I have identified him as an overindulged son.

Now 2 questions about my son. Because of your book, I have identified him as an overindulged son. I really didn't realize this until reading your book, but we have now changed our "Yes" answers to include a way to "earn" the yes first. My son is 15, and will turn 16 in August.

Questions 1: He is currently in driver's ed, so he will probably have his license next Oct/Nov. We currently have 3 cars, so the insurance company will automatically make him a primary driver of one of the cars. Insurance will cost about $850 a year for him, but around $500 if he has a B GPA. He is definitely capable of having a B average, but this year he has become "out-of-control" and isn't doing assignments, not studying for tests, and taking "blow off" classes and even getting Ds in them (he is a freshman).

He has played football since 5th grade, and last fall he was a starter for the JV team and was one of a few freshman to play in every varsity game as well. So he has always loved football. But now he doesn't want to play this fall because he wants to work (even though we have pointed out that many employers will work around his schedule) and he says all of the time spent in practice isn't "worth" it. I think this is due to the overindulging that he has come to expect (he has never had to "work" to be good in football because he is just naturally athletic) because there are kids that sit on the bench all season long and still go out for football every year. So my son has been spoiled this way too.

His behavior overall this year has really become out of control in other ways also (he has been caught lying about sleeping at a friends house and then getting drunk all night, he was given a citation for underage drinking on another occasion about 1 week after he got off being grounded for the first drinking incident, and he has been hanging out with seniors who don't have very good reputations). Right now he doesn't have a B GPA, so I think he wants to work because he wants to make sure he can pay for insurance and gas. I think he thinks that our third vehicle will become "his" and that we really won't have a good reason to say no when he wants to go somewhere if he can pay for gas and insurance. But that's another headache for another day.

My question is this: We would like to "change our minds" and tell him that he needs a B GPA in order to drive at all. What do you think? Oh, and we started a reward system for grades last year that initially paid him for As/Bs/Cs and takes away privileges for each Ds/Fs, but that stopped working....we were taking away the privileges but it didn't motivate him to get his grades up, so then we started saying only one missing assignment per month or else more privileges taken away and then he really became angry all of the time, would just roll out of bed and go to school whereas before he at least took a shower and ate breakfast, started being tardy to classes and risking suspension, and it got to where everything was negative because we had to be consistent and at least apply the punishment for his wrong behavior and there wasn't anything to even positively comment on and this seemed like a really dangerous path we were going down...so we dropped the homework rule and changed to a system where he gets less money for As/Bs and that's it...no privileges taken away.....and that has raised his Ds/Fs to Cs at least. So it does seem that the more involved we became with his grades meant that we were doing more "giving attention to something negative", and switching to a system of just rewarding the positive has accomplished what we wanted all along.

Our kids do chores every week, and they have never received an allowance, so this initially seemed like a good system for them to "earn" some spending money. Also, my son has signed up for more blow off classes next year, even to the point of being in algebra this year but taking basic math next year....I'm mad that the school even allows him to do this, but if I make school change him to advanced algebra or geometry, I know he will do his best to fail that class to prove his point to me. Not sure what to do about this (although according to your book, I should do nothing...but I wish I could get him to look at the big picture).

Question 2: He has joined the golf team (even though he is suspended for the first 6 events for the underage drinking citation) and wants a junior golf membership for $150. This will allow him to golf for free whenever he wants (if there is a tee time) for the whole season. We have supported our kids in the past with sports, as much as is reasonable. New shoes, new softball glove if needed, etc. And have even supported our son about 75% for snowboarding this last winter. It wasn't a formal club through school but it was a sport and since we support our daughter's ski jumping (which isn't through school) by traveling to competitions etc. and pay $50 for my other son to attend tae kwon do classes, it seemed two-faced to not support him in this also. So now golf is the first sport that has come up since we read your book. Do we pay it for him because it keeps him out of trouble and he hangs out with "good" kids that can afford to this also? Or do we make him do something to "earn" us paying for it? Our downfall in the past is "Because you brought your grades up froms Ds and Fs, we'll pay for this" as a way to positively reinforce something, but this has caused him to be overindulged too :(

Ugh! My son is the oldest of 4 children, so we are aware that we are setting "precedent" also to a certain extent (of course we will change if something totally backfires, but still is something we consider when making decisions).

Thanks for any help you can provide.

Sorry for making this so long....I thought these were going to be simple questions :(



Oral Sex & Smokin' Weed

How do you help a child that is having oral sex with everyone and smokin’ weed.

Teens & Drugs


Be clear about your values. Before you speak with your child about sexuality, think about what your values are. What do you believe? What does your faith tradition say? It is important to give your children factual information -- and to be very specific about how your beliefs either agree with or differ from science.

Talk about facts vs. beliefs. Sometimes, factual information can challenge a personal belief or what a faith community believes. This can provide an opportunity to make sure that your child both has accurate information and hears what your values are relating to it. It also provides an opportunity to explain that there are different beliefs in the community — that people are allowed to disagree with each other, and that differing views should be respected, as long as those views are based on ethics, responsibility, justice, equality and nonviolence.

Practice what you preach... Young people often find it confusing when parents talk about a value regarding sexuality and then act in a way that does not support that value. Some common values about sexuality and relationships that most people support include honesty, equality, responsibility, and respect for differences. Acting on your values and being a good role model are powerful messages for your children. On the other hand, your beliefs will not seem very important or valuable to your children if they don't see you respect and abide by them yourself.

But don't preach... Have a conversation with your children -- don't talk at them. Find out what they think and how they feel about sexuality and relationships. Then you will be able to share information and respond to questions in ways that will resonate with the belief system they are developing for themselves.

Encourage a sense of pride. All children deserve to be wanted and loved, and parents can reinforce this message. Let them know you are interested in what they think and how they feel about any topic, whether it is sexuality, school, religion, the future or whatever. When your children share feelings with you, praise them for it. Correct misinformation gently, and reinforce your values whenever possible.

Keep the conversation going. Too often, parents think they need to wait until they collect enough information and energy to be prepared to have "THE TALK" with their children. However, sexuality is a part of every person's life from the moment he or she is born. It is important, therefore, to start the conversation early, and to make it clear to your children that you are always willing to talk about sexuality -- whenever questions come up for them, or when a "teachable moment" occurs.

Keep your sense of humor! Sexuality, in most of its aspects, can be a joyful topic for discussion in the family.


Daughter with ADHD & ODD

To whom it may concern, I have a daughter who has ADHD and Oppositional Defiant disorder. I don' feel that i'am helping her but i've stuck it out this far. She is 7 year's of age and is on prescription med. from her pediatrician. After she takes them she is calm except for the mouthing off, being rude to me (her mom) very disrespectful to me she will swing at me to see if i flinch (something she just started) and laughs.

When reprimanded for it she tells me i'm telling gram and i tell her go ahead. My daughter thinks if she tells gram that i'll get in trouble with my mom. My daughter plays my mom and i against one another and as of recently my mom has realized what my daughter does.

My mom thought that i was being mean because i wouldn't let my daughter go to dance practice or that i'd give her a writing assignment and tells me i'm to hard on her.

Is there hope for my daughter? And I to have a friendship ...we aren't suppose to enemies and I really feel like my daughter and i have a love hate relationship.


Cutting in Teens

Our 16yr old son has cut/burned initials/things in his body. Claims "it's only art" How can we stop him from doing that?

Cutting in Teens


Response to 'Cutting in Teens' article:

May I acknowledge your letter on teens who inflict
injuries on themselves, in an attempt to reduce
emotional stress, and equally thank you immensely, for
asking me to share with you on this issue.

The problem of teens is a worldwide phenomenon, and I
am happy that you are concerned about it. I am
bordered, too. Your letter to me has made me to
realize that this problem is not only African.

We are aware that a number of factors are responsible
for this sorry development; some of which are
societal, parental, psychological /emotional,
environmental, etc. some of these factors seem to make
the kids uncontrollable.

Nevertheless, I am delighted that by the special
grace of God, you have such a concerned commission
that is poised to assist people cope with such
problems. God knows your ability, capability and

Consequently, I earnestly and fervently request you
to cause your commission to make a big in-road into
Africa where this problem is very prevalent. This will
greatly assist us.

Our organization has commenced creating awareness in
this regard among our communities. We are optimistic
that this endeavor will in the nearest future yield
the needed dividends. When this is achieved, the
problem of teens causing injuries on themselves would
be history.

Our organization is ready to partner with your
organization to achieve this laudable goal.
God bless you.

Tests show no problems...

My 15 y.o. refuses to do hw and is currently failing. Nothing seems to motivate him. He is a star athlete on his school basketball and baseball teams and is constantly on probation but he gets played anyway. He has had add testing and neuropsych testing and these tests show no problems. I don't know what to do anymore. Please help.


The teachers have had enough...

I have already implemented some of your ideas (thinking a lot before I react). So far this is working for me, will have to wait to see reaction from my 15 year old son. If I could pass this info on to his teachers I might have more success, but at the moment they have a cretin mind set and that is he is only a trouble maker, may have to look into a new school, which won’t be easy as he wants to stay where he is. I will have to wait and see …this is in a exam year for him.

He is a great kid at home, funny, full of life, very loving, great worker and he's got a wonderful personality. He is disorganised and airy fairy about things, doesn't seem to bothered about most things, he is a very good horseman, swimmer, target shooter, roller hockey but is not very commitment to any of them, would take it or leave it.

I have had him assessed but all I was told was he was immature and needs to work on his concentration??? He is disruptive in school, arrives late to class, gives back cheek to teachers, half does his homework, has been suspended a number of times. If it wasn't an exam year I think he would be expelled by now.

He has improved his behaviour over the last month, but I feel the teachers have had enough and just feel he is old enough to know better. His father has not been around much and they have a love hate relationship (they are very much alike) and his older brother (3yr) has always done well (I don't compare them but his dad does when he loses his temper). We have never been a family to talk about our troubles. I'm trying to change that. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.




He will blackmail the sister...

I would like to order "My Out-of-Control Teen" eBook & join the Online Parent Support.

However, before I do that, would be great if you could answer my "RED HOT" issue currently I have with my 12 yr old son.

My son just wants his way, he will blackmail the sister who is 1 yr younger than him and even go to the extend of using violent of her if she don't give him. As such she has always give in to him.

I punished him by warning him & canning him but it doesn't seem to work as he become hysterical. I stop canning him and instead talk to reason out to him but yet he still thinks he is not wrong to hit his sister.

Pls advise how to stop him from hitting his sister. Thanks.


Wei Lee

Here's The Program

Is he ADHD?

My partner's son lives with his mother, and is constantly getting suspended from school, he will not do what she tells him and just tonight, he wrecked the house and climbed out the window, on to the garage roof, he is always getting in to trouble at school and tells lies all the time, anything he does he blames someone else for it. Could he be suffering from ADHD, although I think he might have been tested for that. I would really like your opinion on this.

Get Help Here!

When he acts out, it is really annoying, hurtful...


It is so nice to know that there is someone, competent and ready to help. I do appreciate. Thanks.

I did some readings from your online teaching. You know, I have never used any form of artificial punishment to my son of 15 years old now. I was his primary caregiver for the first 6 years of his life. Then, two years after a very difficult custody battle, he has been living with me. I am his sole custodian parent since 2002.

My problem with him is four fold: 1> his abusive language when he have some frustration; 2> his school work, which seems better since 2 weeks ago, but still with skipping classes today, 3> his mom that is, according to me, undermining my parenting approaches to my son, and 4> his social life that takes so much of his time.

E______ - This is my son's name. - is very bright. He is kind. However, when he acts out, it is really annoying, hurtful.

I am sorry. I have to go for one of my kids. I will get back to you again.



I am looking for a support group...

I am looking for a support group or helpline for parents with abusive children. I am trying to help a friend who has 4 children but her 13 year old daughter is violent, verbally abusive, refuses to attend school, stays out until early hours, disobedient, dishonest, defiant, etc...She is also an extremely bright and intelligent child and her mother loves her very much but is scared of her violent outbursts. She has hit her before and threatens her also.


Online Parent Support - Chat

Sibling Seeks Help For Brother




Mean Old Mother


My son came home from school one day,
with a smirk upon his face.
He decided he was smart enough,
to put me in my place.

"Guess what I learned in Civics Two,
that's taught by Mr. Wright?
It's all about the laws today,
The 'Children's Bill of Rights.'

It says I need not clean my room,
don't have to cut my hair
No one can tell me what to think,
or speak, or what to wear.

I have freedom from religion,
and regardless what you say,
I don't have to bow my head,
and I sure don't have to pray.

I can wear earrings if I want,
and pierce my tongue & nose.
I can read & watch just what I like,
get tattoos from head to toe.

And if you ever spank me,
I'll charge you with a crime.
I'll back up all my charges,
with the marks on my behind.

Don't you ever touch me,
my body's only for my use,
not for your hugs and kisses,
that's just more child abuse.

Don't preach about your morals,
like your Mama did to you.
That's nothing more than mind control,
And it's illegal too!

Mom, I have these children's rights,
so you can't influence me,
or I'll call Children's Services Division,
better known as "C.S.D."

Mom's Reply and Thoughts:

Of course my first instinct was
to toss him out the door.
But the chance to teach him a lesson
made me think a little more.

I mulled it over carefully,
I couldn't let this go.
A smile crept upon my face,
he's messing with a pro.

Next day I took him shopping
at the local Goodwill Store..
I told him, "Pick out all you want,
there's shirts & pants galore.

I've called and checked with C.S.D .
who said they didn't care
if I bought you K-Mart shoes
instead of Nike Airs.

I've canceled that appointment
to take your driver's test.
The C.S.D. is unconcerned
so I'll decide what's best."

I said "No time to stop and eat,
or pick up stuff to munch.
And tomorrow you can start to learn
to make your own sack lunch.

Just save the raging appetite,
and wait till dinner time.
We're having liver and onions,
a favorite dish of mine."

He asked "Can I please rent a movie,
to watch on my VCR?"
"Sorry, but I sold your TV,
for new tires on my car.

I also rented out your room,
you'll take the couch instead.
The C.S.D. requires
just a roof over your head.

Your clothing won't be trendy now,
I'll choose what we eat.
That allowance that you used to get,
will buy me something neat.

I'm selling off your jet ski,
dirt-bike & roller blades.
Check out the 'Parents Bill of Rights',
It's in effect today!

Hey hot shot, are you crying,
Why are you on your knees?
Are you asking God to help you out,
instead of C.S.D..?"

Send to all people that have teenagers or have already raised teenagers, or have children who will soon be teenagers or those who will be parents someday OR ANYONE WHO'D JUST GET A LAUGH. I love this One!!!


From a MOM (Mean Old Mother)

Focus On The Family


D. here, the lady from Michigan that builds Target Stores and has a REALLY, call CPS at every turn, OUT -of-this WORLD teen! lol... Remember me?!

I was just thinking, have you ever thought of sending your site or maybe writing an article for Focus On The Family? Their site is:


It is a site by James Dobson. He has written several well-known books like:

"Parenting Isn't for Cowards"
"The New Strong-Willed Child"
"The Angry Child"
"Tough Love"
"Dare to Discipline"

It is a Christian site and I do not know your views on this aspect but I do SUSPECT that you are as well. I have told so many parents about your site! I just wish you could get the word out about your methods everywhere. Don't know why but a lil voice kept saying, "stop and write him" So I finally am! lol

Here... Please.... I just wish you would tell me what they serve for dinner in prison... You know 3 meals, sleep, rest, no voice screaming at me.... sounds kinda nice. lol Just teasing! L. is still L. and even says, she likes it, EVEN with the consequences. Go figure. I am hanging on.

Take Care,



He doesn’t want to enter into a suffering hand...

Dear Sir,

I know you through LOVE IN ACTION COMMUNITY INITIATIVE who created the awareness to me about the ONLINE PARENT SUPPORT PROGRAMME.

I married a woman with two kids boys, In their fourth and second year of age their mom took them and ran away to her home state (Rivers State) in 1988, while she was with me, what I was earning from my daily living was not enough to sustain all of us she remarked. A day came she took the kids away uninformed, on my quest to know their where about, I discovered that she dropped the kids to their grand mom, who had no son.

On my demand for the kids, this grand mom made some specific demands which l could not meet. Their grand mom later promised to release them.

In a period of time, the elder kid started visiting home, the younger refused to follow suit, on my finding reasons why he was not coming as well. The elder kid said that, he said he doesn’t want to enter into a suffering hand.

To the best of knowledge, I have been helping the kids in order to give them a sense of belonging that they are my kids..

The elder one who was coming occasionally is no longer coming again. I am worried. What shall I do to regain my kids on any side?



Here's Help: Online Parent Support Grant Writing Package

Parents expect me to tackle the issue of discipline...

Thank you for the response to my request.

My situation may be a bit complicated in that I personally have three children below the age of 12, all of whom are not a problem to "yet".

I and my wife are father and mother adviser for the Dangamvura Church of Christ Youths here in Zimbabwe. I am also a member of a committee responsible for designing lessons for the congregation. Parents, in my youth advisory role, expect me to tackle the issue of discipline amongst the youth, quite a number of whom are a real problem, hence my request for your assistance.

Your assistance would be very invaluable.




Here's to more manageable manipulation...

Hi Mark,

Thank you for your website and knowledge on this matter. Our daughter is 5 but rules the roost in this house a lot of the time. She is ludicrously bright and yet doesn't seem to understand reason. Is this a common symptom? To read the symptoms of ODD was enlightening. We don't tend to talk about things in England so much and it’s not something that I had ever heard about.

I am looking forward to reading the ebook and letting you know the results. She may not have odd but I can only think these methods may help.

Here's to more manageable manipulation - "stop shouting at me mummy, your hurting my feelings" after I have asked 20 times for something and wild tantrums about the simplest things, and sulking, and me and my partner arguing and a treat box the size of a bin bag as bribes to get dressed, get in the car....stop crying etc, and the feeling of walking on egg shells allllllllllllllllllllllll the time.

I will let you know,



He's Got All The Symptoms

Hello, I am the grandmother of a 3 year old who has all the symptoms of oppositional defiance disorder or either conduct behavior. My son and daughter-in-law do not know what to do anymore and the child is an angel sometimes. His parents are at wits end and even having marital problems because of this. Please lead me in any way to help this precious family before it gets worse. Thank you so much. G.T. (the grandmother)

My Out-of-Control Child

My son doesn't like our rules...

I have a son who I raised majority of the time up to the age of 13. He now went to live with his Dad and Step Mom for the past 10 months full-time and doesn't want to come home nor spend any time with us. I have a Husband and 3 additional kids. My Son doesn't like our rules in our house and his Dad lets him do whatever he wants. I have paid 100% for my Son's education to attend a private school and he is now graduating from the 8th grade. He wants to attend a private high school and his Dad wants me to pay for most of his tuition as he now lives with him 100% of the time. I'm struggling with the fact that I would have to pay a lot of money a month for a son who doesn't give a crap. Help.


I am nearly at the end of my tether...

I am nearly at the end of my tether. I am a single mum living and working full time in London, England. My daughter, K., is 12 years old (13 in July) and is a complete nightmare to live with at the moment (usually from about day 21 of her 28 day cycle). She is completely unreasonable, explodes up at anyone who tries to challenge her (even her school teachers!), she is abusive (and has recently started swearing at me in particular really badly) which I do not tolerate. When I challenge her she then becomes destructive (only last week she tried to trash my living room). I try to send her to her room and she just point blank refuses, if I then try and use force and manually move her to her room she then becomes violent and lashes out at me and the last thing I want to do is stand up and have a full fledged fight with my 12 year daughter.

Last Monday afternoon she went out with a "friend" after school who I disapprove of, although I wasn't particularly happy about her going out or the person she was with, I was at work (about 6 miles away) in the City and so agreed that she could go out but she was to be back by 7pm (not unreasonable considering she is only 12). I called her and sent her a text message on her cell phone to which she responded and said she would be home. It got past 7pm and there was no sign of her, the time went on and I finally called my mother for some advice and told her of the situation about 9.30pm - I then called the police and reported her as a missing person.

The police were brilliant …they came round and took a recent photo and a hairbrush (for DNA!) they then put out a call to all cars in the area to look out for her. During this whole time I was absolutely beside myself and worried that my beautiful daughter was laying dead somewhere on the streets of London. I called and text all her friends or at least every number I could get hold of until eventually word got back to her that I had called the police and everyone was looking for her. She then walked in about 10 minutes past midnight with the police arriving about 2 minutes after and she had such a terrible attitude, she was rude and just gave off the impression she couldn't care one bit. I was so ashamed and embarrassed as my daughter had changed into a monster.

I still do not know to this day where she was, what she was doing or who she was with. She allegedly smashed up her new top of the range cell phone (because I was trying to call her persistently and was getting on her nerves!!) she was also seen about 3 miles away getting on a bus about 11pm which she denies. Apart from that I have no idea what she was doing and can't get anything out of her.

Our week didn't get much better, on Friday morning she left for school at 7.30am (as normal) and I got a call from her school at 9.30 saying that she had only just wondered into school over an hour late - her journey is only a 30 minute journey so therefore she went missing for 2 hours with no real reason - she told me that the traffic was bad and the buses were late, etc., etc., but yet again I have no idea what she was doing for that 2 hours. I tried to talk to her about this when I got in from work Friday evening and this is when her attitude was so bad I asked her to go to her room, she point blank refused and then just completely freaked out on me, swearing, crying, shouting, screaming and throwing things, I finally restrained her and she broke down in tears and was inconsolable and kept saying that she wanted someone to help her because she didn't know why she was behaving like this?

Her attitude hasn't got any better this week and she is constantly trying my patience, being disrespectful, rude and swearing. I have taken away her cell phone, her laptop and have tried to ignore her attitude but I now feel like I am going mad and I am scared that I am losing my beautiful little girl.

I am taking her to our doctor next week and am going to ask for advice and also to ask if he can put her on a hormone replacement/pill to see if this works because I am now really at the end of my tether and feel like I am failing and that I am losing my lovely daughter to this teenage monster!


I wish I knew where to turn for help...

I am a single mom with 5 kids. Among many other problems, my two oldest or maybe just one of the two, I am not sure, keep stealing from me. In the last 6 months alone there has been over $600 stolen from me. I can never prove it or catch them, but when ever it happens they’re always the ones around. They know I cant make ends meet, and up until recently I had worked two full time jobs. I even went so far as to buy a safe, which has helped, but there are times when I must keep some cash in my purse, to go to the store. I would really appreciate any advice I could get. These two are driving me out of my mind. I wish I knew where to turn for help with this and other problems.


I’m not sure what to do...

I’m not sure what to do ...my daughter is always going to her boyfriend's every night. She leaves shortly after school and isn’t home until 11pm at night. We are not happy with this and want her to stay home a bit more at nights but she is always complaining that there is nothing to do here. She does the same thing there as she does here. We tell her not to go and she goes anyway.

What do we do?

Here's Help

Disney Dad

My toughest parenting challenge right now is my disrespectful, defiant teenage son. His father is no help. Since our divorce, I am the disciplinarian and he is the "Disney" dad. I am trying the Tough Love route with my son now, but I still feel he has the upper hand. What do I do?

Get Help Here!

I am afraid he won't know his limits.

My son has always been girl crazy (and thinking back his father was too - I knew his father all the way back to elementary school - and were on and off again boyfriend/girlfriend). I have no evidence of peeping tom type behaviors, in appropriate touch or anything in the like, but always having and wanting girlfriends is top priority. I think some of it has to do with his constant needing to be grown up, always knows what is best for himself, and possibly some low self esteem. Even though I have had numerous talks with my son about "liking yourself before liking other people," he knows best.

My son is 13 with adhd and ODD and is doing remarkably well on adderall XL. But, I do know he wants girlfriends, older girlfriends, and I found out last week - he got a condom out of the gas station vending machine. My ex husband has always let the kids watch movies and TV shows with more adult content than necessary. My kids were fortunate enough to find an old box of playboy magazines at their fathers, and also a box of intimate toys, which are his and his fiance's. My sons are completely different and I can see talking with the two of them equally, the one sees the stuff and can go on about his business - but my other son feels this is his business. My oldest son also wants to be grown up and I can see him testing everything he can to prove so.

My son has also been going with his friends to after school games, open skating, and a few movies. He talks with me about what goes on - and he made a comment last week about "feeling a girl up." He also told me he likes the idea of being on the track team so he can "meet more girls."

I know everyone is different. I know what I did at his age and what some boys tried doing to me; I am no prude, but I also know I had some inhibitions - I know that I was able to say "no." I am worried he being a boy will be the aggressor - he has had a history with anger and controlling behavior - while I left his father when my son was just 6 - he says he has some pictures in his head of us fighting he can't let go. I really believe the ODD/ADHD plays up the stories in his head - but I am afraid he won't know his limits.


He is currently in treatment at a RTF in Montana...

My son Joshua recently turned 17. He is currently in treatment at a RTF in Montana, placed by our school district and San Diego County Mental Health. He has been diagnosed with CD and has PTSD due to the death of his older brother 5 years ago. He has exhibited almost all of the criteria that you have described. To further complicate things he does have substance abuse issues. He's been in residential treatment for over 1 year and has made progress in some areas, but still exhibits many of the behaviors indicated, although it's not as bad as it used to be prior to treatment. There is a possibility that he will be returned home in June 2007. We definitely have communication issues and I'd like to know if you think your program would be of help in any way. I miss my son and would like him to come home, but I have a lot of anxiety as you can well imagine. Further, he thinks that since he is
17 and almost 18 that he should be allowed the same treatment and privileges as an adult. I can see the conflict already. Your input would be greatly appreciated.

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She is just too defiant...

My child is 16 years old and we are both miserable, this site describes us perfectly, she is getting older, so we still have time for this program? How long do we need, I don’t want her to get in trouble with the law, or drugs and alcohol, there doesn’t seem to be anything for kids before they get to this point, I have to do something now.... she is just too defiant and don’t think she needs to follow rules, she is on medication for ADHD and behaviors, but doesn’t think she should have to take the medication. Can this program work for us?

Here's Your Program

I feel abused by my own children ...

I found out about this on-line book a little too late. I am a new subscriber and I need serious help. Three years ago my 2 youngest daughters began acting up in January 2004 - they were 7 and 8. January '04 was full of bathroom messes = toilet paper messes, clogged toilets, soap and shampoo messes, toothpaste messes, etc. February '04 had more of the same, but also more than once a day. At night, my oldest daughter and I got pieces of whatever stuff could be found on the floor shoved up our noses. (We are VERY sound sleepers) February '04 was also had attempts made to hurt our cat - cat in toilet with lid closed and bubbles poured on cat during night. March '04 had much more of the above, but also destruction of Playstation, answering machine, telephone, and some clothes; pictures; games; etc.

One night in March '04 I was awakened by my oldest daughter because someone poured nail polish all over the lower half of her body and blanket. About a week later, almost the exact thing happened, except rubbing alcohol had been used. In March '04 began the fires created from the stove = 3 fires, until I learned how to turn off the gas supply behind the stove at nighttime before bed. In April '04 I finally was able to get a family counselor. Unfortunately, he thought my children were being normal children - he felt that I was either not giving them enough attention or that I was giving them too much attention when they misbehaved. April seemed to go slightly better though because I started taking everything out of the one bathroom, except for a roll of toilet paper. The other bathroom I locked up every night. Plus, of course, I continued to shut off the stove at nighttime.

About a week and a half into April '04, I woke up in the morning to discover a big, drizzling bubble in the ceiling. One of my children had used the toilet paper in the bathroom to plug up the sink drain and the overflow. My landlord who knew already about the previous fires, the family counselor, and how hard I was trying - had no choice but to give me an eviction notice. I spoke with my 2 youngest children's father about everything. He did not believe me, he thought my oldest daughter was doing it. (By the way, so has almost 99% of the people I have talked to since then!) He agreed happily to have our girls live with him.

At first it was just on a trial basis, but we made it permanent after a couple of months because he did not have any problems with them. (I had them every Saturday and Sunday, but I still experienced problems with "messes") July 2006 their father and Step mom split up. Their father moved in with his Mom and he brought our girls to live there also.

October 2006 his Mom kicked their father out, but kept our girls. When that happened, I started picking up the girls after school on Friday and then taking them back to their grandmother's on Sunday night. So far their grandmother has had no problems with my daughters, but I still do sometimes on the weekends. Two weekends ago one of my children cut my oldest daughter's hair while sleeping. Whoever did it had taken my haircutting scissors from the bathroom during the day and had hidden it for later use at night. Everyone had seemed happy that night, but my oldest daughter had woken me up after only an hour of sleep - her hair was in pieces and strands all over her pillow and the scissors were about a foot away from her pillow on the floor. Now their grandmother does not want them to come over anymore. She said that it is not fair for me to think one of my youngest children is acting up unless I have proof. Plus, my youngest children are telling their grandmother that they have NEVER done ANYTHING.

My middle daughter claims that I mostly think it is her doing stuff because I do not like her - and her sisters hate her too. (None of that is true) Anyway, this is where I am at. I am in hell. I have been for the last three years. And it seems that most people think I must be a horrible mother - probably deserving my hell.

Ironically, I feel abused by my own children who I love more than anything. Even more ironically, people used to praise my parenting skills. Last year, some of the same people who used to praise me told me that it is probably for the best when I told them that my two youngest children acted up and were living with their father.

I am not doing well at all. Any advice would be greatly appreciated - or even if you could say a prayer for me.


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He sneaks out and chain smokes...

My son has been in so much trouble. He is in a rehab center write now but each home visit he sneaks out and chain smokes, and drives me crazy, I am so afraid for his wellbeing. He has Bipolar? poss AD. He is now 16 the major problems started after I remarried and we moved to another city 2 years ago also his father is dead and he hates his stepfather. Can someone help us?

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I get called 'fucking bitch'...

We have 4 teenage boys. Their ages range from 18, 16, 14, and 13. We have tried many things with them. I get called 'fucking bitch' and told to 'fuck off' on a daily basis. They do not listen to their dad and call him a 'worthless asshole' who is nothing but a 'piece of shit.' We need help and found your online program.

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I think I am too late...

What do you do when your son other parents are enabling your son to be defiant? Ex. I take away cell phone, the girlfriend’s mother goes and gets him one and pays for the service for the past 7 mos at $60/mo. Or the other parents smoke marijuana and say we are overly conservative parents. I take away vehicle, so he can ride the bus and the mother picks him up at the bus stop behind my back. She criticizes and rescues him. He will be 18 in June. I think I am too late. We are in counseling now. The mother also lets her daughter stay the night with my son at a friends house who is 25. The girlfriend is 16.


He is always upset or bitter...

Hi Mr Hutten,

Thank you for the information, it has been very informative. I am still trying to read and make a plan of action.

Kevin is my son he turned 17 yesterday. We are a family of four …Kyle is 19. When Kevin turned 4 we moved from Texas to Costa Rica for ten years, I am from there, John is from Tx. They did great, learned the language and adapted to the culture great.

We moved back to USA in 2004. He started in 7th grade in Middle school, had no problems liked the school. He went on to High School and is to big for him he doesn't like it, he does good in school, has good grades and is actually Bored even with the AP classes. He doesn't have any friends that he can socialize on the weekend. He also works about 3 or 4 days per week. I recently put him in karate to see if he could make friends, he likes the class. You are probably thinking what is wrong? After the move he started gaining weight, now up to 40 lbs. He is always upset or bitter, response in a bad way, my older son tells me he is not a friendly person, how can he have friends, he is not a friendly person. He plays computer most of the time, he is addicted to WOW game.

I am very concern he seems very unhappy and sometimes I can reach him. I was thinking of taking him to a psychologist for help.


We have basically ruined his social world...

We have just moved to a new town and my 14 year old seems to be going off the wall. I acknowledge that we have basically ruined his social world by moving him at such an age but he is now going to a much better school (one which he originally begged to go to!) and if he could just get a hold of himself he will have a much better future here. Trouble is in the 7 weeks in the new school he has been off sick 2 full weeks and the much bigger workload now seems to be getting away from him. He is sick again today but I sent him anyway so he could sort out what was due and when. Also because the reason he is sick is because he won't take his antibiotics and he won't eat any fruit, veges or take vitamins. Also because he threw a desk thing at my chest last Thurs and I'm pretty sure I have a cracked rib. He punched my 12 year old in the back last night and there have been full-on rages for the last several days in response to disciplinary action we have taken in regard to his computer activity (internet currently suspended till he gives up administrator's rights, removes p@#$!*@#$!* and allows install of content filter software). So yes he is very angry and we are angry and very tired and very worried. He says he cannot cope at the new school and we must take him out and 'go home'. I think he can cope if he can just get well and gives it just a little time. God knows he needs the structure they provide. I am looking around now for someone for him to go to see but I don't feel hopeful just sick-worried. He is too good at convincing himself that he is being persecuted and that he is not responsible for anything. Any suggestions would be very gratefully received but thank you for opportunity to post in any case.


We can barely survive.

Dear Mark,

It is maybe easy enough to say, get my book, and follow instructions, and don't get me wrong, I would have loved to do just that. My problem doesn’t start or stop only at this current situation, unfortunately. I have previously worked for a very nice Company, and my earnings was of such a nature, that I could look after myself and my children quite easily. It was also on those grounds, that the welfare have decided in August 2006, that my children could be placed back with me, now that I was more financially stable. The children were placed back with me on a trail basis for six months, as from 01/12/06. To my surprise when I returned to work 02/01/07, I was retrenched with immediate effect. I was in total shock, for more than a week. I eventually had no other option, but to take the first immediate vacancy that I could find.

I started with a Freight company on 15 Jan 07, and am still here. Unfortunately I have to work for less that half the salary I used to earn, which is R2500-00 per month (before deductions; no benefits). My flat alone costs me between R1900-00 to R2030-00 per month. I have recently placed an ad in the local newspaper, with exactly what I need, and I believe it will manifest soon. So, out of all you can actually see that the financial aspect is a major problem, even worse than only one child giving me problems. I will in future, if financial more stable, definitely get copy of your book, but my current status just doesn’t allow it at all. We can barely survive.




Here's free access to Online Parent Support "mini-reports" site >>> CLICK HERE.

Also, feel free to email me with any specific questions you have re: current parent-child difficulties.

We put people first >>> www.MyOutOfControlTeen.com


Can I parent this "adult" living in my house...

Wow! I just finished the ebook and as I read and listened it was as though you were looking at my son as you described the various behaviors and my feelings and reactions. I have really bad parenting skills with my son and he shows all of the symptoms you describe. Now for the million-dollar question: my son just turned 18! He lives in my home and currently is in jeopardy of not graduating due to some poor choices mine and his). He has a very part time job and is completely dependent on us (he could not afford to move out and has never threatened to do so). I talk to my son and he confides in me daily. He says he cannot talk to his dad and they have decided to go to their corner's for now. Can I parent this "adult" living in my house making really poor choices at the moment? Help!


I can't just throw him out in the streets...

I am the single mother of 3 boys ages 16, 17 and 23. (and am getting grey fast!!!) My 23 year old lives in the in-law apartment in my house and the other 2 live in the house with me. My oldest son has ADD and is very angry with his father who was abusive, but who no longer is a part of our lives. The problem is my oldest is taking out his anger on my youngest, who looks very much like his father. My oldest is abusive both physically and verbally. My youngest is no angel, but he doesn't deserve to be abused like this.
I have tried to talk to my oldest, but he gets enraged and like today, says things like, "what are you retarded?...you don't see what a pain in the --- he is !!"

I wanted them to go to counseling, but they both refuse. I want my oldest to move out, but he is on unemployment until the weather changes. He has been telling me since November that he is moving out, but he has a great deal here...he pays rent, when he can, he eats my food and uses my things...why should he leave??? Now he's talking about staying on unemployment to go to school!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have told my oldest to stay out of my house, but whenever I'm away, he come in and starts with my youngest! I am very concerned with the welfare of my youngest two sons and I know the best thing is for my oldest to move out, but I can't seem to make him go, and I am torn because I can't just throw him out in the streets!


I'm at a loss on what to do now...

Things have been fab apart from a few problems my Daughter (ADHD) has probably behaved better than most teens. However she started seeing a young boy 5 weeks ago and she's steadily trying to take control of the house again. Our parenting doesn't appear to have changed but she's managed to get into trouble with a friend where i had the parents shouting at me on the doorstep. She’s been Lying and saying she's missed the bus home so we have to go out and collect her even though we knew she hadn't even been at the bus stop. She's on a token system where she get £1 every day she sticks to simple rules and she’s not managed to earn any in 10 days. She’s been in trouble at school and refuses to be ready on time in the mornings for her Taxi. I've been verbally abused all this week trying to get her ready. The boyfriend is a really nice boy and i'm sure he's not influencing her in anyway. I've tried talking to her and using loss of privileges etc, but she screams at me and says she doesn't care. I'm at a loss what to do now as things just seem to be deteriorating …last time she ran away from home within 2 weeks and we ended up in front of social workers because she refused to comply and wanted to go into care.


What can we do?

My son Patrick is a senior in high school. Up until this year he was a pretty good student, with a 3.1 GPA. Now, however, he is frequently late for school by a couple of minutes -- so much so that he may not graduate. He is also leaving all assignments until late on the night before they are due, then not completing them or handing them in. He can't or won't say why he does this; he says he is "different " from the other kids who get their work done. What can we do?


I do not know how to help her...

The youngest daughter 11, can not focus longer than 10 seconds on any schoolwork, is not interested in any school work, does not listen to instructions at all, giving myself and my eldest daughter lip all the time. Refuses to do any chores at home, just wants everything her own way, over the week-end was caught smoking with a friend, no responsibility for anything. I do not know how to help her. Since they've been in the children’s home, she has totally changed. I have explained numerous times why things had to happen the way it was, and she keeps on telling me that she understands, why they ended up in the home, but I suspect some anger inside of her, and that is maybe the reason why she behaves the way she does. Maybe not directly anger towards myself, but the entire situation in which they were placed for two and a half years. I need her and my other daughter and myself to work as a unity in order to succeed, and be a happy family.


I just don’t know how to control them...

Both my children were in a children's home for two and a half years, due to financial difficulties. They have been placed back with me (single parent), and I just don’t know how to control them. One is 14 yrs and the other 11. The one of 11 is totally out of control. Both are girls. Can you please advice me what to do?

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This really tears my heart out...

I just broke up a party where a bunch of my son's friend were. My son was there as well …all were drinking. My son is a senior in high school an has gotten in trouble before. It seams that I am the one that finds out about the parties were the parents are not home and I am always the one that messes it up for my son's fun. My kid hates me and says that his friends are now afraid to hang out with him now that he has a father that destroys their fun. I just can't let a party go on with drinking and then driving gets in the picture. How do I get my kid to respect what I am doing? He says he will never trust me again and has leaned his lesson that he will never tell me what really is going on because of that. This really tears my heart out. He just got accepted at the college of his choice and resents the fact that I am destroying his senior year.

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As a 23 year old adult, he claims no responsibility...

Our sons were diagnoses with oppositional defiant disorder …we dealt with an ex who constantly told them they didn't have to do anything we said until the court took away their visitation. However, they were professionally diagnosed with ODD. Now one has self-diagnosed himself with attachment disorder and still blames us 100% … as a 23 year old adult, he claims no responsibility for his lies, his thefts, etc. Help.


His room smells like a latrine...

My 9 yr old son is diagnosed with ADHD an oppositional defiant disorder. I have become used to PPT meetings speech therapy etc. But my main issue is toileting. He will go in his pants (urinating and defecating and just sit in it). He pees on is toys, and his room smells like a latrine no matter what I do. His room is RIGHT NEXT to the bathroom. I'm at the end of my rope. I rent and I'm afraid of being evicted over the smell. He does not do this in school or with other children. We have done the treatments for encopresis, etc. I feel very detached. Everywhere I call for help recommends residential.

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My 10 yr old is like the poster child for Online Parent Support (OPS)...

My 10 yr old is like the poster child for OPS! He is a gifted student, has a wonderful sense of humor, but he has always been a stubborn child. Lately though things have gotten intolerable. He refused to respect his daycare lady who has watched him since he was a baby. Since he would no longer listen to her when she tried to discipline him, I have had to find another daycare provider. My son takes no responsibility for the actions that got us to this point. Last weekend he became furious with my mother when she tried to discipline him. Again he admitted to no wrongdoing and refused to apologize or even tell her goodbye as we left. Later I wanted him to apologize by phone but he refused. My question is, how should I have handled this latest outburst? Can't get him a new Grandmother. I have tried reasoning with him and have taken just about every privilege away, but it doesn't change his behavior in the heat of the moment.

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Conduct Disorder (CD)

Is there hope for cd children? I am so worried about my son and what’s going to happen to him now the more I find out. We have been to our family doctor and he is sending my son on to a child psychiatrist for further testing and help. He did some testing with questionnaires for myself and the school to fill out and he thinks my son sounds like he is possibly add, odd, and cd as well as possibly bi-polar and he said he needs to see a specialist. The more I hear the more afraid I become for my poor little boy.

I don’t think that he knows what’s going on or what to think! So I went online to look up more on this cd as I had not heard of it and came across your site. I really figured my son was odd and add but had not heard of cd. Apparently cd is the hardest of all disorders to control these kids are very intense....anyway I just hope we can get in to see the doctor asap and get something happening .Is there a medication that helps these children or what? Your online course?! …to learn coping skills and ways to parent cd children looks very good and I will sign up for it very soon and work thru it ...at this point Im willing to try anything!! Look for ward to hearing from you thanks.


His Grandfather was the typical “Archie Bunker” ...

Thank you Mr. Hutten.

Our daughter is not necessarily out of control – it’s a definite head-butting issue with Dad. She doesn’t get into trouble, she’s picked pretty decent friends and she’s keeping her grades up – part of her problem is that she’s got a high IQ and has wonderful adolescent opinions - LOL.

I will work with dear hubby to download your book for us to read. What I am trying to do is educate him that there’s a better and more productive way than the one he is currently holding fast to. His Grandfather was the typical “Archie Bunker” and his father was only a little lighter. I know it’s definitely an “inherited” technique. Coupled with the fact that we adopted her only 3 years ago at age 11 and he’s not used to girls doesn’t help much.

Our bio son “grew up” knowing to just obey and not question. Our daughter has had little in the male father role prior to my husband and honestly I think she’s doing great all considered. Thank you for your time and expect to see one if not both of us online soon.

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She hits us, tells us to shut up and is never happy...

I have an 11 yr old that is seeing a Social worker twice a week. She was considering running in front of a car. When she told me this we went right to the ER. They suggested we start to see a Social worker so we are. The social worker thinks it could be for attention and the lack of discipline. Dad is in the Navy and if I say no, our child will run to dad, because he will say yes. Dad says yes because he can't stand to listen to her complain when she can't get her way. She also is failing school and won't do her homework with out constant help from us. She hits us, tells us to shut up and is never happy. She only sees the negative in everything. I feel so helpless. My husband feels that the Social Worker is not helping, and I am starting to think he may be right. I found your info on the web and considering it, but wanted your opinion. …do you think your program could help this matter? If you need more info please let me know. Thanks


My Husband Is An Authoritarian

I am thinking of getting your program for my husband who I believe is authoritarian in parenting culminating in major head-butting with our 14yr old daughter. Do you have any other suggestions on how I can "train him" to stop being so controlling, leave his ego outside and realize that children push our buttons and that flying off the handle doesn't accomplish anything but a cold house?


Suspended For A Week

Please help. I just got off the phone with my 12 year old sons middle school principal. She said your son is going to be suspended for a week due to intimidating another child and has had three harassments filed against him this year so far. He doesn't take any responsibility for his actions. He has not been raised to disrespect adults or fellow peers, but seems out of control in this area. He doesn't get the greatest grades in school, so I think he over compensates with his looks and athletic ability and strength. He has many many friends so I don't understand why he feels as though he needs this negative attention. He doesn't come from a broken family or druggie parents …we are always here for him and very open to talking about anything. I know not all kids want to talk about everything with their parents but he knows we're always there for him. We have basically taken his life away from him and it doesn't seem to phase him. I just told the principal and my husband I'm at my wits end. Please help me find a way to help him be a respectful person. Thank you.


Do you think this would be a wise move?

Hi, Mark

Thanks so much for your online resource for us parents. I'm grateful to be a member of your site! My husband and I have appreciated the e-book and have been working hard to apply it. We have posted a list of house rules that clearly outline the consequences and privileges for each one. We sat down with all the kids and explained these rules and asked for their input. Everyone agreed to the rules and had no questions. The three-day rule for consequences has really been helpful. My stepsons, ages 10 and 12, are showing positive responses and we're encouraged.

Our problem lies with my 15 year old stepdaughter, Emily. She refuses to stick to anything. She constantly demands (never asks) to change schedules and demands to do things like go over to her friends' houses ("Dad, take me over to so-and-so's house", things like that). Every time, we explain to her that we need to hear a request, not a demand. We tell her that if she asks us, we will consider the request, but if she demands instead of asking, then it will be an automatic "no." When she then requests, we emphasize that she needs to earn the privilege - i.e., you may go to so-and-so's house only after you've finished chores, etc. She balks at this and says we're unreasonable. The poker face technique has helped so much with this. Our new mantra is "I'm not going to discuss it."

We have had the suspicion that she has been smoking at our house and has been using drugs. We searched her room one day while she was not here and found cigarettes and marijuana. When she came home that afternoon, we confronted her with it - calmly and rationally, no yelling. We told her that it was against the rules and that she was being grounded, per our posted list of rules. The next day, she went to her mother's after school instead of here.

Her mother, unfortunately, does not agree with our house rules. We told her what we had found in Emily's room. How did she handle it? She told Emily not to do it again, and that was it. No grounding, no consequences. She believes that we should give the children free reign and the room to make all their own decisions. There is no structure and no routine at her house. There is no set dinnertime. When the kids get hungry, they're free to just go to the fridge and heat up a hot dog in the microwave. She thinks we're unreasonable because we have a set dinnertime where we all sit down to dinner together and eat what has been prepared. She thinks we ought to just fix the kids whatever they want to eat, no matter what. (She calls this, "offering them choices." If we're having meatloaf for dinner and they don't like it, then we are supposed to just jump right up and make them something else that they WILL like - she has told us this.) Her husband has been in and out of rehab for abusing pills and stealing prescriptions for Oxycontin. Her phone is constantly being cut off because she won't pay her bills, so we're often left with no way to get in touch with her in case of emergencies. She has no set rules, no consistent consequences, no routine. When we have grounded kids for things and let her know about it, she at first agreed to enforce the remainder of the grounding period, but then she has given in to the kids because she doesn't want to deal with them throwing a temper tantrum. She is not consistent.

Anyway, here is our dilemma. The kids spend the majority of their time at their mother's house. We are concerned, especially now with Emily's behavior and drug use, that the lack of structure is seriously detrimental to their development into healthy and responsible young adults. We would like to have them full-time and have it where they visit their mother every other weekend instead of them living with their mother full time and visiting us every other weekend.

Do you think this would be a wise move? Of course, we realize that this will probably not set well with the kids at first. I mean, nobody would want to move from a place where you're free to do whatever you want, whenever you want, into a place with more structure and definite boundaries. But we really believe they need the structure. We're afraid that Emily is going to go past the point of no return, and very soon, and we're afraid that the other kids will follow suit.


My husband and I are going crazy!!!!

My son is 18 and he left home to go to college in Arizona. He failed so badly due to parties and just basically screwing off. We sent him on a $10,000 vacation. We brought him back home to go to a junior college. He has done the same thing here. He told us he wants to work for a year and MAYBE go to school later. He is working 30 hours a week. We are going to make him pay bills like, rent, insurance, gas etc. How do you make him see that you need an education to get a decent job in this world?? My husband and I are going crazy!!!! HELP!!!


She is completely out of control...

My sister is 17 years old. She is completely out of control. She is extremely verbally and physically violent to my parents. She had been caught abusing drugs and alcohol constantly. She has been caught having sex for drugs and money. She has shoplifted and even broken into people's homes and stole things. She has very violent outbursts towards her family and others. If she doesn't get what she wants she threatens suicide or running away. There's so much more... What can we do? Please help.


He's Failing 2 Classes

Hi Mark

Yesterday I purchased your ebook My Out-Of -Control Teen. I have started reading it and I think it will prove quite useful. But I was wondering if you could give me some suggestions on how to handle a situation we are experiencing with our 16 yr old son right now?

A few days ago we received our son's progress report from school and it was not good- failing two classes. In addition to this he has declared he will not finish a correspondence course he started in the summer. For the correspondence course he only needed the first half to make up the credit from a failed semester in Math. When we signed up for this course, however, we asked him if he wanted to do the whole course or just the half he needed. He said he would do the whole thing. It took him all summer to finish just over half of the course. Since then he has been procrastinating with it. On the weekend when we pressed the issue of the correspondence course, while my husband and I were out, he shredded the rest of the assignment sheets.

In response to this, we took away his electronics access for an unspecified time.

He doesn't like school or being active and spends most of his spare time either on the computer or watching TV. Since we have withdrawn his electronic privileges, he has stayed in his room in bed saying there is nothing else to do. He has also refused to eat dinner with us (so he is not eating much).

I was wondering if you have any suggestions on how to turn this situation around?? It is quite difficult because …he won't talk to me much and my husband even less so.
Life is pretty tense in our house right now.

I would appreciate any help you could offer.




She's Destroying the Marriage

I have a soon to be 17 year old daughter who has all but destroyed my marriage. I have put my head in the sand and ignored the damaging effects it has done between my soul mate and my self. My daughter has destroyed any relationship my wife (my daughters step mother) and I have with my family by lying and telling untrue stories about my wife and stepdaughter. My daughter is in counseling and has been drug tested positive to using pot. Is there anything I can do to save my marriage and show my wife how much I truly love and how much of a part of my life she has been, is and will always be? Please help!



He's 14 and has been bullied for some time before humiliating incident set up by so-called friends and he's refused to go back. Now out of school for nearly 8 weeks - seeing psychiatric nurses, but they say not psychotic, but EBD. Very low self-esteem, scared to leave bedroom/house, initially threatening to kill himself but (now - since a month or so in) very very angry and abusive with me, though can be fine with other people. I am widowed mum - 2 other much older sons, both away at Universities. I have very demanding, long hours job - part of problem. Don't see how to break cycle - and am fairly sure now that son is manipulating situation so can stay in room and do nothing except watch TV/use laptop indefinitely. Eats/operates at times to suit self - bedroom squalid - quote "doesn't care" - hates me, wants me to kill myself, can't trust me ...though this only because recently I've had to tell people - friends/family that he's been bullied and is out of school. Am so fed up with him /exhausted, would leave home myself if I could.


Their father has ADHD too...

I have a 10 yr old male with ADHD and a 12-year-old female with ADHD and ODD. Both are step children and their biological father is gone a lot as a truck driver. I have parented a successful 25 yr old who is married now. Their father has ADHD too. He doesn't take medicine. The 2 children do. I have been step mom for 4 years. Ever since the 3rd grade their problems have become worse. They have just about everything described. I need help in getting them to control anger and fighting constantly with each other. I also need help with the lying, stealing, disrespect. I have started reading your book.


It is very common for him not to go outside all weekend...

I have a 16 yr old son who doesn't want to do anything except play computer games or watch TV. It is very common for him not to go outside all weekend even if asked. He isn't doing well in his junior year at school and is blowing off some of his courses. To get him doing any kind of physical activity is difficult. He is very angry with us (his parents) right now because we took away his electronic privileges. So now he will get home from school, have a snack and go up to his room for the evening refusing to come downstairs for dinner. He says he won't eat dinner with his Dad. It looks like a big temper tantrum but it is not very pleasant at home right now.

As a bit of background, we have moved several times to different cities/countries due to his Dads work. Any advice on how to handle this situation and rebuild this relationship??


She will not go to counseling...

My toughest parenting challenge right now is dealing with a hot tempered, stubborn, disrespectful, defiant daughter ...doesn't follow rules, runs the house with her emotional abusive behavior. She's a perfect angel when things go her way, otherwise, watch out.

I need help getting her healthy, but she will not go to counseling.

Any suggestions?


Counseling is just another "traditional" parenting strategy that often makes a bad problem worse.

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Please, please, please help us.

Mr. Hutten:

We desperately need your help with out 18 year old son. He is still in high
school, but recently transferred to an alternative high school to assure he
would graduate. Of late he has decided he cannot put up with all the
"bullshit" at home and has left the house. He is still going to school, but
stays here and there with whomever will put him up for the night. He tells
us (his father and I, his mother) that he will call us and let us know where
he is staying, but he doesn't call. Just a week ago he came home (after
another of this kind of week) and told us he didn't want to be a loser
anymore and that he wanted to graduate and turn his life around. About this
same time he met a girl at his school who, by her own mouth, has no morals
and is extremely sexually active. After only two days at home, there was a
huge blow up at home between he and his 17 year old sister about this new
girl friend. He left the house in a huff and said he cannot live in our
house as long as his sister is there.

He has been into drugs but says he wants nothing more to do with them
because he thinks they are ruining his life and causing him health problems.
He was in drug rehab last year.

I don't know if he is still doing drugs (he thinks marijuana is not a drug),
I would test him, but he's never at home. He is on probation for a
non-drug related misdemeanor. He is violating his probtion by doing
drugs, drinking and breaking a court ordered 10:00 pm curfew.

Everything has gone to hell since that blow up. We decided to try a type of
intervention to see if we could get him to take some quiet time and think
things over and come up with some goals and a plan for those goals. He and
his dad checked into a local hotel for a few days to work on things. That
was Sunday afternoon. The plan was for his dad to take him to school, me
to pick him up and stay at the hotel with him until Dad could get there and
then I would go home to be with our other two children. I picked him up
from school today and took him to the hotel. He said he wanted to go get
some fresh air and smoke a cigarette. When he didn't come back after a
reasonable time, I went looking for him and found that the girlfriend was
there with him. I told her she could have a few minutes and she had to move
on. I went to the room and waited. He did not return. In the meantime he
had called his dad and told him he wasn't going to put up with all this
bullshit. He was packing up his stuff and leaving. He hasn't left the
hotel, I just spoke with his dad. They are getting around to go to dinner.

We are at our wits end with this kid. He is very ADHD and very immature for
his age. He does not have the financial means to live on his own. He is so
determined to be on his own. We want that too, when we know he is ready and can responsibly make that happen.

He seems incapable of making good choices. He's the kind of kid that is
just a trouble magnet.

Should I contact his probation officer? Will they put him in jail? Maybe
that is where he needs to be.

Please, please, please help us. As I have said, we are desperate.

Here's Help

She shows all signs of Conduct Disorder and depression ...

I am very interested in your program. I have a 16 yr. old daughter who is currently failing out of her sophomore year of high school. She is smoking, truant and hates school. Her probation officer encouraged her to get a job and now she says she wants to quit school, get her GED and work 2 jobs.

I am divorced and she is currently living with her father due to a temporary court arrangement because I was told I should file domestic violence charges against her after a fight we had. After many court delays, it's still in progress. She has recently seen a therapist who says she be Bipolar and ADHD, but I disagree. She shows all signs of Conduct Disorder and depression and she's acting out. She continues to act out with her father.


Re: Sibling Rivalry


Our names are M___ and K___. This is our situation. We are a blended family, both of us having kids from a previous marriage. We have been together for 7 years. When we were first married these problems didn't exist to this extent. It was more like sibling rivalry, but as of lately the problems have escalated.

We have all boys ages 16, 14, 10. Our 16 year old is the easy one, he doesn't give us many problems or if he does he responds well to our suggestions. He works and goes to school and maintains an acceptable grade average. The 14 year old is in home-school because of problems in school, both with grades and getting into trouble. He has problems with authority figures at every level including grandparents, teachers, etc. He tries to create conflict between us, and has told other family members that he wants his dad all to himself. He often disrespects M___ (his step mom) and refuses to do simple chores that is expected of any child. He accuses us of favoring the other children and letting them do things that he does not get to do. We do treat the 3 of them differently according to their ages (i.e., 16 year old get to go with his friends more and the 10 year old doesn't get to leave the block that we live on and the 14 year old is somewhere in the middle).

The 10 year old seems to be trying to follow in the 14yr olds’ footsteps when it comes to behavior at home. He doesn't act up at school and has a good grade average so far.

The 16 and 10 year olds are M___'s and the 14 year old is K___'s. M___'s kids don't see their other parent. K___'s son however has contact with his mother on a regular basis (which seems to cause more problems).

Our problem is (we didn't see it addressed in your e-book) that the younger two boys constantly argue and fight. It is not always one or the other that starts it but it always ends up either in a screaming match between them or a physical altercation, generally with the younger of the two crying. We have a plan of action using your ebook for everything except how to handle these confrontations between the 14 and 10 year old. Do you have any suggestions?

What prompted us to check into your ebook today and try something different came from a conflict with the 14 yr old and his other parent and grandfather last night. He has gone to see his mother for spring break and he instigated a screaming match with his grandfather, which resulted in the 14 yr old calling K___ on the phone and trying to convince him that his grandfather was mistreating him. K___ got on the phone with both his mother and grandfather and determined that that was not the case. K___ then spoke to the 14 yr old again and told him that starting fights and arguments with them will not get him anywhere and that K___ and them will continue to communicate with each other and we will not be turned against each other for his benefit.

In the past the 14 yr old would cause these problems and then get to go to K___s parent’s house to avoid a conflict, it started becoming apparent that he was using this to get to go to the grandparents house almost every weekend and was told before he went this time that he would not be able to go to the other grandparent’s house. He would have to stay and deal with any situation at his mom's house. Did we handle this situation in the correct way?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


M. & K.


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I am becoming very depressed...

Up to about 12 months ago, I had a normal teenage 16-year-old son who got up to the obvious sort of mischief. Unfortunately, I changed schools for him because he didn't want to attend his last school any longer. Since then, he has changed dramatically.

He is very, very angry and has formed a new set of 'friends'. He comes and goes when he pleases, has stopped going to school. When things are not going his own way, he thrashes the house and calls names to me and to anyone else he can. He wants to become a mechanic and has an interview tomorrow; however, he was supposed to go working with his father this morning and we had another row because he wouldn't get out of bed to go.

I told him to get out of my house because he wasn't staying in bed all day. I really feel like I am at the end with him. I am becoming very depressed and cry all the time because of him. Has anyone any advice for me. I am desperate.


She's Suicidal

My s-d from my husband’s 2nd marriage is suicidal. My husband won custody of his two children and the ex-wife’s two children from other relationships. Well when the biological mother told the children if the girls moved back with her they can have a boyfriend anytime. Well as we were making plans to move to Florida the biological mother asked if we could take the 15 year old back as she could not control her daughter anymore. We did take custody of her back and then found out the 15 year old was raped at the age of 14. This is why she had all F grades in Hawaii. Well now she tried to cut herself with a mirror and we called 911 hoping to get her into a counseling program and I don’t know what are next step should be. If she refuses to go to school what program should we take her too? Thanks for listening.

Teens & Suicide

Can the Online Parent Support help me with this situation?

I have gone thru a very messy two-year separation during which my x has behaved very disrespectfully towards me and continues to try to poison my two daughters minds against me. I have a very good relationship with them both (age 9 and 11) however my 11 year old is definitely showing signs of anger and disrespect. She has always been very strong willed and controlling but I feel that my authority has really been undermined. Can the Online Parent Support help me with this situation?


Is 7 days enough of privilege removal?

Question: I read the online book this morning after my daughter snuck out and rode her bike from 1am -5am in the morning to a not great part of town. Is 7 days enough of privilege removal?


Actually, believe it or not -- like it or not -- 7 days is too long. Please refer to the strategy "When You Want Something From Your Kid" in the Anger Management chapter of the online version of the eBook.



He is very verbally abusive to me...

I'm a divorced mother of a 15-year-old son. He is very verbally abusive to me and tells me he wants me to kill myself. He is now at his dad's who doesn't seem to share my concern. I suspect drugs to be involved although he has always been a challenge. I feel that I have given up on him by refusing to allow his disrespect of me. What can I do?

Join Online Parent Support ...hurry!

She has carved into her skin with a knife...

I found letters that me 14 year old daughter wrote about me, her father and her brother. She's the oldest of four. My oldest son and I - she writes that she hates us, wishes we were dead and things of that sort. She cusses us out in the letters and wishes she could kill her brother or herself. She has carved into her skin with a knife just to hurt herself. What is wrong and what can I do?

Get Help?!


It's too late. My husband left today with his out of control 8 year old daughter. He chose her over me and our two boys (5 and 2 years). No one would/could help us because he always thought I was the problem instead of his daughter. I cleaned up her urine and feces for five years only to be left anyway. Why was I cleaning that? Because when she didn't get her way, she'd decorate my home!! Not even our extended families would help. It's too late. Take my advice ...if you have a spouse that won't help or even admit that the child has a problem, RUN BEFORE YOUR LIFE IS RUINED AND YOUR HEART DESTROYED!!!


I went through the same thing ...my husband left with the kids. I had allowed the problems to pile up ...and the problems had gone on for so many years that it was nearly impossible to control the damage.

I've discovered it's better to reach out to someone while the problems are small. If you let the problems pile up, and if you let them go on for too long, the damage is done -- and no body can do anything other than separate and start over again. And that's what I'm doing.

Put your fires out while they're small, or your house will burn to the ground.


The relations of Mercury to Autism

David Ayoub, M.D. goes through the relations of Mercury to Autism as well its connections to “National Security Study Memorandum 200”; for ... all » population control. Showing its shocking connections to today’s G.A.V.I. Are powerful forces really trying to help the poor people or could it be for another agenda; the sterilization of the poor? This is an upsetting video, so brace yourself.


Is he the father, or not?

Some men feel betrayed if they find out they're not the biological father. But they don't have a right to terminate their obligations to the child. Courts want to protect children, so they generally stay away from disrupting the parent-child relationship, even if there is no biological basis. The courts justify their refusal to terminate the father's relationship because of the same factors that allowed them to establish his legal status a father in the first place.

Essentially, if he acted like a father, helped support and raise the child, then he's the child's father, at least until the child is emancipated, meaning, no longer legally entitled to support because of turning 18, or in some states, turning 21 or even 23. It's hard on the adult, but courts believe it's even harder on a child to lose a parent.

Anyone can become a father, even if they're not related to the child, and if that happens, they get the same rights to spend time with the child, and only the court change those rights.


She has a big problem with me dating...

Hello, my daughter is 15 yrs old. She has a big problem with me dating after my and her dad’s divorce 5 yrs ago. I am dating a black man, and she also is attracted to black guys, but she always brings up the word black in all of our conversations. She is also not coming to visit me at all even though she is court ordered to do so. She is telling me to sign a paper to her terms or she is not coming to see me again. Blackmailing me… what should I do… I love her but I can’t take the pain anymore. I told her I was looking at old pics of us together, and I told her how much she said she loved me. She said, ‘those was the good ole days’… what am I going to do with this child?

Here's Help

Sent To Alternative School

I have need for advice from anybody who might have experienced something similar. My son, a 10th grader, has some level of Opposition Defiance Disorder. He has not had any major problems but he has just been sent to Alternative School for violating the dress code (wearing pants too low where the underwear shows). He did this four times in the fall and we were successfully able to get him to adhere to the code better until the last two weeks where he broke the code two more times and the AP decided he deserved to go to Alternative School. He has been respectful in all other ways and his grades are good in all Advanced Placement Courses. What I'm really afraid of is that if he has one or two more minor violations of the dress code he will be sent for 30 days, which will seriously damage his academic performance (there is very minimal learning going on at Alterative School). He is the only kid who has ever been sent for this. Any advice would be much appreciated.