Daycare Leads To Behavior Problems?!

Our daughter Jessica will be 4 next month. She is a big girl, measuring between 43-44 inches, about 55lbs, and her ped thinks she is on a growth track to reach 6 foot or more. Her Dad is 6'6" and I am 5'9". We are both overweight, but live active lives. We tried for over 6 1/2 yrs to have her. Once we did, I stayed home for 15 months before returning to work part-time (7pm-11pm) 5 evenings a week. I went to full-time when she was 2 yrs 8 months. I am a nurse, Dad is an electrician. She has always been active. Always. Everything she did as an infant she did faster than everyone thought she would.

Rolling over early, crawling at 5 months, standing at 6 months, walking holding on, and walking without holding on at 8 months. At about 4 months she was rolling on the floor room to room when I would be around the house. Always on the go. She had breast milk for 27 months. We give her organic skim milk. Her cereals are kix, chex, crispix, chee! rios. She drinks about 24-30 oz of milk a day, and then about another 24 ox of water. Only milk or water. I do try to give her 4 oz of juice a day. She is very picky. SHe will eat a banana maybe once a month. Veggies, I hide them in foods. Otherwise she will eat corn on the cob or green beans on occassion. She eats a lot of meat. Her diet is probably 60-70% meat. She eats lean meats, rice, noodles, etc. She does have a weakness for sweets, her favorite being Reese's cups, and we try to limit it to one or two a week. She went into pre-school at Goddard for a couple of mornings a week. Gaining a new job starting earlier than they opened, I put her in home daycare where she has been for a year. I can carry her sleeping from the truck there, into a bed in a quit room where she will sleep until she wakes. SHe gave up her naps at age 2 1/2 right after she started at Goddard. She went into home daycare when she was 35 months old. She seemed to be ok there. The ho! me daycare had all kids her age and one baby. That fall a child started kindergarten and the home provider got a new 6 week old baby. That seemed to be when a lot of trouble started. The provider was on so many different schedules (6 kids), and I don't know if that threw her off or Jessica was having issues because of the new baby.

Jessica will come home and tell me of little things that happened (whether they are truth or not, I do not always know). One hit her, so she hit him back, the baby pulled her hair, another child would not let her use the computer games, etc. I kind of blew it off, the kids are together and like siblings. Fast forward to now. The provider tells me Jessica is becoming more defiant. She has always had problems (I wasn't aware of all these problems), and she is "losing her grip" with her. She says she talks to her, but she sticks out her tongue, and crosses her arms and says no. She will try to hit her if she walks her into timeout. The provider says she doesn't have the time like she used to talk with her. I asked if she was suggesting I find someone new, and she said while she would not stop watching her right now, she could not continue to put up with the increasing behavior. Her father and I work opposite shifts. We are home together usually 2 evenings a week and weekend mornings. He is more permissive, but she knows she needs to listen to me or she will go in time out. When we are together, I think she is confused, because I will give her more consequences and he doesn't, and she is unsure. He and I have spoken of this many times, but not sure where to go, as he doesn't see himself as more permissive. At home, generally she listens. She will voice her complaint when she doesn't like something, and say no, but I give her choices and that way she has some control. I ask her to do or not to do something and if she is resistant, remind her of the consequences and it usually works. I have spanked her on occassion, this is when she has not listened to talking, time out has not worked, and she will not sit in time out. We use counting before timeout as well.

Spanking for me is one smack of one hand on the butt. It occurs less than weekly. I do not like spanking her, but once I have went through talking, redirecting, 1:1, taking away privleges and time out won't work, I feel thats the last ultimatum. She doesn't sleep like other kids. She will sleep generally 10-11 hours a night and no naps. Unless we are in the car. I want to sleep in a car if I am not driving as well. We use a fan for white noise in our room and hers, we have done it for years, and we all sleep better. So here we are now. What do I do? Consult her pediatrician? Take her to a counselor? A psychiatrist? A psychologist?

Her father and I have mild depression managed by zoloft. My family history includes depression and addictive behaviors (alcohol, cigarettes, illicit drugs). Dad's family has cigarettes. NO history of ADHD or any other disorders in our families that we are aware of. Should I keep her there and begin to manage this and get her checked, switch her to something else? My husband thinks she would do better in a more structured environment like a daycare center, where I like the home environment so she can continue sleeping in the morning.

She is more of a night owl, likes to sleep 10pm-8am. But when I work my other job which is 4 months a year (leading into a full time teaching position in 2 1/2 yrs), I have to wake her at 530 am. Family is not available, nor friends to watch her to not disturb her. I cannot quit the 2nd job. She is so free spirited, creative, likes to be very physical. Very much a tomboy. She can sit for activities. She talks alot, very loving, empathetic,. caring, shares, etc. Normally, except for the 4 months a year, she goes to home daycare from 230-430pm 2-4 days a week. Otherwise with my husband or me. 4 months a year (like now) she goes to home daycare 2-3 days a week, and the other 1-2 days my mother in law (an hour away) will try to watch her. I am not sure where to turn, what to do? We have good insurance, BC/BS of PA, I think it covers a lot of mental health, but I don't know who to seek out. I have called the pediatrician to make an appointment, for her 4 yr check up, but haven't gotten a call back yet. She seems very smart, she looks like a 5-6 yr old, and is still 3 at this point.

Oh....hom daycare. When I drop her off at 230 each day. The home daycare provider has her sit and be quit and watch a movie each day while the younger kids are sleeping. She has a problem with it and she says she acts up and doesn't listen. IS this not a good fit for her? She cannot run around and play because the other children are napping, and some out of the bedrooms, and she has woken them in the past. Is it unreasonable, that she should be allowed to play quietly, or should I accept that she is supposed to lie on the floor with a blanket and pillow and watch a video for an hour. For Jessica, I am wondering if thats more like an hour of time out restricting her movement, play, and talking? I am unable to change my work hours. The provider is complaining and the other parents are complaining. The provider says she pulls hair (learned from the baby pulling her hair), sticks out her tongue (started after she went to home daycare), and hits and tells her no. At home she will tell us no, but she has never done any of the other behaviors. The provider wants to start giving us a daily report card of her behavior. Please advise. We are located in Delaware in 19720. If you have any recommendations or referrals for our area.

I wouldn't be against medications, if behavior modification and counselling don't work. However as a nurse and parent who has seen many children with Asperger's, ADHD, turn from active children into "zombies" with "blank stares", I do not want to turn her into that either. I am also fearful of stunting her growth in anyway.

Thank you for taking the time, and for your consideration in reading this. Any and all suggestions, comments, etc, would be greatly appreciated.


Christina and Allen


Hi Christina and Allen,

There are multiple issues here, but it is our view, considering all the information that you have provided, that the main issue may revolve around daycare. Criticism of daycare is very unpopular. But we should discuss the ramifications associated with placing a child in such an environment on a daily basis.

With findings that are bound to rekindle the debate over its effects on children, two studies build on evidence that those who spend long hours in child care may experience more stress and are at increased risk of becoming overly aggressive and developing other behavior problems.

One of the studies found that the more time children spent in child care, the more likely they were to be disobedient and have trouble getting along with others, though it suggested that factors like a mother's sensitivity to the child's needs could moderate that outcome.

This report is from the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development, the largest long-term study of child care in the United States, which was undertaken by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, a branch of the National Institutes of Health. The findings elaborate on preliminary research that created a storm of debate when presented by the study's investigators at a child development meeting two years ago.

The other study found that in children younger than 3, levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress, rose in the afternoon during full days they spent in day care, but fell as the hours passed on days they spent at home. This study's researchers, from the Institute of Child Development of the University of Minnesota, had earlier found the same pattern in 3- and 4-year-olds.

Cortisol levels in the saliva of day care children were highest and rose most steeply in those judged by day care center personnel to be the shyest. ''These children struggle in group situations and find them stressful,'' said the study's lead author, Dr. Megan R. Gunnar.

Dr. Gunnar said that while none of the cortisol levels measured were high enough to be considered signs of psychological trauma, they were nonetheless a cause for concern.

In a measure of how sensitive the topic of child care has become, the studies, appearing in the journal Child Development, are accompanied by nine commentaries from researchers around the world that put the findings into perspective and, in some cases, rebut them. The editors of the journal delayed publication of the studies for several months while they circulated the manuscripts to more than 1,000 child development experts and invited them to write commentaries.

''I think it was worth holding up publication of the research so that we could put it in context,'' said Dr. Lynn S. Liben, editor in chief of Child Development. ''Child care is a controversial issue.''

Unlike the University of Minnesota research, which dealt only with children in day care, the study by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development followed more than 1,000 children in 10 cities who were in the full range of child care arrangements, including day care centers, preschools, care with nannies and care with relatives other than their mothers. The children's behavior was evaluated by their mothers, caregivers and kindergarten teachers.

The study, which began in 1991, found that the more hours the children spent in child care, the higher the incidence of problem behavior and the greater its severity.

Over all, about 17 percent of the children had above-average levels of problem behavior like disobedience and over-assertiveness. Though their behavior fell within normal limits, children exhibiting such traits would be at risk of developing behavioral abnormalities, said the study's scientific coordinator, Dr. Sarah L. Friedman.

Most of the children in the study spent 10 or more hours a week in child care, and 10 percent spent more than 45 hours a week there. The correlation between quantity of child care and behavior problems remained even when other variables were taken into account, including the quality and type of the child care, the mother's sensitivity to her child's needs and the family's socioeconomic status. Indeed, the study found that the time spent in child care was linked more strongly with children's behavior than was the quality of care.

But while none of those variables entirely offset the negative effects that the study found, the mother's sensitivity and the family's socioeconomic status had a greater influence on children's behavior than did the amount of time spent in child care. Greater maternal sensitivity and higher level of family income and education correlated with better behavior in the children, the study found.

The commentaries published along with the two studies elaborated on some of the findings and challenged others. Susan C. Crockenberg, a professor of psychology at the University of Vermont, cited other research concluding that boys were more vulnerable than girls to negative effects of child care.

A few of the commentators argued that contrary to the findings of the National Institute study, the quality of child care mattered a great deal in fostering young children's social and emotional development. A commentary by several researchers led by John M. Love, a senior fellow at Mathematica Policy Research of Princeton, N.J., noted that the more time that infants and toddlers spent in Head Start programs, considered to be of high quality, the fewer their behavior problems and the greater their intellectual and language development.

Online Parent Support

My Out-of-Control Child

I was searching the internet trying to find help for my 32 year daughter who has 3 wonderful boys, ages 8, 6, 4. The problem lies mostly with the 6 year old. He has some symptoms of ODD.

It is mostly with her. He goes to school, no problems. Stays with me for hours at a problem, but when his mom comes in most of the time he starts acting out. At home, he hits, talks back, shows anger toward her and calls her bad names and says things like I HATE YOU! YOU'r STUPID....the list goes on and on.
She talks to me a lot about it and feels like she is at her wits end. She doesn't have this problem with the other 2 boys. They do act out sometimes but most children do. She is a stay at home mother. Her husband works a lot of hours.

This child is the sweetest, intelligent, and seems to me like he is well rounded until he gets tired. There is a lot of love in the home but my daughter really is starting to think that she is a bad mother and that she is failing him. Honestly, the teachers say he is angelic, he is angelic at my house and with others but shows out so..oooooo bad when she comes to pick him up. Everything has to be his idea. Can this book help her? Please email me at I am emailing you from my office right now.

I would like to order the ebook and send it to her email if possible.

My Out-of-Control Child

From: Frustrated/Confused/Exhausted Mom

I am struggling constantly with my son to get him motivated to attend school and do school work. He is failing everything and pretty much stopped going to school a little over a year ago. He also has a new circle of friends that I do not know and he seems dead set against letting me do so. I am also concerned that he may be getting involved with drugs...not sure. It seems the more I get involved with his school about is excessive absenteeism and I involve family, friends etc., the more he rebels and resents me. He says I am always accusing him unjustly, yet he lies about going to school and he seems very secretive when talking to his "new friends" on his cell phone, etc. If I try to discipline him by taking his cell phone away, or trying to ground him he curses at me, tells me he hates me, gives me the "finger" and slams the door to his bedroom in my face. Also has stated he "hates" his life. I don't see an end to this and I fear for his future. I don't know what approach to take.

Frustrated/Confused/Exhausted Mom

My Out-of-Control Teen

He seems content to play music and read and wait for the weekend...


I am sure you are busy but I happened on to your website and have read about your program. Our son has suffered with depression and anxiety for a long time. He went to college after high school and got overwhelmed and started smoking pot. He is home this semester and has stopped smoking pot and is attending MA and is being monitored by a psychiatrist and therapist. We have tried to give him encouragement and limits. Once a week he can use our car for a date (has a girlfriend) or to see friends. But he asks for the car other times and gets mad when we say no. He seems to have trouble with limits. We told him when he finds a job he may be able to use the car twice a week. He makes small attempts to look for work but seems content to play music and read and wait for the weekend.

Do you think your program would have advice and techniques for building trust and a better relationship with him?


Frustrated parents in L.A.


Absolutely! Click Here to get help.

We feel so old and worn out!

I ran across your website while looking for help with my 14 yr old daughter. Me and my Wife have been struggling so much with our daughter and it's been this way for at least the past 3 yrs now. She's completely defiant to not only me and her mother but with all of her teachers at school. I always told her mother that this would happen because she spoiled our daughter so bad while growing up and allowed her family to do the same. I would say clean your room and her mother would say, "don't worry, I'll do it".. It was like that to just about everything and not that I was a mean or nasty Dad at all but I was raised that you listen to your Mother and Father! Do not back talk! Clean your room or just plain do what you're told and there would be a reward if all things asked were completed. That's what I've tried to instill in my children but where in the world have we gone wrong?

I try to teach my daughter and talk to her from experience because as crazy as it sounds, we were 14 yrs of age when she was born and although we were babies having babies, we did everything we were suppose to do and were forced to grow up fast...but I still remember what it was like and I constantly tell her that. She just swears to God that we know nothing about what it's like to be her age and yadayadayada..... It drives me banana's!

She' such a beautiful and intelligent girl but she's getting practically all F's in School. She's defiant to all of her teachers and swears they hate her and then she chooses to hang around kids who are even worse than her. Now, I understand what she's going through because I went through it 14 yrs ago myself but I never once dared to talk back to my parents, teachers or any adult. My grades weren't all A's but they were never under D's one time. Me and her mother honestly didn't have the opportunity to finish junior high or high school because we went to work to provide for her. We did go back and get our diplomas year later and have both recently finished getting our A.A's. We've tried to be good role models for her and our 10 yr old son but nothing seems to work. Our son on the other hand is a straight A student..a little hard headed at times but GET'S IT!! We have hardly any issues with him but we never throw that in her face and they both receive the same love and respect from us.

We tried taking her, games, TVs, cell phone, nice shoes and clothes she likes, computer privileges and tons of other thing away and it still doesn't seem to matter to her. She's now head over heals for one one the bad boys in her school and has used our home and her things as a canvas to graffiti his name everywhere and does not care what happens to her when we see it. I've told her that it was OK to like whoever she pleased but to only be smart when it comes time that she tries to have boyfriends. We've fought hard to teach her the right things to do and for God's sake, SHE GOES TO CHRISTIAN SCHOOL!!! but has turned it into some ghetto stomping ground because she swears she and her friends are so street. Me and her mother grew up the hardest streets and roughest neighbor hoods where we live and we swore to never put our kids through that but our daughter wants to act like a tough girl and talk slang and swears she lives in the hood. We live in one of the nicest areas now and the only hood she get's is from T.V. or music she may listen to.

Her grandmother has spoiled her since day one and does nothing to help us in this situation. She actually helps my daughter with talking to this boy and covering for her when she does something wrong and I'm not sure if it's a way to just slap me in the face because she may be secretly mad at me and her daughter for when we had her but I've tried to tell my wife to please talk to her Mother and tell her to listen to our request but it seems like it goes in one ear and out the other. She says she'll talk to her but I see no change. I've tried Church, counseling and tons of on-line information but nothing seems to work! What else can we do? Please help me because I don't know where else to turn and on top of that I'm dealing with heart surgery I just had a couple of weeks ago and this constant stress is killing both me and my wife! We're not even in our 30's yet and we feel so old and worn out! Help?

My Out-of-Control Teen

Breaking property and hitting the grandparent/adoptive mother...

Will your system help if the problem has become physical nearly every time the word "no" is used? Breaking property and hitting the grandparent/adoptive mother ? We have a counselor and therapist and it was under control - somewhat- for several years until my son, her biological father, came a year ago for help with his drug problem. He was clean 7 months but then started back on cocaine and heroin and I had to call 9-1-1. She blames me because she was picked up and foster-placed for a month when the officers came until the system realized who and what caused the real problem and she was returned. Now none of them seem to be able to do anything and she has broken through doors when I lock myself in my room; destroyed things; kicks and throws stuff at my car (that I have 5 more years to pay for); and has thrown a chair and other objects at me. I have an office at home but have outside appointments. I am 62 with 4 medical conditions severe enough I cannot get insurance anymore. I am familiar with the Baker Act and mental health crisis center and both only work for a few days (although I have never Baker-Acted her.) She is only 10 but is very strong- 90 pounds, and until last year, when not in a rage, was very loving.

Please help me help my kids...

hi my name is melssa and i have an 8 yr old boy 6 yr old girl 5 yr old girl and a 3 yr old girl the 3 elder ones are at school the youngest in half day for two days a week in daycare and with most of the problems you have laid out i have im at the point of pullin my hair out they just dont listen nor do they care i have them on fish oil tablets because that was meant to help well thats aload of poo my doc says he thinks they are adhd and i don’t really believe in that not really antway just need some ideas on what to do cause the time out dont work and the takin the toys dont work groundin them has no effect belting them isnt an answer although i have hit them its just not workin please help me help my kids.

My Out-of-Control Child

I have a 15 year old child that has been diagnosed with ODD...

Dear Mark,

I am very very interested in your ebook and the online parenting support group and classes. I have a 15 year old child that has been diagnosed with ODD. I had given up at the end of October and sent her to live with grandparents because she was so out of control. Everytime we had gotten into an argument, usually after "punishment", she'd want to go and live with them. They had given her the benefit of the doubt...thinking possibly that I just wasn't able to manage her, but she proved otherwise. I have 2 other children at home, ages 17 and 9, that don't act anything like her. She has refused to go home with them and so my husband and I are going there to get her and bring her home. When I heard she was diagnosed with ODD I began to research it and found your site overwhelmingly interesting. It's almost as if you know my child and the book and information was written about her. I will probably have the money at the end of this week to purchase the ebook and join the support group, but until then I will thoroughly read and research everything about it. I didn't think there was an answer...I had given up hope...until now. Unfortunately, I had never heard of this before so I just thought she was an out-of-control teenager...that had authority and behavioral problems...I was afraid of her outbursts...afraid of her hurting herself or others...

I only recently found out that she was into the drug thing down I was trying to avoid letting her come back...but now she won't go home with them. There is so much more I could tell you, but I'm sure you have a lot of emails. Thank you for giving me hope...thank you for letting me see the light at the end of the tell you the truth, I used to think it was a train coming.



My Out-of-Control Child

I highly resent this being dumped in MY LAP...

Hi Mark:

Have you every had a situation where the parents of out of controls kids were divorced or separated and the judge MADE THEM SHARE the load so that one parent was not bombarded and stuck with the bad behavior?? I highly resent this being dumped in MY LAP as it all escalated after Gregg left.

Gregg keeps telling me not to bother him. There is no legal separation in Florida so there is no custody or temporary custody thing going on. No one has filed either.

They BOTH would appreciate me more if Bart was with Gregg for a while.

Any ideas?? Thanks!



I would encourage you to work on your resentment level first (for you - not for Gregg or Bart). That seems to be the larger issue here. Forgiveness will be the key to dumping resentment.

Begin to develop the "Art of Letting Go" ...putting those things you cannot control in God's hands. Focus on taking care of you. Put yourself first now.

Healthy emotional detachment (i.e., an ability to see Gregg and Bart for who they are without needing to fix them or change them) will result from forgiving and letting go.

Here's some helpful tips on forgiveness.


Email from new member of Online Parent Support

Hi Mark,

I did sit down and tell him that I have made mistakes parenting him in the past and I am sorry that I have missed opportunities to teach him how to act. But I love him very much and want to help him with his behavior therefore some things are going to have to change.

I told him that being suspended from school and "getting" to stay home is way worse than getting to go to school and get an education so I gave him a long list of chores he has to do today instead of being at school. I tried to have my best poker face and not allow myself to argue with him. He told me he did not love me anymore- that he wanted to go live with his dad. In the meantime I told him he needed to stay in his room for the rest of the night - well he pushed and pushed and came out of his room over and over ... and I blew it. I yelled at him that he had better not come out of that freaking room again! He said what if I have to go to the bathroom and yelled well do it in the floor but you better not come out again! (he had already gone to the bathroom 4 or 5 time from 6pm-9pm as a ploy to get out of his room) So isnt that a lovely thing to say- ha! I tried but keeping calm when they are pushing sooooooooooooo hard is very difficult.

Well after I told him he would have to pee on the floor- I went in a few minutes later and told him good night and that I loved him (which by the way I have done everyday of his life) and that we were going to make it thru all of this. He said your just being nice now cause I told you I dont love you anymore. I said no I am telling you good night and I love you because I do - but your punishment stands.


Hi Susan,

This is a GREAT start. When you relapse (i.e., revert back to old parenting techniques such as yelling, getting angry, etc.), remind yourself that "relapse" is part of the process and is to be expected from time to time.

He loves you - he just doesn't like you right now. And that's o.k. because you are not a "buddy" - you are his "parent."

Keep up the momentum,


Online Parent Support

He is out of control...

hi ...we were wondering if your program might be able to help us ...we are getting desperate ...we have a 13yr old A.D.H.D stepson who as lived with us since the age of 4 ...he is out of control throws things smashes things foul mouths everyone and constantly runs away. he has no respect for anyone in authority or rules of any kind ...the problem is his biological mother has come back on the scene after 8 years ...not physically but though phone contact ...she and her mother have told him that now he is 13 he can make his own choices of where he wants to be. so he is constantly running away to his nanna where he gets to do what he wants and have what he wants's like his reward for his bad behaviour of running away ...she tells him its not safe to run away but on the other hand she opens the door to him and gives him what he wants so we feel where in a no win situation ...what do we do? its breaking our hearts him to death but don't know what to do. hope you can help ...thanks toni and randall ...loving parents of josh

Online Parent Support

We can't get things done...

My 11 1/2 year old son seems like a 14 year old - he's huge 5'9", size 12 men's shoe and a mustache already. He's a sweet, wonderful boy, but we can't get things done - get dressed, wash hair, pack lunch, do homework. Everything is an enormous struggle. It's gotten to the point where I am yelling or forcing everything we do - I'm a single mom, and business owner - so this constant struggle at home with my beloved son is going over the top for both of us. I can see the look of the downtrodden in his eyes - it's scaring me.

Here's Help

I clearly wasn’t being effective as a parent...

Thank you so much for your thoughts. As it turns out, each day seems to get a little more bearable for me. At her dad’s (which is also Gramma and Grampa’s), she has a clean room (because her Gramma cleans it which I know isn’t great but still … it’s like living in a 5-star hotel, and that does everybody some good on a temporary basis), she gets a homemade school lunch everyday (she won’t reject it from her Gramma, but she did with me … because I’m “mom”, which is enough of a reason), she is surrounded by people still totally loving towards her with no bias yet (unlike me!), she is getting more attention from her dad, because he is driving her to school which she never had from him before and he hasn’t been exactly an “in the picture” kind of dad for years … so, it’s all good so far. Thank you again … I gave Kim’s dad (my ex-husband) your book and said, “You’ve GOT to read this – it will help you and me so much, and especially read the part about dads to their daughters on page 35 (?)”. Anyways, I am holding on by prayer, and faith in God and your book’s guidance – I had to change it up, because I clearly wasn’t being effective as a parent. Thank you so much again.



My Out-of-Control Teen eBook

My 9 year old son...

Hello Sir, i found your advertisement on my myspace page. Your techniques sound wonderful. My 9 year old son is going down a horrible road in life, mostly with the decisions he makes. he's in trouble quite often. He demonstrates disregard for everyone and everything in his life. I am very scared for his future at this point. I walk to work and have no medical insurance. i definitely live paycheck to paycheck. I want so badly to do everything in my power to help him. I know how draining it is for me to deal with his issues but i can only imagine what he goes through. It makes me sad that the choices that he is making are reducing his quality of life so much at such a young age. i do not have the money to join your program sir. I was wondering if you knew of any other online help that may be free? I really need help. I do my best to remain positive and will always be proactive about helping my child. I greatly appreciate any direction you may know about. thank you so much for reading this email. God bless.......Sincerely, Ammie Ward


* Ammie received the program at no cost.


I have a 16 year old boy who, up until 8 months was the perfect child. He attended private grammar school, very polite and well spoken.

During the last 8 months he has taken a downward spiral, he has become out of control and managed to get himself excluded from school where he has been since he was a little boy. His GCSE Exams are in a couple of months time and the school has given him the chance to take them at that school providing he studies at home with the help and support of the school.

Thing is I suspected that he was taking cannabis and we have had battle after battle about the friends he keeps and I have tried everything to help him to get out this mess and he promises he will do this , that and the other and then he goes straight out and does the same thing again.

The problem is, he has become more unruly than ever and I am worried that he will not be ready to take his exams, also I fear about what will he be taking next.

This evening he has asked me for my help, he tells me he is hooked on something called skunk and wants to get out of it. He has even given me the name of the supplier and phone number.

HOW DO I HELP HIM? He tells me he wants to stop but also informs me that tomorrow he may be so desperate to go out to get it that he cant keep his promise. Please help!


Here's Help!

Too Late?

Your site grabbed my interest, but I am not so sure it isn't too late for my daughter. She is almost 20, was diagnosed with ADHD late - when she was in 5th grade and the only change I have seen since the diagnosis, is that I now have a name for her behavior, other than that she is a bad kid as some of her teachers told me. She has been fired from job after job because she cannot get herself to work on time. We have battled and talked about it, but she just doesn't seem to get the concept of how long getting ready, traffic, etc. takes. She is remorseful to begin with, but then she decides it is someone else's fault. The reason I am not sure your book will help is because she feels she is an adult and does not have to listen to me, even though she lives in my house. She wants to go to cosmetology school now, but does not qualify for enough in student loans without a co-signer. She is not willing to look at any other school than the one she picked out (the most expensive one) and seems to think she can bully me into co-signing for her, which I cannot and will not do.

My Out-of-Control Teen

He says he doesn't care...

My name is Marie and 14yrs ago tomorrow my partner Bill was tragically killed in a climbing accident, when i was 8 weeks pregnant. So, for the past 13yrs i have being a single parent to our son Liam. Liam is (had being) a very social, funny, deep, sensitive and caring boy, whom i love very much. he started what we call secondary school (high school) in September and since October he has become someone i dont know and this saddens both of us very much.

when liam is not allowed to do the things he wants, ie to hang out on the street corner with his "friends" for hours, when he is not allowed to travel into town to hang out in the snooker hall. basically he wants to hang out with his older friends and im not too happy with that.

two weeks ago he forged a note to get out of school so he could walk about 2miles to another school and have a fight with another guy(because this guy wrote some nasty things about me on his bebo)he was suspended from school for this and i grounded him, so on his first taste of freedom he lied about attending the local youth club/activities club and stayed out on the streets with older friends until i found him and drove him home. since then(2wks ago) he now uses his fists on me when he doesnt get his way. for example, i had a game of basketball tonight and i gave him two options(which i usually do) either come with me to the game or i would allow him to attend the youth club but i would drive him there and collect him outside afterwards( in the past he would have walked there and back as it is only about 400yards from our house in a small village) he declined both and said he was staying home alone which i wouldnt allow, no way would he come with me, he hit me several times called me all sorts of abusive names and threw things at me (which is constant regular reation) it made liam very happy to see i was unable to go to the game. its a power struggle a control battle and this is causing huge heartache in our once happy peaceful and respectful home and i dont know how or what to do.

i have spoken to him for hours on end, other people have done the same (men who are friends/relatives of the family)but to no avail, he says he doesnt care and will continue to make my life as hard as he possibly can.

i know it is very hard to totally understand what is going on with two complete strangers in just one email but i am desperate, i want us to enjoy each others company and respect each other and yes to have some disagreements.

My Out-of-Control Child

I am desperate!

My son has *every* sign of ODD and has been diagnosed with it as well. He also has ADHD and possibly bipolar II. Needless to say we have our challenges! My son is 12 years old now and has been seeing doctors since he was 4 for these conditions. We have tried every medicine under the sun, seen many therapist (that just seem to talk about how do you feel, how did that make you feel type stuff) with no real progress. I am beyond frustrated and feeling somewhat hopeless. It seems that real help just is not there or at least I have not found it yet.

My son is out of control and I am extremely fearful of his future if some real changes do not happen. I don’t know where to go to find the help we need. Medicine and therapy so far have not worked. Is there a specific type of therapist I need to be looking for or a magic word I need to use to get help? As his mother I often have no idea how to handle or deal with the challenges and part of me just thinks it’s all made up doctor words and he is just an undisciplined brat but that is my frustration talking. I know he needs serious help and so do I. He has so much potential to be an awesome kid and I am saddened to my core that I can’t seem to get the right help or answers to help him be that awesome kid. I have not read your book but the books I have read basically say to me if you have not changed the childs behavior by 5 you are doomed – can this be?

I am willing to do anything at this point and would love to read your book but can you tell me that it’s tried and true and has hope? I don’t have a lot of money and I am tired of spending money on books and pills and doctors that have no real answers or tell me it’s too late. I live in the Fort Worth Texas area and have tried to find support groups for myself and cant seem to find any. Do you have any thoughts on how I can get the help I am looking for? Any help, idea or suggestion would be greatly appreciated. He is very close to being sent to a special school where they actually have kids restrained and isolated and I just can not see him there- he is better than that! He is smart and fun and sweet –but when he gets mad boy oh boy does it go all wrong. I am desperate!

My Out-of-Control Child

I fear that she has lost him...

Hello Mr. Hutton,

I am excited that I have found your seminar! I am separated from my best friend my wife and who I love. I left her because of my out of control 16yr old step-son (hers). He has stated he does not want to go to school any more. It is rare that he will do a full week and rarely multiple days in a row. He is using adderell for the high. I guess gets it from kids at school when he goes. C___ my wife is at wits end with him and I feel her frustration. Need advice. I will read and listen to the audio clips. I am going to have C___ buy the seminar as well.

Thank you, I fear that she has lost him.

My Out-of-Control Teen