Online Parent Support Chat


How can I get him to change?

Hi Mark,

Having read your book and put some of your techniques to work I must say that I am able to achieve results. My son is settling down, but what I have realized is that when he is spoken to in a calm manner, he listens and responds well on the home front. It is getting better.

One concern here is that he locks himself in his room and I don’t know what he does – should I give him some privacy here?

My other concern is at school – initially there was a complaint that he is disruptive and takes forever settling down. I have been chatting a teacher on a weekly basis. I am afraid that he is not taking school seriously and will fail again. I ask him about school everyday and he tells me 'it's good'.

He is paying attention and is understanding, but when he gets home he does not even try to do some additional work. How can I get him to change?

Thanks for all your help and your e-mails have been very informative.

Kind Regards,


Tips For Parents


My Out-Of-Control Teen eBook is #1

My Out-Of-Control Teen eBook is the #1 best selling eBook in ClickBank.

Answer quickly -- it's a really bad day.

My son will be 18 in a month… is a senior in HS …accepted at his first choice college…is skipping school, failing calculus because he does not do the work and just got caught smoking on campus. Everything is a battle it too late to salvage him? Answer quickly -- it's a really bad day. Husband and I are both teachers at the school he attends. His favorite teachers have had it with him as well.

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Worse Problems Ahead?

I noticed your eBook offer yesterday while doing some research online so I am still reading through. My son is 13 years old. He has always been quick tempered and harder to "influence" then my daughter, but since beginning Junior High this past September I would have to characterize him as "out of control". Thankfully, he is not leaving the house, defying curfew, drinking or taking drugs, so I am sure the situation is not as bad as others, but I certainly want to turn things around before it goes in that direction.

My biggest concerns are; he is extremely defiant. Everything is an argument and he responses to just about everything you say to him in what can be described as a "growl". He always seems angry at me, at my husband, at his sister, at his friends. He comments when you ask him to stop yelling or stop talking like that is " well stop annoying me". He doesn't want to be told what to do (get up for school, get dressed, get a shower, do your homework), but he will not do any of these things himself without being told repeatedly.

The other big concern is that he is totally unmotivated at school. He was an A student all through elementary. Now, he does like school, he absolutely refuses to study, his grades are dropping rapidly and getting homework done is a nightmare.

So far I am trying very hard to stay on the positive reinforcement side and away from the punishment side of parenting but things are just getting worse. I grew up in an extremely controlled environment. My mother ruled via fear and we basically did not think for ourselves, just did what we were told. The household was extremely stressful with huge arguments between my parents all the time. We basically shut up and survived until we grew up and got out. I don't want that kind of household for my children. I don't want to resort to yelling, threatening or punishing to get compliance, but I am very afraid that what is now defiance, rudeness and lack of motivation will end up being far worse problems if this keeps up.

I am willing to try your eBook methods. Any advice will be helpful.


Well, this is our story...


I really can't believe there is a website that I can go to get help with dealing with our difficult daughter -- how do you find the time to be so available to so many families?

Well, this is our story: We have five children, the oldest 18 yr. son, 14 yr. daughter (the difficult one), 12 yr. son, 10 yr. twins (boy & girl). We have schooled our children between a small private Christian school and a very nice small public school. We have had very few issues with our oldest. He did go through some rough times emotionally last year; he tends to be a little introverted. He has really blossomed this year and will graduate in June.

Our 14 year old has always been a very strong willed person but has done fine up until this last year. We took her out of public school at the end of sixth grade and put her in private because we were afraid of all the peer pressure and other issues that go on in the middle school. This year we decided to put her in at the 8th grade because the private school only goes to the 8th. We have found this to not be going so well. She has always done well in school but is in danger of failing the year, she is continually having issues with her teachers, bad attitude, not turning in homework, she has always had a great group of friends but this year is tending to want to be with wilder crowd.

I have had parents call me with concerns about her behavior. We keep a fairly tight rope as far as knowing where she is and what's she doing but she seems to be in a full state of rebellion about everything. She always wants to push the boundaries. We have had a few issues with alcohol come up, but it was caught in time.

I find notes from kids at school making references to drugs & alcohol and she just seems to really want to focus in on these things. I all most feel that it was a mistake to keep her out from the 7th grade. If we would of kept her there we would not be facing these issues because she would of adjusted better. Our other three children are all doing well. Oh did I mention that she is a red head, is there really a connection between hair color and temperament?



You Are Welcome

Children email and leave abusive messages.

I’m looking for advice that would help a non-custodial Dad whose teenage children verbally and financially abuse him with the endorsement of a bitter ex. Children refuse to communicate with him other than to demand $ beyond what is called for w/child support. If he won't give $ they will have nothing to do with him or any of his extended family. Children email and leave abusive messages. Do you address these kinds of problems?


He has ADHD.

I have an 11 year old son. He has ADHD. He has always been a pretty good kid. Always helping other people, but here lately his grades have dropped at school. And he is so disrespectful. He will not listen to anything I say constantly tries to push my buttons, He will listen to his father but not me. I go to correct him and he laughs at me or ignores me.

Please help.

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Mom Receives Threat From Mad Son

In the hour my son was awake and got on the school bus today he screamed at me for talking too much (I told him I expected him to take the bus home from school) which escalated into his threatening not to come home at all and I would never find him (he has done this before) and telling me that he would hit me so hard I wouldn't be able to breathe and die (also not new) all the time using the most obscene language to make his point. So he's at school and I’m waiting to see if he will actually come home and earn a basketball game tonight or what. How do I keep a poker face and refrain from negotiating?!

Here's Help!


Daughter Sneaks Out Of The House at 1:00 A.M.

My daughter told me she wanted to sneak out......I told her when I found out one of her friends does it, that I’d rather know and figure something out.
I told her I’d take her and her friend to the kids house at normal but late hours to please her....say from 10-11:45.....she told me they weren’t going and to forget it.

Of course I heard them go at 1am, and the bathroom window was left wide open..

That brought me to the search about teens sneaking out...apparently 70% of teens are doing it?

So what do I do now?




I am wondering if there is something going on in school...


I appreciate you getting back to me so quickly. A friend of mine referred me to your page, and I am skeptical. My friend actually wanted me to call you but I didn't feel comfortable with that. I did however take your advice and purchase the e-book. I have spent the past 2 1/2 hours getting thru the first part up to session #1 assignments. I am going to give it a try this week (keeping in mind all that I have learned from your e-book).

My situation is this. My husband and I are raising three children. We have been married 13 years. Our son is the oldest 13. Then we have two daughters A____ 8, and K___ 6.

My husband recently started a new job and he isn't with the kids as much as he used to be so I'm wondering if that mixed with me being "overindulgent" has brought about my son's behavior. He has always been a good student, we have never had to "spank" him or really discipline him. He's respectful of adults. He is a very sensitive child, always has been -- very emotional ...cries very easily …gets his feelings hurt easily. I am wondering if there is something going on in school (like being bullied or something like that)? I have contacted the school counselor and I will meet with him this week.

I just want my lovable son back. Whatever I can do to fix this I will. Thank you for your support.




My Son Ben

My 15-year-old son Ben has always been a challenging child. He was diagnosed with mild autism pre-school. He has always had bad tempers, but we have always managed with a consistent approach before. In the last few years since being in secondary school his attitude and behaviour has declined. Now I feel like I'm sinking fast.

He is not working at school. I have many calls from teachers about his attitude, behaviour and lack of production. He is rude, belligerent, aggressive, demanding, lazy. I could go on. He tells us he hates us and has never liked us. He is only pleasant when he is getting something he wants.

I am very firm with him but his Dad struggles with this tough approach and I know Ben senses the lack of unity and uses it against us. I worry he will blow his chances with his exams next year and then be even more resentful than before which may take him even more off the rails. Because of his autism he has never responded to incentives, nothing matters to him that much.

It has just got so hard and I can see that it could get even worse if I don't get him back on track soon.

Sorry to go on,


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Can anyone help her?

I am the grandma of an almost 7 year old boy who is showing all the symptoms of ODD. He has been diagnosed with ADHD. He lives with his mom and step-dad in a different state and his step-dad works away from home all week. His mother is at her wits end trying to cope with him and his 4 year old sister and 1 year old baby brother alone. She needs some different parenting skills because nothing she has tried is working and right now she loves him but doesn’t like him much. Can anyone help her?

Here's help: Online Parent Support

Painted into a corner

We have a 16 year old foster child that we have had since 10-13-06. She will be in permanent placement with us, (we aren't foster parents, we are non-relative guardians).

Anyway, she got into a bit of trouble for lying as well as using the phone without permission, as well as making an inappropriate phone call. For these things my husband and I grounded her for 2 weeks. This is our problem, we have never grounded her for that length of time before, and now she has done something that are much worse and could potentially put her, or all, 3 of us in danger.

I don't know how to punish her (give consequences) above and beyond grounding. She can't be grounded forever as she will then get discouraged and wonder "what's the point of being good since I'm grounded for so long anyway?" We have already had very long talks with her about what she did and why it was so dangerous and inappropriate...I even sat her down to watch Dateline NBC's “To Catch A Predator” series last night ...she was shocked. She knows that consequences are coming still, but that we just having decided what they are yet. I know that it's bad not to already know, but I guess we weren't prepared for this one. We feel we trusted her too much even thought we only let her use the computer for two school papers she had to do. Please help ...I need a heavier consequence than grounding!


Painted into a corner

I hate confrontation...

I have just read some of your website on OPS and was hoping that this might help. I have a 13 year old girl who is driving me mad, so much so that I just want to pack her case and get her out the door. I am a single parent although she sees her father regularly.

She hates everybody and everything right now apart from her friends and boys, she does nothing around the house, won’t come in when I tell her the nights I let her out, if she’s late and I chase her on her mobile she won’t answer, I can’t even speak to her just now she makes me so angry, now I know that that’s not the way to do things but if I speak to her I can’t keep the tone out of my voice, so I say nothing.

I hate confrontation myself and know that I need to be setting the rules and sticking to them but I desperately need help. Is there more on the website that I can read that explains a bit more about what I need to be doing before I sign up?

I look forward to your response. Thanks,


Join Online Parent Support

He is bipolar and is an alcoholic...

Please let me know whether your ebook will help my husband and me. We have our 19-year old son living with us. He is bipolar and is an alcoholic. He's used drugs, too, and spent a year in rehab. Since rehab, he's had three relapses. He's dropped out of college, which means he doesn't have insurance for the psychiatrist or his meds. He won't work. We're trying to find some help. Let me know if there's anything in your program for dealing with a child who's of adult age, one with so many problems. If not your program, could you point me in another direction, please.



Join Online Parent Support

You don’t want to make him a felon....

HELP!! I have a son who will be 16 in a couple of weeks. He is ADHD and on meds. He has no respect, consideration for anyone but himself, and I am not sure towards him at times.

He is violent, destroys, and his language is past being gross. He does nothing that is asked of him, regardless of how it’s asked. He is making our home life miserable to say the least. We have been to so many doctors. I have lost count. He has taken my car without permission and without a permit or licenses. I called the police, but nothing was done. I was told that, “you don’t want to make him a felon.” Excuse me; I wasn’t the one that took the car!

I honestly hate to admit this, but am afraid of my son. Please let me know if you think your program can help my family.



Here's help:


Mom's a Bitch?

My mom is a bitch ...waa waa waa all day long. No matter what I do it's never good enough. She can go to h___ as far as I'm concerned.



I'm guessing that you hate when their mom "bitches," and then you try to get her to stop bitching by getting angry at her in order to create distance. But bitching equals importance.

Your mom bitches because you are important to her, and because she doesn't want you to destroy the relationship. Unfortunately, you probably view “bitching” as criticism and harassment. As a result, your mom's good message gets lost. But thanks for the emotional vomit. Feel better?

Another Day In Hell's Kitchen

We need help with my 15-year-old son. We have tried a lot of things with him. He has been in the courts and even in with social services. He is still with them. He has played the system and now he is living with my mom & dad. I love him but I cannot handle him anymore. I even have 4 other kids beside him. He has shoved me up against the wall and I filled charges against him. That is in the court.

My mom & dad cannot handle him. He has been in the Methodist Home for a little over a year. I have even gone through parenting classes with him. Nothing is working for him. The judge keeps giving him chances. I am not sure what to do at this point. My grandma lives with them and I am afraid that he is going to hurt her as well as my mom & dad. He has shoved my dad. He did that at Christmas Eve. We went there for dinner. He even says a lot of cuss words.

I stopped going to my moms because of him. I don't want him to hurt his siblings or even get the chance to hurt me again. What can I do???? Please, help us????


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 – we WILL get the problems turned around. If you will take a step of faith here, you will experience the same success that hundreds 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 the disrespect, dishonesty and arguments …if you’re tired of trying to deal with the problems “on your own,” then let’s get started with these parenting strategies.

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 “unconventional” parenting strategies.

I’m here for you whenever you’re ready to Join Online Parent Support,


We are starting to have many marital strains...

I am a stepparent of an 18 year old teen who is in his senior year of high school. He normally stays with us every Thursday overnight and every other weekend. Over the past year he has been stopped by the police and caught with marijuana in his possession. He now sees a probation officer once a month with random drug testing. He is on a probationary period for one year to try and expunge his record. Since his turning 18 in January our household is in constant upheaval every time he is here. We also have two daughters, 14 and 12, observing all of this.

He is rebellious, only wants to be with his friends, is always late when we try and set boundaries, does not participate willingly in family events, etc. He has been given much leeway in going out when he wants to with a generous curfew of 1:00 a.m. Most often he is gone from our house and really we don't actually know his friends or where he really is. I don't even know his friends last names or where they are really from.

He has had no boundaries set at his mother's house. Last night at 12:00 pm, I received a telephone call from a person I did not know telling me he would not be able to drive home because he was too inebriated. Currently he and his sister are staying with us for 6 days as his mother is in Mexico. I looked up the address the unknown person had given me in error and my husband drove there at 2:00 a.m. He was not there, nor his car. We did not hear anything else the rest of the night.

This morning my husband found him over his mother's house. We are starting to have many marital strains over this young man, we do not know what our rights are as he is 18. I am hating the exposure he is having on the other two children. I am sorry for rambling, I am just so scared, mad and lost. We are educated people and I feel I personally have tried very hard with this young man. I probably am inflexible at times with my standards and the need to set boundaries and respect lines. I do not know what to do or where to turn.

Please help me.


Mom has a meltdown [and acts like a child].






She's a sleepy-head.

Any suggestions about how to help a 17-year-old get up on time for school? She missed the bus again this morning because she over-slept. I can't be there to pull her out of bed since I have to work. She really is a good student ...makes mostly A's and B's (in spite of frequent absences).



Advise her regarding the following:

· Do not stay up all hours of the night to "cram" for an exam, do homework, etc. If extracurricular activities at school are proving to be too time-consuming, consider cutting back.

· If you are not asleep after 20 minutes, then get out of the bed and do something relaxing, such as reading a book or listening to music, until you are tired enough to go back to bed.

· Get up at the same time every morning.

· Avoid taking naps after school if you can. If you need to lie down, do not do so for more than an hour.

· Keep a regular schedule.

· Don’t read, write, eat, watch TV, talk on the phone or play cards in bed.

· Do not have any caffeine after lunch.

· Do not go to bed hungry, but don’t eat a big meal before bedtime either.

· Avoid any rigorous exercise within six hours of your bedtime.

· Try to get rid of or deal with things that make you worry.

· Make your bedroom quiet, dark and a little bit cool.

· Only stay up an hour later than usual on the weekends – and do not sleep-in more than an hour on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

I am sooo tired of all his "bullshit"...

Hi there,

Thanks for replying so soon and I appreciate for you being there. I have an 8 year old son and 7 year old daughter, and she is pretty good, but only when her brother ticks her off and she refused to fight back. My son is acting like a "teen" - he has temper, argues with me and my husband (we are hearing impaired), refuses to comply with rules and requests, blames others for his mistakes and misbehavior, easily annoyed by others and he gets very very angry. He always wants money when we tell him to do his chores and we asked him nicely to clean up his "mess" and he refuses - and same when I tell him to be home when it is time for him to, but he always comes home whenever he feels like.

I feel that I am sooo tired of all his "bullshit" and all the excuses etc. It is very very hard for my husband and myself to deal with him. We tried parenting councelling, and it seems like it isn’t working and all he cares about is wanting money all the time. He yells and curses at us all the time and it is hard for us to lower our voices and we sometimes have to raise our voices too.. We tried all sorts of things and nothing seems to be helping us at all. It is soooooo frustrating and we feel like giving up! I wish I could afford to buy your book but I have no money at all. Is there anyway I could find something at the library here in Canmore, Alberta that might suit what we are going thru? I have read soooo many books, but I do have a bit of disabilities and it is hard for me to understand and much eaiser to communicate with people, but I am not very much of a socialized person and I am too busy with my own things. Please help me! Keep in touch




Hi K.,

An excellent resource that is also priced quite reasonably ($10.17) is “Supernanny: How to Get the Best from Your Children” by Jo Frost. You can find this book here:
Good luck,



He's dropped out of school and has a boyfriend...

Would appreciate any insight you have on a 16-year-old who has dropped out of school, (but is getting his GED), has a boyfriend who is 19 and just does not come home at curfew. Basically, no respect and does whatever he wants. Thank you for any support.

He has been arrested a couple of times...

Hi there,

I am a mother who is desperate for advice on my out of control teen. He has a very high need for freedom and has gotten involved with the wrong company. He is almost 17 and is starting to take minor drugs etc. He has been arrested a couple of times for minor things, but is steadily getting worse. He will not take any sort of boundaries and when told he is not allowed to go out he takes his freedom anyhow. He is very aggressive also. Please help.



"Shut the f**** up!"

Could advise on a idea as to how to handle bad language as in, “shut the **** up,“ you f***** bastard,” ...usually when he thinks he is being accused of something, calling sister “f***** retard.” Please just one method of treating this whilst I read all the info and then pass it on to hubby.

She has unmet attachment needs...

We adopted our daughter who has just turned 14 when she was 21 months. Since secondary school she has been completely out of control and is now in a special unit for excluded children because teachers at mainstream school could not handle her. Biggest worry at the moment is that she is now having unprotected sex with her 16-year-old boyfriend (who is in trouble with the criminal justice system). She is loud, angry, cannot accept responsibility for her behaviour and blames everyone else for her own misdeeds. Tried to get her into specialist counselling (she has unmet attachment needs) but she has refused to go. Can you really help with all of this?


I am to a dead end...

I have a 14-year-old daughter and she has just come to live with my wife and I. Her mother has had custody since we divorced when my daughter was 3 years old.

Well to start with, the behavior problems started at her mother’s home when she was about 12 or so. We started noticing a decline in her grades and then it has gone downhill from there. She started sneaking out of the house, screaming and cursing at her mom. They would call me 4 or 5 times a day in a big argument. So she stated that she wasn't happy at her Mom's and that she wanted to come and live with her dad.

She has been here for a couple of months now, and the behavior problems have gotten some better. She hasn't tried sneaking out of the house or anything like that. The biggest problem I have with her is getting her interested in school and her grades. I am to a dead end. I have tried everything. I have almost taken all of her phone time away. I have banned her from the computer and my space, and I have tried grounding her several times.

My Out-of-Control Daughter

NOTHING seems to work!!

This willful, defiant, impulsive, irritable, easily-confused and easily angered teenager is wearing me out, not wearing me down -- but it doesn't get any better. I'm exhausted and NOTHING seems to work!! CRISIS.


I don't know what else to do...

My son is only 10 years old. But, fits a lot of what is discussed in the beginning of this web page. He is angry, vindictive, touchy and annoyed by others. He argues continuously and blames others for everything and will not do anything I ask of him. Would your program work on him too? I don't know what else to do with him. We have taken everything away including his room and sports. It seems to have no affect.



Schools for Troubled Teens

Schools for Troubled Teens

He stands over me with a baseball bat...

My 14 yr old son won’t come home all night on weekends. When I ring him, he swears at me and then turns off his phone. He has no respect for me and even stands over me with a baseball bat smashing things until I do what he wants.


He used to be a good boy...


I have a 15-year-old boy. He has just failed grade nine and he is currently repeating his grade this year. It is extremely difficult to get him to study, says he is paying attention at school now and does not feel the need to revise. I know he has a problem settling down in class and paying attention, which the principle has complained about but he just does not accept this.

He used to be a good boy but has gotten out of control. Does not listen and have to tell him one thing ten times. He is never wrong and blames everybody of his mishaps. I am at a point where all I do is shout.

How can I get him to take responsibility for his actions, stop back chatting and realize that I am trying to help him.

Desperately in need of help,




How do we get him to respect us...?

My 15 year old son will not follow house rules and has left the house without permission and will not tell us where he is at. If we ground him, he leaves and stays at a friend's house. With cell phones, we do not know many of his friends. How do we get him to respect us and to follow directions that are not on his terms?

Here's Help

Deep down she is a good girl.

I have a fourteen-near-fifteen year old daughter who is out of control. She is full of anger and hate. She lies, steals from her family, swears constantly, has arguments about everything, has no respect, and only cares about herself. She wont socialize with people -- she hates going out in public, too. She's being seeing a counsellor for the past six months - and NO changes!

What do I do?

Deep down she is a good girl. She can be very sweet and caring, but it only lasts hours!

Got Help!?


Kid's Stuff

Where single moms and dads shop cheap!

ADD Mom Finds Creative Ways To Cope


Just remember in your research being a mom with ADD is a whole lot different then being a Dad or male with add. A male often marries a women who is not ADD and she offers a lot of organizational skills to her spouse. Moms are often the organizers for the family and household. Don't get me wrong I'm not male bashing. My husband is a fantastic support to our household. But when it comes to jobs like getting rid of clothes out of the closets, window or wall washing, fine tuning what and who needs what in the household and organizing -- this is often left to mom.

But if mom does not have the capabilities to organize as society demands, then she is regarded as lazy. Ask me to find a bill from 3 years ago and I could probably come up with it, I know which pile its in (that's my filing system), but it might take me awhile because I would find other interesting things to look at in that pile or one of my kids will ask me for something and I might not remember to get back to this task till tomorrow or another day when something twiged me.

I am on medication and it helps but it doesn't take it away, it just tones it down. I am a professional health worker that requires total concentration and detail in my job and I am told I do a fantastic job. But my job requires multi-skilling at a top level so it is conducive to my ADD as I am doing 10 things at once, which I love to do and my concentration remains high when I am working like this.

I just wanted to show you that being ADD does not make you a failure, but I often wonder how it has affected my kids ADD and non-ADD siblings. It seems the kids with ADD function well with me, but my non-ADD siblings may perhaps be the ones who seem to have self-harming behavior.

I have a book I found once called "moms with ADD". It was quite a good read. I learned along the way that a child with ADD will concentrate highly also if very involved. I used to sit and read my sons studying to him as he used a screwdriver to wiggle screws out of a kitchen rocking chair. Other adults would have thought I was crazy allowing a child to study like this, but as long as I got the right answers was all that mattered.

By the way he has rebuilt that chair several times, because first of all the screw where so loose from fidgeting with them, and second he sat on the chair so with all the wiggling literally took the rocking device off. I told him to fix it and he was inventive enough to get 2X4's and rebuilt the bottom (it's rough but it works).

Another favorite study area was when he was in the tub, with the sliding door closed I'd again read the material. Our psychologist told me this was phenomenal because these children are often soothed by water and are fantastic swimmers, so she could see why this would work.

My son is 13 and we now have gotten to the point where he can study on his own and has taken responsibility for this and has marks in the 70 and 80 in school. Math was taught on the basketball court, if he got one in the hoop he'd answer one question, if I got it in the hoop he'd have to answer two. Yes it was time consuming but worth it. It has taken a lot on our part as parents as our school would not offer any assistance. We're not stupid being ADD, we just need a lot of help to get to a certain point.

I've rambled on further then I probably should have Mark, but just though it might interest you in your research to hear some from a ADD adult.

More on ADD Here


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He started a fire at school...


My son is 8 and is getting out of control. He hits me, throws fits, cusses, argues, and is always in trouble at school. Today he started a fire at school. I am at my wits end and don't know what to do. He is a very intelligent child has great grades and gets much praise on his work at school, especially when it comes to math.

Please help.

Got Help?!

He's a Streaker

My 14-year-old son has been running around the neighborhood naked. I'm not sure how to deal with it.




Brittany vents her spleen.

Parents are annoying as F@#% !!



You ain't kiddin' !!



My 17 y/o son constantly does as he pleases regardless of house rules. He skips school, does poorly when he is in school and stays out all night without calling home to let me know where he is. HELP!!! I have tried and tried and don't want to give up on him but he is leaving me no choice!

Got Help!?


Boot Camp vs. Boarding School

Good morning,

I have to agree that I do not believe in boot camps. I do believe in boarding schools - of the right kind. Since joining your on-line support, my husband and I made the decision to send our son to a boarding school. After four long years of struggling and watching my son continue on a downward spiral, we made the decision. We found a family based character-oriented boarding school in Connecticut and after just 5 weeks, I have to say there is a difference. As much as it killed me to send him, I think it was for the best.

Your e-mails have helped and I look forward to reading them.

Thank you,


Dear Mr. Hutten:

We followed your advice and are considering the Bromley School in Vermont and we informed their Admissions Director, Mr. Mutty, that you suggested their school and it was noted.

Moreover, we are in the process of seeking the advice and treatment from Dr. Daniel Kohen, who authored, "Hypnotherapy for Children" and is considered the 'expert" in its field.

We sincerely appreciate your assistance,

B. & D.

Boot Camp or Boarding School

12:30 am curfew is "stupid"...

For 17 years I have been a parent and never thought that I would ask advise of anyone!!!!! Guess there is a first for everything. I am not afraid to admit mistakes as I am always willing to learn from them, however when I feel strongly about something it's pretty hard to change my mind - so I can be stubborn as well.

I am raising a teenage daughter who is now 17 and until now I thought I was doing OK. She is at the stage where she feels my 12:30 am curfew is "stupid" along with other things. I know that she has smoked pot and because of her biological father’s addiction to pot among other drugs, I am concerned that she may end up with the addicting personality.

Though she and I have a very open relationship about pretty much everything, I wonder how much I should say and how much of a punishment I should be giving when she comes home close to an hour beyond curfew?

She has been struggling in H.S. and the teachers are working with both her and I to get her back on track. The struggling is not related to anything except that she HATES school ... and just does not want to do the work or go to school. Though she gets up everyday and goes and has been participating a bit more she just hates it. I, as a GED graduate, will now allow her to quite!!!!!!

I know that she can do it and I will not give up on the H.S. diploma. I guess my real concern is what is appropriate punishment when a 17-year-old girl is disrespectful or lies, without causing her too much anger and/or resentment that can just blow up in my face.

Her bio father is nearly in her life. However her future step-dad is and has been for 7 years, though they seem to not have much use for each other.

Any suggestions or questions to get the ball rolling for me?

Thanks again and I look forward to chatting with you again soon...

He makes me so angry...

My son is 6 years old and has been diagnosed by his doctor with ODD. I have read literature on how to deal with this kind of thing and I don't know what to do with him. He lies all the time. He does things I know that he does and stands and tells me he didn't -- things he knows is wrong he will do them anyway. He makes me so angry that I have to take a time out before I can speak to him. I guess I have a problem with sorting what is "normal little boy behavior." Some I know is not normal.

I know I have been wrong sometimes in the way I try to get him to straighten up telling him that if he does start acting like he is suppose to then I am going to send him away some place that deals with kids like him. I guess I am trying to scare him ... wrong I know.

I am a single mother raising him and his older sister. He never knew his father and never will because he was killed in a car wreck about 2 years ago. I keep hearing that he lacks the male structure in his life. My dad is around, but not all the time. My brothers don't really take up time with him. My best friend has offered for him to spend time with her husband but that is only on weekends ...I am sorry if I am rambling but I really don't know what to do ...can you help me?

Here's Help!!

She's self-destructing...

Not only was our daughter sexually abused along with her sister by a teenage cousin for three years off and on from age 4-7 and then again at 11, she was also in the wrong place at the wrong time and was sexually assaulted by three men at 13. She will not yet file charges against these animals despite their being very much in our community, though recently the house master at school has persuaded her to meet with the local detective who I have spoken with a number of times and believes such a meeting may empower her.

Since she was 10 she has been in therapy, spent 7 months at Mcleans eating disorder center and finally managed to pull herself together for one year (last year) and actually achieved honors, won a literature award out of a class of 300 and generally felt very good about herself.

She stopped cutting herself and did no more drugs or drank. This year has been just the opposite--she managed to lose 21 pounds in 7 weeks (lied constantly about what she was eating) and is now under medical supervision weekly and a nutritionist, has bi weekly therapy sessions with the same therapist who helped her turn herself around once before, has skipped so many classes she is on the verge of getting no credit for two classes (and is in a special program at her high school and we meet as a team with her monthly), is in tutoring daily to help her feel she can stay on top of her work, has no interest in ANYTHING (she says), is being treated for depression and is on medications prescribed by the same psychiatrist that she has been seeing for 5 years and so on and so forth.

Our daughter happens to be quite bright and articulate as well as witty, but is much too attractive for her own good and has a tough edge. She has noted talents in dancing and has always had a unique eye and is quite good at photography. However, she lacks confidence and does not think well of herself. She is so frustrated by her own behavior and yet despite always being sorry for her mistakes and wanting to try again, she just does not improve/change.

We love her so much and this is breaking our hearts. My husband and I are really working together to keep the rules the rules and to stick by our expectations and consequences. Even with all this, we are just not able to help her not be self-destructive. Can you help us????




I am a single mother of three teenagers - a daughter, 18, and twin boys who are 14. One twin is totally out of control, as well as my daughter. They have no respect for one another or their possessions. My daughter wanted to use the phone and my son was on it and said something smart to her, which set her off. She broke his mp3 player by throwing it at him, and he then broke hers. They were hitting each other as well. When I tried to intervene, they were both cursing and screaming at me. I'm at the end of my rope! HELP!!

Got Help!?

It’s driving me nuts.

My 8-year-old son is aggressive, violent, trashes the house, cruel to animals, and has to be spoken to over and over and argues with everyone and everything. It’s driving me nuts.

Got Help!?

His behaviour is unbearable.

Hi. Thank you. I have just purchased your ebook and online parent support and have been reading for the last 4 hours. I have a 13 year old son, we live in Sydney. We are experiencing very difficult times and I am looking forward to getting started with the assignments ASAP. I have so many questions.

My main concern at the moment is that my son has started going to dance parties and taking ecstacy. On Saturday night or should I say Sunday morning he arrived home at 5.30am. This has been happening regularly for the last few weeks. I tried calling him on his mobile phone at 4 am he later confessed to intentionally not answering my calls. I confiscated the phone, now I have taken away all privileges ie: computer, home phone, pocket money.... this occurred before reading quite a few chapters of your ebook.

Another problem is that recently I have been getting very angry and losing control saying things that I later regret and have hit him, I have apologised but ! I haven't been able to control myself I feel so bad about this. He is also threatening to hit me if I hit him again. I told him that I can't take it any more and that if he wants to live like this that he might have to live somewhere else.

In the past he has spent a few weeks at a refuge and at the Juvenile Justice Centre. I would like him to be here with me but the behaviour is unbearable and I know that I am partly to blame. My husband is not his father and we are all struggling. My husband and son have not been getting along at all and my son has been threatening my husband with violence to the point that my husband is considering getting an intervention order.

We have been through a lot; 6 charges with the police last year, in and out of court, bail conditions, he is currently on a 6 month good behaviour bond. Last year he pulled a knife on me... he has kicked in the front door damaged lots of our property. It is now 10.30 on Monday night and he is not home... he hates us!

He is seeing a counsellor and I my husband and I are also seeing a family cousellor do you have any advice for us?

Our eyes have been opened.


My wife and I are excited about the new path of parenting we are following. Our 18 year old is a senior in high school and has really been a challenge. We have been through all 6 stages of behavior with him and until we found your website were beyond hope. We are looking forward to completing all of our assignments and will be starting on number one this evening.

Our son has a 3.7GPA and believe it or not is in jeopardy of not graduating because he is presently in a 10 day suspension from school from a brush with the law and breaking the schools 0 tolerance policy for alcohol. He is doing his homework at home and will be testing when he returns. He lost his leadership position on the soccer team as captain and the coach is not yet sure what else will happen.

He has a court date in March and will most likely be losing his license for 6 months. Life’s lessons are sometimes difficult.

We will keep in touch and let you know how things are going. We realize that now that we have no more resentment and have forgiven our son, lesson one, we are on the road to making positive changes in our family.

We had been using the contract concept, but the consequences were never followed. They will be from now on, however.

Thank you again for your support. Our eyes have been opened.

T. and L.


Let Me Make This Very Clear: Boot Camp Is Not For Your Teen

Teen Dies In Boot Camp

Boot Camp?


What are your views on sending an out of control child to teen boot camp?


Boot camps are designed as a quick fix and may help a struggling teen with respect, obedience and appreciation. However, they are not a good long term option for teens that need help. Recidivism rates suggest that they are not a good solution for long term change. A good boarding school would be a better option if you are determined to go with an out-of-home placement.


In the video above, you'll witness several boot camp staff physically abuse a teen - this teenager died the next day.

His mouth held, ammonia fumes inhalation forced, Martin Lee Anderson later dies. Helms says the officers were "trying to see if the kid was faking it, feigning illness..."

The officers can be seen in the videotape holding their hands over Anderson's mouth so he was forced to breath in the ammonia fumes through his nose.

We need a little respite...

Hi Mark,

Thank you so much for your prompt reply.

I appreciate your expertise and honesty. Thank you for sharing with me your insight and wisdom. Your response has confirmed my fears. It has also strengthened my resolve to help J___ through this extreme acting out/rebellion, and to continue to protect all my children.

I am so grateful to have stumbled across your parenting program ... I was searching online for foster care facilities in our area (as we need a little respite from J___'s behaviour) and became overwhelmed with emotion at my thought of sending J___ away (to strangers, even just temporarily). So I changed tack and searched for parenting programs. Yours seemed the most appropriate for our family's present circumstances, and I am so glad I did not hesitate or delay my decision to take this step.

Thank you for all your help, both by creating this program and making this course available, and also for your ongoing support and assistance.




I just signed up today and have been reading your ebook...BUT my son is getting out of school in an hour and I'd like some help before I see him. He is 14 and a freshman. He has been "angry and difficult" for as long as I can remember (age 8 I think??).

Well recently (last Sat.) he started the day off getting a hair cut which he was very unhappy with, he said he hated himself. It set the tempo for the rest of the day...we went on to WalMart and bought some household things and while in the car coming home (my 10 year old daughter bought herself an ipod case) he snatched it from her and wouldn't give it back to her...he insisted she tell him "please" for him to return it to him and she would not. Her father insisted she didn't have to because he snatched d it from her, so she didn't have to say please...this escalated to a loud and violent roar of fighting in the car. He never did give the item back.

When we got home, he went to his room and took a knife to the case, cut it all up and threw it out into the hallway. I have tried several times to speak with him about this event and he hasn't spoken a work to anyone since Sat. He tells me to "get out!!". I have taken away his cell phone and his Play Station.

I want things to change TODAY. What shall I do?? PLEASE HELP QUICKLY!!




ODD Behavior

This is regarding our son with ODD diagnosed behavior disorder. We are currently working him thru a child psychologist. However we are now being asked to attend a special school meeting in regards to our son’s behavior in school. We know that they want to label him, however we need to know how to advocate for our son. He keeps an A-B average. Behavior is the problem. He has insight to how to change the behavior, and how he reacts to an anxiety-provoking situation in school, but sometimes he has a hard time succeeding. We are worried, alone in this, and want to know if you can help give us advice.


What can I do?

Hi Mark

I am at the end of my tether with my son. He is almost 17 years old and has no respect for me. He has temper tantrums, break windows, spindles on the staircase etc. However he has not damaged anything since I called the Police at the beginning of January this year.

On Sunday night I picked him up from his girlfriend’s house, (20 miles away), he had his music (hardcore) on very loud and I asked him to turn it down, I could not concentrate on driving. He refused and in the end I turned it down myself. He started shouting at me and getting very close and menacing (while I was driving), ordered me to stop the car and poured a bottle of lemonade over me. He got out and walked the rest of the way home (about half a mile). He came home, I avoided him by going upstairs and I have not seen him much this week.

Today, there was a row involving my younger son who was refusing to get up for school. I feel as if I must do something: I have told him today that I am withdrawing my services, lifts, and cooking him meals. He does not do anything to help in the home and leaves a mess wherever he goes. I try to make rules but these are totally ignored. He told me this morning that if I was a man he would knock me out and I said that if I was a man I would have kicked him out long ago as I would not have had the patience to put up with him.

His behaviour is not just impacting on me, but also on my younger son, who is getting into trouble at school.

What can I do?



Can you help??

Our son is 8, and has recently been diagnosed as ODD. We are now at the point that his school is trying to have a formal meeting with us regarding the reevaluation of the already behavior modification program they have him in. They want their school psychologist present on his meeting.

We are at our ends wit. He tries hard to behave in school, however he has periods where he slips, and living in Southern Maryland a child with behavior challenges is difficult for the school system to take. We need advice to protect the rights of our son, and yet to help him cope with the anxiety that school seems to place on him. At home we use reward, and punishment successfully. At school is where he has difficulty. Can you help??

Had Enough!


I truly understand where Greg is coming from.


Things have been going well. I can say that the ebook has helped a lot.

We have taken a small step backwards, but I think we can handle it. Greg has decided that he is basically done with school. He is a straight A-B+ student, but is bored and is ready to move on. The other day he was caught skipping school. And went through enormous lengths to fabricate a story as to why I was going to get an automated call from the school letting me know he was absent.

Needless to say, his mother and I are hurt. Not by the fact that he is done with school. I totally understand that he is more than ready to move on with his life. What hurts is the lying about skipping school. Greg's trust level, with us, has taken a nosedive because of this. He and I did have a conversation about it this morning -- again it was one-sided! I mean to say that by keeping my cool and wits, the energy flowed from him to me, not the other way around. Did you know that this energy can flow through telephone lines?!? I stated the facts with him, told him that lying and skipping school would not be tolerated, and I would take steps with the school, if necessary, to make sure that he was there for ALL of his classes every day. He is grounded for the next 4 days with the exception of school and work.

Mark, I truly understand where Greg is coming from. I too, was bored the second half of my senior year. I even had an offer from the college of my choice to start one semester early. They even offered to work with the school to get me my diploma. I turned it down because I didn't want to miss out on all of the other things that senior year in high school offers. Greg does not cherish those things as much and is more than willing to give them up. I don't think, at this point, trying to work with the school and allowing him to start college early are options. Any suggestions on how to keep Greg motivated to make it through the next 4 months?



Just two things really …frequently remind/encourage him that he’s about to reach the finish line – there is truly light at the end of the tunnel …and have regular conversations about the exciting possibilities he has waiting for him “on the other side” of high school. The world is his oyster!

He’s going to do fine, and will probably succeed heavily in whatever area he pours his energy into.

I am at my wits end.

My daughter is 17. I am a single mother, and she uses that to her advantage. She knows when I will be at work, and since she has to drive to school, it is almost impossible to get her home until late, even on a school night. She is always saying she will just leave, and there is nothing I can do about it. Sometimes, I think that would be ok, but then I know she has to graduate from high school to become a productive member of society.

I am just really tired of arguing with her. Several months ago, she became violent, and I had her committed to a psych hospital, where she spent 10 days. The only thing that happened is she was taken off of her medications and sent home. I was not allowed to speak to her mad, and when I went to the hospital for a discharge meeting, I was given discharge instructions by the nurse, and the doctor was no where to be found. I have diagnoses, but nothing to look for. I finally got her to take her ability again, so sometimes she is better. Her high school wanted me to withdraw her 4 months from graduation, probably 10 days after she was discharged. I refused, and since she is back on her ability, she seems to be better at school.

We live in New Orleans, where psychiatrist is space. She really did not like her psychiatrist, and the doctor does not have time for someone who doesn't want help ...I know I am rambling, but I am at my wits end … thanks, J.

Are we headed in the right direction...?

Hi Mark,

Thanks soooo much for the great inspiration you provide along with the great advise. My husband and I have tried very hard to implement what you teach, with much success (thanks).

But, the only issue we are currently anxious about is our daughter doesn't care much about school. We praise her when she completes homework, participates in class, ect. We took your advice and gave up on being her teacher, principal, etc. She has continually received "F's" in every class. We have resorted back to sitting with her every evening to watch her do her homework, and have even threatened her with home schooling (to take her out of the social arena).

Are we headed in the right direction, or should we again back off and watch her fail the 7th grade? Thanks in advance for any help you might offer.


As much as you may not want to hear this, the more you take responsibility for her academic performance, the less she will take. Parents absolutely cringe -- and even get upset with me -- when I make this recommendation.

Rewards for good grades and punishment for bad grades will have no positive effect. A system of natural consequences exists when it comes to academic performance. If the child studies hard, she gets an 'A' -- this is her positive consequence (i.e., reward) for studying. On the other hand, is she does not work, she gets a 'D' or an 'F' -- a negative consequence for NOT studying.

When parents interfere with this natural system, they often unintentionally prolong the child’s poor academic performance.

Here’s the bottom line: she will never work for what you want. She WILL decide to improve academically at some point or another – but only when she is ready. For now, making good grades is not something she values.

I see more of the angry little boy that the loving one.

My son is 11 next week and has a big problem with anger he has out bursts in school, were he smashes things kicks things, is very rude to teachers, he has also problems controlling his anger at home, he can be fine one minute, then blow up over the smallest of things.

He has been known to bang his head against the wall, bite himself and scratch himself with a sharp screw. I am very worried, it is getting worse every day. The school is thinking about expelling him.

He doesn’t often show when is happy and looks depressed all of the time. I show him love. I have four children and he is the only one like this, what can I do?

He has seen child counselors and anger management people, but refuses to talk to them. He has a loving side to him and likes to help me, but lately I see more of the angry little boy that the loving one.

I have good news to report!

I have good news to report! We started with a very angry 11 year old who'd gotten in the habit of just being mad about everything and then anything that really annoyed him just pushed him over the edge. We started with the contract you suggested, which basically required that he talk with us when he was angry about anything -- he wasn't allowed to act angry if he wasn't angry and if he was angry we had to sit down and sort out why and what to do about it. It made a huge difference - we haven't had to talk about anything for a couple of weeks! I think it was more time-consuming than it was worth it (for him) to have to sit down and talk about stuff than to just get over it! We continue on our journey, but we're off to a good start!

Thank you very much for putting your material together -- I know we're not "done" but we're making progress!


Thanks for the ongoing support...

Thanks for the ongoing support. While my own child does display some of these patterns, the reason why I emailed in the first place is because I am an educator in special education. I am working on my specialist and have been researching behaviour exceptionalities. Your support have made their way into my resource binder for parents when they seek me out. I am creating a teacher web page and I would love to link to your site.