My mother, sister and brother all live together and they are
heavy smokers. I have been relying on my mother to pick
up my 7-year old daughter after school and keep her until I
can get there after work. When I arrive, there's a thick
cloud of smoke inside. My daughter is spending almost
10 hours a week in this environment. I've asked them to
cut down on smoking when she is there but they say it's their
house. I can't bear to have my daughter stuck in there
for another winter but I don't want to cut her off from the
family. What should I do?
It is their house and they are all (presumably) adults so
you can't dictate whether they smoke or not. However,
your daughter's health and welfare is your primary responsibility.
You need to find
alternative childcare for your daughter now. Check with
the school to see if there's an after-school program she can
attend. Call the local Boys and Girls Club, check with
your church, ask friends about free or inexpensive programs.
Then tell your
mother and your siblings that they are welcome to visit with
you and your daughter on weekends or in the evenings at your
home but that they must smoke outside. Do not look at
this as a punishment for your mother, but as an opportunity
for your child to be in a healthy environment.
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