Online Parent Support Chat


CHAT - Online Parent Support

She is highly stressed by this situation...


I found your course on the internet whilst researching teen pregnancy. My 19-year-old niece has been behaving very much the way you describe, ie. as an out-of-control-teen. Her relationship with her mother (my sister) is almost totally broken. My niece (Emily) is not living at home any more; she has moved in with a boyfriend and is now pregnant. She will keep the baby.

Emily has so much anger towards her mother, yet I feel she really needs her right now and beyond. This situation is not really a match for what your book and course are designed to address but I wondered if you think there could be something of value for my sister? She is highly stressed by this situation and is just being used by my niece as a "punching bag" - when they are in contact that is. Given that Emily is not living at home anymore it may be that your course is not really relevant. Please let me know what you think.

Thank you,


Can you really help?!!!

I have just found your site and am hoping it might help me before I call the foster folks to take my son away (age 14). I am at the end now, and ready to leave home it is so bad. I do not usually go for stuff on the internet and am always weary when one has to pay, as there are many scams out there.

Do you really think you can help with: constant foul mouth, disrespect, violence and destruction, negativity and the rest? The trouble is I feel we are turning into him!!!

Its 2.30 in the morning here in new Zealand and we had a blow out tonight, and things were damaged. I really am desperate.

Can you really help?!!!

Out-of-Control Teens


Talk About Chaos.

I have 3 children all of which are very disrespectful. They don't want to do their assigned chores. They fight among themselves. They also curse in front of me like I'm not around. My oldest daughter lies, and I find it hard to trust her. My son who is after her has punched and kicked holes in my wall. His anger can get out of control. The youngest daughter has watched the two older siblings perform -- now she is beginning to follow suit. Please, is there any way I can get peace in my house?


Having a baby isn't the best idea...

Is there any easy way to try to show a 17-year-old girl that having a baby so young isn’t the best idea and can ruin her future, as well as possibly messing up the child’s?

Here's some pointers on this subject:

1. Show her why teen pregnancy is a bad idea. Let her hear directly from teen mothers and fathers about how hard it has been for them. She needs real-life examples to help motivate her.

2. Talk to her honestly about love, sex, and relationships. Just because she’s young doesn't mean that she can't fall in love or be deeply interested in sex. These feelings are very real and powerful to her. Help her to handle the feelings in a safe way - without getting hurt or hurting others.

3. Telling her not to have sex is not enough. Explain to her why you feel that way, and ask her what she thinks. Tell her how you felt as a teen. Listen to her and take her opinions seriously. And no lectures!

4. Whether she’s having sex or not, she needs to be prepared. She needs to know how to avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

5. If she asks you about sex or birth control, don't assume she is already having sex. She may just be curious, or may just want to talk with someone she trusts. And don't think giving her information about sex and birth control will encourage her to have sex.

6. Pay attention to her before she gets into trouble. She needs encouragement, attention, and support. Reward her for doing the right thing - even when it seems like no big thing. Don't shower her with attention only when there is a baby involved.

7. Sometimes, all it takes not to have sex is not to have the opportunity. If you can't be home with her after school, make sure she has something to do that she really likes, where there are other kids and some adults who are comfortable with kids her age. Often teens have sex because there's not much else to do.

8. She really cares what you think, even if she doesn’t always act like it. When she doesn’t do exactly what you tell her to, don't think that you've failed to reach her.

9. Show her what good, responsible relationships look like. She is as influenced by what you do as by what you say. If you demonstrate sharing, communication, and responsibility in your own relationships, she will be more likely to follow your example.

How can I get her to respect me...?

May 16-year-old daughter has ADHD and anxiety issues. With the help of Adderal she is making pretty good grades but could do better. My biggest problem with her is our lack of communication. I have 3 heads and she blows everything I say out of proportion and throws a tantrum. I have now entered menopause and I don't want to deal with her. That's bad I know, but it's how I feel.

She is making a lot of poor choices that I wish I could talk to her about, but I get nowhere. She just screams in my face and I just want to pack my bags and leave until she grows up and learns from her own mistakes. How can I get her to respect me enough to listen to my advice?


Unfortunately, “providing advice” is just another “traditional” parenting strategy that has little or no effect. And it’s not surprising that she doesn’t listen. Usually, both child and parent are in so much of their own individual emotional pain that “listening” is nearly impossible.

Dealing with temper tantrums is covered in detail here:


My son is pretty much ruining my life.

I really need some help with my son. Like the others, he is controlling and always starting up fights. It is not quiet in my house. Now he has ruined my relationship with my fiance of 5 years with his actions because my son doesn’t want him here because my fiance is stricter than myself and sons need that. My son is pretty much ruining my life.

Out of control Teen


He refuses to go to school.

My son refuses to go to school. He even begs me not to send him! When I insist that he go, he starts to vomit. He is very bright and I'm afraid he will flunk this semester. I don't know what to do. I'm afraid to push him too far for fear he will completely lose it.

Refusal to go to school is a relatively common occurrence, affecting one out of every 100 children and adolescents. In depressed or anxious kids, that number is much higher -- as high as one in four, and in some cases even greater.

A new study shows that behavioral therapy in combination with medication can help these adolescents return to school, but depression may persist.

Researchers encourage parents to seek help, find out why the child doesn't want to go to school, and try therapy before using a medication.

Children and adolescents with school refusal are likely bound to suffer from other problems such as anxiety, mood disorders, social phobia or clinical depression. The longer a child stays out of school the harder it is for them to go back, so it is best to try to get the child back into school as quickly as possible. However, it may be hard to accomplish as when forced they are prone to temper tantrums, crying spells, psychosomatic or panic symptoms and threats of self-harm. These problems quickly fade if the child is allowed to stay home.


I need immediate help...

I am reading the e-book and find it very helpful. However, I need immediate help with a situation. My son has stayed away from home for a couple of days because we had an argument. He refuses to answer my calls. He told his father he was at a friend's house, but he has been instructed to call home. We have not seen him since yesterday morning. The last time he did this, he stayed away for four days.

Out of control teens


We barely make it...

I'm a single mother with three kids, we barely make it from month to month ...ex-husband pays us no child support. I'm on disability. Is there any help out there for us?

CLICK HERE for financial assistance resources...

Anyone out there know what I am going through...?

I just came across this website and have joined up. I have an out of control teenage daughter. Wasn't always out of control, but now she is. I am frustrated to death, doesn't seem to be any support out there for parents, now when it comes to the law. She just turned 17, started going out with a guy about a month ago, first boyfriend. Anyhow, she stayed out all night last week, didn't call, didn't answer her cell phone. I was worried to death -- my husband was too.

Comes home the next morning and wants to know what our problem is for being mad with her. No "I’m sorry", a lame story that we know was a lie. Plus, she wasn't supposed to be out because of exams. Gets worse.

Decides she is 17, and to hell with us, she will go live with her boyfriend. (Going out 1 month). His parents let her move in! She doesn't want to come home, and the law states there is nothing I can do. That was 4 days ago.

Now I learn, that her 20 almost 21 yr old boyfriend, is on a methadone problem and had a restraining order against him for stalking a girl in the past. How do I deal with this?

My other two daughters are sweet and respectful - we have a good family life, nothing going on that would explain this type of behaviour. Anyone out there know what I am going through, because I don't know how much I can take and how do I stand by and watch my kid throw her life away?


My son assaulted both my husband and I...

It has gotten so bad we have had the police at our home, my son has assaulted both my husband and I only because we asked him to do something he refused to do – when directed to his bedroom, he started shoving and tried to pin me to the ground. He says he hates our home, he calls us all sorts of names. We have two other younger boys who are suffering from this.

My oldest is seeing a counselor but not fast enough – he is on Adderall – but I can’t see any results (after changing several meds), he now refuses to do anything – tells us he refuses to do anything, we are on pins and needles because we aren’t sure how to tip toe around his behavior each and every night. He even yells out anything he feels and tells us he is doing this behavior because he knows we don’t like it. I am wondering if he needs psychological testing. Is your material for this type of behavior? Or does he need more help than counseling and some meds?


Got kids with ODD and ADHD? Here's help!!

Can your program help parents with children as young as 7-8?

I have a 7-year-old son with Tourette's Syndrome and ODD (and borderline OCD). He is on medication but the ODD is ruining our family. In spite of the fact that he is a very smart, very sweet child, his behavior has been getting more and more out of control. He is prone to very high levels of frustration, is explosive, rude, physically aggressive to every member of the family (we also have 2 daughters just a bit younger than my son). He blames others for his behavior, is very defiant and doesn't respond to any form of discipline. He does not act out at school but falls apart when at home.

We are not bad parents but we are at a loss as to how to help him, protect our daughters from the constant rages (they are suffering from this so much) and, to find some sanity in this. Can your program help parents with children as young as 7-8 or is it really intended for parents of teenagers? It won't be long before we hit the teen years but we need something now.



As long as your child lives under your roof, these parenting strategies will work for you and your out of control child -- whether he's age 2, 12, or 22.

I need an exorcised.

Hi Mark,

Thank you for your reply. I find your overview quite interesting. I have a 15- year-old teenage daughter who has broken my spirit. I have an x-husband working against me through her. She is extremely verbally abusive to me (as my x-husband was) and puts me down constantly, and I do all I can for her. I'm just heartbroken, and ready to enforce her living with her dad. Problem is, she will get worse with him. She blackmails me for him, attempting me to write-off past child support. He makes her all these promises he never keeps. He refuses to even have visitation with her because he is court-ordered to pay child support. He has been charged twice with failure to pay and once with contempt. So, in summary, she has learned through my x-husband to manipulate me, and she gets her way if not through me, then him. I don't believe you are a miracle worker. I need an exorcised.


Ms. W.

I'm a lone parent and don't know where else to turn...

Hi I'm not sure u can help, but my problem isn't at home it's my child at school. The school has tried taking him out of lessons he doesn't like, but he's persistent with being abusive to teachers, violent towards staff members (throwing things, kicking furniture and swearing). If he doesn't want to go to a lesson or leave the classroom after an incident he refuses and retaliates. When told to do so he disrupts lessons antagonizing, disrupting, seeking anyway he can to get a attention and being centre stage.

On a number of occasion's I’ve been asked to attend meetings with a school education psychologist. I’ve attended a child and parent program. My 12-year-old feels everyone is against him and this is now the second time he's been suspended from school only for a few days, but it still goes on his record. I feel it's now effecting his education, I don't know what else I can do.

When I read your site I thought you were talking about my son he has:

  • Loss of temper
  • Argues with adults mainly teachers
  • Refuses to comply with rules and requests
  • Deliberately annoys people
  • Blames others for mistakes and misbehavior
  • He's touchy and annoyed by others especially when told NO or asked to do something he doesn't particularly want to do
  • Angry and resentful
  • Spiteful

My son feels he's a failure and says he no good at things or he's not good enough. He has said on 2 occasions now he no longer wants to be on this planet and that he wishes he were dead. Often his actions are done without thinking about the following consequences. Afterwards he feels remorse often ending up in tears about what he's said or done. I'm a lone parent and don't know where else to turn.

Please help

Miss J.C.

Worried mum

Got Help!?


My Out-of-Control Teen

I had my teenager transferred from hospital to jail...

Dear Mark,

I appreciate your support and your phone call. I had my teenager transferred from hospital to jail the day you called …she had some mental health problem …she keeps violating restraining order …when I have more time I will read some more on the website or call you. Thanks T.


Hi T.,

Welcome to the family of 'tough love' -- it's especially tough for the parent! But, it's always in the best interest of the child!! It’s better for her to experience some “short-term mild pain” rather than allowing her to stay in "out of control" mode and experience resultant “long-term major pain.”

Stay tough Mom,


I am at wits end...

I just had a major argument with my 14-year-old son regarding his school assignments. He suffers from depression and has missed a lot of days from school. Therefore, he is behind. His teachers are willing to work with him to get caught up, but he is refusing to do any work. He says he doesn’t care anymore. He is in the 9th grade and failing. This problem began in his 8th grade year. His 7th grade year, he had a 2.9 G.P.A. He graduated from the 6th grade with a 4.0. I am at wits end.



Unfortunately, you can't motivate your son to perform well academically. Do yourself a big favor and get out of the business of playing principle, vice-principle, dean, school counselor, teacher, etc. It's not your job - school is your son's job.If he were working at McDonald's, for example, you wouldn't show-up there to see whether or not he was putting the pickle between the top bun and the beef patty, that he was frying the fries at the right temperature, that he was putting the right amount of ice in the cups, etc. You would know that your son's performance - or lack thereof - is between he and his boss. And if he gets fired - it's all on him. The same is true for school. What goes on there is between your son and his boss - the teacher.If the problem is behavioral, that falls in your court. If the problem is poor academic performance however, that should be the teacher's concern alone.

I know teachers will want to recruit you to help them with their job (e.g., check that homework, sign this slip, etc.). Simply say to the teacher, "Poor academic performance is a constant source of tension in my home ...I'm not going to monitor it anymore. If he's misbehaving - call me. Otherwise, his poor performance is his problem."

The more you take responsibility for your son's academics, the less responsibility he will take. The problem is an ownership problem. Let go of ownership of your son’s education. No more nagging about homework. No more asking about assignments. This problem belongs to your son. When you give up ownership, your son will have to make a choice - he'll have to decide if he will or will not accept ownership of his schoolwork. And he'll lose the power of pushing your education buttons, to frustrate and worry you.

Out-of-control kids intentionally get low grades to push their parents’ buttons. Often parents are in a never-ending cycle of their kid’s sabotage. Since parents are continuously telling their kids how important grades are, their kids use this information to anger them. The more parents try, the less out-of-control kids work.

Your son is not going to end up sitting on the street corner with a tin can waiting for coins to be handed him from sympathetic passersby. Get rid of the fear that poor school performance will damage his future. When he decides it's time to succeed, he will. I've never meet a kid yet that didn't realize - at some point - that he at least needed to get some form of education and/or skills training.

I know this is a difficult thing for you to hear. And most parents disagree with my recommendation on the subject of poor academic performance. But many of these same parents continue to "do it their way" only to find that "their way" is still not working.

Often times, parents ground their kid for the whole grading period because of failing grades. In those cases, I always ask the parent if that strategy worked. The parent always responds by saying "no."

Take a step of faith here and try my recommendation. The parents who do follow it find that their child's grades -- although never perfect -- improve significantly over time.


I don't know what to do...

I have a daughter who makes disastrous decisions. She always seems to want to be bad. She says hurtful things to those that she loves the most, and has lost all of her friends. She makes terrible decisions, tells lies about people, etc. I don't know what to do.

His parents seem ineffective...

My friend is a Boy Scout leader, and he has a child who fits your descriptions to a T (he is about 11 years old). His parents seem ineffective, and medication is not an option. My friend has to deal with him once a week, and with no parental support. Do you have any suggestions on how he can deal with this child?



I am so worried....

I am very interested in your website and what it has to offer. I have a daughter who is skipping school, failing her grades, hanging out with the wrong crowd, and found out she is smoking. Her friends all do drugs so that is a concern of mine too. And the ones she hangs out with most all have long police record, and my daughter was caught in one of the stores with one of them for stealing some stuff that my daughter didn’t even need ...the other girl does. I am finding all types of things in her room that I don’t know where she is getting them from, including a DVD player. She keeps using the same reason: “My friend gave it to me.” I am so worried. She has never acted like this before.

Today I exploded in the car...

Good morning,

I visited your website this morning, out of desperation. Every morning & every evening, I argue with my youngest child (11 years). She seems to go down the rungs with irritating everyone in the family. She also has ruminating thoughts, and delivers these thoughts of information differently to every person in the house -- the constant back talk and not doing as she is told. She constantly interrupts or interjects her thoughts on every person’s conversations. Or turns a conversation into something about her.

She pushes past people in a mall, line or isle as if she is the most important person. She needs constant daily reminders of things that need to get done. She tells me tasks are completed only to find they are not. It feels like she never gets it. It feels like I am having the same conversations and arguments about the same things every single gosh darn day. She is insatiable. She wants everything. And the arguments flair every time we walk into a store to buy groceries. She finds something she says she needs. Most often the answer is "No".

Today I exploded in the car, because once again I am late for work over an argument and to find she is sneaking non-academic items to school. She very much wants to get all of the attention at school and usually chooses friends we do not care for. She can be disruptive in school but these phone calls are not consistent. She is very active, but the medications diminish her drive and her creativity becomes null and void. I would rather not have the stepford like child. I would like to help my child to control her impulses and inappropriate behavior and prep for a positive future and a future that she can have great relationships and a successful career.

Do you believe your material can help us with managing this child or should we revert to the doctors again for medication? My husband and I have two other daughters. And yes we did and do have tough moments, but all and all they are well-behaved and mannered children. I feel like my third child tests me pretty much every single moment that I am around her. The third child has broken down relationships with both siblings. They are easily irritated by her and her attention-seeking behavior. They have actually said they can't stand to be around the youngest. It kills us, but I can empathize.

She is not violent. She can be provoked by others when they don't' want to listen to her, or watch her perform a dance or sing. She can also become angry if the children tell her to "go away" or "just leave them alone" or to "please stop talking". I would be hurt also if I was constantly told to "Go away", "Just stop talking", "Could you back up or give me a little space".

When I come home from work she runs up to greet me. And she can hug and kiss me for a full minute, like I was gone for a week. Her actions almost fell not genuine. And I feel awful by feeling like this. My husband does comment and will say "Lauren enough, please, its not as thought she has been gone on a business trip" …I do get a bit freaked out. And it makes me angry that I feel like this. I then think that if something would happen, such illness or an accident and I would cherish the moments that she hugged me so tightly and kissed me so aggressively on the cheek and I would be so guilt stricken.

Then there are those moments in which she can be very tender and caring, hugging and enjoyable to be around. Those usually are the 30 minutes before bed and I am tickling her on the arm. Again I am giving her attention, but at this time she is quiet.

I am desperate, mentally exhausted and I would like to try another avenue to get my child under control.

Thank you and kindest regards,




How do I know if I need to make some serious changes in the way I parent?

How do I know if I need to make some serious changes in the way I parent?



Please review the following statements. Are they true for you rarely, sometimes or frequently?

1. I have a hard time saying “no” to my child.
2. When I say “no’ to my child, “no” eventually becomes a “maybe”which eventually becomes a “yes”.
3. I have blamed myself for my child’s misbehavior.
4. I sometimes feel guilty about my parenting (e.g., “I haven’t done enough” or “I haven’t done a very good job”).
5. I often feel distant from my child.
6. I feel that my child has no appreciation for all I’ve done for him/her.
7. I try to be my kid’s “friend.”
8. I sometimes feel sorry for my child.
9. I have ‘gone off’ on my kid …then out of feelings of guilt, I let him have his way.
10. My kid uses guilt-trips on me a lot.
11. My kid usually gets his way in the long run.
12. He can be verbally/physically aggressive.
13. She refuses to do any chores.
14. He is very manipulative.
15. I feel guilty because of having to work and not being able to spend enough time with my kid.
16. I feel sorry for the kid because of divorce or an abandoning
17. I don’t want my kids to have to go through what I went through.
18. My kid is in charge (the tail is wagging the dog).
19. My kid feels entitled to privileges, but not responsible for his actions.
20. She does not get along well with authority figures.
21. He believes the rules do not apply to him.
22. She is resentful about something that happened in the past.
23. He has attention-deficit problems too.

Do these phrases describe your kid's behavior fairly accurately?

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
9. Often bullies, threatens, or intimidates others
10. Often initiates physical fights
11. Has used a weapon that can cause serious physical harm to others (a bat, brick, broken bottle, knife, gun)
12. Physically cruel to animals
13. Physically cruel to people
14. Has stolen other's property
15. Has broken into someone else's house, building or car
16. Often lies to obtain goods or favors or to avoid work
17. Often stays out at night despite parental prohibitions
18. Has run away from home overnight without returning home for a lengthy period
19. Often skips school

Now you know whether or not the info in my eBook is for you...

I don’t want your children to view this eBook because I’ll be showing you some strategies that I don’t want them to know about (otherwise it would be like showing your poker hand in a game of poker).

Mark Hutten, M.A.

A message from Mark (click on the big play button)

Download "My Out-of-Control Teen" eBook Here

The frequency and intensity of our "arguments" has lessened.


I just wanted to post an update to an issue I posted here about my 17- year-old high school senior named G___.

First of all, I want to say THANK YOU! After reading through the book, and trying most of the strategies you have there, the frequency and intensity of our "arguments" has lessened. In fact, the last encounter was more than 2 weeks ago. Let me share…

I started a conversation with our son about an issue I had with something he was doing. I have learned not to keep things in, but to acknowledge that something is wrong immediately. That doesn't mean that I don't pick my battles. But if it is something that truly troubles me, I talk about it with him right then and there.

First, I put on my "poker face". I started the conversation and maintained my tone and intensity as if I was having a casual conversation with a friend. He became very upset and angry about the issue. He began raising his voice and the intensity of his side of the discussion became very high. I, contrary to the way I used to react, maintained my tone and demeanor. He continued to try to push my buttons, but I didn't let him.

Mark, you say that these types of children feed on the energy, zapping it from you at every chance. I was amazed, but I could feel the energy in the room going from him to me, and you know what, it felt good!!!

Now I know why he thrives on the arguments. It actually was invigorating. No kidding!!

Eventually, he realized that he wasn't going to feed on my energy and backed down from the situation. There was a brief period (a couple of hours) of the usual no conversation and acting like I wasn't even there, but later that evening, he was actually acting more like the son

I remember about a year ago. That was the last altercation we have had. And these usually were happening at least once or twice a day.

The other night, my wife and I even got good night hugs. Not just a arms around the back, but an actual "squeeze me hard" hug. Neither one of us knew that the other got this until we compared notes before going to bed. And you know what, it felt really good!

I can't tell you how easy it was for me to implement the ideas in your book. Oh, they took some planning. In the beginning I felt like I was getting ready for the Super Bowl. I was constantly planning for every possible issue that might come up and had my reaction, or non-reaction planned. I now find the time to find him doing the good things and let him know how proud I am of him, and I try not to react to some of the negative things that really can be overlooked.

I also have learned how to "negotiate". If he does something good, I try not to say "NO" too quickly to a request for an extra 30 minutes out with friends, or to have a buddy spend the night. I think he realizes that these "extras" are due to the fact that he is cooperating with us. To put it quite simply, it is almost like training a new puppy.

In retrospect, I can say that our issues with our son weren't quite as intense as it is for some other parents out there. But the steps in your book point out the things that we as parents are not doing for our children that makes a big difference in their, and our lives.

Thank you, again, for your help. I will continue to use the knowledge

I gained from your book in continuing to deal with him. I know it isn't over, but I feel we definitely are on the right path. I tell everyone about your web site.

Regards and God Bless!

How am I supposed to make rules? What kind of future does this child have?

I have a 13-year-old son who has become belligerent and hostile over the past year or so. He does have many valid problems such as being in the eighth grade and being almost six feet tall and almost 300 lbs. We have tried to change his eating habits, to no avail.

He also is dealing with our divorce. I left his father (although we all still live together) a year ago. I have a relationship that I am very happy in. This man has brought stability to my life and I deserve some. He is open to helping my son as well. My son goes back and forth in his acceptance of this man in my life. Mostly to what suits him.

My ex husband was never around. He was wrapped up in his own life and his own group of friends and never included me in anything. He never paid me any mind. He withheld sex from me since my son was 3. After years of begging him to "come around" and be a husband, I finally quit. That is only the tip of the iceberg.

There are legal matters, which I don't want to go into, and it has drained him (and his parents) financially and emotionally. He is also a parent only when it suits him. He isn't involved with my son except for one night a week. He talks down to him, as he did me, and my son feels as though his father is a jerk and does not understand why he is like this. I have told my son that it is NOT him. That it is his father and that he should take any ownership of his father's actions.

My son is spoiled rotten by his grandfather. Only recently has his grandfather stopped trumping me when it came to discipline. If my father-in-law felt that my discipline was out of line, he would do the opposite. Example: I did not want my son to play with guns as a child. He continued to buy my son guns of all kinds, regardless what I said. This was a thorn in my side for years. If my son lost or broke a toy, my father in law would buy him another one just like it, even though I said no. My son was given anything and everything he wanted since he was born, no matter what I felt or said. It's hard to keep him away from him because we live in their house. Separate apartments.

My mother-in-law has taken care of my son since birth so I could work. At some point, I lost my power as his mother. For the most part she tries to go along with me, but it's hard when your husband just plain won't. My son has learned how to manipulate everyone in the family. He constantly plays us against each other.

This past September, he started failing miserably in school. He is in therapy with a child psychologist. I had a core evaluation done. I also got an independent eval done. The independent psychiatrist put him on medication for bi-polar disorder. I don't think this is the case. I believe he is more ODD. He is taking Depakote for his moods, Inderal and Abilify for his anger outbursts. He has been on these meds since October. We have seen some improvements, but nothing major.

At least once a week, my son calls me from school wanting to come home. I will not allow him to leave school. He says he's all stressed out. When I don't give in to him, I get called names and blamed for his problems. Problem for him is that I am also a bi-polar, and you can't bull**** a bull*******. He can pull it over on the teachers and the school staff, even his grandparents, but not me.

I am trying my best to ride the waves of this and puberty, but I feel as though I'm going to lose it sometimes.

There is no consistency in discipline with him. I am his mother. But when you make a rule and you have no back up from the father, and his grandfather gives into him every time, it becomes ineffective. Example: I took away his X-box video game until his grades came up in November. He has begged me for it back repeatedly, but I never gave in. Now I find out that he has had it for several weeks because his grandfather didn't want to fight with him. So how am I supposed to make rules?

How am I supposed to get the respect as a parent when this man continually does this? My son is spoiled rotten. He has no respect for authority and I fear that this will go further. If he doesn't respect me, (forget his father ...he can't be bothered ...he won't back me up unless he agrees with me) and he barely respects anyone else, then what kind of future does this child have?



A weaker plan support by all the caretakers (i.e., mother, father, grandparents) is much better than a stronger plan supported by only one parent.

The most common thing in children with ODD is that a lot of the suffering that the child inflicts on others is blamed on others. ODD kids convince mothers that fathers have mistreated them. They convince parents that the teachers are treating them unfairly. They convince teachers that the parents are bad, etc.

You have to come together and never believe anything the child with ODD tells you about how others treat them. In order to do this, all parties need to talk directly with each other without the child as an intermediary. Mothers need to talk face to face with fathers. Parents need to talk with teachers and with principals. Sometimes Parole officers, parents, teachers and others have to all sit down together for the purpose of making it impossible for the child to play one person or group off against another. Here are some concrete suggestions:

  • Ask to sit down with the principals and teachers regularly.

  • Make it school and home policy to never rely on information your child with ODD gives you about what others have done.

  • Do not include the child in these discussions.

  • Sit down with all caretakers to make sure they understand ODD and they follow the above policy.

Online Parent Support

I would like to know where I stand.


I have a ten year old son with an ex partner and I’m having trouble with where he wants to live. Has the child got a say at ten years of age? He wants to live with his dad, and I would like to know where I stand.



If you are the legal guardian, and if your son is only 10-years-old, then he must live wherever you say he must live. If he takes off over to dad’s house, you can file a run-away charge.

Alternatively, you may want to let his dad have a shot at raising him …see how it goes. If it doesn’t work out (and it usually doesn’t for a variety of reasons that I don’t have time to go into right now), then you’ll have your ex wanting to work WITH you at a more significant level perhaps.



Conduct Disorder

If a child has Conduct Disorder, there are safety concerns. Sometimes it is the personal safety of others in the school, family, or community. Sometimes it is the safety of the possessions of other people in the school, family or community. Often the safety of the child with Conduct Disorder is a great concern. If you have a child with Conduct Disorder in your home, most likely you do not feel entirely safe. Or, you do not feel that your things are entirely safe. It is the hardest pediatric disorder to live with as a sibling, parent, or foster parent. Nothing else even comes close.


This one is out of control...

I have a teen who just does not listen to me and is doing very poorly in school. He is my sister's kid, but I have custody of him. My sister passed in 2000, and even before she passed he was a troubled teen. I got the kids in counseling immediately after the death of their mother. Two of the kids are just normal teens, but this one is out of control, and now at this point I’m thinking about placing him in foster care because I have no other options left with him.



My 15-year-old girl thinks that she is 21...

Help! My 15-year-old girl thinks that she is 21. She wants everything for nothing, is very, very fresh, and has daily temper tantrums. She does not care about anything but how she looks and boys, and has already lost her virginity and has been cutting. She is in therapy, which is working out. This is so hard.


How can I help her understand the consequences of her actions?

I have a 9-year-old daughter who is always trying to take control of my job (daycare provider) and has recently been in trouble at school for bossing and being cruel to her friends. How can I help her understand the consequences of her actions?



Is 16 years to late or can I still work on it?

Hi. I have just joined Online Parent Support and can’t wait to get started. I hope it is as good as I have heard. Is 16 years to late or can I still work on it?


As long as your child is living under YOUR roof, the techniques in "My Out-of-Control Child" eBook will work.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) and Conduct Disorder (CD) are two bad problems. There is no easy solution. If the parent is not careful, it can destroy her long before it ruins the teenager. If nothing is done, the outcome WILL be dismal. It is absolutely key to keep working to do everything you can to keep this problem from devastating your life and your child's.

ODD and CD are the worst psychiatric problems that a parent has to bear. If the parent does not approach these problems with this view, it will most likely devour her. Even when everything is done right, a bad outcome is still possible. On the other hand, successfully helping a child with ODD and/or CD is the most rewarding thing a parent or caregiver can experience.


Anger Management For Boys

I downloaded your ebook, which is excellent for working with the parents; but I also need something that I can use in working with boys to help them identify and manage their anger.


Here's the course I would highly recommend ...all my probationers must attend this course as a condition of their probation. It is a "best practice" called "Thinking for a Change" or "T4C."

Here's the link:



I would like a checklist on how to assess anger management.

I would like a checklist on how to assess anger management.


Here you go:

Y N 1. Sometimes I feel like I could hurt someone.
Y N 2. Sometimes I feel out of control.
Y N 3. There are times when I can’t stop yelling.
Y N 4. It seems like little things make me mad.
Y N 5. I hate the way I act when I’m angry.
Y N 6. On occasion, I have scared the kids with my anger.
Y N 7. It seems like I have a low tolerance for frustration.
Y N 8. I have been experiencing episodes of anger for at least the past 6 months.
Y N 9. I experience anger much more often than those around me.

10. When I experience anger, my anger is:

  • More intense than most others
  • Less intense than most others
  • The same as most others

11. When I experience anger, my anger seems to last:

  • Longer than most people
  • Shorter than most people
  • The same as most people

12. Because of my angry feelings, I have experienced:

  • Damage to relationships with partners, children, coworkers or friends
  • Problems functioning at work
  • Inability to handle difficult situations
  • Experiences with the court system
  • Health problems
  • Dwelling on problems, worrying, guilt/shame

Y N 13. Angry feelings are keeping me from life goals.
Y N 14. I think I could be more successful in my life if I could have better control of my feelings.
Y N 15.
I have harmed someone because of anger.
Y N 16. I have harmed a loved one when I was angry.
Y N 17. I have harmed myself when angry.
Y N 18. I have lost a job because of anger.
Y N 19. I often feel guilt or remorse after getting angry.
Y N 20. My significant other has threatened to leave because of my anger.
Y N 21. I have been arrested where anger was a factor.
Y N 22. At times, I have felt unable to control my anger.
Y N 23. A friend or loved one has told me I have a problem with anger.
Y N 24. A counselor or therapist has told me I have a problem with anger.

Y N 25. I have said things like, “He better not cross me again.”

Y N 26. I feel stressed at work/school/home.

Y N 27. I feel irritated.

Y N 28. I have frequent arguments.

Y N 29. I have too many disagreements at work/school/home.

Y N 30. I feel angry enough at work/school/home to do something I might regret.

Y N 31. I complain about things that are unfair.

Y N 32. I worry and can’t get thoughts out of my head.

Y N 33. I am easily startled (jumpy).

Y N 34. My emotions are strong and change quickly.

Y N 35. I think others are trying to hurt me even when they are not.

Y N 36. I get angry enough to threaten others.

Y N 37. I have destroyed property on purpose.

Y N 38. I have acted without thinking, and regretted it later.



Are you aware of any private boarding schools...?

Our daughter wants to leave home when she is 16 so she can make her own decisions and make her own rules. Unfortunately, she has a way to go before she is prepared for "adult" life. Are you aware of any private boarding schools, that treat "ODD", Tourette's, OCD and ADHD and has a six month, therapuetic program with Special Ed. teachers ?
The mother is recovering from major breast cancer surgery and needs a "time out".
Thank you,
B. and D.R.


You'll find numerous resources for ODD/ADHD kids here: ODD Treatment Programs


My ODD son is no longer terrorizing us.

Hi Mark,

Just a note to say thanks. I was already doing many of your recommendations for parenting ODD children. But there were enough strategies that I was NOT doing that -- well, now the scales are tipped in my favor. My 6-year-old ODD son is no longer terrorizing us.

Thank you for making your ebook affordable.


Join Online Parent Support

I am at the end of the line.

My 16-year-old daughter always argues with me when I say no.She is disrespectful and says hurtful things. She has ran away from home when she was 13. She wants me to leave her alone to make her own mistakes. I am at the end of the line. Please help.

Got Help?!

What are my parental rights in removing my incorrigible 18-year-old from my home?

What are my parental rights in removing my incorrigible 18-year-old from my home?


Termination of parental rights is different from state to state. Common grounds across the states for filing a termination of parental rights petition include, but are not limited to: abandonment or extreme parental disinterest, abuse/neglect, mental illness or deficiency, alcohol or drug induced incapacity, felony conviction/incarceration, failure or reasonable efforts, sexual abuse, abuse/neglect or loss of rights of another child, failure to maintain contact, failure to provide support, murder/manslaughter of sibling child, etc.

Common exceptions across the states to filing a termination of parental rights’ petition include, but are not limited to: the petition not being in the best interest of the child, a relative caring for the child as a permanent foster care situation, and the agency not having provided the services necessary for safe return of the child to their parents.


This girl is displaying unbelievable behaviours.

My sister is parenting her grand daughter, the child of a bipolar, IV drug addict Mom. This girl is displaying unbelievable behaviours. She is 13 years old, sees a child psychiatrist presently, and is out of control. My sister lives across the country (Canada), and we are desperately searching for help and information before this child runs away. So many of the points that you outline on your web page hold true to this girls behaviour, and there is a strong family history of bipolar illness.

Get Help Here!!

My boy has always been strong willed ...

My boy has always been strong willed (like mother like son) but I did not count on things getting so intense and things happening like stealing, swearing at sibling and just digging in the heels when things for my son are not going his way. His step dad keeps saying to him that he will have to live somewhere else if he carries on but that along with the bad behaviour just upsets me. What does anyone suggest or is anyone going through the same?


You are definitely NOT the only one going through this business of parenting a strong-willed child. Before I knew what I was doing (prior to joining parent support) my son called me every -- and I mean every -- name in the book. And he was extremely rageful. Thanks to some adjustments in my parenting -- and probably some maturing on his part -- we have not had any major blow ups for a long time now.

Hang in there dad. There's a trick to this, but it's a fairly easy trick to employ once you get the hang of it. Learn when to pour on the intensity and when to shut it off, and you will out-will your strong-willed son.


What are ODD kids like as adults?

If ODD children develop Conduct Disorder (CD), it’s possible they will become criminals as an adult. Adults with CD do best if they can work for themselves and stay away from drugs/alcohol. However their tendency to offend others usually leads to a lonely life.


Michael has ADHD plus Conduct Disorder.

Age 3-7: He shows lots of aggression and hyperactivity.

Ages 7-12: Besides being hyperactive, Michael lies, cheats, steals, and eventually forces a child to take of her clothes.

Ages 13-18: In and out of trouble with the law, and more involved with alcohol, Michael quits school at age 16.

Age 18-24: He has spent two of the last six years behind bars. He successfully stays off illicit drugs, but meets old friends, quits his job, and is back to alcohol-drinking again.

Age 24-29: Michael has accrued numerous “driving while intoxicated” offenses which results in a 3-year prison stint.

Please help!

My 14-year-old son has a problem with lying and stealing. We only have 1 high school in the mining town we live in, and 26 of the teachers left at the end of 2006 due to not being able to cope with what goes on there. Please help!


This situation has place enormous stresses on us all.

Hi Mark. Just to give you an update on my son. As previously advised he phoned my sisters place just before New Years where we all were to wish us best. No contact since. I made a family photo album for his 18th Birthday and dropped it by where he has been staying as we are going away for 2 weeks holidays. He was out and we meet him whilst driving. He said thank you but said he was too busy to stay.

He was with a few other young boys. He seems to have made a strong link with this single mum and her three sons, particularly the eldest who is 17. Unfortunately the police advised this family is on the police list and they know them very well. This makes me feel so inferior that he would choose them over his own family. Anyway I intend to have a restful 2 weeks with my younger son, my parents and my sister’s family. Sad to say my husband does not like camping anymore and refuses to go with us.

He is still extremely angry with our oldest son and also blames my parents for indulging him so much. I not only have to play the waiting game with my son, I also have to manage a difficult relationship with my husband. This situation has place enormous stresses on us all. Speak with you in a couple of weeks.


I cannot live with this child much longer!

My 14-year-old son with adhd is driving me insane. He is down right disrespectful to me and his father, although the teachers at school are not having a problem with him anymore. He is mean and physically aggressive with his 10-year-old brother and 4-year-old sister. I am seriously considering looking for a summer boot camp but unsure how I can afford it. He believes he can get right in my face and scream at me and he talks to me in a manor that I would have been put in the grave for at his age. I am looking for some help …and soon. I cannot stand living with this child much longer!





My name is Carla and I have a 12-year-old stepson with ODD. We often battle to get through daily activities. Their mother is not in the picture. He has been hospitalized over the anger outbursts. We are wondering if anyone has some suggestions how we can deal with this disorder.



In dealing with ODD, the main considerations would be:

  1. A few important behaviors need to be targeted. Rather than targeting "being good" …"showing some respect" …"learning how to behave" -- you might try "no hitting" ..."no swearing" ..."no being out of the house after 7:00 PM" ...etc.
  1. The behavior must be clear cut and not fuzzy. Things like "listen when I tell you something" won't work, because it is too unclear. A better idea would be, "Sit down and look at me when I ask you to listen."
  1. Be consistent. There is no bending of rules in this sort of thing: no difference between the baby-sitter, mom, or dad.
  1. The rewards should not be money or things that are bought, but rather should be privileges which you can grant or activities which the child can do.
  1. Make your requests/rules simple and straightforward so that your child easily understands it. If your child can read, it should be written down. If possible, your child should sign it and agree to it.