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Shall I cut my 15 year old (fag ash lil) daughter some slack as she has had a glowing report

(36 Posts)
GetOrf Fri 24-Jun-11 11:16:25

Found out this week that my daughter has been smoking. I have been furious, taken away her allowance and dinner money. Stupid child didn't even try to hide the fact she had had a cigarette like NORMAL teenagers and eat a packet of mints, she just gave me a kiss and she stank of smoke.

Anyway, have been pissed off with her all week.

Last night was parents' evening at her school. She is year 10, badly dyslexic and has really struggled at school and has been terrified of the exams. All her teachers really sang her praises - it was the best parents' evening she has ever had, and the teachers said she was a lovely girl, a credit to me, really contributes well in lessons, and is on course to get all A* to B in all her exams.

We then were invited to a ceremony in the cathedral (is award ceremony for students from all 15 senior schools in Gloucester) where she won an award for community and citizenship, and also an award for sport.

She is a good kid. She never misbehaves and the only thing I have ever caught her doing wrong is smking (and the spending of her allowance/dinner/bus money on fags). I give her her allowance and bus/dinner money in a lump sum in the back every month, perhaps it was my fault for being stupid and giving her so much money to manage. However I have always though she has budgeted very well, has never run out of money and come cap in hand asking for more, has always managed to save etc.

Should I cut her some slack re the smoking because she is so good in every other respect?

MovingtoSolihull Fri 24-Jun-11 11:19:38

Nope.

Why ? I dont think the two things are related in any way.

I could understand being annoyed with her and then giving her some slack if you were a smoker ... but if you dont smoke ... then I would be banging on about it for ever.

(congrats on the awards though, she sounds like a great girl)

ComeWhineWithMe Fri 24-Jun-11 11:23:59

No don't cut her any slack.

You can shake your head sadly and say "For such a clever girl how could you do something so stupid?"

Well done on her getting the award though.

JoleneJoleneJoleneJoleeene Fri 24-Jun-11 11:25:13

No, smoking is going to effect her future a lot more than those grades if she doesn't stop.

BitOfFun Fri 24-Jun-11 11:26:59

Yes. Give her a chance to not do it again, and to be the apple of your eye again. You've made your point.

AmberLeaf Fri 24-Jun-11 11:28:07

Yes.

Well done to her for doing so very well.

Just shows that even silly girl smoking rebels can pull it together and work hard.

GetOrf Fri 24-Jun-11 11:28:37

Oh no I don't mean that I would let her smoke - I will still be zero tolerance on that.

I mean that I have grounded her for a month and cut all her allowance. I was thinking of letting her go out at the weekends (she has got things planned with cadets and is gutted to be missing those) and giving her some of her allowance back, but in dribs and drabs (not the whole allowabce and bus money etc every month like I used to - she will have to work on convicing me she is not smoking before I give it her back).

noddyholder Fri 24-Jun-11 11:30:41

She sounds great. All teens experiment with smoking. I know my ds has/does but he doesn't smoke regularly and never really smells of it so I believe him. He knows we are very anti and he does respect it but I know he puffs with his mates from time to time.

GetOrf Fri 24-Jun-11 11:32:10

Sorry x posts everyone.

It was lovely to hear how well she is doing - she has only been at this school 18 months (I moved her from her last school because she was so badly bullied) and this is such a different school (the last one was a grammar, this one a stereotypical rough city comp) and she has just embraced it, I really thought she had had it with school when she was being bullied. I think she is a brilliant girl (of course I do, I am her mum grin) but to hear all her teachers sing her praises, I was delighted.

WHY WHY did she start smoking when she is so sporty and used to have asthma? Daft kid. I am so paranoid also that she starts smoking pot - that is my absolute worst fear.

GetOrf Fri 24-Jun-11 11:37:37

Thanks everyone.

Noddy that sounds a very philosophical way of dealing with it actually. I almostwish dd had had the sense to try and hide the smell of cigarette smoke.

She hangs round with lots of lads who are older than she is (from 16 to 19) at cadets and I think they are all puffing billies. She swears that she hasn't spent any money on fags, she cadges cigarettes off of them hmm.

MovingtoSolihull Fri 24-Jun-11 11:38:01

In that case then yes, I would give her some slack like you suggested.

Maybe she is just trying to be cool with her new friends ?

Your absolute worst fear is a lot less than mine grin, but honestly the two things do not automatically correlate grin

TheOriginalFAB Fri 24-Jun-11 11:40:13

No. Not related at all. It is like saying as she tided up it is okay that she got pissed or took drugs. Smoking is disgusting, wastes money, can make you ill or kill you and makes things for other people around her unpleasant.

LaurieFairyCake Fri 24-Jun-11 11:40:43

I hate smoking and I'd never take it up myself. It's clear you have made your point on numerous occasions about how unhealthy it is for her because of her asthma and her sport.

At some point though you have to let her make her own decisions about her body. I would provide the bus pass and pay the school the dinner money and I would separately give her the allowance for whatever she wants to spend it on.

I would also say she is not allowed to smoke in the house and you do not want to see her smoking and I would continue to reinforce the message about how unhealthy it is (I'd arrange for her to see some smokers lungs in a jar).

I would not punish her for you 'knowing' she is smoking as she is very shortly going to be of the age to get married and kill for her country. I would let her make the decision about smoking herself while all the while saying you disapprove yada-yada.

TheOriginalFAB Fri 24-Jun-11 11:42:02

<must read all thread before replying>

omaoma Fri 24-Jun-11 11:46:29

hmm. I think i would possibly alter the punishment but not remove it completely. sticking by your principles is not a bad thing.
You do need to make it clear how ecstatic and proud you are about her achievements. But that doesn't make the smoking right.
I was a very 'good girl' as a teen and used to get v frustrated and angry if i was pulled up on what i regarded as small infractions (eg, cutting one class out of the hundreds i made, getting one detention for something really minor - the only one i ever had!) as it made me feel i couldn't win and wasn't appreciated iyswim.

what about: stick with the original grounding plan in a modified but still serious state - eg, reduce by one weekend/allowing one night out for cadet stuff. but have a good talk with her explaining how proud you are and that it deserves rewarding. ask her to work with you to come with a plan of something she really wants to do, that is important to her (not just a fairly useless 'treat' like eg, a big party or money, but something more long-term, might be something to do with a career path or with the cadet group etc) and you'll help her get there. and properly support it - it might push your boundaries too but you can set conditions/goals she needs to attain on the way to earn your trust/prove she can handle it. that way you both get to learn about what being responsible means and to trust each other

vintageteacups Fri 24-Jun-11 11:48:27

All teens don't experiment with smoking; only ones that are easily led and who aren't strong enough to say no.

I would give her another chance though because she'll only do it more if you tell her not to.

Instead, I'd take away all chances of her getting extra money and if you buy clothes and stuff for her, refuse. That way, she'll have spend the fag money on clothes and make up etc and will hopefully realise that she'd rather go without fags than new clothes.

Also, get her dad to comment on how much she smells. Daughter's respect their dad's a lot more easily than their mums I think. It may well be enough to make her think about not carrying on with it.

BitOfFun Fri 24-Jun-11 11:50:25

I just think that this is too old for "punishments". Stagger her cash, by all means, but don't ground her. Now is when you should be reaping the rewards of your communication together and her growing maturity (minor infractions aside), and rely on your fantastic relationship and your mutual respect. Just TALK, be clear you ate disappointed and what you expect, give her a chance to show she is sorry/explain herself, and continue to just get in with life and stuff.

She obviously can make you proud- so let her.

frantic51 Fri 24-Jun-11 11:55:05

Given that you moved her to a different school because of bullying, I would be inclined to cut her some slack. Talk to her about it rather than going off on one iyswim. It may be that there is a big smoking culture at her school and she has rather more reason to want to be "cool" and fit in than most, given her experiences?

Well done, on the awards and the glowing reports! grin

TrilllianAstra Fri 24-Jun-11 11:55:08

You can be pleased with the report and displeased with the cigarettes at the same time.

Grounding for a month might be a little bit of an overreaction. I would do as BoF says.

GetOrf Fri 24-Jun-11 11:58:13

Thanks very much everyone.

I think I will stop the grounding - seems pointless - and stagger the money back. It has worked with me giving her the child benefit for about 2 years now, she gets all her own clothes, never asks me for money because she manages her own budget. The last thing I want to do is go back to having to micromanage her money for her.

Of course she could have been smoking 10 a day for the last two years, but I would have noticed by now. Daft girl seemed quite astonished that i was so angry, she was all 'well, i didn't think you would kick off mum'

GetOrf Fri 24-Jun-11 12:00:21

I think there is a big smoking culture at her school yes, mind you there were loads of young smokers at her last school as well.

I feel so guilty because I used to smoke myself and gave up for good a couple of years ago. So it's my fault really that she thinks it is acceptable. Gah!

Thanks everyone you have helped me gain a bit pf perspective. Think I will dine out on it a bit though (clean the bathroom, clean the car grin)

noddyholder Fri 24-Jun-11 12:00:35

I really don't think everyone who smokes is weak willed and easily led! They just copy each other and they do it in many areas of life as they grow up. My ds is spectacularly strong willed in many things. I always laugh at my book group where a couple of the mums think their kids don't smoke or drink when in fact I have seen them all do both and one is the local boy in the know if you want cannabis

GetOrf Fri 24-Jun-11 12:05:55

<cries> at the thought of cannabis

noddyholder Fri 24-Jun-11 12:09:19

I know that was my big fear as well. It is rife among teenagers and they think it is nothing. My brother has had a lot of drug problems and my ds knows this and says he would never touch any pills chemicals etc but I know he has tried a few joints and I can tell he doesn't smoke it regularly. He is 17 and has been going to parties/gatherings etc for a couple of years now and has never come in in a state even though we expected it. He has had one hangover after his prom (they all had) but in general my fears have been unfounded and that has made it easy to trust him. The 2 kids I know who are the worst for being out of control are the sons of teachers at the local schools!

LtEveDallas Fri 24-Jun-11 12:14:06

My mum went LOON at me when she caught me smoking - proper LOON, grounded, no cash, no lifts, no clubs and on and on.

25 years later I still smoke......and still hide it from my mum blush

(oh and wasn't weak willed, was doing what my dance teacher said to keep my weight down...yep, really)

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