Mom gets teen to behave by giving her cigarettes

Filed under: Teens, Weird But True

cigarettesMy husband and I like to joke that the foundation of good parenting is bribery. Want the kids to clean their rooms, or sort the laundry, or just play nicely for a while? Offer a bribe!

We're kidding, and even when we're not the bribe at our house is something like ten extra minutes of Spongebob Squarepants or a couple of Oreos after lunch. But one British mom is trying something different: she rewards her 13-year-old daughter's good behavior with cigarettes.

Not really the same thing at all.

43-year-old single mom Tracy Holt told this month's Closer magazine about her unorthodox parenting philosophy: "I don't see the point in punishing her. If I ground her, I'm just punishing myself because I have to put up with her in the house. Instead, I reward her good behaviour by giving her cigarettes. If she's bad, she goes without. She's a little comedian. I let her get away with a lot of cheek. It's sweet."

But when 13-year-old Sam isn't being "a little comedian" she's drinking and smoking pot and having sex and getting in trouble at school. Sam lost her virginity at 12 and has had four sexual partners since then, but her mother shrugs it off, saying that at least her first sexual experience wasn't a one-night stand."She had been dating the guy for a couple of weeks." She took her daughter to the doctor the next day for birth control, and tells the girl to use a condom.

Frankly, that seems like more than "a lot of cheek."

Sam currently smokes 15 cigarettes a day; her mother smokes 20. For Tracy Holt, the bottom line is this: "There are a lot worse things she could be doing. We've all got to die sometime. I haven't got cancer from smoking so she'll probably be all right anyway."

I don't even know what to say to that, really.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.