Note: Please bear in mind that whilst this topic does canvass opinions, it is not a fight club. You may disagree with other posters but we do ask you please to stick to our Talk Guidelines and to be civil. We don't allow personal attacks or troll-hunting. Do please report any. Thanks, MNHQ.

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??

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now