Online Parent Support Chat


We feel she has ODD...

My daughter, nearly 14, has been seeing a psychiatrist for a little over a year. She has been taking Lamictal and Lexapro, but doesn't seem to be getting that much better. We are now trying Lamictal and Cymbalta. She refused to open up at therapy. We have tried several therapist, now currently just on medication management. After lots of testing and reading your articles, we feel she has ODD with depression/anxiety. She is an honor student and exceptional athlete, but doesn't seem to have many friends. They are now old enough to see it is too difficult to get along with her. She can't "go with the flow." Always mad about something.

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He will be successful with suicide.

Why will our local Community Mental Health not give us a referral to get our teenage son into a residential treatment center? They tell us that he does not fit "their criteria", as he has not attempted suicide. He is a high IQ teenager, and if and when he decides to commit suicide, he will not "attempt", he will be successful. The treatment facility we have contacted explains that Medicare will be paying for his care, and Community Mental health is just the gateway to the payment.

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She Slapped a Boy's Behind

My granddaughter has accused her father of physical abuse and ran away. This is a lie … she did receive a spanking for lying about in-school detention for slapping a young boy’s behind. But the serious nature of accusations keeps growing. This time CSD was called …my daughter called the police and reported her as a runaway.

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HELP!!! I'm about to have a breakdown.

Hi Mark,

I'm a dental hygienist and one of my patients today was telling me about your website. She says it has really helped her with her son. I am having major problems with my daughter right now and am wondering if you can help. I am going to join your on-line support group but would like to explain to you what I am going through.

My daughter is 13 and we have had one problem after another for the past 8 or 9 months. She has been on restriction the whole 8th grade give or take a few weeks. The main problem is her boyfriend. First of all he is 2 years older than her but I didn't know I thought he was in 8th grade as well. They have been official since December 7th and they are "IN LOVE". In February she started sneaking out at night in the middle of the night to see him. I had no idea this was going on until the security guard in the neighborhood told me. So back on restriction she went. I purchased an alarm to keep her in the house at night. We set it at night and that put that problem to an end.

She said she was ready to have sex and wanted to be with him because she loved him. I told her she was not ready etc. and bought her a book on reason she should wait to have sex. I found her reading it a few times. I thought I would let her read some information herself. I put her on birth control because she said she was ready to have sex at 13. Not to give her permission but I know my daughter and I'm sure with the sneaking out they were not meeting up to have a tea party.

One day I came home from work and she was home alone for one hour. She was acting peculiar and all of a sudden I heard a crash coming out of her window. He had jumped out of her window and bent my alumawood patio cover all up and then lied about being at my house. I have had contact with his parents and so on regarding these situations.

We all decided keeping the kids apart was a mistake and the sneaking around would stop if we gave them some time together supervised. So we let them hang out a few times at our houses with parents at home and they were not allowed in the bedroom. They went out to dinner for his birthday...with his parents etc. A movie date etc. Then a couple of weeks later they ditched school to be together. He was suspended from school for an incident and convinced her to ditch with him.

She has had problems with Friends now because all she wants to do is hang out with him. Seriously she has been on restriction since December. With 2 weeks off restriction and we let them hang out a few times and then they ditched. So back on restriction.

I actually prefer her to be on restriction because it keeps her away from him. I feel I gave this kid a chance and he screwed up big time. Or maybe I did in the first place. I don't know. She is loosing her friends and her freedom over him.

Tonight she got in a big fight with her friend because My daughter ditched her friend and made her walk home alone so she could be with her boyfriend whom she is not suppose to see.

I feel like I'm doing everything in my power and think they should end this. I've told her as much and explained to her that he has ruined her life and her freedom and her relationship with her friends. I've taken her phone away this week and she acts like its the end of the world. She said she was going to kill herself etc. "why can't you just let me talk to my boyfriend" were in love etc etc. I'm worried because she is fighting with her friends and she cant talk to her boyfriend she is severely depressed. I have also threatened to place her in a new school that is opening up. That is also stressing her out because her friends are not going there.

There is so much more....but its late and I already gave you and ear full. Do you think your program can help me?? I feel like i'm about to have a breakdown.


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Anger Problems

I have an 8 year old son who has huge behaviour and anger management issues …he is currently on 6 day suspension from School and comes from a broken family. I'm really struggling to find ways to help him and understand and assist him!

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Out-of-Control Stepdaughter

My teenage stepdaughter (14 this July) has got 'out of control' for us in the last 2 weeks. She went out after school to a friend's and didn't tell us she was going; she's absenting herself from school, stole my car on Friday night, went missing on Sunday morning, says she's been raped last year. Set her own punishment for stealing my car ie grounding for 2 months and immediately broke it the next day ie Sunday.

We don't know what to do with her and we're worried it's going to get worse and we don't know what to do. The police are involved re the rape, the police were involved re the car and we had to file a missing persons report. Just prior to writing this I was advised that she's absented herself from school again this afternoon. What can we do?

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We cannot tolerate it anymore...


My name is Mrs Thiaga and i have 4 children ranging from ages 17, 15, 11 & 7.

I am a Malaysian residing in Hong Kong with my husband and kids. I seem to be having a lot of problem with my son who is 15 years old. The other 3 are daughters.

He used to rebel when we were in Malaysia but since moving to HK in Jan 2007 we cannot seem to control him anymore. His grades are terrible and we don't even know whether the school will promote him next year. He does not do his homework and is on the Net from the time he comes back from school. School finishes at 3pm but he only comes back at at 8.30pm. He does not like us to question him. When we set boundaries, he verbally abuses us to the extent he has used swear words on us.

We cannot tolerate it anymore. He never speaks anything nice to us at all. Its always shouting at us and swearing at us. I really don't know what to do and we are at our wits end at him.

It is by chance that I came across your website and appreciate if you can help me.


Mrs Thiaga

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Son is

Does your child often: lose his temper, argue with adults, refuse to comply with rules and requests, deliberately annoy people, blame others for his mistakes and misbehavior?

Is your child often touchy and easily annoyed by others, angry and resentful, spiteful and vindictive?


My son is ALL THE ABOVE. But it starts in the home with both parents. I love my son dearly, but it's hard because i'm standing between the two that I love. I blame myself for what’s going on now and before. But i also blame my husband for spoiling our son in his younger days. I do think our son was more spoiled then our other children. This is very hard. I can't do this, I mean I can't write or type this all down, I would rather call you, or you can call me. PLEASE I NEED YOUR HELP. My son's name is K___.

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Top 25 Tips for Grant Writers

I've written many grants for non-profit organizations. In an attempt to help members of Online Parent Support who may have a project they need funded, I've listed some tips that will help yield a successful proposal outcome:

1. Before your search even begins, you must have a project that you wish to fund. What is it that you want to accomplish? Any project you support must align with the needs of your beneficiaries. Grant providers want to clearly see the necessity of your program.

2. Start by searching for grants online and library resources.

3. Start the process early. It can take months, in some instances a year or more, before you receive any funds.

4. Investigate local government agencies, educational and civic organizations, and businesses as possible sources of funding.

5. Look for funding sources whose philosophy and focus are consistent with your project’s goals and objectives.

6. Don’t limit yourself to a single funding source. Contact those funders who are the best matches based on your research.

7. Speak personally with a contact person involved with the funding who can answer your questions and provide advice and guidance. Develop a relationship with your contact person and keep the lines of communication open throughout the application process.

8. Ask how projects are reviewed, how decisions are made, and how and when funding is dispersed.

9. Be a grant reviewer. You’ll get an insight into how the process works and also what it is like to be a reader. Once you have read 15-20 proposals, you will find your own approach to grant writing will change dramatically.

10. Follow the grantor’s instructions - exactly. Spend time at the beginning going over the instructions in detail.

11. Have only one author--with lots of helpers. Get others to write parts, which require knowledge or expertise you don't have. But then take their work and rewrite it in your words and make sure the concepts, time frames, terminology, etc. are the same throughout.

12. Make the final deadline earlier than required. Always set your final deadline at least two days earlier than what is required so you can have enough time to send in more copies if your first mailing gets lost.

13. Have a reasonable, detailed budget. Do your homework on costs prior to submitting your application.

14. Match the budget to the grant. The reviewer will look to see if the budget actually is carrying out what the application proposes.

15. Cite research that supports the program for which you are requesting funding.

16. Have someone who is not involved in the project in any way read and critique your draft application.

17. Set aside plenty of time. Do not underestimate the amount of time required to write a competitive application. Plan to spend three to four weeks full time at work writing, and be able to set aside another 40-50 hours of overtime.

18. Write a grant that is friendly to your reader. The reviewers are reading your proposal at nights or on weekends.

19. Try proposing a project that puts a fresh spin on an existing idea -- be innovative, creative and educational. Private foundations often seek creative solutions to problems/needs, but they usually do not wish to fund risky projects.

20. Have an evaluation plan. Grantors want to know if the projects they fund are successful--that your project is meeting its goals.

21. Formulate your plan. Begin with a written account of the project's:

·background. Document the need for your project with demographics, test results, and anecdotal evidence.
·goals and objectives. Make sure they are specific and measurable.
·mission statement. Identify the project’s potential outcome.
·planned assessment tool(s). Be specific.
·required materials, supplies, and personnel.
·total cost.

22. The proposal must be written in sufficient detail to allow reviewers to understand:

·evaluation and dissemination plans;
·if the project personnel have the necessary expertise to accomplish the goals and objectives;
·the impact and cost effectiveness of the project;
·the potential of the project to improve people’s lives; and
·what the project hopes to accomplish.

23. If your project is rejected, ask the grantor for reviewer comments. The comments can offer invaluable tips for improving your future grant applications.

24. Write a ‘thank you note’ - even if your project is not funded initially.

25. Never give up. With each proposal that is declined, you gain more expertise, which makes it more likely that your next proposal will be accepted.

Good luck,

Online Parent Support

Lock the Doors

My wife and I have a daughter 19, graduated high school last year. Started Junior College, flunked out, got more involved with drugs. Her and the boyfriend went through rehab. She is back home living with us now working 2 jobs. She doesn't respect the curfew time much. Short of kicking her out, I want to make it clear to her what time curfew is, and if not home, lock the doors.

Sex is Cool - right?

Emails from teen parents who have a message to send to YOUR teenager who may think it's "cool" to have sex and get pregnant:

==> What troubles me is when another girl finds out that I have a daughter and she says "that is so neat." A car is neat, an outfit is neat, a baby is not. They take a lot of time and work. When you become a mom, you become responsible (physically, emotionally, and financially) for a child for the rest of your life. There are no weekends or summer vacations -- the child will always be there. And no matter how good your relationship was before you became pregnant, the father will most likely have gone on his merry way. If I had been better informed, I would have never had sex in the first place, let alone a child.

==> I got pregnant at the age of 14 and had no clue what to do -- people these days seem to talk of only two or three solutions to teen pregnancy, although most people forget another--adoption. It was the best yet hardest decision of my life. I look at all I am doing now and think where I would be with a baby. I was not and will not be ready to take care of a baby for a few years. Plus, the most important thing to me is that my baby has two parents who love each other.

==> I got pregnant a month before my 17th birthday. My son's father and I got married five months ago and we're already separated. I live in an emergency shelter for teen moms. I raise my son alone. My son will be a year old next week. In his whole life, his father has only taken care of him by himself one time. He does not pay me child support...I have only been out once without him. The rest of the time he goes everywhere with me. I only get four hours of sleep at night. I have no money because I quit work to go back to school, and I'm not on public aid at the moment. I miss my friends. I don't see them anymore because they have their own lives. All I do is sit at home...I love my son more than anything in the world, but it would have been a lot better if this had happened when I was like 27 instead of 17.

==> I recommend kids just staying away from sex all together unless you like waking up in the middle of the night and early in the morning, spending all of your money on that child and not having a dollar to spend on yourself. Just because my parents and family help me does not mean yours will. Think about it next time you go to have sex- is it really worth the lifetime responsibility for the 5 minutes of pleasure? My daughter is the best thing that ever happened to me but I really wish I would of waited. So don't make the same mistake I did. Please use abstinence as your birth control method.

==> I am 15 years of age. I am 5 months pregnant with my 2nd child. My boyfriend is 17 years of age and has been behind me all the way. Even though I love my son and un-born child, I've missed out on a lot of TEENAGE things like dances, parties, or just having fun. I have 3 jobs now, and spend most of my money on food, diapers, and child needs. To all teens thinking about having sex, don't make the same mistake I did. It takes a lot of time and a lot of hard work.

==> Another thing that is so hard is not being able to go out with my friends as much as I would like to. Once a week just doesn't seem to cut it. I absolutely hate hearing everyone talk about that great party on the weekend or how they are going out of town over spring break. It just seems that I am missing out on all my childhood years, all the memories of being a teenager. When my daughter grows up and asks me what I did when I was a teen all I will be able to say is 'I changed your diapers and prepared your formula.' I really wish I could go back and do things differently. I am sick of the constant worrying about how we are ever going to live once we move out of my mother's house.

==> I don't want someone else to go through what I'm going through. I was 17 when I got pregnant. When I was 13, I was staying out until 3 am. I was going to parties. I was having sex, I thought I couldn't get pregnant. On the same day my boyfriend broke up with me, I found out I was pregnant. My son is going without a lot of things he'd have if he had two parents. You need a family. You need to be stable. I'm alone except for my baby.

==> At age sixteen, I became pregnant. Before my pregnancy, I was a cheerleader and involved with many school clubs. I had many friends and was enjoying my teenage years. I now ask myself, "What happened to me? Where did I go wrong?" Why was I now standing in line at the welfare office waiting for food stamps? Maybe because I was involved with a guy who was three years older than myself. My parents had forbid me to stay in the abusive relationship. My answer to stay with this guy was to become pregnant. I will never forget the tears that my mother shed when my step-father told her the news. That night, I left my home, my teenage years, and never went back.

[A while later,] I finally reached the lowest point in my life. There I was lying in a bed at a shelter for battered women. In the past, I would always leave the relationship [with the baby's father], but always return. That same night, I prayed for the strength and courage to get myself back on my feet. That was also the night that I left him and never went back. Even though my life seems to be going well now, there are emotional scars that I will carry with me each and every day of my life. There is not a day that goes by that I do not think about my past mistakes. This letter is not in any way intended to prove how teen mothers can succeed, but rather to prove how one mistake can change the rest of your life! Enjoy your teen years! I never went to my prom; I never got to cheer at homecoming; I never went on my senior cruise; I never went off to college. These things I will never have the opportunity to do again, but you will. Please, think twice before change the rest of your life!

==> Hi. ... I am an 18 year old mother of a one and half year old son from Indiana.... I come from a small town where everyone knows everyone. I was very involved in high school with Cheerleading, national honors society, church, sadd, golf, save and many other groups. I was your average American teenage girl. I would say I came off to be a very confidant young lady. When I started my freshman year i got a boyfriend who was a senior. First mistake. after 2 months of dating we started having sex. We used protection when we had it but other times just didn't worry about it. I don't know what I was thinking. Getting pregnant never crossed my mind because you know it can't happen to me. But it did. Since then i got my GED and started college two years early and am doing very well. One thing that really bothers me is how my son's father has paid one month of child support and has only had one court date and no jail time. Not to mention he will come and visit him once a week for about a month then stop and wait about 9 months and start again and then just stop. no phone calls to see how he is doing or if he is even okay. I just think it is crazy how these guys can get off the hook. If i didn't take care of my son the way i do, i would be put in jail immediately and he would be put in foster care. It's not fair and our court system does nothing about it. Well i just wanted to write in my story. Right now I am becoming an advocate to teenagers about sex. I can speak from my own experience and help them. I personally think its hard to listen to someone who has not been through the struggles they try to warn you about.

==> I'm a 17 year old soon-to-be-father. I used to spend all of my weekends working during the day and partying at night. Running around, drinking, finding women. You know all that stuff I used to call the good life. Well, met a girl one night at a party...Long story short we started dating and found out 2 and a half months into our relationship she was pregnant. We had only been together for 2 weeks when our child was conceived. Luckily, I'll turn 18 a couple of months before my child is born. I've been trying to use the few months I have to learn what I can and get as prepared as I can be. My girlfriend and I already got the first step out of the way which is telling our parents. We had already decided to keep our child. It's taken some time to get mentally used to the thought of being a father, and I guess really I'm still not used to it. But emotionally not really, it changes on a regular basis. Sometimes I think I've got it all figured out, other times I'm stressed out and worried sick. I've spent a while looking around for information and I've been trying to find a good source for comments from other teenage parents and your site had many good quotes. It also provided some useful information. Thanks.

Brother Rant

I am hoping through the miracle of the internet I can give my family the support they need to make the right decisions about how to improve their quality of life. If you have any insight or experience in a similar situation, I’d appreciate your advice.

Let me introduce you to the players. KEEP IN MIND, ALL 4 LIVE IN THE SAME HOUSE.

1) My Grandma is 84 years old and spends the majority of her days immobile, knitting or watching television in her favorite chair. She’s a fantastic woman who was the only girl out of eight children and who raised four children with her husband. Both she and my grandfather worked many jobs and wore many hats to make sure they could provide everything for their family. My grandfather passed away eight years and my grandma now shares their house of 40 years with my Aunt, my Mom, and my Brother. She is quite stubborn when it comes to the best course of action for her family and sometimes neglects to consider future consequences of her actions in the present. This is all done with the best of intentions, but I do see this being a common theme in my family, myself included. The habit of confronting problems with only the short-term result in mind is mostly noted in the family’s course of action with my Brother.

2) My Brother is 21 Years old who has honed his ability to masterfully manipulate people. I regard him as a smart but lazy individual who has adopted the philosophy that the world owes him something. My parents got divorced when I was eight and he was four, and the two became caught in their litigious and emotionally charged battle. My Mom became deeply depressed and felt guilty for her sons experiencing the hurtful dismissal of their father. As a result, she catered to our every whim with the hope that it would result in happiness. My Brother and I soon learned to manipulate the situation for everything it was worth and take advantage of our mother’s insecurity. However, I grew out of that stage when I was about fifteen; my sibling has continued to be a parasite on my Mom’s leniency and trusting nature. Whether the cause of his behavior is organic or a result of his upbringing, I view my Brother as being a highly emotionally disturbed individual.

My Brother has been expelled from nearly every school he attended for disruptiveness. He lives at my Grandma’s house, having taken up residence in what used to be her living room. He lives in filth, accumulating piles of unwashed clothes, food, and dirty dishes all over his room. The offensive smell that emanates from his room, due mostly to the dirty dishes and unclean rat cages, permeates the entire downstairs.. He treats my Grandmother, Aunt, and Mom awfully and does everything in his power to incite their rage, hatred, pity, but above all, attention.

He is emotionally and verbally abusive, cursing at these women who never use profanity and manipulating their good will at every possible opportunity. He owes my Mom approximately $15,000 in court fines. He had been sent to jail multiple times, mostly for failing to pay tickets, but also for speeding, driving while suspended and DUI. Each of the five time he has been detained in jail, he has wept over the phone to my Mom, Grandma, or father, and one of them will eventually bail him out. He has caused several thousands of dollars worth of damage to the house breaking doors, windows, and walls. He drains every penny from my Mom, who gives it to him out of guilt that she is to blame for his sociopathic tendencies.

She has tried to cut him off financially and make his responsible for supporting himself, but continues to pays for his food and his commute to work on a daily basis. She doesn’t know how to stop. She legitimately wants him to leave her house but fears that anything more than just screaming at him, such as telling him to leave, changing the locks, and, if necessary, calling the cops, would be un-motherly and cruel. Recently my Brother stole $400 from my Mom via her checking account, and my Mom was livid , ready to kick him out ”once and for all.”; I can’t count the number of times this empty threat has been issued. He came back, cried, and blamed his addiction to cocaine for his actions. In addition to use of this drug, he also was a former dealer of marijuana. He promised to get better and my Mom once again believed him. It was about 20 hours before the cycle started again. My Brother is cancerous to our family, but they are too caring and enabling to provide his with the type of love necessary to work through his emotional and behavioral problems.

My father has pretty much been out of the picture since he divorced my Mom. Don’t get me wrong, we see him on average of once per two months or so, but the visits are generally awkward and void of familial closeness. He’s similar to my Brother in the sense that he really only cares about himself. He doesn’t remember birthdays, he never sends gifts, and he’s pretty selfish all around. My Brother never recovered from their divorce and hates the fact that he doesn’t have a father.

3) My Aunt, who is my Mom’s older sister, and my Brother are mortal enemies. She was diagnosed with Chron’s disease early in her life and remained at home for the majority of her younger years. She married an abusive man and had two children when she was in her early 20s. She and her husband divorced while her daughters were still young and the result on her children was similar to the situation between me and my brother; while the elder sister moved on from her father’s absence, the younger one remained obsessed with her father’s abandonment. The older daughter married her high school sweetheart, whom she loved very much. He died tragically at the age of twenty-seven, leaving behind his wife and their two year old child.

The younger daughter dated and married a man who has proven to be unmotivated in life, boorish and violent in manner, and, as revealed recently, addicted to coke for the last ten years. All of these things have weighed heavily on my Aunt’s psyche. After such a dismal experience with her first marriage, my Aunt finally found love with a man around fifteen years ago and was married to him for a year. A tragic car accident abruptly ended this companionship. Losing her beloved husband was the final notch in the long line of misfortune and poor decisions that have plagued her life. Now she’s almost 60 and has lived in her parents’ house for the majority of her life. She has never had a steady job because of her illness and now lives in a permanently paranoid feat that the universe is going to get her.

Her days are spent going to church, watching television, and making crafts. Recently, she has also begun to work part-time for her daughter. At home, she is always miserable; mostly this is due to the way my Brother treats her, but I think she simply feeds into his games. She will get upset at the drop of a hat…she sometimes gets upset by the way people look at her- everything that anyone does is a personal attack. I cannot stand to watch the news because the majority of what they do is for ratings, editorializing instead of reporting. -My Aunt, however, takes every word from the news to be strict truth, which I think feed into her sensationalized perception of the world. At the end of the day, she’s a glutton for drama and misery, yet I can see that perhaps she’s only reacting to the events in her life.

4) My Mom lost much of her confidence during and after her divorce. My parents separated during my Mom’s battle with breast cancer, which only is more of a reinforcement of how my father is only for himself. She is a smart woman, but living with my Grandma and Aunt has dulled her wits slightly. She also has adopted some of the ideals of her family, including the notion that things cannot be changed and situations cannot be improved. She’s so caught up in the battlefield of my Grandma’s house that she no longer thinks rationally. She would much rather ride out the misery than make serious changes in her life to make things better. She feels that kicking my Brother out of the house can only be done by asking him to leave; she is too scared and riddled with guilt to take any further actions He drains her both emotionally and financially but she will take no steps to alter her situation for fear of what would happen to her son if left to his own devices.

It is my opinion that he needs to be removed from the situation. My Mom agrees with this but will not abandon him or leave my Aunt to care for my Grandmother by herself. Although the house is small and bursting at the seams with people, my mother is very alone and doesn’t have a person to go to for advice except me. I live across the country and only see them a couple times a year, and my answer is always really tough love along the lines of ”Never give him money for anything and kick him out immediately with police help if necessary.”

If anyone has any insight or needs more information, please let me know. Thanks very much.




Mom's Full of Doubt & Guilt


Sorry to bother you again. It's much worse, seems to be at a new crisis level.

>>>>>>>>> You’re not bothering me.

As I guessed, she got on the computer anyway. I snooped again, and found out that she and the boyfriend were planning on skipping school (he gets out early, so technically she would be the only one skipping), going to his house, and having sex.

I know when he gets out of school. So I went to the school parking lot and saw his car. When he came out with others (she wasn't with them) I took down the license plates. At the time I was thinking that, if she's determined to skip with him, they might get one of his friends to pick her up. They saw me, and since I thought I had nothing to lose, I followed the boyfriend to one of the other's houses, thinking that if the boyfriend's mother was home, maybe there were other places they might go.

I see now that I overreacted.

>>>>>>>>> There you go doubting yourself again.

However, I was justified in what I did next. I waited by the school during her lunch period to see if she would try to leave. I did see her outside with her friends, but she didn't leave. She did use her cell phone, so maybe she was calling the boyfriend to tell him not to come get her.

She sent me a few nasty text messages, but after school she was in an OK mood. I told her "it must be hard being you, you're torn between wanting to do the right thing and wanting the excitement of sex and drinking" (she didn't respond).

>>>>>>>>>An excellent example of validation.

Maybe on some level she wanted to be stopped.

>>>>>>>>>I think so.

But when she found out from her friends that I took their license plates, she went ballistic. She said these friends are going to the office and maybe the police on me, because I had no reason to do that. One of them wanted to talk to me, and I told him that I did it because I thought she and the bf might skip, but she didn't, so I wasn't even going to keep the numbers. She says they are looking at stalking charges on me (I looked up
the code though, and although what I did was wrong, it doesn't qualify as stalking).

>>>>>>>>> This doesn’t even come close to stalking. What a joke! You did nothing wrong here.

She yelled and cried and seemed overtly suicidal. Says she is an empty shell, that she cannot put back the pieces, that her coping mechanisms are gone.

>>>>>>>>>What a great performance (or should I say ‘temper tantrum’). Please stop falling for these manipulations.

So I called the counselor we've been seeing because I'm afraid the threat is genuine (and there is a history of bipolar on her father's side, depression on mine).

>>>>>>>>>You just provided intensity while things were going wrong. She got a pay off for her temper tantrum.

She did not want to talk to her at first, but did talk calmly. I eavesdropped and she also told the counselor that she cannot live here with me, and that she will have nothing to do with me when she turned 18, that I destroyed our relationship. She says she cannot live here any more. However, she will talk to her grandmother, and now grandma is closer
to the same page, especially re: the internet.

>>>>>>>>>I would be surprised if she did NOT make you out to be the ‘bad guy’ to the counselor. I hope the counseling is not falling for this too.

The counselor said the same thing you said, keep an eye on her, but if she seems to have a plan for suicide, call 911. (She called me back at 11 pm, because that's when the crisis hit). Also said that what the friends are saying is all smoke and mirrors, her gut instinct is that they won't do anything.

I also found out (eblaster again) that she lies, or at least exaggerates, to her friends, too. She told them that I punish her for everything (that may be her perception) and get this, that 5 minutes online for too long and she's grounded for 3 days.

She also said that she is looking for a friend to stay with to "ride out the storm" here. I'd have no problem if it's someone who we've known a while, and whose family i know, but these are her new, older friends who I haven't met.

She also told one of them that when they go to the school office, not to give them a number to contact me, because then I will say something about prom night and get them in trouble (of course, the school already has my number). The bf said to her "we can get her (meaning me) worse than she will ever know."

BTW, I've been calling him the boyfriend, but they had broken up, then were going to be friends/ big brother little sister/ "fuck buddies".

And she's making plans to go to another male "friend’s” house on Friday. I told her no way.

No matter what I did, and how awful it was, she did stay on the internet until 2 am, and she smacked me a few times, so I think she should be grounded for 3 days.

>>>>>>>>> At this point, you really should warn her that you will file a battery charge if she ever smacks again (personally, I would have filed one immediately if it were my daughter).

The change in her has been so sudden. Just a few months ago, she was fine.

I do have the JROTC commander on my side. He thinks a lot of her (she can be perfect when she is not at home, and got many awards this year) and thinks she could do better, too. She would be furious if she knew I contacted him, but he will keep our communication confidential.

I know I've been overreacting. Now I am afraid that my relationship with my daughter is permanently damaged.

>>>>>>>>>There you go doubting yourself again.

She suspects that I got in her myspace. Should I admit that I had (she changed the password and won't know that I can still see what she's doing there) and that's why I "stalked" her?

>>>>>>>>>No. Nothing to gain by admitting.

Or I could just use prom night again - but she says that is the only time she did that (doesn't know I know about her plans).

She says I need to trust her.

>>>>>>>>>Trust is earned, not given away freely.

If I let her know, maybe she'll see why I can't trust her. She says she can't trust me, and the only way she will ever trust me again is that if the school administrators ask why, I will not mention prom night.

She says I am driving her crazy and although she doesn't want to leave her friends, she wants to go to boarding school. I know you said it's too premature for that, but I am afraid that my parenting mistakes and incompetence as a parent could really be damaging her, and I can't handle this kid.

>>>>>>>>>There you go doubting yourself again.

Or is this still a case of getting worse before it gets better?

>>>>>>>>>Yes. Sooner than later, she will realize that you mean business. It took a long time for her to get this way, so it will take a little time to get her turned around and headed in the right direction.

The conflicts are getting more intense.

>>>>>>>>>Only if you provide intensity while things are going wrong.

Outside of home, she is a really good kid. So maybe I am the problem? I'm so upset and confused I can't think straight.

>>>>>>>>>There you go doubting yourself again.

Sorry this is so long. Please advise! Would a phone consultation be possible, and would that help or do you think email is better.

>>>>>>>>> Of course it’s possible. But I don’t think you’re off track except for the ‘doubting yourself’ business.

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


We are desperate...

I have recently gotten involved with a very sweet man that has two teen daughters. He has not always had custody of them and they have had a lot of negative influence from their mother's life style and choices. Will your program help us since I am part-time guardian while Gary is at work (7 days on 7 days off)? We don't have much time, as the oldest is almost 17. We are desperate... please help.

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I do feel utter relief...

Hi Mark,

Thank you very much for your follow up email. I have read your book at least twice (printed version), but I had to wait to return to work for the audios. I stumbled across your site the other week, and I have been reading quite a lot of the parents’ emails and your responses, and I was very impressed with your common sense attitude. I very rarely purchase anything over the Internet, but I truly felt you might be able to at least make Me feel better about my situation by reading all your points covered in your book - and YES I do feel utter relief.

I wasn't totally wrong over the years. But I feel less stressed over my decisions as you clarified points on parenting, some of which I had been using for a very long time -- but probably not in the right sequence. Well no one's perfect, and I didn't know about your method.

I know now I could have handled things a hell of a lot better than I did, and I have to deal with the outcome. At least I don't feel so alone, and I have to take comfort in that I tried my best.

Keep up the great work and you can count on me spreading the word.



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She is failing all of her classes...

I just wanted to say thank you, and I have just begun reading this. I have a 17 year old daughter who fits the Out of Control Teenager perfectly. And yes I do have some specific concerns and questions already.

I have addressed with her the fact that there will be changes. There was one point I am not quite sure how to deal with. She is failing all of her classes. I have met with her counselors and all of her teachers, and yes I was one of those parents who is too involved in her schoolwork and homework and have threatened her with everything if she fails her classes. She even does her homework sometimes, but never turns it in.

My question is "What kind of consequences should be imposed on a teenager who brings home failing grades?" I have already tried taking everything away, grounding, no friends, then she brings up the grade to get her things back, and then they go right back down again. Any other suggestions?

She is a well-behaved student in class …not so well behaved at home though. Her teachers tell me she is respectful and pleasant in school, but does not do her work. Now at home it is a different story. When she gets what she wants she is very nice, but when she doesn't "watch out". She transforms into a little monster.

I would appreciate any suggestions. Your book and on-line support have given me hope.

Thank you,


==> Mark's recommendation on poor academic performance can be read here.


I am afraid he is going to end up in jail...

Dear Mr. Hutten,

I am interested in your book ‘My out-of-Control Teen’. Do you sell it in bookstores? I work with troubled teens in Gogebic County. I am also raising 3 kids myself. My oldest will be 13 this summer. I have had trouble with him since he was very young. He has seen counselors, psychiatrists, and everyone else I could think of.

I have purchased many other books to try and help our family. Plus, I have resources I use with the families and teens I see through my job. I love my job and have been successful with many of the kids. But, I am failing my own son. Unfortunately, I live in a very small area and resources are very limited. Currently, there aren't any counselors in this area. (Actually, I may be losing my job due to budget cut).

I love my son dearly. But, if he continues on this path, I am afraid he is going to end up in jail before he is 21. Is there any summer camps or residential facilities you would recommend? I can't afford much, but if there is something out there, I would find a way.

Please let me know.

Thank you,


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Thanks for giving me some hope.

Thank you very much Mark. As so many people have said before me, I thought I had tried everything! My 17-year-old son was kicked out of high school just over a year ago for intimidating a female teacher. I home-tutored him for 2 months to get him into college. Now the college have told me they want to kick him out, not for anything in particular, just irritating, subversive behaviour that is affecting the staff and other students. I have had an interview with the college and managed to persuade them to let him back if we can sort out his attitude problems over the summer. I managed to get him a place in one of those wilderness therapy camps. Now he’s saying he won’t go. He doesn’t want to “waste his summer”. I’m hoping your course will give me some help. I only downloaded your course yesterday so I am only up to “Your kid is energetic”. I’m trying to spend a bit more time with him at the moment.

Thanks for giving me some hope,


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I am about to lose it...

I need help with both my boys 7 and 12 …they have adhd, and my oldest has defiance disorder. I am about to lose it. I have never reached out to a support group before. I am a single parent with no help from the father. I really am about to lose it. I cannot handle the fighting and crying anymore …seems like I am talking to brick walls, and they do not even care about my health or feelings. I love them both so much …I am so sick of hearing how I do not love them or how I wish I did not have them …that is so not true.



Arrested for spitting in bus driver's face...

I am looking for some help with my 17 year old daughter who suffers from depression, but has no respect for me or her dad and brother and sister. She is disrespectful, refuses to help around the house and will only do things if she gets paid for it. She seems to think her father and I are there to give her everything she asks for. Anyone got any advice please?

I also forgot to mentioned that she got arrested on Sunday for spitting in a bus drivers face.


"Just Shoot Me!"


I've recently downloaded your ebook on out of control teens. While I agree with everything you say....I don't really have the energy to do it right now. And even if I distance myself against my son's attitude or behaviour and do my best not to react ...I can't find anywhere that deals with how the siblings fit into the picture. If he doesn't get a reaction from me, he'll turn on his younger sibs.

This morning I rec'd a report on teen suicide. My son, who is out of control and gaining momentum, keeps telling me to, " just shoot" him. This is usually after I've expressed how disappointed/angry/tired of/won't tolerate any more disrespect/etc., etc.. Am I supposed to consider this notice of impending suicide? We have just been thru' some counseling and the end result was that if my son doesn't want to change, there's not a whole lot anyone can do. And he isn't depressed either, supposedly.

Thanking you in advance for your thoughts,


Need Help With Sibling Rivalry?
Email me at

Mark Hutten, M.A.
Online Parent Support

They are unable to provide them with any intervention or support...

I’m a Prevention Officer for the Gwynedd and Môn Youth Offending Team in North Wales, UK. I have many young people on my caseload at the moment diagnosed with Conduct Disorder by the mental health team, but they are unable to provide them with any intervention or support. I have read your website and am very interested in purchasing your book to help the parents. I have spoken to my manager and he is happy with this.

"My Out-of-Control Teen" eBook

Disrespectful and Mouthy

Our 18 year old has been disrespectful and mouthy. She seems to think its okay just to do whatever she pleases because she's 18 with no regard to her home life and family. After months of trying to get her to cooperate, my husband and I kicked her out. She, of course, went to live with her boyfriend, which she just started seeing again after a 2 month split. We do not condone this, but were at our wits end and just could not take it another minute.

Everything we tried went in one ear and out the other. She has barrowed money from me and I told her I would like at least 20.00 from each paycheck until the loan is paid off. Well 3 paychecks have come and gone with no money exchanged back and therefore, no more money given.

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I'm really desperate today...

I'm emailing from South Africa and I'm really desperate today. I have some qualification in social science but somehow nothing seems to help with my second son.

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Serving parents from around the planet.


We need some peace in this house...

I downloaded your book and started reading it with a box of tissues close by. Thanks so much for your concern. People who don't have to deal with these issues don't understand. I do have one close friend who is going through a similar situation. She has been a great help in keeping me focused on myself.

I hope to get a chance to read the rest this week and get started ASAP. We need some peace in this house. I hope because he is 10, soon 11, that his teenage years will be better influenced as you put it.



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I found your website and it seems almost too good to be true. Here's my situation:

I have a just-turned 15 year old daughter who, up until recently, has been a good kid. She makes straight A's in school (and she takes gifted level and one AP class) except for math; however, I should have seen trouble coming when she became increasingly disrespectful and defiant - up till recently, her defiance has involved not going to bed when she should and refusing to get off the internet.

It's hard to say what my toughest parenting challenge is. Between her suicide threats, defiance, and yelling and cursing and recent drinking and sexual activity I don't know what to do.

We reached a crisis recently. A senior asked her to the prom, and I made the mistake of letting her go (so far, she had not given me any reason to mistrust her). They were supposed to go to an after-prom (a school-sponsored, chaperoned event), but instead they went to a wild party where there was drinking, pot smoking, and sexual activity. This was the first time (as far as I know) that she was exposed to drinking (she said she did not smoke the pot, but admitted to drinking). When she did not come home by 7am (the after-prom ended at 5am) I called the police. (All I could think of was her dying of alcohol poisoning somewhere).

Now she says I "ruined her life" - the boyfriend is ignoring her. She's blaming me because she says he is afraid because I could have pressed charges on him for carnal knowledge of a minor (he is 19). She has done everything short of sexual intercourse with him. I've told her that if she continues to see him, it must be under my supervision. Am I being unreasonable?

She says I should not have called the police; I tell her that it was his and her choice to lie to me about where they were going and what they were doing.

She's grounded, and has announced that she is "through" with me and will go out whenever she wants to.

Another problem is that she is very one-sided - she is obsessed with joining the army right after high school (which I think would be a disaster; we've clashed about that constantly - I urge her to go to college first). She met the boyfriend in JROTC. I did not want her to join, but made the mistake of going along with it, and I don't want her in that program next year, because it is through that class that she met these new "friends" who drink, drug, and have sex. She says that if I don't let her take it next year, she will fail all her classes.

Part of the problem is that I'm a single parent (the father is not in the picture at all) and we live with my mother, who can't stand the yelling and caves in to my daughter to buy a little temporary peace. For example, yesterday I wanted to take the computer away because she was on the internet until 1am, Grandma said "let her have it for an hour" and daughter would not get off the computer. And I want her to go to a 10-day summer pre-college program (she could earn 2 college credits, and I think a change of scene would do her a world of good). She says "I'm not going and you can't make me" and Grandma says not to force her.

Should I drop out of graduate school (I'm working part time), look for fulltime work, and get an apartment? Or could your techniques work even if there is an uncooperative adult in the house?

Can the 90 minute sessions be done at any time? I'm scheduled to be out of town for work for a week in June (to grade AP exams), and might not be able to schedule them at that time. Then again, I might have to withdraw from the AP reading because I'm afraid that my daughter will run wild if I leave her with my mother for that long.

Can your techniques work in this situation, or has it already gone too far? And how long does OPS last?

I'm thinking about putting her in boarding school, but although she is so miserable here and constantly says she hates me, she does not want to go. She's seeing a counselor (this started last summer when she was diagnosed with an eating disorder), but it's not helping in terms of her behavior.

Thank you for taking the time to read this!



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Another traditional parenting strategy (i.e., trouble teen program) bites the dust.

My daughter just got home from a troubled teen program for 10 mos. She was doing great for the 1st 3wks and now she is totally out of control again. Not obeying any rules, arguing, being very disrespectful and starting to get physical. She has gone to counseling, hospital programs and then this 10 mo program.

My husband and I talk to her, set boundaries, have things taken away and nothing is doing any good. HELP! It is getting unbearable to live at our house.


How much time & money have YOU wasted? GET HELP HERE NOW!

ODD + ADHD = wits end

Could you please let me know if there is anyone in the Ann Arbor Michigan area that deals with oppositional defiant disorder. We have been dealing with our son for several years and from what we are reading this is him to a T. He has been diagnosed with ADHD. We are at our wits end and need help. We have been to several doctors, psychologist, psychiatrist and it seems no one is listening to what we are saying.

Help is Here


Don't Pull an "Alec"

Help!! My daughter is out of control! She's been hospitalized twice since October for depression. She's started to cut herself when she doesn't get her way. She's impossible to discipline without having her come back and threaten suicide. She excludes herself from the family and all family activities and then says we don't include her. She purposefully tries to anger her siblings as well as her father and me.

She doesn't get along with her father. Her father has been out of the house since January due to a protective order. The protective order was the result of her father making angry phone message, similar to the Alec Baldwin message. We have discussed her behaviour with several therapists when she was hospitalized, but none of them will acknowledge Oppositional Defiant Disorder.

How do we get someone to believe us? She has to get treatment before our whole family falls apart!

Listen to Alec Baldwin rant.

Don't pull an "Alec" ...get help here before you bust a blood vessel in your brain.



This is the story of a family of Six (Father, mother and Kids). The family was living in one of the urban cities in Nigeria until about four years ago when the family was attacked and robbed by armed bandits. The family was left without anything for sustenance of life. Consequently, they were forced home, though the man had no house of his own.

At the country side, the family was offered a one-room apartment. Here, the couple lives with the four kids with a lot conditions of no-go-areas. The condition of the family could be described as anything but free. They are denied the basic freedoms of life, with frequent harassment of ejection at the slightest assumed provocation.

To worsen the matter, both the man and his wife are still jobless; as it is not easy to get a job in Nigeria. This situation has forced the four kids out of school. The health conditions of the kids are nothing to write-home about. The kids always quarrel with the man, since there is nobody to help them. The man is threatening to commit suicide if the pathetic and story state of the family continues.

Our organization is in sympathy with the family. We are reaching out to people and concerned organization with a view to helping the family own a small bungalow. However, I regret to say that our plan is being hampered due to financial handicap.
Please, the organization requires your assistance towards the realization of our objective of helping the family.


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I don't let emotions overtake me...

I'm still going thru a tough stage with my 13-yr. old son. He is so disrespectful, argumentative and stubborn. I'm following the advise on the e-book.

A week ago I slapped him when he was pointing his finger in my face. I was talking to him on a very low-toned voice about his behavior in school, at home and his grades. He ran away only to knock on the door after an hour demanding that we talk. I closed the door in his face after telling me I will not talk to him with that kind of behavior. On the third time he knocked he was crying and apologized for his actions. This gave me the opportunity to hand down the terms and conditions of his return to my house. I prepared a chart clearly stating his chores, expectations and repercussions. He agreed to all of it only to go back to his ways 4 days after.

Following your advise, I don't let emotions overtake me. I take care of myself. I remind him about the contract. Due to the low grades I've seen this week, his Nintendo Wii was disconnected and he cannot use the computer. I didn't see any reaction from him -- which is a good sign that it works. I gave him a chance to complete all missing school work this weekend. He will not play his sports as this is one privilege I've withdrawn.

I can see him starting an argument, but I turn my back just simply reiterating the contract or just be poker-faced. I don't know the next episode, but I'm preparing myself for it.


You F**ckers!

Mr. Hutten,

I came across information about your program on the internet today while looking for information on how to handle my daughter’s utter lack of respect toward her father and I and her emotional outbursts. I’m hesitant to try something that I just came across on the internet, but something about your program “spoke” to me. Although our daughter (she’s 14) isn’t doing many of the things listed such as having sex, doing drugs, skipping school, stealing, etc., the beginning part (below) describes her behavior of late to a T. As my husband puts it, she seems to have a misunderstanding about who is actually in charge!

--Is your child in charge (the tail is wagging the dog)? YES!
--Does she have an "attitude" -- 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Yes to a degree—although she can be perfectly sweet and funny at times—but look out, that can turn fast and you never know what will trigger it!

Does your child often:
--lose his temper YES!
--argue with adults Not at school—she saves it all for us
--refuse to comply with rules and requests Yes if it’s something at home—at school she does whatever she’s asked
--deliberately annoy people Yes—I swear that’s what she’s trying to do
--blame others for his mistakes and misbehavior? YES—she constantly blames her sister (who is 11) and says that if she was never born things would have been better

Is your child often:
--touchy and easily annoyed by others ABSOLUTELY
--angry and resentful Yes
--spiteful and vindictive? Haven’t exactly reached this point yet, but I feel it’s under the surface

When I read this information, I felt that it was describing my daughter to a T. We are both totally stressed out and don’t know what to do about her disrespect other than try counseling (which we can’t afford) or call Children & Youth and have them take her for awhile thinking maybe it will “scare” some sense into her and make her see how good she has it. Her parting words to me today when I dropped her off at school were that her dad and I were “f**ckers” and that she hated me!



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I am at the end of my rope...

My ten year old son has ADHA, Bipolar and ODD (takes medication). He is a danger to himself and others. He has been in and out of the hospital over they last 2 years. I am a single parent w/another child at home (8yr old daughter no problems with her) ex husband lives in another state and doesn’t have a relationship with the kids.

I am at the end of my rope with this child, and to top it all off, i lost my job (because of son) and now get no time away. With the above history do you think this ebook can get help me change his aggressive temper tantrums and violence?

My Out-of-Control Teen eBook


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