Online Parent Support Chat


My daughter is 16 and is very difficult...

My daughter is 16 and is very difficult. She was getting good grades in school, did not cut class and was even on the honor roll. These pass two years have been very stressful. She is disrespectful towards me and her grandmother. She talks back, stays out late without calling home. She tried to fight me on several occasions. Today is Christmas, she came in from spending the day with my brother and his family and is upset that her Myspace was taken off by me. She yelled and told me I had no right to take it down (it had to many negative things on there along with pictures). I tried to give her her Christmas present and she snatched it, I took it back and she was ready to fight. She cursed at me for the first time, I just lost it when she did that and blew up at me. This is my child, a part of me that disrespected me far too long. I wanted to put her head through a wall, but I know if I would have done that I would have been in jail. I am at my wits end and don't know where to turn. I need help, some type of resource before one of us ends up hurting the other.

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ODD Boyfriend


I was just wondering if you could answer a few questions for me. My boyfriend is 19 years old and has oppositional defiant disorder and its driving me crazy. It seems like all we do is fight then he apologizes when he finally makes me cry. How can I make a simple convo not turn into an argument about nothing. For example I was waiting for him to finish getting dresses kinda watching him and he freaked out saying how he HATES when i watch him all the time it annoys him. What?! or another is we were talking about actors and I said that i didnt like a certain actor because he was too popular and he said that it wasnt a good enough reason and got really mad and the fight escalated to him calling me a bitch and me crying. I just cant help but "stick up for myself" but is this just fueling the fire? what are some techniques for dealing with this without feeling like im giving in or just agreeing with him all the time. I feel worthless and resentful alot but i also feel guilty for making him feel like he is a mean person all the time. He refuses to see anyone for help because he was pumped full of meds for adhd when he was just 5 and it really messed him up so is there anything i can do? please help. ive looked everywhere on the internet but i just cant find anything about dealing with a spouse or boyfriend with ODD. thank you for your time and i eagerly look forward to your relpy.
Best Regards

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This will be a long email...

Forgive me, as I know this will be a long email. I found your site and I am hoping you can help me somewhat as I am desperate. I want to tell you as much detail as I can hoping you can help me. I am 42, married for 21 years and have 4 kids with my husband. They are 18, 13, 11 and 9. The oldest a boy, the next a girl, boy, girl. I have been a stay at home Mom for almost 18 years. I work part time now, but from home mostly. My husband is an airline pilot and is gone about 14-18 days a month, broken up into a mash of days with each month being different. There is no rhyme or reason to his schedule. He makes decent money, but I hate his career, needless to say. I have known my husband since I was 18 and have basically sacrificed any other career of my own for him to have gotten his wings and for me to raise a family with him. I have a degree, but haven't used it much. Our problem is our 18 year old, J. When he was 5, I lost our third baby at a full 9 months pregnant. So our 9 year old is really my fifth child. We were all devastated, it was very very hard. At that time, my husband was a pilot in the Coast Guard and we lived in Tampa, Fl. He went away every few weeks for about two weeks. So his deployments and regular work schedule left me alone with the kids a lot. I became Mom and Dad and the disciplinarian. Things weren't too bad with the kids til J turned 8. Around that time he started to really rebel against me when I would tell him to do something. He started breaking things and basically telling me "No, make me" to everything. I, in turn would punish him, usually with writing sentences, and or a spanking. As the years went on and the other siblings came, it got worse. It got to a point by the time he was 11 or 12 that he would call me a F---ing Bit--, all the time and put holes in the walls with his fists and break doors etc... He just always defied me. Now he is 18, and it still happens. I bet you ask "What does your husband say about this?" Well, our marriage has been on the fence for a good part of 3-4 years big time. We have basically disagreed on almost every aspect of J's discipline for a very long time. Just lask week, J punched 4 holes in my walls, broke a door and an office chair, all while his Dad was out of the country. He put me in tears and depression. The other kids see this a lot. Last month I had cake and icing all over the kitchen that he threw. He has also had a brush with the law regarding pety theft. He has no regard for us as parents, mostly me, or really anyone that is not a friend of his. My husband calls me "The Gestapo." He says I have no authority anymore because I am too "rigid." I tell him J doesn't listen because he as a Dad has failed to lay down the law and put his foot down. He says I give him "strings" of punishments instead of appropriate ones. When J calls me horrible names and busts doors, I think he should have serious consequences. A judge gets more strict every time a criminal keeps breaking the law doesn't he? My husband gives him a consequence that lasts a week, and then J just does it again later. He wants to me basically let him do what he wants while he is gone (because I have no authority), and when he returns from work he says he will enforce the rules. I tell him that he basically "gets away" with what he wants while Dad is gone and that isn't teaching him anything. I tell him that he hasn't put his foot down long enough consistenly for him to learn. That up and down with the foot isn't what works. J is vindictive, rude, failing school, (as we can't make him do his schoolwork), and my husband basically feels he can't make him stay home in the wee hours because he is 18....and he just doens't care about anything or anyone but his girlfriend and friends. He towers over me, yelling at me making demands when I won't give or do something he wants or something I don't think he deserves because of behavior. If I don't do it, he breaks up my house. It is usually in the $100's of dollars when he does it. If I call the police, my husband threatens to leave me if I get him arrested. Well, he threatened me once, and since then gives me a look and now tells me "You will not have him arrested, not our son." I think my husband is protective, why is he doing this? Why can't my husband see that in my opinion he is enabling our son to act this way? He seems to be "supporting" his dispresect toward me. I am at a loss. We have been going to a counselor, but J refuses to go. By Dec. 13, he has abide by the D.A. to do a few things to avoid prosecution for the petty theft. They include counseling, a writing some papers and a drug test, non of which he has done yet. I see no signs of drug use, and once I had a drug test done on him that he didn't know about and it was negative. He is a very angry indidvidual and I truly dislike my son and want him away from me. I also fear divorce and do not want one. I also worry about the other three kids. Please help me.


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Is it too late?

Hello Mark-I'm a parent looking for help with my teenage son and found your website. The thing is, my son is 17-2 months away from being 18, and a senior in high school. We have struggled for years thinking he would mature and grow up. Wrong. His swearing in the house and gross disrespect for my husband and especially me is more than I can take anymore. I fear for his future and I think I have failed him. Is it too late?

Thank you,



Hi T.,

It's never too late.The parents I work with have tried very hard to address their child's emotional and behavioral problems on their own, but with little or no success. And it seems the harder they try, the worse it gets.

Every Monday night at Madison Superior Court [Div. 2], I meet with a group of parents who are at a loss on what to do or how to help. We meet for 1 hour each session for 4 Mondays.

During our brief time together, I show the parent how to use some highly effective "unconventional" parenting strategies to use with their out-of-control, "unconventional" child.

I follow up with these parents weeks and months after they complete the program to track their success, and 80% - 90% of them report back to me that problems in the home have reduced in frequency and severity, and that the parent-child conflict is finally manageable.

Now I want to show YOU what I show them. I want to teach YOU how to approach your child -- in spite of all the emotional and behavioral problems.

There is no need for you to continue living as a frustrated, stressed-out parent. I will help you resolve most of the behavioral problems, but I can't do it for you!

If you will read my eBook, listen to my talks, view my videos and power point presentations, and email me with specific questions as you go along – you WILL get the problems turned around. If you will take a step of faith here, you WILL experience the same success that thousands of other parents are now enjoying.

After years of dealing with strong-willed, defiant children, many parents feel so defeated that they believe nothing or nobody will be able to help them – they think it's simply "too late." But I promise you – it is NOT too late!!

If you're tired of disrespect, dishonesty, arguments, hot tempers, etc., and if things are steadily getting worse as time goes by, then you may want to get started with these parenting strategies today.

I'm not a "miracle worker," but you don't need a miracle to get your kid on a good track behaviorally and emotionally -- you just need the right combination of these "unconventional" parenting strategies I'd like to show you.

I'm here for YOU should you decide to Join Online Parent Support…

Mark Hutten, M.A.
Online Parent Support
Madison County Juvenile Probation
Madison Superior Court, Division 2
3420 Mounds Road
Anderson, Indiana

Cell: (765) 635-9037
Toll Free: (856) 457-4883

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I have been in total depression...


For the past five weeks I have been in total depression that not even a counsellor can seem to improve, searching for help, I came across your website, but I need to know whether it's too late. My 17 year old son David has moved out of home and is with the wrong crowd, and I fear destroying his life. I need to get him back and I don't know how. Will your program help me with this. David has, up until 12 months ago been a great kid and never let us down. But something has changed that I can't seem to fix. I am in touch with him and he keeps me updated on his life, he hasn't shut us out totally. David comes from a loving family where he has had love and support all his life. He is not prepared about the hardships of life out on his own. If anything we have sheltered him too much. If you can please reply urgently so that I can start using this program ASAP. I am desperate and feel that you are my last resort. The longer he stays away from his family the harder it will be to get him back.

Kind regards,


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On-line course...

Dear Dr. Askins, Dr. Hansen, Marissa Rosoff & the Burbank Outreach Center support team & fellow scout leaders,

We want to thank you for taking the time in helping us take a proactive approach to helping our son, C___'s situation. You are probably aware we have been seeking therapeutic support for Cody & our family off and on for a few years.

Over this time C___ has demonstrated his ability to perform well at school, become a Life Scout, helpful as a lifeguard, camp counselor, water-polo player, and this summer represented Burbank as an exchange student through Sister Cities in OTA Japan. Although it certainly was and is currently a rough road, we have been able to stay on track and take baby steps, until now.

Coming up with a proper diagnosis and treatment has taken us down many roads all leading to different therapies, parent ed classes, including Jayne Major's course Through countless hours of research & phone calls we have discovered the different levels of support are dependent on insurance, out of pocket expenses, including potentially selling our home and putting him in a residential treatment center with no guarantees of a positive outcome. Needless to say quality intervention has been hard to find.

Recently we found an on-line course by Mark Hutten called MY OUT OF CONTROL TEEN.

In addition to therapy it seems the most helpful and pragmatic approach so far. We wanted to share with you where we are in the course so we are all on the same page in helping our son & family through this crisis.


Everything i have read fits...

I am the mother of a 7 year old girl. She has ADHD, not medicating at this time. Since she has started school at the age of 4 has been very hard. In 1st grade she did very well. 2nd grade was different story, she was removed from one school after only one month, after destroying the classroom (throwing chairs, ripping papers off the walls, where the other children had to be taken out so they would not get hurt). she was suspended for a week then moved to another school. There she had good days n bad. now that she is in second grade days have gotten worse. they send home a control chart (red lights-bad day, yellow-for ok, n green for doing a great job) lately its been bad. calls home from the teacher, red lights for hitting, swearing, taking off her shoes and socks and throwing them, running out off the classroom. everything i have read fits this. am i right or wrong? Im just looking for more information and insight.

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She refuses to see anyone...

I am trying to get my 15 year old daughter assessed. She refuses to see anyone. I believe she is ODD and fits all criterias. I also have a 17 year old Son with AS. He was improperly diagnosed till the age of 12. Now with my help and alot of support, he is doing great. Any support for my 15 year old Defiant daughter would be helpful. I am not a doctor therefore, cannot make the proper diagnosis. There is a history of Tourettes Syndrome, OCD & Autism on her fathers side.

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my 16 yr old son has extreme adhd, odd.he smokes mirijuana daily and drinks alcohol frequently.extremely aggressive and violent, having attacked my 2 teenage sons, husband and myself (broken foot). he has caused several thousands of dollars of damage to our property, also steals, dealings with police etc.we now live in fear of him every day as he goes psycho at the smallest decision he isn't happy with. he no longer attends school and can't find a job.i have kicked him out a few times but comes back with total diisregard to us. i cannot send him anywhere as he is only 16. things are v serious here.

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Fish Oil Cures Anger, Lying, Stealing? Not Likely!

my 16 y/o is totally out of control and threatening my marriage. He has been in a one year lock up residential program that did no good. He has been diagnosed wth ODD. His father was bipolar, psychotic and dead at 44. He has taken fish oil sporadically off and off. Would a dose of five caps a day, about 1 gm of DHA a day, consistently help with his anger outbreaks, lying and stealing? Thanx.

More on fish oil for...

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Son refuses to get out of bed...

My son refuses to get out of bed and go to school every single morning. He keeps threatening me that he is going to kill my pet cat. He uses very bad language and sneaks out of my home in the middle of the night. I try very hard to kill him with kindness and try to get him to make deals with me to cooperate and follow rules but nothing works! He is ruining my business because of all the time I have to take off just to take care of him. He just got kicked out of military school. I am EXHAUSTED, DEPRESSED, GAINED 30 LBS. FROM THE STRESS, AND FEEL LIKE I AM GOING OUT OF MY MIND.

My Out-of-Control Teen


This phase is sheer hell...

Hi! I am interested in purchasing your book, but I was wondering if there is anything in it concerning dealing with the "silent treatment" from teens? My husband and I are at our wit's end, so to speak. We love our 15-year-old dearly, but these past few months have been horrible! And I'm concerned because my husband helped me to raise our son from when he was a baby up until now, and our son is exhibiting some of the same traits that his biological father exhibited when he was in college, an unusual stubbornness and obstinance.

His biological father chose not to be a part of his son's life when our son was a baby, and I always felt grateful for that because he was abusive to me verbally and at times physically when I was in college, and I didn't want my son to come up thinking that that was normal behavior. But I hate to say it, it creeps my husband and I out here lately when he decides to do the "silent treatment" number after we have disciplined him(not shouted) about doing this or that. He is very smart in the sciences, but his obstinance is keeping him from making the As and Bs that he is very capable of making. But above grades, even, I want him to grow up and know that we are always here for him, and I've vocalized this to him how many times?

I am exhausted, and I hate to admit it to myself, even, but resentful inside. I am 37 years old and still young. I came from an abusive home, and I left when I was 18, and I pulled myself up by my bootstraps with the help of God, great friends, etc., and when I see my son who has it all -- two loving parents, a house, people who believe in him -- as awful as it sounds, I feel resentful inside. He has been aware of how I grew up dirt poor and how I worked extremely hard when I was a single mother, and Lord knows, I was happy to. I loved that boy more than anything. But I love him enough to use tough love if necessary, and I guess after the pleadings and yes, now and then, the shouting when we're at our wit's end, we don't know what to do, anymore? Military school in Front Royal, Virginia?

He's not doing drugs, and he can be very respectful, but he's not getting enough sleep lately because he's been staying up, and I know all too well how that can make people feel ornery. It's just it's been plain ornery, and I hate to say it, he's been acting like a stranger. We've stayed up to try to make sure he gets to bed. He sighs if we try to help him. I just don't know.

I know adolescents go through up and down, but right now, this phase is sheer hell.

Thanks for allowing me to get this out of my system, and again, I'm seriously considering buying your book. Maybe there are tips that could help us out in our situation. We do love him, and we know the years go by fast. I don't want the rest of these high school years to be stormy.

My Out-of-Control Teen


We are so worried...

My husband are at our wits end with our teenage son d___ who will be 16 years old on 30th october. ONE MINUTE HE IS KIND AND LOVING AND THE NEXT HE IS SO HATEFUL, rude, abusive, foul mouthed and so hurtful with the things he says. He doesn’t like school, is lazy and has actually stole money from my husband’s wallet yesterday but we think he has done this previously. He lies constantly and when he has done something bad and we chastise him he goes into an angry tantrum. We tell him we love him to bits regularly. Recently he told us that he would rather die than live with us. We are so worried and just don’t know what to do.

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What do I do?

My 16 and 14-year-old sons do whatever they want, whenever they want. I feel I've been a pretty good parent, available to them, providing for them, listening to them, etc. but they're now out of control and I cant' stop them. If I tell them they're grounded, they walk out the door anyway, they smoke in the house without regard to my rules, they let their friends smoke in my house, they're gone sometimes for hours without asking permission to go, the swear at me, call me names and ignore my requests for chores to be done. They are both also smoking pot pretty regularly. They've been in counseling to no avail. I'm seriously on the edge of my seat every day all day. As of tonight I'm so tired of it I've completely ignored them and they've walked in and out of the house with their friends, simply scavenging for food, leaving messes wherever they go, talking on the phone, etc. Neither of them has said a word to me all night. I want to crawl under a rock and die. It seems like such a silly question given the circumstances, but what do I do?

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How can I handle my teenage daughter...

I need to know how I can handle my teenage daughter (14 years) who seems very manipulative and has created a situation where my wife and I are constantly arguing, very specially on issues relating to my daughters Time management which is bad and her frequent attitude problems and mood swings, and impulsive behaviour, She also is very Lazy and reluctant to get up on Time to go to school, I also have observed that Constantly, she has a habit to get late on purpose and is extremely rude when corrected, specially when spoken to kindly.

She is an only Child, My wife through fear of losing her gives in to Her, Often, it seems My daughter is getting extremely mixed signals and also seems to be confused, even still, she knows how to manipulate one parent against the other to get what she wants.

She is extremely Gifted in Sport, Music but does not Want to practice and train to develop her skills further, does not like to be reminded that she needs to practice, She is not consistent in her school work too, She has a habit of postponing responsibilities so that she could have her time at watching TV and playing around with the computer and spending Hours on the phone chatting with friends, but will not complete or do her chore after that and often does nothing at all but go t sleep well after midnight.

I guess the problem lies in the Parents in this case due to the lack of not agreeing on disciplinary Issues, What on earth can I do, My suggestion to my wife is that we need councelling and that I felt that she is overprotecting our daughter but She refuses suggesting that it is I that needs Councelling and not her and the daughter.

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Could it be something is his food...?

Hi Mark,

B___ has ADHD. Never has had a problem in school or church. At home is another issue. No sooner he gets off the school bus he starts being angry and whole 9 yards. I have believe he has been ODD for sometime, he sees a psychiatrist and counselors but, has never been diagnosed yet. We have been looking into a scared straight program for him, he has been at the police station once but says if he makes another trip there, he would go away for 2-4 yrs. to a JDC. We have spanked, took things away. We have tried being consistent. Want do you think. He's been on 8 different meds in the past 4 yrs. Makes him meaner so we took him off. Could it be something is his food or what?

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He has several issues...

My son is actually 10. He has been out of control for a while. He has several issues including Aspergers, PDD, ODD Adhd, Depression, anxiety.. He hits me my mother who is 70, he is severely ODD. I am not sure where to start. He does not listen to anything. He has encopresis. He has gone through early puberty right before 9. He is a very large child 5 '4 160. How do you manage when they are screaming and throwing things. He acts like a 17 year old. How do you keep cool. The PHD have not helped, all meds have not worked. Seen a neurolist, nothing there, seeing a endocrinolist. Has been through 2 out patient treatments. Please I need some help.

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Essentially I'm one single parent...

Mark - here's my situation:

1) out-of-countrol teen (13yr daughter) - corrupted by internet
2) grave autism (9yr son) - nothing seems to be working
3) in-denial spouse (23yrs) - don't see eye-to-eye on anything
4) pressure-cooker job (cto of 6-yr start-up) - consumes all available bandwidth

On the plus-side (for this weekend anyway) your ptsp which I downloaded last night. So much of what I read rings crystal clear (the part on dependency and self-reliance). In typical fashion the wife dismissed it and has her own agenda.

Urgently need to take control of #1 (spiraling out of control) and #3 (empty, hopeless, relationship). Your advise to: a) take better care of self and b) not make any major changes makes perfect sense but regarding #3 - I think it's really too far-gone to leave alone or repair. Essentially I'm one single parent at loggerheads with another (we agree on NOTHING).

I clearly need some help and guidance and am seriously consider some local therapy for everyone. Can this be done long-distance? Do you know anyone on Long Island New York?

Plz advise asap...



Couples therapy may have some benefit, but I wouldn’t drag the children into the therapist’s office. That would just be another traditional parenting strategy that will have little – or no – effect.

You don’t need any lines of bullshit from me – so I’m going to cut to the chase:

If your wife is not on the same page with you on anything whatsoever, then this WILL be the kiss of failure re: your children changing unwanted behavior. I’m sure you know this though.

When parents are on different pages, the kids can easily and effectively play one parent against the other. It would be easier – and a lot less painful – to simply go beat your head against a brick wall than try to implement change with no support from your spouse.

First -- and most importantly -- do what your gut tells you to do. Having said that…

…now I’m going to tell you what I would do (this is not necessarily a recommendation per say):

I would not – and have not – stayed in a relationship that was ‘toxic’ for me. I’m not a proponent for “staying in a marriage for the sake of the kids.” This may go contrary to convention, but so be it. Life is too short to be miserable – or to simply survive from one day to the next. I expect a higher quality of day-to-day living than that.

There are many single parents who make significant headway with their child’s poor choices in spite of the fact that the other parent in the other home is working in the opposite direction. I won’t get off into this topic now though …it’s premature. I’ll simply leave you with this thought:

Do not settle for second best in life…not with your health (spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, financially or vocationally) …and certainly not with your children.

Change is tough & painful, but the reward at the other end is definitely worth it!!!


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I keep praying...

My name is L___ and I have three children, ages: 16(girl), 14(boy), and 7(girl). My major problem is with my oldest daughter. I am one of those have tried everything almost …from counseling to even signing her up and going to a program through our local police department. The last thing is that she went out a window in our home and took my car at 11:30 at night. Her and her brother both swear constantly. I am interested in your program but am scared that it will just be unsuccessful. I keep praying. It is and has been tearing my husband apart. My daughter is again threatening emancipation.

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They don't like each other...

I have my children and step children, they don't like each other, step children threaten to do bad things to my children, they lose temper, blame others for their mistakes, my children are reluctant for their education. I need advise, how to bring them in good terms. I have wasted time and energy trying to make them change.

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I have an out of control stepson...

I have an out of control stepson 16 that has lived w/two girls and he finally came home to go back to school. He is considered a 9th grader again and my husband does not recognize that his son has a problem. He loves to go out and stay out and drink & smoke. He has been doing this going on 2yrs now. What can be done?? Is it to late?? He has been in trouble with MIC and curfew violations already and has not learned from that experience. My husband says boy will be boys. He does not respect us or our home. He has stolen, lied, stayed out all night or wake us up @ 5 or 6am to come into the house and has stolen prescription pain pills from us and my husband still does not believe it. We finally put a deadbolt on our bedroom door to keep him out. I have a daughter (older from a previous marriage) and she did not do any of these things.

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Son is extremely challenging...

My son is 11 years old and is extremely challenging. I am treated like i have no right to question him about homework, or ask him to be responsible for his school work or even for his actions. Its everyones fault but his own. He becomes irrational and starts screaming and crying and ripping things out of my hands, slamming doors. I try to give him everything I can and try to teach him right from wrong and how to be a better person. However I find myself yelling to talk over him. I am stressed out and I have got to turn this around. He really is a bright child and funny he just has a poor attitude when asked to do chores, homework, etc... I need help. I want my good boy back. I am so upset that I cant figure it out on my own.

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I have never abused my child...

I have a 15 year old girl completely out-of-control. ACS has become involved questioning my discipline stating I have used corporate punishment. She now gets to do whatever she wants and ACS has made no attempt to help the situation besides railroad me and focus on the irrelevant. I have never abused my child. Most recently, my daughter started to stay out passed curfew and steal from me and other family members. I confronted her about it. She became very hostile to the point I had to push her away, which resulted in two minor scratches to her neck. ACS has filed family court petitions against me to terminate my rights along with criminal proceedings. My daughter gets to stay out to in the morning, etc and dares me to intervene by threatening to call ACS with false allegations. I am trying to do all I can do to save my family but my hands are tied. I feel lost and confused on further actions to take if I am allowed any.

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He does not want to listen...

I have a 9 year old step son that we have custody of since 2002. He does not want to listen to what i ask him to do in a calm voice ...then it turns into a fight. He is also teaching my 3 year old to run away from me when he is in trouble. What do i need to do?

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What do we do?

I have an 18 yr niece who just recently graduated from school. Her boyfriend broke off their relationship before prom time. She continues to go after him til this day. The sweet happy attitude has changed dramatically and she is violent to her parents and her little sister (who is 12yrs). She has left the house twice after she became violent for no reason. She always returns home within a day or 2. The car, phone, tv, computer, etc., have been taken from her and she still acts out. She has punched her mom and sister. What do we do?

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Love Bite?

Hello, My 14 yo daughter came home from school today with a love bite on her neck. She said that she agreed to it but would not tell me who did it. Another mother told me that being bi-sexual was 'all the rage' at this school, according to her daughter. I do not know what to do. I suspect it was a girlfriend of hers.

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My daughter became pregnant at age 15...

I have searched the web for any related articles on how to cope with being the parent of a teenager who is now a mother. We have always been close and I am a single mother (and now grandmother to a wonderful 2 year old girl). My daughter became pregnant at age 15 and there are many details surrounding that which I won’t go into at this time. I remained supportive, loving and positive for her throughout. We have had many disagreements through the years and some of them volatile but never abusive or lasting. She moved in with her boyfriend at a young age since they shared a child and she moved back in with me 8 months ago because they finally ended the bad relationship. I have bent over backward to help her throughout these past 8 months and she will do great for awhile and then go off the deep end. She will be loving and hard-working one minute and then complain about my help and be combative the next. I continue to struggle and need to know if there is any reading material out there some where for us single mothers who are parenting teenage single mothers. This is not a unique situation in this day and time.

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How do I deal with this?

My 14 year old daughter has been grounded for 7 days. Today I was in bed ill and my daughter asked me what was for her school lunch. I told her she would have to make her own today. She then proceeded out to my car and went through my wallet looking for money. I had no money and she was angry at me for it. How do I deal with this? Do I extend her grounding? I was totally shocked and disappointed.

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We are at our wits end...

We have a 17 year old daughter who is the love of our lives or should I say was! She abuses her mother verbally, swears at her, calls her names, tells her she hates her and that we are both bad parents. She constantly abuses her curfew and has even struck her mother. She has left the house twice and said she is never coming back but she has returned each time. She wants to go to alternative High School so she can graduate early and leave home! There is constant drama at school and amongst her friends. She has been suspended for four days last year for fighting in school and has even used the F word with one of her teachers. We are at our wits end emotionally as well as physically. HELP!!!

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This is all so funny...

My 15 yr. old daughter has been drinking every nite for the past 3 weeks...she's been picked up by the P.D. but she thinks its a big joke. We recently got evicted from our apartment because her and her friends were being loud...we had 3 chances but she didn't stop, she thinks this is all so funny. I am a single mom trying to do the best for her but I don't know what to do anymore. Can someone please offer me some suggestions? Thank you.

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He has no respect...

I have a 14 year old son that smoke's he does not do well in school and stays out of school a lot. I try do discipline him but he get a big attitude problem when you speak to him, he thinks that he knows more than you do. He has no respect and speaks to me just like he wants. He has the way of irritating you so that you feel you can not take it anymore. He keeps on with things even if you ask him to stop he does not until you lost you temper. He like hitting and hurting his little brother of 9 years. Me and his father divorced when he was very young and his father was a big roll model in his life and now has made a mistake and is sitting in jail. He does see him often. I am married again and he does not have respect for the stepfather. I know what he is capable of in school.

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Nothing Works!

I have a 7 year old that stays in trouble. Lying is her biggest area of concern. She minds her dad for the most part but will not mind me. If I ask her to do something she will tell a lie and say she has completed the task. She had issues masturbating from the age of 3 on until she would make herself bleed. I mentioned this to the doctor and he did not seem concerned. She refuses to wipe herself off after going to the bathroom so her panties stay soiled. She had difficulty in completing her schoolwork last year. She did it right and had wonderful penmanship as long as you sat right there with her. We tried spanking, it doesn't work. We have taken things like TV away, not video games, no going to parties and doing fun things. The behavior still has not improved. We don't know what else to do.

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Anger Problem

I am writing to you for some advice on teen anger. I live with my boyfriend. He has an 11 year old son who has pretty bad anger at times. For example when he's angry he uses foul language, has little to no respect for adults, every time his dad says that he's grounded or takes couple things out of his room for a while, the boy says that he doesn't care cause he gets grounded all the time and he doesn't have to apologize for what he says.

At times he gets so angry that he talked about killing himself and/or stabbing his dad and me, or he says things like he wants to kill himself. He is seeing a psychologist but it seems that he is not doing much for him. These episodes are happening a lot, like few times a week. He also blames other people for anything that doesn't go his way, he twists words around and says sometimes that someone said certain things when they didn't, he says that everyone is a liar when he sometimes doesn't get what he wants. Personally! I somehow see that he wants to be in control of everybody's life, especially his dads. How do you help this troubled teen? It seems like he needs more than psychologist.

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I am so unbelievably drained...

My 16 year old daughter is making me crazy. Since she was 14 she has lied, stolen, destroyed property, been expelled from school, done drugs and alcohol. She lived with her Dad for 8 months, then spent 5 months in a strict Christian facility for troubled teens (which kicked her out in January). Since she has been back with me she has continued to disrespect myself and her stepfather, as well as all the other things listed above.

I had her arrested in May for smashing mirrors and furniture in my home and for shoving me. 5 days county jail did nothing to change her. She spent another 5 days in jail in June for punching me in the face and pushing me to the floor.

She left home 3 days ago and is staying with friend because she "can't take this house". (My husband had tried to send her to her room when he found out she was stealing money from his briefcase.) She refused to go to her room and walked out. The police can't bring her home because of her age, and the judge we have gone before for her 2 charges (which have yet to be resolved) refuses to release the psychiatric report from her first jail stay. I was forced to hire an attorney to defend her for the charges of hitting ME, yet the judge won't even release the psych report to her attorney for her defense! There is nothing I can do.

Over the last 2 years, I have sought family counseling, probation diversion, anger management, and even residential treatment for my daughter at the cost of many thousands of dollars. I have been a member for almost a year and their advice and support has been invaluable.

I am so unbelievably drained from all the drama with my daughter. Her twin sister has suffered from being in the background because of the chaos of my home. I am legally and financially responsible for this child but I can't make her come home and I can't find out what a psychiatrist recommends as far as treatment.

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Daughter Problems

Our daughter lies, steels, uses alcohol and drugs, skipped school and then stopped going, destroyed property or ran away in reaction to any limits reinforced, had a brush with the law over stealing and assault. refuses to follow rules, stays out at night without permission and hangs with kids on the streets.

She has been raped. This year we have her in boarding school. The school is threatening to kick her out. We will always love her but can’t have her home again. She has control and knows it. Each term break we try to start afresh which goes well for the first few days and then the language, bullying and hanging on the streets takes over.

We have sought professional help and she is on ADHD medication. On this, medication her grades have improved and with being in boarding school she is getting to school. Two major positives. My regret is we didn’t do it sooner when she first started to change. The professional advice has been you have done all that can be done, let her go.

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Wish me luck!

Hi Mark,

Just an update. M______ was home when I got there to drive him to work (the heavy rain may have helped!). He asked if he could use the car to drive to work. Told no, got immediately on the phone to ask Dad. I got on the extension and said I already said no. M______ got upset and said "then I'm not going to work". I calmly fixed his brother's lunch and was sifting through the mail. He after a few minutes grabbed my car keys (to MY car) and acted as if he was leaving. I didn't react. I stayed in the house. In about 5 minutes, he came back in, swearing at me and pointing out that I am making him late and to hurry up. I again let these comments slide.

Picked up from work, got home about 9:30pm. Nice conversation on the way home, he ate dinner, etc. Then he asked to go to the movies. Told no, he was not going out as part of his consequence from the night before. He immediately goes to his Dad, and Dad verifies with me, and we say no. He states he's going anyway, is angry, throws a shoe at the ceiling, makes a big mark, and there is now 2 new dents in the hallway wall near the bathroom ( I didn't actually see him do it but they weren't there earlier). He denies the dents but admits to the mark. He then grabbed the house phone and acted as if he were making plans. (Covered up this call with another so we could not use "redial"). Reminded of no phone use. He said he was going to go "work out". Told no. He had on work-out clothes. He is leaving (now about 9:30pm), so I tell him if he leaves the property I will file runaway. He is in and out of the house/garage/yard for awhile (as if waiting for a ride). Finally I don't see him anymore. I go out into the yard several times and don't see him or evidence of him being around.

Husband is not really supportive of me filing runaway as he feels it will only cost money and not change anything (did spend 1 night in Juve in March '06 for dom. assault, then 6 mos probation), and further states he will not attend any court appearances, etc if it should come to that. Husband also starts talking about just letting him go, he can't deal with it anymore, etc. I say "NO--that is exactly what he wants and it will mean he wins and I will not back down from what I originally said. We have done it that way so often before he is hoping we cave." He reluctantly agrees, but does want me to go by the gym first to see if he's there. I do go by the gym and of course he's not been there all night. I try several of his friends, and they say they have not see/heard from him. His "ex" girlfriend (possibly not "ex" as they are again talking daily and trying to see each other as often as possible) hangs up on me. I do go to the police dept. and file.

As soon as I get home about 11:15pm, we get a call on our house phone from a girlfriend of his "ex's" cell #. She claims to be the older sister and has a complaint that M______ is threatening her sister through e-mail, has been for awhile, and she will go to the police with them as she has kept them. I encourage her to do so, and ask why did she wait until 11:30pm on a Tuesday to contact us. She then further asks for my e-mail so she can forward them. NO WAY am I giving them this information!! I know this is the girl, not sister "pranking" us. She then proceeds to say "what king of parents are you, can't you control your child, blah, blah, blah", as in mocking us. I shortly hang up and they never call back. (This girl lives about 4-5 miles away, or an easy jog or ride if my son was there.)

Just after this call M______ is knocking on the door--about 11:30m. We tell him that we reported him. He claims to have been hiding out in the yard all this time. We tell him we don't believe it and why coincidentally did his friend just so happen to call out of the blue, and right after I tried his "ex". He is sticking to his story. I call the police department as they have to send an officer out to verify him being home. He tries to talk to M______ awhile. He tells him straight out he doesn't believe the yard story either. He tells him, he needs to evaluate what he wants his life to be like--even in a few short years. He tells him he has a lot of positives going for him, but if he chooses the wrong path, it will be job security for him. We are told this will be turned over to the juvenile division and written up the following day. We will be contacted about it later. M______ is told he may not leave the house tomorrow, and consequences start over. He is like a "deer in headlights". I don't think he really believed we would go through with it. Not sure what will happen next!

Again, I am at work and have not heard from him yet. I am hoping to stay focused and strong. Wish me luck!



I think I found something very important in this email: You said, "We have done it that way so often before he is hoping we cave."

I believe this is why he continues to relentlessly test the limits. He has found that if he protests long enough, he gets his way eventually. It's just a matter of time - one more temper tantrum, one more threat, just one more verbal outburst, and good old mom and/or dad will wave the white flag.

Keep up the pressure (and take care of you 1st ...that's right - 1st),


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I just don't know what else to do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am a mom of three, two boys and a girl. My oldest is 15 That's B___ Oct of 1991, C___ June of 1993, A___ April of 1996.

My son B___ thinks SORRY fixes everything. His dad and I are divorced since 1998 I remarried 2001 and my new husband is more than good to all my kids. Its just that B___ will NOT MIND. For instance My kids go to there dads for 8 weeks in the summer. There dad lives in Ohio. So his dad and I made it so I would get the kids back so B___ could play football well I got them back on Sunday Aug 5th came home the morning of aug 6th 2007 he had football 3-8:30 pm on that day.(( My Mom had a Drs.Appointment that I was gona take her to see if she had to have sugary or not. She lives in Ohio))Her app. was on Aug 7th 2007. But I came home because B___ said he wanted to play football. Well my grandson is 16 he was gona play football as well, well the two boys went to football and my grandson couldn't play because of his grades. B___ calls me and tells me this I told him to stay there I would pick him up later. Well He comes home and tells me he wasn't playing football. I take him back the next day he wont get out of the car. I missed my moms app.because of B___ wanted to play football. Now he don't want to play and I missed my moms app. and he don't care. He thinks his way or no way. He thinks money grows on trees.

I need help with him. I don't know what else to do. He has gone to hit me before he has it my husband before and his dad. I just don't know what else to do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I live in Michigan and its 3.5 hours to the kids dads house and I take them there every other weekend. B___ has punched the wall and put a hole in it. He doesn't like the word NO. Please help me with him. I don't want the other two seeing this and thinking its ok. Then they will start doing it to me. HE gets mad at me then he wants to go live with his dad. He gets mad at his dad he wants to come back home.

My 15 yr old Son has all of these:

lose his temper

argue with adults

refuse to comply with rules and requests

deliberately annoy people

blame others for his mistakes and misbehavior?

My son has these as well:

touchy and easily annoyed by others

angry and resentful

spiteful and vindictive

Lied to me all the time

Destroyed property

Refused to follow any rules

Hanging with the wrong crowed


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She is most times a good kid...

My 15-year-old daughter, who smokes and has tried marijuana and alcohol, will get very angry on occasion and leave home to go out with friends despite her parent’s objections. I do not know what the consequences should be for such defiant behavior. She is most times a good kid and has a summer job, which she enjoys. She gets decent grades and is on the school cheerleading squad. We would allow her more freedom if she would show some more mature behavior.

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Younger Brother Bash

My 16 year old feels it’s his right to bash my 14 year old when he wants. My 14 year old wants me to kick him out so we can have some normality. I need to protect my other three sons from him as he is unpredictable uncontrollable and unapproachable. He steals from the whole family, causes damage to our rented premises, has served 9 months in custody and is on probation. I don’t want him locked up again but I don’t want him here either, unless he changes and gets some help. He has nowhere else to go because no one else will take him, and I will never kick him out. Will your program really help me - we are all desperate?

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It is only a matter of time...

I have a 13 year old daughter who has been a challenge since birth. Her anger and aggression have always been and issue. Her seventh grade year was very very difficult. She is disrespectful to me and her step father. She is verbally abusive to her 11 year old sister. To make matters worse, she has not seen her father since January. I found out March that he is under house arrest for one year for dui and has lost he license for 10 years. Help!

She is hanging out with the wrong crowd. How can I encourage her to find new friends? She has not gotten into any real trouble, but I really believe it is only a matter of time.

My husband and I have discussed the possibility that she has ODD. I believe that she has mild ADD and had a least one teacher in elementary school say that she thought so as well. When I tried to discuss this with her father he accused me of wanting to medicate her because I couldn't control her.

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It's Gettin' Worse

My 12 year old daughter lies more than she tells the truth …she is on meds and in therapy, but she seems to be getting worse. When i confront her, she plays dumb or says ‘yes everything is my fault’ …she hurts her younger sisters [not bad] but i am scared it will worse as she ages. She has unrealistic views of money, she is overweight and pretends to diet, yet i find candy wrappers all over -- i have found steak knives and matches in her room.

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He has been diagnosed with ADD and mood disorders...

I've never written to you before. We have had so many problems with our middle child K___ who is now 17 years old. He has been diagnosed with ADD and mood disorders. Last week because of so many instances we had him admitted into the hospital. K___ is very good at manipulation and after just a few days there he already has many privileges. The nurses find it hard to believe that K___ has problems because he is so friendly and respectful. But as K___ has said to us "If I be good, I'll get to go outside, etc.” Don't know what to do but don't have much time to write.

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Son Fits Criteria for ODD

My son is 15 and fits the criteria for ODD, however none of the profiles described sound like him. He was difficult to discipline as a younger child, but I didn't recognize him in the profiles given. He has severe anger and outbursts and is extremely defiant. He swears at me, calls me names such as bitch, slut and whore, punches holes in the walls, has dented my car with his fist, throws things, leaves the house without permission and generally controls the household with his outbursts. He smokes pot regularly and is failing in school with excessive truancies. While he may have ODD and probably depression as well, I think that I have allowed these problems to go on far too long because I do not know how to handle them. My son does what he wants, when he wants, how he wants because he knows I can't stop him when I am work all day. When I am at home, it becomes a power struggle that he usually wins. How do I take back my power and put a stop to his teenage terrorism? HELP!

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My 17 year old daughter has runaway ...

My 17 year old daughter has runaway to her grandmothers house because she doesn't like my live-in boyfriend. She has put her boyfriend's parents as an example of what I and my boyfriend should be like to make her want to come home. We are ourselves and feel great frustration with this. She does not want us to be together she says it is either him (my boyfriend ) or her. I have, since she was very young, seen her run to grandma when she didn't get her way with me and now am very upset by this whole situation. I do not feel that letting my boyfriend go is going to fix the problem is only going to make me more frustrated in the future.

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Things are totally out of control.

Things are totally out of control.

My eldest son has made a few text message contacts for money. Has as yet not made any attempts to change his negative life style. Although he says he loves me and his brother and that we will be a family without his father soon. Don't know when he expects this to occur.

My husband walked out on me and my youngest son end of February. Said he has no love towards the relationship and has made no attempts to contact his younger son (14) in the near five months he has deserted us. He has totally exited the relationship and family in a very cruel way. Left without telling me, withdrawing money over an undisclosed period of time. Opened his own bank account on his younger son’s birthday in February just before leaving us all. This is all too familiar with his family history. His father had affairs in his early forties, but stayed with his wife. My husband’s uncle had affairs and left his wife and two young daughters in his early 40's along-side my husband’s grandfather who did the same leaving his wife and two son's and daughter. All of which have had affairs more than one marriage at the expense of their loving and devoted families. I should have seen the sign and not take up with my husband.

Our family is now in a mess emotionally and financially and my younger son is not coping with all this as I am not. A family destroyed by a lack of or more like a total disregard to keep our family together and support each other by my estranged husband.

I don't know what to do anymore.

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I don't see a big improvement...

ADHD seems to only affect my son at home with behavior problems and bad language. He will be 9 end of Aug. Psychiatrist put him on Abilify, a mood altering med. Really don't see a big improvement [at times I do], but we have gotten more consistent in consequences when punishing him also.

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Teachers cannot cope with the challenges he presents...

My son L___ is twelve and gifted but boredom at school leads him to join in with the chaos that surrounds him. After numerous meetings on how they should handle him I am mortified that teachers are undermining him as they cannot cope with the challenges he presents.

All the while his education is suffering as only two members of staff are willing to try and extend him. I am so frustrated and at a point where I feel I could do a better job educating him at home but then he will miss out on the social side of life that school gives.

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Your informative site "My out of control teen" and "Online Parent Support" is awesome! The fee is worth it; for what I get out of the ebook and monthly updates is priceless. You are VERY appreciated. I have learned so much, and look everyday for anything from you. You are definitely concerned with informing and helping parents.




It is really frustrating for me at this point...

I was browsing through the web site. I am a mother of one beautiful little girl (4), who never really gives me any problems, except that she is cheecky, like most girls.

My actual problem is that my fiance's son is making life very difficult for lots of people. He is 7 and in grade 1. He ignores everybody and cries over almost every little thing. His mom and dad (my fiance) has been separated since he was very small and by now he should have been used to traveling between the families on weekends and holidays.

He is a very smart boy, but can’t sit still for one minute. He makes as if he doesn't hear you when you are talking to him. I have find that if I make him look me in the face, he listens and that helps.

I have to mention that he still pee's in his pants at home, school and sleep. He not even pee's, but sometimes he has a number "2" in his pants or during sleep. I know that some people say that there is a problem when kids do stuff like this. I have thought of every possible problem that could make this child do stuff like this and am still not sure why. I sometimes feel that he is to "lazy" to go to the bathroom/toilet. He will sit and play and then have to run, otherwise it is to late. He has been doing this since the beginning of the year. I am not sure if it is because he started school this year or perhaps it could be because his mother had another baby the beginning of this year.

Just to inform you, he is 7, his sister is 4 and baby brother a few months. My daughter, who will be his step sister is also 4. He receives a lot of attention from myself, fiance and our families. When we buy stuff for the kids, we buy for both our children so that there is no fighting, but still he always have to complain about what we bought him. He never really thanks you for the gift unless you ask him to say thank you.

He also says that the other kids have more toys than him, which is not true at all. He has lots and lots of toys, even a computer. He has toys and his own clothes at his mother’s house as well as my house. He sometimes lies to us, saying that his mother didn't want to give him money for school things like "market day or for school trips". I have given his mother money for the school trip and she asked why am I giving the money, to which I responded that he told us that she didn't have money for him to go. She was never aware of the day of the trip because he never gave her the newsletter from school and she never told him that she didn't have money for him to go - or that is just what she says, I don't know.

He always wants to play with the other kids toys, but when they touch or play with his toys he yells at them. He sometimes break the other kids toys or play to rough with them. When I want to speak to him about sharing he throws tantrums and sometimes he'll even say that I don't like him. He sometimes tells us that if we don't buy him stuff, we don't love him. I have tried to explain to him, that love cannot be bought and that we love him even if we don't always spoil him.

He gets lost in shopping malls that sometimes it takes us 5 - 10 minutes to find him again. Sometimes he takes stuff of the shelves and brings it to you. When I tell him to put it back, he starts crying about the thing. You have to excuse me for mentioning all this stuff, but I am not use to this. My daughter does not do this stuff or cry about stuff in the shopping malls or get lost at times.

We have read notes in his school books from his teacher that she actually has permission from the head master to send him out of her class because he makes it impossible for her to teach the other children.

I know that we have to take him to see someone to evaluate him, but no one seems to listen to me. I feel lost as how to deal with this. This child really breaks my heart at times and I have noticed that my fiance and I are distracted from each other every time his child is there. We fight, which we never do. He disciplines my child (it is not his child) when she needs it, but sometimes lack to discipline his own child. When I question him about his son's behaviour and the fact that his child ignores me, he always tells me that he does that to him too. I don't feel that this is the right way to react to this child problem. I have spoken to my mother in law, even my "sons" mother - but no one does anything about this.

It is really frustrating for me at this point. He has spent the holidays with us and I am loosing it very fast. I work long hours. Leave home at 06h00 and return at 18h00. I have to do all the stuff mommies do, cook, clean, bath the children and do washing at nights - I can't still deal with a child you ignores me flat when I try my best to get through to him.

He has really bad eating habits as well and this causes me to tell him every night to eat with his mouth closed, or to chew his food properly. He sometimes stuff his mouth so full that he can't even chew the food. He always makes a pig out of himself when it comes to sweets and stuff and this is very humiliating when we are visiting people.

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He talks about his father like he is dirt...

I need help: My fiancé has a 16-year-old son. Who is very disrespectful and somewhat violent. He lived with his father for the past 3 years and has been very unhappy since day one of being pulled from his mom. His mom lives in another state. This year he went back to live with his mom and the school year has been a joke, his behavior is horrible and in school suspension is the norm. He is rude disrespectful and talks about his father like he is dirt. His father said he is going to make him come back to live with him this school year.

The son is telling anyone that will listen that he will run away if his father forces him to live with him again. He does not want to live with his father. I am worried because this child always talks about not liking his father and wishing he was not living. He is truly out of control and I don't know how to help his dad. I think that his son can become violent, I have seen him have several outburst, cursing and saying very disturbing things. He said his father messed up the last 3 years of his life because he took him away from his mom.

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This gives me hope...

Thanks Mark...

I am just reading through the Ebook and am quite surprised, but relieved to know that there are lots of other parents and kids out there with the same type of problems. This in itself gives me hope that our family can get through this with advice from yourself and other parents who have been through it.

Thank you for making this information available - I feel it will be very beneficial.



'My Out-of-Control Teen' eBook


Special Needs Camps

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My home life is so out of control...

I am having problems with my son who just turned 18 in Jan 07, and graduated from H.S. in May. My home life is so out of control between my 18yr old, husband and me. We are going to counseling, my son and I, but things seem worse. He is now saying he wants to move out. I don’t want to loose my son. As a mom I need help, and support from other moms in my situation. Thanks.

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He's refusing to go to a summer camp...

I have a 13-year-old son who is refusing to go to a summer camp for gifted and talented. He filled out forms in April, but says he only did so to get me to leave him alone. I say he could have refused to fill them out as easily as refuse to get in the car and go. Five to six hundred dollars of the school's money has been spent for this. I do not have a lot of money. Neither does my son. He does have quite defiant behavior, but also seems to be a little clingy sometimes. Help!

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In or Out of control?

My daughter will be 20 in two months time …she is what can be best described as strong willed …we do not have screaming fits anymore …perhaps because my husband and I have no control.

She is at university and has never had grade or social problems …she still lives at home, although she probably only sleeps there twice a week …the rest of the time she sleeps at her boyfriend or a friends house. When she is at home, she is either on the phone or emailing her friends …she seldom interacts with the rest of the family, although dinner time has always been a family affair (when she is home).

She drives around late at night and we feel she puts herself at risk. She is supposed to clean the house to earn extra money, but doesn’t do a good job …when I speak to her about it, she becomes defensive and tells me her friends do nothing in their homes …I keep quiet for peace. Her bedroom is disgusting …she makes her bed once a week when she does her chores.

My husband and I are getting less sleep than when she was a baby …we lie in bed worrying about her safety …often when we phone her …it goes to voicemail and when questioned she tells us that her phone went dead, or her battery was flat, which is totally acceptable after the fact, but we didn’t know that in the middle of the night. Out of control? I think she is very much in control, but it is wearing us down.


I'm at the end of my rope...

I am looking for help with my two teenage boys, who have recently been diagnosed with ODD. I am a single mother, out of an alcoholic marriage for 2 ½ years. My children behave a lot like my ex, and I am now coming to the understanding that it was not only the alcoholic environment that has caused the turmoil in my home, but also a pre-disposition to this condition, handed to my boys by family genes.

I feel at a loss to control their behavior, they have not respect or concern for my expectations, and I believe I am going to have to quite school this summer to supervise them...which will keep us in the poverty we are currently experiencing. I feel somewhat hopeless about getting and keeping a job, due to the extreme needs of my children. One missed 6 months of school (refused to go) and the other has been suspended so many times I have lost count.

I am desperate for any advice on how to parent these children, I am not abusive, and they are not afraid of any consequences I might impose. Their main pleasure in life is playing an online game called Runscape, and most of the terrible arguments and fights are about the computer, getting off when their turn is up, and sometimes even things that are happening in the game itself.

I feel like I am often "at the end of my rope"...and am getting very little joy out of being a mom right now.

She Hates Me

My daughter lost her dad 4yrs ago and has always hated me since she has got to the stage of steeling from my purse of which I have caught her twice …she won't help …she resents her brother …and when I confront her she goes into a raging temper and smashes her bedroom up and sometimes things in the house …my things.

i have tried to get help from the doctors and school but i just get letters saying she's on a waiting list. She has been through a lot as i was in hospital for 6 month and now i am disabled. She then had to under go an operation, so i would imagine she hates the world.

We do have times where we say sorry and i feel we have had a break through, but till the next time, she has smashed hoovers and stuff and has broken her brother's keyboard through frustration.

She used to go to her dad’s parents, but refuses to go because there are nothing but pictures of her dad and she say's no-one will stop going on about him and that she wants to block him out - i'm totally lost …i don't know how to help her …i can't imagine how she feels cos I still have both my parents …i just want to help her now so she can see
life is'nt all bad.

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I don't know what to do or where to turn to...

I have 3 children. My oldest child (girl) will be 12 in a couple of months, she has ODD only, my middle child (boy) is 7 1/2 years old, and he has been diagnosed with ADHD and ODD, my youngest child is 7 months old (girl), and has no problems. My older 2 children belong to myself and my ex-husband, we had a rocky marriage and we divorced in 2004. Could any of these contribute to the situation? Right now their father is doing contractor work in Iraq, and they have been living with me full time, but when he returns we have to go back to the custody arrangement of 1 week with him and 1 week with myself, does this make it harder for children with this type of living situation? My middle child has been recently put on medication for his ADHD/ODD, but my older child is on nothing. I did tell her therapist at our last meeting, I have almost gone to far as giving my older child on Lexapro because of how she is. I need help, and I don't know what to do or where to turn to.

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Kid Doesn't Finish School

My 16 year old son didn't complete the last year of his compulsory schooling. We tried everything to keep him going. Until that year he had an excellent attendance record. End of year 10 he was predicted A* and B's across the board, that was when he decided he wouldn't go again. Now, we do not give him any money. Whatever he wants he has to earn. Unfortunately he doesn't want very much. We provided him with work in husband's factory. He went once, but will not get out of bed this morning. We are forever encouraging him. Shouting doesn't work at all.

How can I get through to her?

My daughter is almost 17. She is an honor student and also has a part time job. The problem is she is 'dating' a boy who does drugs and drinks. She was forbidden to see him six months ago and we just found out she has been lying and sneaking around to see him behind our backs.

We bought her a used car for her upcoming birthday and told her it was with the condition that she stay away from this boy. Otherwise, it would be taken away. Now she has threatened to run away (again) if we take away her privileges, and she said she will not live here anymore.

There is alcoholism in the family and she cannot put herself in that environment. Her father (alcoholic) left when she was 8. I've already had to call the police once about 6 months ago when she ran away and slept overnight in this boys car. How can I get through to her?

He became violent...

My much younger brother 'G' has just turned 16 and lives with my father and grandparents. Recently he has become very rebellious, climbing out his window at night, girls climbing in the window at night, refusing to go to Tafe and work experience, refusing to be home at curfew, calling my father names such as ‘Dickhead’ and ‘idiot’ and generally abusive, name calling. Last night he refused to return from the movie when told to do so ...when my father went to collect him, 'G' became violent and my father was forced to restrain him as he kicked in the door of my
dad’s brand new car. He then took off into the night and refused to answer his phone. Finally today he answered to me, but refused to tell
me where he is and will not return home.

As I am married with children of my own, I don’t feel that him coming here would be the solution. What should we do? He has no money, no Job, no spare clothes, and only his bike. I can only imagine the dramatic fairytale he has told whoever he is staying with. Should we just let him go, to fend for himself he old enough legally to move out? Please Help!!

Run Away Problem

My 15 year old daughter has run away ...we did all the things you recommended not to do - i.e., threatened her with grounding and calling the cops and changing schools ...she has called us and told us that she is not coming home for a long time. I have contacted all her friends and their parents ...she has contacted her brother through her MySpace saying the same thing ...she is not coming home for a long time, what can we do now?

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I Quit!

My grand daughter is told not to leave the house ...she walks out the door. She is told to go to her room ...she responds with "just shut up, leave me alone and get away from me".

I am a LSW working for the state, yet I am to the point that I have smacked her in the mouth for cursing me and don't really care anymore if I lose my license as I would rather lose everything I have ever worked for than to live with a 14 year old talking to me the way she does and disrespecting me.

I have had this child in counseling since she was five years old. I quit, I'm no
longer willing to put forth my energy (what's left) to deal with this. I have also requested the state to take custody for placement in a treatment facility, requested the court to take action. I can get no help versus dropping her off, leaving and not returning.


He fits 7 out of 10 criteria for ODD...

I have a son that is seven yrs. old and is currently seeing a therapist for ODD. They have tried Concerta and Ritalin to no avail and are now starting vitamins and play therapy. He is out of control daily, biting, hitting, back talking, aggressive to dog and parents, ‘no’ means nothing. What else can be done? Could this be bipolar? He fits 7 out of 10 criteria for ODD.

My Out-of-Control Child


They found Jack Daniels and beers in the truck...

I don't know quite what to do--my son is almost 17-he has started smoking pot he says occasionally--he sells it sometimes (as he admits for money only) and now last night he was busted with 2 other kids for sneaking out of the house and causing a ruckus at McDonalds and they found Jack Daniels and beers in the truck at 4am. He had snuck out of the house. I truly don't know what to do anymore at this point. His grades this last semester were all F's--he went from honor roll to that.

Now what???

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We are running into problems...

I have just learned about ODD. My husband and I agree that the description fits our 13 year old son. Regardless of the label, we are running into problems we do not know how to solve. It is not even close to "incorrigible youth" time...but I guess it could come. He is very smart and I have read that can make a difference in how kids respond to programs.

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Nobody believes me...

I have a 13 year old daughter whom everyone has told me that she is just a normal teen. However, after reading several articles on O.D.D. there is no doubt in my mind this is HER down to a tee. I need help. Nobody believes me when I tell them she is moody, nasty to myself and husband and rude.

Bipolar + ODD

I am a stepmother of a 17 yr old son who has recently been diagnosed as BiPolar and ODD. Since the age of 2 we have been told of the outrageous behaviour & struggles that went on at his mothers. My husband & I on the other hand did not have the same difficulties until about age 7. Since then it has been a constant battle with mood swings, tantrums, defiance, mean & hurtful actions etc..

More recently after a year in a residential treatment facility for drug use and out of control behaviour he has decided to have absolutely no contact with his dad, myself or his young brother. He blames his father for every wrong, bad & unhappy event or moment in his life. He has decided that his mother, whom is almost exactly a mirror image of himself in all ways is his guardian angel.

Is there anything we can do or do we just hope he figures out that we do love him and we are not the evil people he believes we are now?

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I feel so helpless...

I'm desperate. 16yo son, out of control, destructive, hostile, huge anger issues, trouble with the law …dad left in Feb. JJAEP til end of June...then what? Psych has done MRI & EEG, no diagnosis yet. I feel so helpless and sad and hurt that his Dad would leave me to deal with this alone. Son is always sorry after, but the rage continues -- Name-calling, punching holes in walls, defiant, lazy. Am trying desperately to get him help, but I need it too! He's on probation with X-tra counsel. It's just not enough.

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She was high and love bites covering her neck...

I have dished out a 4-week grounding and no mobile phone. Is this to extreme? My daughter went missing a day and night in the city. She is 14years old. NO contact. Her friends were not with her. She came home after turning up to her job in the evening. She was high and love bites covering her neck. She takes risks all the time. She is defiant and has councilors but wont talk to them. We as parents cant keep her safe because no matter what disciplines and positive encouragement, she does as she pleases. She wants to go to a foster family. We don’t have boot camps or many facilities for teens out of control in New Zealand. I am emotionally trying to hold it together but don’t want to loose my daughter.

Mom's a Bounty Hunter

I have recently allowed my best friend's 15 yr old daughter to come stay with us due to the fact that she has been violent, smoked pot, not coming home for days and said she was going to run away and is very disrespectful to her family with very foul language.

I was an extremely troubled teen and I was also a runaway and got myself into near death situations. I also refused help from anyone when I noticed how bad I was hurting myself, and the ones I loved who loved me. I made it a goal to help myself. My motto was there is only one person who can help me now because I disappointed so many that I loved and the one person who can help me is me.

I have asked her what the problem is and she just says I don't know. The boys she was hanging out and doing all this with are 18 and over and they have all been kicked out for the same behavior problems she has. I also told her to take a good look at their life style and see where it has got them. She seems to think that prison is a walk in the park and that she can whoop anyone even the authorities. I have seen a little improvement I have to say, but that is here and I worry about when she gets home.

I guess I should have mentioned that I am a bounty hunter. I'm not sure if she has not given me any attitude because of that reason or if she is really scared now since I told her about all of my experiences with my teen years. She has the best home life ever, so I am worried that she is going to end up on the streets regretting it and she might not be as tough as I was. I could write a book and it would be a #1 seller. I have counseled some teens of other friends of mine and they have listened and made a difference. I also talk to the criminals who I arrest and I have been at work when I got a call 2 years later and they are telling me thank you for letting them know about me and how I was and that they choose to change.

Some of the criminals have earned a new name now and I call them my friends and they have a wonderful life. Some I have seen dead. I hate that because that was the first thing I had to deal with when I ran away. There is nothing scarier than to be 13 yrs old and seeing a dead body laying on the floor when you wake up and the police there. I still listened to people because I was stuck. I thought and I still kept running. I've been beaten, raped, stabbed, shot at, and more. I'm not proud of that!! I am proud to be alive and able to try to help. I guess my point is I'm not a youth director.

I am not running out to look for her...

My daughter once again for the third time ran away because just when I thought she was doing well and I could trust her she lied and was sneaky. I called the police immediately but I am not running out to look for her. I’m carrying on with my every day responsibilities and life for the sake of the other child that is home.

I do love her …I have been there for her all the time …I have tried to talk to her many times …I do not hit my daughter …she is not mistreated. At this point I am not sure of what to do, if they find her, to force her to come home just so she can run away again or lie and steal from me again. I don’t think this is the answer. I was hoping that they would not find her until she misses her room, her clothes, her bed and the life that she has had, which is one that is not very hard, but in any house there are rules and this is not something she wants to follow.


I did have to put him into a choke hold...

Last night there was a struggle between my son and his brother (whom shares the bedroom) over shutting off the TV. Our house rule is TV off at 9:30 p.m. It wasn't off last night at 9:30 p.m. and so I took the TV out of the room. BUT, the yelling and screaming didn't end. He and his brother continued to bicker. I feel if I let one out of the room it reinforces one can win over the other. Of course, the eldest continued because he felt he should be able to watch the TV or one of them should leave the room. We have no other bedrooms in the house. I could let my oldest sleep in the basement (not finished, but new home and has carpet - and wouldn't be the end of the world), but I don't trust him. I feel he would continue to make large messes - in which he already has done and continues to do upstairs. He is doing his chores weekly but only to throw clothes out of every dresser drawer the next day -- or wet towels, soap, toothpaste, clothes in the bathroom. I feel by letting him move out of the room it is reinforcement for his continued yelling and screaming and fighting with his brother. And then my biggest fear is moving his bed and dresser downstairs -- trying to work out a situation and then only to exhaustingly move it right back upstairs - because he doesn't seem to follow through with responsibility very long (could last one week).

He is cursing, yelling, refusing to go to bed. I would love to walk away and wait for him to get back into bed. BUT, HE WAITS IT OUT BADGERING EVERYONE -- WAKING UP EVEN OUR YOUNGEST SON. The oldest even will admit he is going to continue until everyone is up and miserable like him.

Last night I told him if he didn't stop calling me FB, my husband a fag, and all of the rest of his filthy mouthing words, I would smack him in the mouth. I told him if he attacked me (as he has in the past) I would make sure he lost. I am not going to bullied by him any longer. It wound up I did have to put him into a choke hold.

Of course, in the end to get things quieted back down his brother went to sleep on the couch and H___ brother got his way -- no television as it is put away - but his brother was out of the room.

My Out-of-Control Teen

I am about to lose it!

I need help as a mother with dealing with ADHD/ODD and spouses as step parents. My husband (which is my son's step father) is resentful of my son's behavior and almost acts as bad as my son pulling me directionally back and forth. I often feel his approach to dealing with issues isn't correct and his lack of empathy is due to years of conflict with my son and the fact there is no biological tie.

Perfect example last night -- My son lost control of his mouth last night all over not being able to ride in the front seat of the car! And I should mention the reason for getting in the car was to go pick up my son's bike at his father's house. After my son slammed the car door shut, yelling at his brother, he went off with a roll of abusive, cursing words. I told him to slow down and listen to what he was saying because the reason we were going was to go to the bank and then get his bike. My son continued - I backed the car out of the garage and proceeded to the bank (with my middle son in the car).

I decided not to react to the words he was saying in our driveway and he followed up by flipping me the middle finger. I kept on driving pretending not to notice. I saw he went into the house.

It wasn't only 3 minutes into my drive and my husband called my cell phone; asking what just happened. I told him and my husband jumped in by asking me why I wasn't punishing him for flipping me the middle finger. Then my husband reacts by asking me why I felt it was okay to leave him with the angry kid. I simply said to my husband - "I told you I was going to the bank and to get his bike. I am not going to get the bike now but to the bank only and will home within 30 minutes." End of conversation.

I came home to find my son in bed half asleep and not bothering anyone except - he refused to get up and clean up tools he left in the driveway from his tirade. It started to rain - so I left everything as is (which included a radio). At 9:30 p.m. -- all three boys in bed - my husband asks me where the phone is (we have a home cell phone).

You must know we battle with my out of control son using items and losing items - this includes a constant struggle to put the phone back after he uses it. H___ had used the phone a handful of times prior to the earlier incident. I knew of no one else who used it. I didn't know where it was but because it is something we continually talk about with my son - it shows a united, consistent front between my husband and I decided to go up and ask him where the phone was. My son blew up again yelling about letting him sleep. He said he didn't know where the xxxxed phone was -- leave him the fxxx alone - etc.

I decided to follow through with asking about the phone and he jumped out of bed yelling at the top of his lungs. He finally ran to the bathroom and locking the door - still yelling through the door. I held out… waiting for him to open the door and try to find the phone. In the meantime, my husband walked around the house with his cell phone calling our home cell to locate it. To no avail - no phone. After 30 minutes I was able to unlock the bathroom door, push my way in and talk to my son. I told him I wasn't going to allow him to talk to me that way, he wasn't going to scare the entire household with his tantrums, and he needed to calm down and think about what he did with the phone. After several minutes and getting him to calm down it sounds as if he really did put the phone back and doesn't know where it put it. Near tears I told him "if you would have talked to me in a civil tone when I first asked, I may have believed him, but the behavior from earlier and his reaction now is out of control -- and no one knows what to think." I told him to go to bed.

I walked into my bedroom and flopped down on the bed in desperation. My feet landed on my husbands t-shirt and socks he took off earlier --- the phone was under my husband's shirt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I wanted to crumble.

Am I saying my husband put the phone there purposely -- No, absolutely not. Am I saying he knew it was there - no. However, my husband was keyed up from the earlier incident, he gets keyed up about the misplaced phone, and I do feel he pick-pokes at things when not necessary. I am sure being all keyed up, he truly forgot himself he took the phone upstairs -- and probably did so when my son stormed in the house earlier. And even though this backfired on him, there was no apologies.

My husband told me, "I didn't ask you to get H___ out of bed. All I said is where is the phone." My husband then rants on about how even though the phone issue was mute the fact was H___ didn't need to act this way. He told me H___ should not talk this way to me and I should be punishing more.

My husband seems to continually ask questions like this- late at night - when I am on the way out the door - when we are about to sit at the dinner table -- they are open-ended questions which he knows will likely cause a storm. If I do nothing and tell him I am not addressing this now, he is upset and says I avoid issues. If I address the issue for the sake of respecting my husband and standing side by side and should things go awry, my husband goes back to simple statements like "All I asked is .... or I never said to do ....." This then is followed up with "H___'s behavior is terrible - there is no progress in our house - this is the most dysfunctional mess" …on and on and on and on.

I am about to lose it!

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He seems to think the world revolves around him...

My 15 yr old kid is not a "bad" kid. He gets good grades, does his home work without being asked (most of the time), is an avid rugby player, and generally a normal teen.

My problem is that he and my partner just do not get on well. This is due to the fact that my teen son has a monumental attitude problem and will not take instructions without an argument. He argues about everything. He resists any discipline and will not do any chores without a fight.

I realise I am partly to blame in that I have always treated him with respect and have listened to him and tried to adopt an adult approach in discussing options with him. However he has got to the point now where he thinks he’s entitled. He seems to think the world revolves around him alone and gets mad when we try to establish some order in the house.