of control and punishment and it hasn't worked. Perhaps your DD is getting some grim satisfaction out of having this major battle with you. She's probably very angry about having lost her father - often the surviving parent gets the punishment!

I'm wondering if it would be worth trying a completely different approach. Could you put your arms around her and tell her, very gently, how much you love her, how much you care about her, how much you want the best in life for her. Tell her you are scared for her and want to work with her to help her make choices that are going to give her a good life - not one where she's addicted and always short of money. I think that it might be worth offering treats if she stops smoking rather than just punishing her for continuing.

It might just be worth trying a different approach for a few weeks. I would hate to be in your situation and I really wish you well x

asdfghjkl123 Tue 06-Aug-13 15:13:46

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

gamerchick Tue 06-Aug-13 15:23:41

My daughter started 1t 13.. I made it really hard for her till she was old enough to smoke.

My sons started and I do the same to him.. you can't stop them doing it but you can make a point of not accepting it under any circumstances. Don't give in and let her.. that's just opening up a whole load of pain for the next few years.

asdfghjkl123 did you revive this thread just to throw that comment out? How very odd! confused

gamerchick Tue 06-Aug-13 15:26:01

ah bugger. I can't even decipher the comment that bumped it up either! grin

ComposHat Tue 06-Aug-13 15:29:17

I wouldn't let her smoke continue to confiscate and lay down the law on smoking. I wouldn't blow it out of all proportion, despite what some anti smoking puritans will have you do. Make your position clear and the sanctions for flouting the ban. But beyond that youre limited in what you can do. At that age she'll be out of your sight for a good portion of the day.

Smoking is a phase a lot of kids go through at roughly that age and in all likelihood she won't become a 80 a day fagash Lil.

ComposHat Tue 06-Aug-13 15:30:28

oh fuck this a zombie thread. Which twunt reactivated it?

Having said that, yes, it's a zombie thread and I spotted it!! but I'm intrigued as to whether the OP did actually manage to stop her DD smoking - and if so, how!

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Tue 06-Aug-13 15:34:39

she's 11. She shouldn't be anywhere you don't know, or with people you don't know. she's a child.

THIS. While it may sometimes be impossible to watch her 24/7 and physically stop her, to do anything remotely to suggest it is acceptable, permissible or to allow her to do so is the most appalling parenting failure.

anklebitersmum Tue 06-Aug-13 15:37:10

I fall into the supervise, supervise, supervise grouping.

Eleven is certainly far too young to be smoking with consent.

I would be keeping the socialising tight, removing her finances and possibly doing some snooping when she is out and about too. You can't stop her having the opportunity to smoke if you allow her out with friends but you can make it a risky proposition as regards getting caught.

Public humiliation is usually the absolute threat..nothing worse than Mum turning up randomly, collecting you from everywhere and marching you round all the local shops telling the shopkeepers in a nice loud voice how old she is.

I wish you luck brew

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Did that work??? grin

OfficerMeow Tue 06-Aug-13 15:42:27

I wonder what happened, this kid is now 13. Is the OP still around?

thegreylady Tue 06-Aug-13 15:44:22

You can't 'let her' smoke that would be very bad parenting and one day, as an adult, she would be justified in turning round and saying,"I was a child.Why didn't you stop me?" If she starts smoking at 11 she could be dead by 40 of a smoking related illness.
But you know that.
You want your lovely dd back and you want to salvage the realationship.Here's how I think you can do it.Tell her once and for all that you do not,cannot and will not condone her smoking.You will tell her when her breath stinks and her clothes smell.You will do nothing to facilitate it either financially or by allowing it in the home.You will destroy any cigarettes or smoking paraphernalia you find.You will hep her when she needs to quit.
From that conversation on you will not mention smoking again unless you have to follow through on the above.You won't ask her if she has been smoking or remind her not to do it.
You love her now and always and will still love her when she is coughing her lungs up in a hospital bed.

thegreylady Tue 06-Aug-13 15:45:03

Oh...all that and it is a Zombie-I am a fool!

ComposHat Tue 06-Aug-13 15:50:00

daughter is probsbly 52 now. bloody zombie thresd

watchingout Tue 06-Aug-13 16:00:10

Well I have just RTT and gained a few insights into what has and hasn't worked so I don't think its been half hour wasted grin
I'd be interested to see if OP is still around and whether DD is still smoking?

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Tue 06-Aug-13 16:03:57

Damn you, zombie thread. I just RT-whole-FT before realising. Would love to hear an update from the OP and if she managed to get through to her daughter.

I'm sad enough to message the OP to ask for an update blush


are you 11?

Oh fuck! blush

For what it's worth I don't think patents should ever tolerate their kids smoking. My parents are very anti cigarettes and wouldn't tolerate me smoking around them now (I'm the best part of 30!) and i really think thats why I've never taken up smoking. My sister in law is 21 and her parents have let her smoke openly in the house since she was 13. She's on 60 a day and its disgusting. I really believe that if they'd made it harder for her to smoke she wouldn't be such a heavy user now.

mrsjay Tue 06-Aug-13 16:13:01

no dont let her smoke dont say oh well she is going to do it anyway , I smoked from about 14 and I wish my mum had been more strict although it was my fault for starting, I wish she had helped me stop but she just said you cant smoke in the house, and back then it was easy to get fags, she must be getting them from somewhere buying them from an older child or stealing them from somewhere, take her to the GP and they can help her stop starting smoking was the worst thing I have done ever, dont condone it

mrsjay Tue 06-Aug-13 16:14:42

oh fuck this a zombie thread. Which twunt reactivated it?

OCHT BUGGER ME teach me for not checking

LimitedEditionLady Tue 06-Aug-13 16:17:46

Im 26,smoked for ten years and im battling right now to quit.Its bloody hard going,if you can stop her,do it.

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[ Tries again! ]

Pinkponiesrock Tue 06-Aug-13 16:20:06

I smoked a bit when I was young and my parents response was if I could afford to waste my money on smoking then I certainly didn't need their money for anything else. A few months with no allowance, bus fares, new clothes etc put a stop to that. I was and still am very into horses so most behaviour could be controlled by removing competing privileges with the horses.

Make it her decision, she can continue to smoke but she will lose everything else, make it clear you do not condone the behaviours but provide any support/help she needs to give up.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 06-Aug-13 16:30:08

Whats a zombie thread justforlaughs?
Can we whack its head off?

foreverondiet Tue 06-Aug-13 17:27:39

I thought you were going to say your DD was 16!

At 11 I wouldn't tolerate or allow it. As well as taking away DS / no allowance / no clothes / no seeing friends after school etc I would also say that I would be taking her and collecting her from school. I would text all her friends parents and also the school to warn them. I wouldn't let her out alone at all. So basically she'd be grounded apart from school.

hardboiledpossum Tue 06-Aug-13 18:05:57

I know this is a zombie thread but im curious as to how people think you can supervise an 11 year old all of the time. At that age my parents both worked full time. My mum got home around 6.30, when i reached secondary school after school clubs were no longer an option. So i was unsupervised from 7.30 am till 6.30 pm most days.

As far as I can see hardboiled the people who think you can supervise an 11 yo all the time, don't have 11 yo's as yet. wink

ChippingInHopHopHop Tue 06-Aug-13 18:49:53

justforlaughs - not true actually.

Hardboiled - you do what you have to do and if that means taking time off of work to deal with this, then that's what you do. Or organise a childminder etc It's easy enough if you want to do it.

It's always interesting to read an OP, realise it's a zombie thread and know, even 4 years later - that your answer is still the same smile

LimitedEditionLady Tue 06-Aug-13 18:51:43

You cant stop her,you can try amd talk to her calmly and put her off it but it if shes going to do it shes going to do it.She will hide it from you.I know this can be done as my family still dont know i smoke and now im a mum....

hardboiledpossum Tue 06-Aug-13 19:04:25

Chipping , my parents couldn't take time off work because then the bills wouldn't have got paid, i imagine that is the same for lots of families. I don't think many chikdmnders take on 11 year olds, especially the rebellious kind.

I was 13 when i started smoking and i honestly don't think there was anything my parents could have done to stop me. All punishing me did was push me further away and lead me to be more rebellious. I think you can make your displeasure known and not allow it as such; without coming down hard.

Turniptwirl Tue 06-Aug-13 19:08:40

Post in Teenagers for more sympathetic and helpful response from people who don't just have perfect 5 year olds-

MrsHoarder Tue 06-Aug-13 19:12:54


ChippingInHopHopHop Tue 06-Aug-13 23:35:04

Post in Teenagers for more sympathetic and helpful response from people who don't just have perfect 5 year olds

It has been mentioned smile It has also been mentioned that it's incorrect. Perhaphs you should try reading the thread smile

Hardboiled - when you have an 11 year old smoking, you need to do what you need to do. Annual leave, family leave, find a childminder who will take an 11 year old, rope in friends/family - it can be done if it's important enough to you, to do it <shrug>

Readallaboutit1 Wed 07-Aug-13 04:14:03

Stealth that is an excellent point.

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