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.

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.

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