Ok so my husband and I are guardians of his 17 year old sister and have been for quite a few years. We are the only family she has (mil passed away and her dads whereabouts are unknown, probably jail as usual). I don't have anyone I can really talk to irl because none of my friends have teens (I am only 25).
So I have suspected for a while that she is smoking (in the past before living with us she smoked, was a drug user and drank quite a lot). I didnt ask her about it but I had my suspicions- she started going out the front a fair bit on her phone and occasionally I would get a whif of ciggies on her but since dh and I both smoke I thought maybe it was just me.
Anyway this morning my 7 year old dd pointed out a ciggie on the driveway. Sil said nothing. Then when I put rubbish in the bin I noticed ash in the area where she sits. And just now when I put clothes in her room, I noticed a strong unmistakable smell of ciggies in her room, looked at her wardrobe (i didnt go through it, it was open) and sitting right there was a half smoked ciggie. So thats confirmed my suspicions. I immediately called dh who is away at work and told him, and he said wait til he gets home in a week or so and we will sit down and talk to her. Part of me thinks yes, thats reasonable and the best way to go about it but part of me thinks I should talk to her this afternoon when she gets home from school. I will also be confiscating her phone and laptop indefinitely. Another reason I am angry is because she has just had braces put on and as she is receiving them free of charge (on a government funded program), there are strict conditions she must follow- not smoking is one of them. If she fails to follow these rules she will be taken off the program and dh and I will have to cover the full cost of all treatment etc which we cant afford and she is well aware of that.
Yes I do feel like a hypocrite seeing as dh and I both smoke. And honestly if she was 18 I would be cranky but not much I can do. When she moved in with us it was one of the biggest rules- she wasn't to touch drugs or cigarettes while living under our roof. Honestly if she was an adult, I would still be miffed but couldn't really stop her. However she is not an adult and until she is, its my/our responsibility to deal with these things.
I honestly dont know how to handle this- do I do what dh said and wait the week or possibly 2 until he comes home before dealing with this or would it be better to address it now? I also think she will probably react a lot worse if dh is there- she doesnt see him as an authority figure whereas me she does (at least more so than dh).
He + Me = dd1 (July 2007), dd2 (July 2010), dd3 (August 2012), dd4 (May 2014)
Embrace the chaos