Online Parent Support Chat


New discovery in accurately diagnosing anything...

Please see the new discovery in accurately diagnosing anything including different sub-types of ADD, which can help in prescribing more effective course of treatment:

This method can also be used to show how well any given prognosis is taking effect.


Am I Being Too Strict?

Hi Mark...

My 17-year old daughter, H_____, has been experimenting with drinking and was recently arrested for a DUI (twice the legal limit for intoxication). She totaled her car, but luckily she did not encounter anyone else on the highway - she just hit an embankment.

I only had liability insurance on her car, so there will not be any insurance money provided to cover the cost of replacing the car, and I'm a single parent, so I cannot afford to buy her another one. It took all of my 401K to buy the one she just totaled.

I have grounded her for 2 months, not allowing her to hang out with friends, etc., and this has been really hard on her, and she keeps wanting me to suspend the rest of the grounding as its been a month already and she's learned her lesson. I am sticking to my guns to make her learn an important lesson more thoroughly.

She is still allowed to talk on the phone, and she can see her boyfriend if he attends church on Sunday or Wednesday when she is there. Other than that, she's not allowed to see her friends. Do you think I am being too strict? What do I need to do to get through to her, as she is still quite rebellious?


Hi D.,

I don’t have much to add. Are you being too strict? Well, 2 months is typically too long of a grounding-period for anything, including drinking and driving. I would say she has successfully experienced a “natural” consequence associated with her poor choice (i.e., lost her car).

One question however: What did she do to “earn” that car before she destroyed it? Or, was it a free handout? If she did nothing to “earn” her vehicle, then it doesn’t surprise me that it is torn up.

I “gave” my son a car – he had it destroyed within a two-month period. He had to pay for his next vehicle with his own money – now he washes and waxes the thing every weekend.


I'm nearly sick to my stomach...


I'm nearly sick to my stomach about my situation ...have a 15 (almost 16 yr. old) who consistently defies our authority. Of course, I could run down the whole list and check nearly every Bipolar/ADHD/ODD symptom. When do you know these kids need more help than you can give them?



I would say you are at that point now (i.e., you probably need some outside assistance).

The solution to your situation will need to be twofold:

1. Pharmacotherapy -- you may want to take your child to a psychiatrist, especially if he has symptoms of bipolar

2. Parental interventions -- click here


ok... I have tried everything else I can think of...

ok... I have tried everything else I can think of.
I came across this website and decided to try this OPS.
What I really need is to hear from some parents who
thinks this works.

A little background about me and my son:

I am a single mom. I adopted my son when he was two year old. I found out when he was about 8 that he was victim of fetal alcohol syndrone. His behavior started to change about that time also. He ran away for the first time when he was 10, then again when he was 12. He is now 14 and completely out of control. He is a chronic liar and willie to the bitter end when confronted. He has stolen money from my purse on several occasions, he is completely disrespectful, He will not obey rules, thinks he can do whatever he wants and when he wants to. If he is grounded, he leaves the house anyway and does what ever he wants to do. I don't even know what age he started having sex at. I recently found a letter written to him by an 18 year old girl that detailed in a very explicit manner a sexual encounter she had with him at school in the bathroom. He does not think I have the right to discipline him and does not listen to anything I try to tell him. I found a pornographic dvd in the dvd player in the family room. I found cd's in his room that had filthy demeaning lyrics. The last straw brought me almost to the breaking point. I confronted him about the cd's and exploded into a yelling match with him. I had a roll of Christmas wrapping paper in my hand and I hit him with it several times. He yelled and me "hold UP' and shoved me into the wall. I think i was in a state of shock and I stopped struggling with him. I was on the brink of picking up something to hurt him. He ran from the house cursing me. He sneaked back into the house sometime in the middle of the night and had the nerve to ask me to take him to a football game the next day. There is a dead bolt lock on my bedroom door because I do not trust him. This is my last resort to charging him with incorrigibility.


It sounds like your son has no respect for you. The ebook touches on this a lot. There's a chapter "Anger Management" that addresses this. You may want to check that out. -- C.C.


I would agree. He has no respect for her. I went through this with my daughter. I discovered that being nice doesn't work. It's all about tuff luv. -- A.M.


How does this site work...

Thank you for your response to ODD/ADD! My daughter has just about every issue listed. She is tearing our family apart and causing loved ones to stay away. She was diagnosed with ADHD at 7 and then just ADD about a year ago at 13. Taking Stratera and I see no difference at all. I have no control and counseling seems to hold no hope.

My daughter makes us feel as though we "owe" her. If one thing does not fit her we all have to pay prices. Her stepfather does not even want to be at home when she is. I wake up in the morning worried what will happen today and always fear pulling in the driveway after work. How does this site work and will it help me with my struggle to gain a "normal" life? Thanks


Online Parent Support (OPS) has numerous resources. It is the #1 website for parent support on the internet. Members of OPS attend - online - a course that teachers them how to deal with their strong-willed, out of control teens and pre-teens. Plus they have access to ongoing parent coaching from the OPS staff.


How do you figure out if your child has ODD/ADD...

How do you figure out if your child has ODD/ADD
without all the costly Dr's appointments?


If your child has only four of the following characteristics, she/he is
ODD. And ODD never travels alone, so it wouldn't be surprising if he/she
has some ADHD symptoms going on as well. 30% to 40% of ADHD kids also
have ODD:

1. Often loses temper
2. Often argues with adults
3. Often actively defies or refuses to comply with adults' requests or rules
4. Often deliberately annoys people
5. Often blames others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior
6. Is often touchy or easily annoyed by others
7. Is often angry and resentful
8. Is often spiteful and vindictive

All of the criteria above include the word "often". Recent studies have
shown that these behaviors occur to a varying degree in all children.
Thus, researchers have found that the "often" is best solved by the
following criteria.

Has occurred at all during the last three months:
· Is spiteful and vindictive
· Blames others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior

Occurs at least twice a week:
· Is touchy or easily annoyed by others
· Loses temper
· Argues with adults
· Actively defies or refuses to comply with adults' requests or rules

Occurs at least four times per week:
· Is angry and resentful
· Deliberately annoys people

For a free report on ODD and ADHD, click here:

I am the parent of two children...

Hello all.

I am the parent of two children. Both my children were troubled and life was challenging, to say the least, for several decades. I have a website devoted to parenting of troubled teens. See and have an eBook available that addresses the subject of surviving the experience of parenting troubled teenagers.

Check it out! I'd be happy to pass along wisdom I've gained in the 20+ years of parenting troubled children. You can email me at:

Best of luck to all of you!


ADHD and Fish Oil

Comment from parent re: treating ADHD w/fishoil:

I think natural remedies for ADD/ADHD are the best, but the problem is if you have a child who is truly ADD (like my daughter), you can’t take them off the meds while they are taking fish oil [a natural treatment for ADD/ADHD] because they’ll flunk out of school during the “trial” year.

I’m really in a dilemma with her, because she turns 18 this week and our insurance won’t pay for ADD meds for “adults.” She has 18 months of high school left, and then wants to attend college.

She has “outgrown” the hyperactivity over the years, but her ability to concentrate, especially if there is auditory/visual distraction, is very minimal. Coping strategies help some, but I have struggled with ADD myself for my entire life and know how exhausting it is. I also know the price you pay socially, personally and professionally when your strategies fail, and would like to spare her some of that pain. Unfortunately, I don’t see how that’s possible.



Here's the deal with all the ADD people I have ever known:

They cannot concentrate well on subject matter that is of little interest to them; however, they are mac daddy focused on stimuli that is of interest to them.

Case in point: I loved psychology in college. Everyone else had their little tape recorders and note pads and spent the whole lecture time writing. I just listened -- no notes, no tape recording.
The professor even cornered me one day and asked how it is that I am getting a damn-near perfect "A" in the class without notes and recordings. I just told him that I enjoyed the material.

Now you're really going to hear my bias. I truly believe that quote ADD unquote is nothing more than an extreme case of selective attention - think about it.

I'm sure daughter has some things in life that she catches onto very quickly and effortlessly, and I bet these are the things she truly enjoys.

In any event, you're right. In those worst-case scenarios where the child simply cannot function -- in the social sense -- without standard meds, she should be on them.

I believe that "academic problems" have more to do with social insecurity and a low-confidence level than a bio-chemical imbalance in the brain (kind of a low grade generalized anxiety).



Give me a ray of hope...

I am a mother of 2 teen boys, 16 and 17! The 16 yr old has ADD, OCD, Tourette's, and has some symptoms of bipolar. The 17 yr old is hypermanic. We don't see depression, but tons of anxiety and worry about everything and everyone. Unfortunately, I am just recovering from my 2nd bout with breast cancer in March. I'm sooo very lucky to have caught it early and have a good prognosis, but it's been an amazingly hard road to travel with all of this extra baggage. To top it all off, there is a huge problem in our family due to my husband, their stepfather, and I do not agree on anything anymore. When rages come up, messes are left, or problems come up, his first instinct is to yell, threaten, and humiliate. He is very overwhelmed too. I love my husband and my kids and we need to try to work things out, but I don't know if I have the strength anymore. I have joined your support group this morning in hopes that I may find one person who can relate to something and! Give me a ray of hope. I'm sorry about my long story, but it's real. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Terri



Hi Terri,

Just a note to say I am so glad you are a member of Online Parent Support. You obviously have your hands full and are under a great deal of stress.

Let me provide some encouragement here. In my day job, I work with parents that – believe it or not – are in the same boat as you. All of my adolescent clients suffer with either oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) or conduct disorder (CD) -- PLUS some other disorder.

ODD and CD never travel alone. They always exist alongside some other disorder such as ADHD, Bipolar, OCD, Tourette’s, Asperger’s, Autism, depression, anxiety, etc.

So the program you are using (i.e., My Out-of-Control Teen eBook and Online Parent Support) is designed precisely for parents such as yourself. I’ll be available to help you along the way over the next several months – if not years.

It will be very important for your husband to be on the same page as you. So please invite him to learn the material along WITH you.

Now …I have a huge favor to ask. Please forward this email to any friends or colleagues who may benefit from Online Parent Support as well.

Thank you. I’ll look forward to hearing from you,



Teen Calls Cops On Parent

What can you do when your teen has "learned the system" so to speak and threatens you at every turn to call C.P.S.?

Our 15 year old seems to only be getting bigger and more cunning. We have dealt with 2 C.P.S. investigations which were dismissed, yet they took their toll of my marriage and life. I can honestly say that I am at wits end. Help!


When teens call the cops on the parent, it is always the case that parent & child are in a power struggle. And unfortunately, the kid usually wins in the end simply because he/she has very little to lose relative to the parent.

Power struggles can create frustration, anger and resentment on the part of the parent and the teen. Resentment can cause a further breakdown of communication until it seems as if all you do is argue with your teen.

In order to end such arguments, it must be the parent that begins to take charge in a positive way. However, the most effective step, to simply stop arguing, can also be the most difficult. It sounds quite simple, just stop arguing, but in reality, it takes discipline and effort to change the pattern of behavior.

By refusing to participate in the argument, the power of the "out-of-control" teen disappears. The teen only continues to have power over you if you allow him to.

To stop the power struggle, prepare yourself ahead of time. Sit down, after your kid is in bed for the night and it is quiet, and make a list of the times that you most often argue. Is it getting ready for school, doing homework, completing chores, getting ready for bed, etc?

For each situation, determine a few choices that you can give your teen. When preparing the choices, make sure to list only those that you are willing to carry out. If, for example, you are not willing to pick up your kids and bring them to school in their pajamas, don’t threaten to or they will know that they still have control of the situation.

Once you have decided on the choices you will give your teen, stick to them and practice your self-control to not yell. Walk away, leave the room, and wait outside if you have to. But an argument can only happen if there is more than one person. With just one person, it is simply a temper tantrum.

I hope this helps!



My child will be 18 in March and he is so out of control, drugs, cutting, school, disrespect, running away for months at a time -- you name it. Is there really something I can do for him before the "golden birthday"? My husband and I are at wits end. Out of sheer desperation we want to tell him on his 18 birthday “good riddens,” yet I know he'll never survive, and I don't want my child being another statistic. My son will NOT attend counseling and runs away if I suggest it. Someone please HELP!


It sounds like you will be reluctant to kick him out at age 18. Which means you'll still have to live with him and his behavior. Thus, please join Online Parent Support. Here you'll get the information, the consultation, and the support you obviously will be needing over the next several weeks, months -- and even years.

CLICK HERE to join. The sooner, the better.


Re: Boot Camp

Has anyone sent their son or daughter to boot camp? If so, did it help? Are there any you can recommend?

These type of programs are designed as a quick fix and may help a struggling teen with respect, obedience and appreciation. However, they are not a good long term option for teens that need help. Recidivism rates suggest that they are not a good solution for long term change.

More info here...

Join Online Parent Support


Re: Autism

Would anybody happen to have first hand experience in dealing with an autistic child? We have some concerns about our 'soon-to-be' 4-year-old?

I don't have an autistic child, but I can tell you what I know about it:It's a brain disorder that interferes with a person's ability to communicate with and relate to others. It usually develops before a child is 3 years old, although the condition is sometimes not diagnosed until later. Typically, parents first become concerned when they notice that their toddler doesn't begin to talk or doesn't respond and interact like other children of the same age. Toddlers with autism don't usually develop speech normally and may seem to be deaf.Also, autism tends to run in families, suggesting a genetic link. Some experts also believe that environmental factors may play a part in causing autism. But in any case, a cause has not been identified yet.

I don't have an autistic child, but I was one. I remember my parents telling me how when they put me to sleep in my cribe they’d give me old newspapers and sheets of scrap paper to tear up. I’d spread them around me, lie down and go to sleep.They did a great job of dealing with my autism creatively. My father, a lawyer, could afford to send me to a good school where I got help from empathic teachers, therapists and psychiatrists. My own efforts and persistence also helped.Today, I'm a landscaper ...I'm married and have one daughter. So don't let any one tell you that autism if a 'death-sentence' -- far from it.

Join Online Parent Support

Be a good listener...

Have you ever talked on the telephone while watching TV, folding clothes, or surfing the Internet? Have you ever felt that the person you were talking to was nodding and saying "uh-huh" in appropriate places but not really listening to you? The message conveyed in these examples is that the listener has higher priorities than giving full attention to the speaker. That message can make the speaker feel unimportant, frustrated, and hurt.

Good listening is one of the most important skills we as parents can develop. We want to strengthen our relationships with our children, and one of the best ways to do this is through our active, caring listening. Our undivided attention to what our children are saying tells them that they are important to us. It shows that we value them as individuals; we care about them and every part of their lives. Also, we can teach them to be good listeners by modeling good listening skills.

Mark H.