Online Parent Support Chat


I am in such despair...

This is the 5th night that my daughter is gone from home. She was released from a Juvenile Justice Center in which she spent 7 months. She had intense training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy--she can really "talk the talk", but chooses not to practice the skills she has learned.She came home on parole 32 days ago.

She enrolled in a new High School--thinking was the last shot to graduate. In spite of the fact she KNOWS it was a parole violation to not be home by 8pm--she stomped out after skipping classes that day, and we have not heard from her since last Thursday. She has made new friends in the new school and she is going from house to house giving God knows what kind of a story so that she can stay in that house.

She is a beautiful, vivacious fun-loving girl, with the attention span of a lighting bolt/

There is an arrest warrant out for her, as there has been many times before when she ran when she was only on probation. The police never find her, usually I have been able to, eventually. But not this time.

She will be returned to the facility for a week for the parole violation, once she is found. She will be here again, she will be 18 in December--there will be more counseling, more in-home counseling visits from Juvenile Rehab counseling. She is diagnosed as ADD with FAS-we adopted her at 3 months of age.

I love her with all my heart--I am so afraid she will come home pregnant--but at least she will come home alive. What else can I do--I am in such despair I don't want to go on.

My Out-of-Control Teen


I am so sick with worry about her behavior...

I have 3 children – daughter S 21, son E 17 and daughter S 15. The 21 year old has just graduated from university and has her head on straight. My son, although doing OK in school is often late and truant. He is also smoking weed daily and is probably dealing to his friends as I only give him money occasionally.

My greatest concern right now is my youngest daughter S. She hardly ever comes home after school, often does not come home on the weekends, does not tell me where she is, will not respect curfew, will not call, refuses to do any chores, is verbally abusive to me and her siblings. I know that she is abusing drugs, alcohol and is more than likely sexually active. She has no respect for authority, has been caught stealing, and is totally out-of-control. Her grades have dropped from high 70’s and 80’s to 60’s and is currently failing math. Recently she has started skipping classes and is often late for classes. To handle her truancy I have spoken to the vice-principal and S has been put on what they call a “blue sheet” which means she must get the sheet signed from each teacher and by me daily. She was furious with me about this and used a lot of colorful language. This was supposed to be implemented at the beginning of last week but she refused to do it. The vice-principal told her that she would be suspended if she did not comply and finally yesterday she told me that she has the blue sheet for me to sign. Also last week she called the caretaker a “bitch” so the vice-principal told her that she will have to do lunchroom cleanup and apologize. She didn’t comply to the lunchroom cleanup for a couple of days until she was told that she will be suspended. I am so sick with worry about her behavior and not coming home or coming home at 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning and not knowing how she even gets home.

My husband blames me for the poor relationship that I have with S and he totally refuses to take part in helping me set boundaries or consequences. He will not participate in any discipline so I am the one that removes cell phone and computer access and gets called a bitch among other things. I know that he too is concerned about what is happening but his approach is to layoff and that it will all go away when they get over this stage. I, on the other hand, feel emotionally and physically drained, don’t believe this behavior is acceptable and have a lot of difficulty focusing on what I have to do.

With S there is totally NO COMPLIANCE. Talking and discussing anything with her is met with “don’t talk to me and I am not listening”. I do not yell and scream anymore and try not to engage negatively – when she is rude I leave the room. Telling her she is grounded because she chose not the follow the rules is met with “F O and I can do whatever I like” and she just leaves the house and returns whenever. I feel helpless and she has all the control now.

She came home this morning between 6 and 7 a.m. as I checked her room at 5:30 am and she was not there. HELP!!!!!

My Out-of-Control Teen

I have talked to this kid till i'm blue in the face...

Hi my name is rodney and i have been recently married to my wife i have 2 children ages 11 and 12 and my wife has a son that is 16. we are having a problem with his behavior he has been using drugs (pot Ecstasy mushrooms) i have talked to this kid till im blue in the face he tells me that he is changing but in the same breath goes out and gets into more trouble he has stolen his moms work cell phone and sent x rated pictures of himself to her co workers and left lewd messages on her cell phone he has also stolen his moms money and debit card out of her purse and ran up major bills calling 1 900 numbers using my name .he is angry and wont listen to anyone he has also punched holes in the walls.

my wife and i really want to help him to get straightened out but we are at our wits end with him my wife is at the point where we dont know what to do.

he has been through jump start programs and countless counseling sessions but non of it seems to be working . he has the attitude that he just doesnt care about anything but himself. Dillon has the potential to do allot with his life and he is throwing it all away. i have tried everything with this kid. i have talked to him for hours on end about life and what consequences come with his actions but he just says what i want to hear and does what he wants anyway. I'm starting to thing this kid has no conscience.

I really need some help with this kid. my kids are living in the house and im concerned about what may happen with my kids from being around his kind of behavior . I don't trust him as far as i can throw him. please any advice you could give would be greatly appreciated. I`ve talked to my wife about buying your program and we are trying to weigh our options.

My Out-of-Control Teen


I am a firm believer in the power of "thoughts become things"...

My 15 year old grandson (16 on April 30) came to live with me in September of 2007. I am a recent widow and find dealing with some of the issues exhausting indeed. He comes with a lot of baggage and has attended numerous programs etc. He is taking prescribed medications which I am working (with his pediatrician) on "weaning" him from.

I do have a support network that I put in place both before and since he has come to stay with me. Unfortunately, it is not always available when needed.

In fairness my grandson is, for the most part, very well behaved. So far he is doing excellent in school (adjusted program) and most other areas.

My concerns are that he is using drugs. In the last month or so, he seems to be isolating himself more often. He has very quick temper flare ups and seems to me to over react to the crisis of the day. In the last week or so, I noticed that he is becoming a bit lazy about his hygiene.

I did find items that would indicate marijuana use. He did finally admit to occasional use and promised to stay away from it. I believe this is a promise he chooses not to keep.

On occasion, he displays many of the behavior characteristics described online.

I am a firm believer in the power of "Thoughts become things" and continually work on "reframing" on what is happening to to stay focused on what I want to see happen. It appears, to me, that your program supports the same way of thinking.

I am convinced that if I can control myself and my own behavior in a positive and effective manner when a crisis does come up, the outcome will be a win-win situation.

I am looking forward to to taking part in the Online Parenting support program and would appreciate any help you can give me.

Online Parent Support


Here comes trouble...

I am happy to hear I am not the only one dealing with the sort of issue I am about to request your help with.

I have a 13 year old son. Tyler. Tyler is very athletic, great personality, pretty smart, loving (when not tired) and had great dreams for his future.... Sounds good so far.

I am divorced from his dad since Ty is 3 years old. His father is in the same town, but does not help financially, spiritually, emotionally or physically. He just exists! UGH! Ty loves his dad, which i know is normal. I am getting married in July. Been with my fiance for 6 years, and he has taken on the role of Step dad. He has done more for my children then their real father EVER has.... My children are just starting these past 2 years to connect with my fiance and accept him as their step dad. They do respect and look up to him.

Here comes trouble. Tyler since pre-school comes home with progress and report cards saying that his disrupts the class, he is rude and disrespectful and can't control himself. I thought he was just being a boy! Well, hes had out of school suspension since all the little things built up and the school finally had enough! he has had in school suspension! He lies about homework, yells at us when we tell him to do his homework, he says he has non-but his report cards differ....

We as parents are at our wits end, we can't get through to him.... TO boot, he is super small for his age! He is going into 9th grade looks like a 5th grader!!! UGH!!!!!!!! He is really immature....

when we punish him, he says no parents punish their kids....He hates that his curfew is 8:30 on weekends.......and hates that he can't do what he wants, but we can't give him room to do what he wants, because we can't trust him to behave in school, so why should he be able to do more fun things with his friends???? Should we see a therapist? should we try medication??? What do we do?

Join Online Parent Support

It's when I say no that the problem starts...

I have just lived through another one of my son's tantrums. This one was the worst ever. He is now in melt down stage and can't believe what he has done. For the last 2 hours he has bitten me, wished I was dead and called me every imaginable name possible. He is only 12. He is a beautiful cheery and smart boy. People always comment on what a polite little gentleman he is. But the minute I say no to him he explodes. When I then try to give him a consequence if he continues then it escalates. Then I issue the punishment and that's when he loses it. This time for 2 hours straight. At one point both me and his sister had to restrain him...I don't know what to do. I read with great interest your web site and I am searching to find the program that is right for us. I have had him in counselling and try this program and that and nothing has worked. As a matter of fact when I try anything it gets much much worse.

It's when I say no that the problem starts, and it always has been. Otherwise he is the best boy.

My Out-of-Control Child


My nephew is not just a rebellious teen...

My nephew is not just a rebellious teen. He is a victim of physical and verbal abuse and witnessed his father molesting his sister for years until he finally got caught. His biological mother is not involved in his life, she signed away her rights and my sister who is his step-mother has also been verbally and emotionally abusive to my nephew. He is a pathological liar, he has started drinking and in the past year has broken into someones' house and stole money and trinkets and broke into a business and stole a truck to go joyriding. My husband and I now have him and we are not sure what to do.

My Out-of-Control Teen


Our problems are disrespect & attitude...

This all sounds wonderful & some of the problems described on your site are what I'm experiencing with my 11year old. At the moment our problems are disrespect & attitude towards being asked to do chores. Up until 3 months ago these problems were directed toward me only, but he is now talking to other adults in the same way. I need to knock this on the head before we end up with all the other problems you describe.

My son spent the last week with my parents & my mother couldn't stop telling me how wonderful he was. He washed & wiped up without having to be nagged he cleaned his room daily & was the first person ready when they went out. (All opposite to when at home).

My parents dropped him home last night & stayed for tea. After dinner mum asked him to wipe up & he reacted as if it were me asking, "Oh I have to do this". & "I cant, I need to go to my dads". My Mother did as I do & kept at him, not letting him get away with it. Her reward, She received daggers, he grunted goodbye & turned the other way when she went to hug him & did not thank her for his holiday. I have not seen my mother so hurt in a long time & I feel ashamed that my son did this to her.
He can be a loving, caring & thoughtful child & then just turn (like jekell & hyde my mother described it).

His only problems at school are finishing his work & doing his homework. His teachers say he is caring & honest he would do wonderfully if he only did the tasks assigned.

Will your program help me with this. He knows he is doing the wrong thing & when we talk about it he cries & I can tell he feels guilty but its as if he cant control it.

My Out-of-Control Child


He is failing most classes...

I am dealing with a 14 year old son who does not do well in school, when I can keep him in the classroom (he usually gets kicked out), he is very aggressive, and irritated easily. He is failing most classes, and does not care. He does not even want to go to school anymore or live in our home.

My Out-of-Control Teen


Teen refuses to go on vacation with family...

Hi Mark:

I am a CPA in MA and I started reading your book (I found it online and downloaded) but due to tax season I let my wife read it also. She has emailed you in the past.

We pulled away the CHINS court thing as you suggested a few weeks ago. We have seen hot and cold progress. We have tried short-term goals (earn your own money and you can......) this weekend if you xxx you can visit L___'s where all your friends are (That’s where his "good" friends are; that's the home school house where he stayed for a year or so and enjoys returning to).

Now the latest:

D___ has known for about a year that we were planning a family vacation to Walt Disney World in FL. We have been there many times when they were younger, and this is the last trip before my oldest daughter starts college so its being called the "last family vacation before R___'s college."

He agreed to go and even two night's ago called me at work and requested that I bring home some eggs and OJ (this around 10PM). He even said that he would probably be asleep when I got home so he would se me in the morning and that he wanted to cook breakfast for everyone. I reminded him how excited I was about the vacation and that we would have our own kitchen (he likes to cook) and could even bring his own favorite coffee as we are in a timeshare style room. He said "great-i can't wait to get outa here"
Said goodnight and that was that.

Next morning made breakfast everything fine.

During the day a not-so-good influence kid named R__ (old friend-drug friends time period) stopped by and noticed all the trash at the end of the driveway/ street and thought we were throwing away his bike (he left it here all winter) but we did not and talked to D___ a few minutes while picking up his bike. They evidently made some kind of plans.
Get home from work with C___ and D___ immediately tells C___ that he does NOT want to go to vacation but will stay with R___. She said no and left it at that.

He approached me a short time later and told me that R___ is getting his dirt bike repaired for the weekend and wants to remain home and stay there. I said no, the trip has been planned for too long. He asked what could I do to him anyway and he was simply NOT going! I said I would have to place him somewhere but he was going. Then the screaming began swearing, name calling etc while I remained cool as you suggest. I drove him to school this morning and he only lightly said he preferred to stay here as he was exiting the car. I plan on speaking with him today when I pick him up and reminding him that it took a lot to put this thing together, not to mention all the hard work and how much the entire family was expecting him and wanting to be with him.

I did not want to overload you in an email, but I am afraid he might try and spoil the whole trip by running the day of departure, in which case I will have to remain behind to look for him and go my self after the others.

I just do not know what else to do. This after many responsibility talks and more. Doing fine in school but needs friends so I was going to try and offer to help get him a job now that he will be 16 in a couple of weeks (Apr 29).

Any help would be appreciated. We are scheduled to depart Boston tomorrow around 7PM so we need to leave our home around 4PM.

Thanks so much and your book has been very enlightening. Now that tax season is over and I can breathe I can complete it and help C___ implement the steps.



Hi H.,

You can one of two things:

1. Issue a warning: “If you choose to go AWOL when we get ready to leave, you’ll choose the consequence, which is I’ll stay home with you – and you’ll be grounded with no privileges.”

This option stinks however. Because in the event he can’t be found at time of departure, you have to follow through with the consequence – or kidnap him and follow behind the others.

2. In the event you have a trusted family member or friend, you could allow your son to stay with them while you’re gone – with one caveat. That is, make sure his temporary caretakers are willing to call the police in the event your son comes up missing from their residence. Advise your son accordingly of this potential consequence.


My Out-of-Control Teen

He’s 13 and doing really well now...

My son (the out of control teenager) falls in the mascot category and I would appear to be a sensitive and indulgent parent. I thought I was very assertive but I guess I’m actually pretty emotional and inconsistent. Also my son was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder when he was 8. He’s 13 and doing really well now. But we are stuck in some old patterns and he is running the show with temper and manipulation.

My Out-of-Control Teen

I'm so lost because this type of thing is so outside anything I have experienced...

I'm in the UK, have one child, a daughter aged almost 17 and have recently discovered that she has been indulging in behaviour that I could never have imagined (cyber-sex and even perverted real sex with strangers). She seems to have been offering herself around to guys on the internet who live in the area.

I never suspected a thing, as she seems so sensible, only goes out with friends once a week and always rings to let me know if she will be half an hour late home from school etc. I thought she was such a great, loving daughter. She comes from a good Christian home, has been given total love and attention. Her dad and I will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary next year, so she has had a stable upbringing, gone to the best schools and had numerous opportunities and a great life. I've always talked to her about keeping herself safe and I've backed this up by always ensuring I knew who she was with and picking her and her friends up after their evening out, making sure everyone gets home safely. I've always stressed sex should be within a committed relationship (something she has not yet experienced).

I don't know how she could have done this (she has now admitted it after I ended up reading her diary - the last resort). She admitted bits as I suspected bits and pieces after I found out about the truancy and other lies, but every step of the way she tried to limit what I knew. I am still not sure if this is the full extent of the problem, as I feel I don't really know if she is the person I thought she was! It turned out she was skipping lessons at her school and doing all this. All the while I believed she was attending lessons. Her new school (since September 07) is more like a college and they expect kids to take responsibility for themselves, so I only found this out at the end of March, when I received her term report. Around Christmas I discovered that she was stealing money from me, which she used for presents. She gets a generous allowance and has a laptop, ipod (albeit an old one) and is on a mobile phone contract, which she doesn't have to pay for.

She promises not to do all this again and to work hard to get into university, but the proviso is that I have to trust her, otherwise there is no point, she says. She hints at suicide. Her dad says we have to try and get her on track for university but ultimately we've failed to keep her safe/on the right track and we cannot know if she will do this again. Now that she knows that we know, she may just get even better at hiding it. He has told her that this is her last chance and if she messes up, he will throw her out.

I am scared of what she will turn out to be. I'm afraid to stop pocket money in case she prostitutes herself for money - seemingly sex with just anyone does not disgust her in anyway. I waver between wanting to believe her, wanting my daughter back and feeling like I'm being manipulated. At the moment, we've just gone back to what we did before.

I'm so lost because this type of thing is so outside anything I have experienced. As you can imagine, I feel like the worst mother in the world - I can't even say she has been badly affected by divorce or anything like that. The only thing I can cling to is that she has dreadfully low self-esteem, despite being really beautiful and talented. She doesn't believe that she is. She is dyslexic and has ADD - no medication.

I tried ringing a couple of parenting lines here in the UK for help. They said that I should trust her now and support her efforts to reform and have said that I'm doing the only thing I can do.

My Out-of-Control Teen

He can be such a lovely boy when he is in a good mood...

My son has some of the problems you wrote on your web-site" out of control children."

His behaviour is not the way it should be. He always tries to argue if he has done something. He lies (sometimes). Is very disrespectful to the teachers and us (sometimes).

Not on his level at school. We talked already many times about his problem. Is always in for doing things to get some attention from his fellow students. (and he can be such a lovely boy when he is in a good mood). Helping me with cooking dinner etc.) But when it is bedtime he can't sleep just by himself in de bedroom, he wants his older sister and younger brother to sleep in the same room otherwise he can't sleep, he just wants to be close to our bedroom.

But he needs help, the school is just telling us that he has to change, but they won't help us, he had difficulties with the language because he couldn't speak, read or write English at that time and they made a big mistake to put him in class which wasn't his level. And he had to stay there. (We immigrated to New Zealand 4 years ago).

My Out-of-Control Child


i'm at my wits end and desperate...

I am the step-parent of a child with ODD. I'm the main caregiver, and I'm having the worst time. It is causing her father and me many arguments, making me resent her father, and want to send the child away. Her father and I have a 6 month old child together, and I don't want to have to break-up my daughters home, but it is not fair to me, her father, or our daughter to have to live like this. I am so stressed all the time, I'm to the point where I just want to leave to be away from my step-daughter. The problem is, I love her father very much and could not see living my life without him, we have a family, and I want to keep it together.

i'm at my wits end and desperate. I feel guilty that my 6 month old daughter has to see all the yelling, fit throwing, and overly dramatic crying. It can't be healthy for her, yet I feel that it would be more unhealthy for her to be without her father who loves her very much. I hate to say this, (God forgive me) but, I actually hate my step-daughter, and she is only 10, this makes me feel more guilty. I don't want to be driven away from the man that I love because of his child's disorder. Also, this would mean that his daughter "won". I just don't know what to do, I've had nervous breakdowns, and I just sit and wait for the next one.

My Out-of-Control Child


"Go away dad, you're annoying me..."

My situation have become so desperate that I would up in hospital last week with what my doctor suspected was the beginnings of a heart attack. I have twin 14yo nightmare girls. I am divorced but the girls are living with me nearly full time. We live about 10 miles from the city but the girls are drawn to the city like magnets.

I live in Brisbane (Australia) which like any other major city in Australia is a dangerous place especially at night.

My daughters refuse to believe that they are in danger even though one witnessed 3 bashings in one day. Her answer was "I know lots of people and I've never heard of anyone getting raped or stabbed. The pigs are stupid and don't know anything. Or I have never seen a rapist and I've been in the city lots of times."

We have school holidays at the moment and this is a catalogue of what has happened in the last week

Daughter 1
Day 1. Took a day off school and disappeared from her mothers care. I got a phone call at midnight asking me to pick her up from a very dark and deserted shopping centre
Day 2. Walked out of her mothers place and refused to listen to requests to stay home
Day 3. Was picked up by the police for drunk & disorderly. Blood alcohol was 0.29
Day 4. Walked out of my home and disappeared. Refused to come home. Stayed with unknown people. Refused to answer her cell phone
Day 5. Was informed by sister that I was in hospital but she made no attempt to contact me
Day 6. Again refused to come home.
Day 7. Went out again despite my protests and refused to come home. Had to pick her up from the other side of town (she was walking down a main road with a friend) at 10:45pm.

Daughter 2
Similar to #1 but to a lesser degree. She has calmed down a bit but still very rebellious.

One has admitted to being sexually active but don't know about the other yet.

Neither has any interest in school and both have been truant/suspended for a total of 14 days in the 1st month of school.

Both girls have a very deep seated anger which boils over in an instant and I believe that they have serious mother issues as she doesn't really care about them (Daughter 1 have bashed by her mother last year). To the mother they are just a source of income in the form of child support. The mother refuses to contribute ANY money to support them even though they are living with me 99%. Apart from food the mother refuses to give/buy them anything and tells them when they ask to "go ask Dad. It's his responsibility"

Daughter 1 asked her mum last week to pick her up from a friends place (about a 15 min drive). Mothers answer was " I don't know where that is. You got there by yourself so you can get home by yourself"

My problem is that nothing seems to bother the girls. Take things from them and they don't care. I can't prevent them from leaving the house as the laws in Australia are so f%#&ed up that I can be charged for assault if I physically restrain the kids.

If I try to talk to them the answer is "go away dad you're annoying me" This response is for any conversation almost to the extent of when I ask them what they would like for dinner. Neither will talk about anything and both refuse to have any councelling.

I will persevere with your methods but I was wondering if you could offer any quick advice from a parent who has been in a similar position especially in the area of discipline.

They are beautiful girls and I am so afraid that something terrible will happen to them.

My Out-of-Control Teens


We are praying for him everyday and waiting for God to answer...

My son is 11 and is having alot of trouble all around but mostly with school. He has been in 3 different schools this year and has been suspended from all three. He has recently gone to live with his father in a different town and the behaviors have gotten worse. Even his academic grades are dropping since moving.

Home life wasn't horrible until recently. He has been diagnosed with ADHD and bipolar disorder a few years ago at a very early age. He has alot of trouble with his fathers and I's divorce, which was about 7 years ago However, we are not parents who will allow this to be an excuse or crutch for his behavior. His explosive behavior is getting worse and his complete disrespect for ALL others is out of control. Just last weekend I caught him stealing from a store where he was WITH ME at the time and lied looking dead into my eyes and with a straight face, very manipulating.

We are a Christian family and we are praying for him everyday and waiting for God to answer. Maybe this is it. I do not know. He sees a psychiatrist and is on medication, which I do not feel is helping much, but I can't imagine what it would be like with out it. The next step may be therapy. Money is an issue for us (as most people) but if having to find the money for therapy is what needs to be done, it will be done.

My Out-of-Control Child


There has been nothing but problems...

My husband is a recovering alcoholic and as struggled with it since 2002. In 2007 he Entered a program called Teen Challenge, which was for adults and teens that have addictions in drugs or alcohol. It is a year Long program. During this time our household had some serenity. He has recently returned home as of February 6th. I Have one daughter in college and is in her second year. My other daughter is 17 and I’m not sure I know who she is anymore. Since her father has been home there has been nothing but problems. I think during the year my 17 year old was trying to Trust her father again, and I believe was almost there-(she has been affected the most by his alcoholism, with mental and verbal Abuse). Anyway he had a relapse on a weekend that I was gone and she thought he was acting funny and of course he drank. Since then our life has been a living hell, she doesn’t listen- her schooling is going down the drain, by not going to school- she Says she has panic attacks and her mind doesn’t settle down. She never wants to be home and is now spending all her time With a boyfriend. My husband has tried to talk very minimal, has not said sorry- as he thinks his words will mean nothing. nWe argue about what to do and well we are exhausted.

Online Parent Support


I have two very strong willed 13 year old teenage girls...

I have two very strong willed 13 year old teenage girls. I can’t figure out what the heck we are doing wrong. They are argumentative and disrespectful. I feel as though our house has become a war zone. I don’t know how to get the results I want in them. I have not signed up for your online training yet but I wonder if there really is any hope.

Online Parent Support

Life at home is very difficult for the whole family...

Can you help me with my daughter, we have always had clear rules on what time our daughter comes home and if she does not contact us she knows she will be grounded, but a few weeks ago came in at 5 am when she knew to be in at 12. She was grounded and as soon as she got back out again came in at 4 am on a school night, that day we also found out that she has been asked to leave some of her classes. She has been intercepting mail from school so we did not know, she did not do well last year at school and promised to work hard this year, we wanted her to leave school as we did not think she would work, she cant get in to do the course she wants, and wants to stay at school for another year but does not want to live by our rules and wants to move out she has a part time job but cant support herself, she thought she could move in with a friend but surprise surprise none of the parents will although this, life at home is very difficult for the whole family just now do you think your book will help us.

My Out-of-Control Teen

I have a fear of him growing up to become a criminal...

Well my name is Stefanie, and im a single mum trying my hardest with my 6 yr old son who has adhd as well as odd, and I feel I have no where to turn with him, he runs away every week, doesn't listen to me, he only has half days at school as the school cannot control or deal with him, he is so defiant I have 2 younger children following his every move, and no help from there father as he live in another state. so any help or strategies on how to help my little man would be appreciated a lot, he is on Ritalin at the moment as well as fish oil. I have a fear of him growing up to become a criminal.

My Out-of-Control Child


I am fine tuning our project proposal...

Hi Dr. Hutten! Thank you for your prompt reply. I am happy to hear you are willing to help me out.

Right now, I am fine tuning our project proposal for possible funding from the local government units and hopefully government agencies and charitable organizations. We hope to bring our concept to public elementary and high schools, targetting for a start 15-20 individuals.

Yes I am willing to be your counterpart if we bring your concept to the Philippines. I believe we have a big need for it in our country. I have an existing place which could serve as our office/center. Right now I only have 2 volunteers - a housekeeper and a social worker on a part time basis. For this program that we hope to launch in June this year, I partner with 2 other NGOs that provides the financial assistance to cover the cost of our program.

My interest in mental health started when 2 siblings were affected by mental illness. I experience so much difficulty of having to care for them. as a result of the very strong stigma against the illness. In 1998, I joined the World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation and here I got to attend international fora on mental health issues. I helped organize family support groups in our country, little by little, helping them 'get out of their shell' by telling their stories, and like me, get better understanding of the illness, how to cope, and where to get help, and also, how to be of help.

My advocacy led me to look into the other areas of concern - behavior problems in children, hence, this program I hope to launch in June this year.

I am open to suggestions on how we will operate here in the Philippines.

I look forward to working with you. Herewith is my resume for you perusal.

Best regards...............Sally

Online Parent Support

He tests my mother...

my mother... she is a single parent and my father has had drug problems in the past and is no where in the scene. my brother is currently 12 and has the worst attitude. he disrespects my mother and grandmother and constantly tells them to shut the hell up. he has a mouth on him like an adult. he tests my mother with different words. my mom yells at him and gets completely stressed every single night and ends up crying. she has tried absolutely everything. she has smacked him, taken away things, and even grounded him but he just laughs at her. i end up getting sad because i feel so badly for her. i do not want my mother to suffer anymore and i do not want my brother to disrespect his only parent.

My Out-of-Control Child

My brother is in a desperate situation...

My brother is in a desperate situation with his just turned 14 yo twin girls who have, in the last 6 months gone completely off the rails. He is a single parent and the mother has lost all interest in the girls and rarely sees them (obviously part of the problem but nothing can be done about this situation). Basically they are doing what they like, when they like. They get on the train to go to school and end up in the city hanging out with their friends. They have been picked up by the police several times, they are currently suspended from school for truancy. The go out when they feel like it and stay out all night, and will turn their mobile phones off so my brother can't contact them. The drink and smoke and maybe (?) are taking drugs (if not then it seems likely they will, especially one of them) An example of their behaviour...when they were at school today they sent my bro (Peter) a text telling him he had 2 choices....that if he let them go to a weekend long party they would come home and stay at home tonight otherwise they wouldn't be home at all until Sunday....some choice!! They will not tell him where they are, just ring him up to pick them up from the station when they feel like coming home. He is heartbroken over this situation and an absolute wreck worrying about them and they couldn't care less.They seem to have no care or concern for him at all (he has been an absolutely wonderful, loving caring dad) and have both said they would leave home if they could. I read some of the testimonials that refer to 'setting boundaries" and saying "no" etc but to me, they seem beyond this type of approach...but obviously I don't know what your program it applicable to kids who simply walk out of the house and do what they want and don't care about anyone or anything? If so then I would like to purchase this program for him, so is it possible for me to pay for it but get it sent to his e mail address (I'm not very clued in about buying things over the net)

My Out-of-Control Teen


The adults are back in Charge!

Hi Mark,

Thanks again for your speedy reply, sorry I did not get back to you yesterday. Things have been moving fast around here in a most unexpected way.

Thank you for the advise for both our Sons.

J___, the angry child, is responding wonderfully to our new methods. No arguments, very loving and receptive. He will be thrilled with our Plans to move into the driving phase. He won't hear about them until he finishes his Project, which will end his grounding. At this point we will start anew. He has accepted our terms of use on the computer with the understanding that any abuse will result in a 3-day ban. He came home from school yesterday in a pissy mood, I would normally try to find out what was bothering him, but I just asked about his day and went on like nothing was wrong and he pulled himself out of the mood and the rest of the evening was great.

P___ on the other hand is the one not adjusting too well. Of course he is the one who after our apology, felt no apology was needed.... He was just fine with everything staying status Quo :) Sorry... Things are changing and we don't know exactly what his reactions to that are going to be. We realize we have held him back with our past parenting and that is all about to change.

We always felt that as long as they went with the flow of the family they were welcome to stay at home... We have had a change of Heart and Mind :) It is time for him to be out on his own. This talk will be coming asap and his reaction is going to provide a growing season for us all. Mike and I both are prepared for some hurt feelings that may take awhile to get passed but we now know it is for his and our benefit.

Thank you again and again...... The adults are back in Charge!

A. & M.

Online Parent Support

She has been spitting up her food...

I'm in desperate need of some advice or help. My husband and I are a blended family, he has 2 kids from a previous relationship, I have a son from a previous relationship and we just had a baby together, his youngest daughter has been diagnosed with autisum she is now 3 and his oldest daughter is having major learning problems. She is in grade one right now and refuses to care about school her teacher has sent numerous letters home about her disruptive behaviour. She has trouble eating her breakfast and we have just recently found out that she has been spitting up her food after she eats it, her weight has decreased quite a bit in the last 3 months and although i'm only her step parent i'm afraid for her future. Please give me some advice on how to help deal with a blended family and how to help my step-daughter focus on school and eating.

My Out-of-Control Child

We definitely butt heads...

I have a 17 1/2 yr old son and recently divorced (separated in Oct-divorce final was final in Feb)--not a good situation for about 3 years prior to me finally filing for divorce. Although he is "good" by today's standards so to speak, we definitely butt heads and have to work on our communication skills.

Christian is a Junior now, plans to move out right after he graduates next year and does plan to go to college...he is very smart but does not apply--and has not been applying himself as he should to school for years now.......

He is not doing well in school--sees his father rarely ---chores are an issue--girlfriend (of 1 1/2 yrs) consumes his time--Dad is raising her and works nights.

UP SIDE -- he is VERY into music and in a band...GOOD friends from Mom/Dad homes with siblings and he is respectful most times. He just wants ALOT of (in my opinion) unearned privileges and threatens to go stay with Dad more and more.

My Out-of-Control Teen

Sometimes I really want to give up...

my son is turning 6 on the 17th of this month and I am a disabled mom, with an inoperable brain tumor.

I am at my wits end trying to tame this little boy.

I understand he may be hyper and he will be evaluated this coming week on Thursday the 10th of April and to see if he has Add or whatever the label is. I suffer from seizures from the tumors and sometimes I really want to give up, and my son does not make life easy.

I really at times want to just slap him across his bottom really hard but dyfs sure has strong rules these days ( I never had a runabout with them just to let you know ). I used to get whipped when we acted up growing up and didn't here a peep about that organization nor about add or adhd stuff, but now, its all about how you train your children not to be delinquents and not beat them like our parents hit us.

so how do we come across them without a little" tough love" as they called it back then. I love my son but he wipes out of all my energy, and my parents are not the best of help when it comes down to disciplining my son when he needs to be told to sit down and Stop acting up!

Online Parent Support

Program for Filipino children and adolescents with behavior problems...

Greetings from the Philippines!

We are a group of concerned individuals who have developed a program for Filipino children and adolescents with behavior problems. Our program with 3 phases - psychoeducation, screening/assessment, rehabilitation - targets age group from 3-18 years old. We aim to education family members, school guidance counselors/teachers, local health providers and the community about the disorder, conduct assessments/screening to identify the sickness, and organize rehabilitation to address the problem.

We would like to know more about your services and advocacy, and see the possibility of assistance in whatever way - training, consultancy, funding referral, etc. - as we endeavor to improve our program to benefit more Filipino target beneficiaries. Our country, the Philippines, being a 3rd world country, need to further our capabilities to handle problems affecting families with children displaying behaviour disorders, hence, this initiative we have spearheaded to address the situation.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.


Sally D. Bongalonta
Program Manager
Revivificare Center
Helpmeet-of-Men Philippines

Online Parent Support

She won't even talk to me?

I've read your introductory, but I'm not sure if this would help me. My daughter is 18 (disrespectful, lying, bad boyfriend & friends, etc.) and is doing most of the things you talk about, but I did the tough love thing, my house my rules, don't like it leave and she did and has been gone for 1 1/2 weeks staying at the terrible boyfriends house. I've tried talking with her and his parents! It's not working, so is it too late for this program to help me?? She won't even talk to me?

My Out-of-Control Teen


My wife wants to kick him out of the house...

My 15 year old son has run away from home before and now is failing all his classes and telling me he is quitting school in a few months when he turns 16. My wife wants to kick him out of the house and I feel that we have a legal and moral responsibility not to do that. Am I right? Also, can your book help in this situation.

My Out-of-Control Teen

Grandchild diagnosed with PTSD, BP, Separation Anxiety and now they have added ODD...

Your program looks most interesting to me. Is it effective with kids with Bipolar Disorder. We have a grandchild diagnosed with PTSD, BP, Separation Anxiety and now they have added ODD. She is very immature at the age of 13 and is presently involved in a partial hospitalization program and talk has been initiated about RTC. She is terrified of being taken away from her family but is still not controlling her symptoms to an acceptable level. They have just begun treatment with lithium after a host of other drugs have proved ineffective. There is a 10 yr old sibling who has begun to exhibit some similar symptoms The father who has been gone from the scene for 9 yrs after being incarcerated for a domestic violence incident resulting in the PTSD is dx'd with Intermittent Explosive Disorder. Do you think my daughter could benefit from your program for her family?

My Out-of-Control Teen









My Out-of-Control Teen

He has tantrums, breaks things, punches walls, etc...

Have a 17 year old grandson who lives with me has quit going to school, suffering from depression, is on meds, up until last year he was an honor student, football player, now stays out at night when he wants, hangs around with a 30 year old guy he met through his partime job at walmart, refuses to talk to a counsellor or me, basically I am just letting hm do what he wants right now, except refusing to give him money or let his friends over here while I am at work He suffers from an anxiety disorder as well and is on larazapam for that. When I try to discipline or refuse to drive him to work, he has tantrums breaks things punches walls, etc, he is a nice kid when he is not acting up I suspect he is using pot, he smokes cigarettes and I find cigars cut in half in his room I think he is huffing the pot not sure.

My Out-of-Control Teen

He has dropped out of school...

My biggest concern is that my 17 year old grandson who live with me, he has dropped out of school, only has a part time job at walmart, and hangs around with a 30 year old guy, who seems to be his only friend . he is on antidepressents for depression, medication for anxiety, and i suspect is using at least pot, by putting it in cigars I hope he is not selling it but I am not sure.

When I try t o discipline him he leaves, throws tantrums, threatens to kill himself and has anxiety attacks, plus stays out all night at this 30 year olds house when he feels like it I dont know what to do anymore.

My Out-of-Control Teen

We kid ourselves by thinking he is improving...

My Son is 11 and has been difficult, if I'm honest, since he was about 1 year old. We have reached a point where it is now causing a problem within our family. We have never done anything about it, thinking that it would pass, but as your quite rightly say, it hasn't and it probably won't. We kid ourselves by thinking he is improving, but realistically, he isn't. We have good days and very bad days!

He had a very difficult time at primary school with his peers, they knew he was easily wound up and took advantage of the fact, the school did nothing about it. I asked for counselling and was refused, as the school didn't feel it was necessary. I also tried to get help locally, but with no luck. He changed schools in September moving on to secondary school, year 7. Things have improved and there are no issues there, he is a model student and is doing very well. He is also a fantastic drummer.

Unfortunately, at home is a different story. He is so angry. Fights with his brother all the time. Accuses us of loving our other son more than him, will not obey rules, argues, shouts at me, blames everyone else for his bad behaviour, etc, etc. It is causing problems for us because my husband and I do not know how to deal with it. We end up shouting back and taking away pocket money and privileges, but this does not seem to work either, the message doesn't seem to go in at all. We just end up feeling guilty and frustrated.

He hasn't been diagnosed with ODD, but the symptoms you list are almost identical to his. He has a lovely nature really and can be a very sweet boy, but his temper gets the better of him.

Sorry for the novel, it all just came out!

My Out-of-Control Child


I do not want to lose my son...

I AM one of the parents that you have described. My son, Shane is 15 years old. He as well as us have had struggles for the last 4 years. This past year has been the most challenging. School and home life is at best tense. I want so much to have the son I know is there inside of him. Yet, I am also so frightened every day that if we do not find the right avenue for him, he will spiral out of control. I do not want to lose my son. He is precious and unique. We have had psychological testing done this past March and the diagnosis is ADHD and Oppositional Behavior Disorder. I am hoping that you may be part of that avenue. I am grateful that this info was sent to me. It is overwhelming making the correct choices to allow all the potential within Shane to be discovered by him. Please help us!

My Out-of-Control Child

James seems to be pushing the boundaries...

My wife and I came across your site in an attempt to find answers to our current difficulty with our son James.

Just to give you some background, we live in the UK in Shropshire in what you would term an affluent village. We are experiencing issues with our son James who will be 14 later this month. We have two other children a girl 10 and a boy of 4 and we live in a close community. James has been bullied by one lad since Junior school and currently at senior school. We went to the school recently and had meetings with the Head and the mother of this lad in a bid to sort things out. James now throws this back at us, saying we made things worse and that other pupils are winding him up. They wind him up as he threatened this bulley with a knife but this was just empty threats. We explained to him its not due to us meeting the head but due to his knife threat. he will not accept this at all and we are seen as the cause.

In terms of stature he is 5'9" strong and very outgoing, likes sport Cricket and football and is a very loved member of this family. His Grandad, whom he was very close to, died in late October but he has not shown any grief although was upset on the day. His grandmother my mother died in January, though he was not so close to her. The school believe he should do well in his SATs and further exams if he applies himself, but has not attempted to do any homework in the holidays and has SATs in May.

He seems to resent his sister at times, winding her up and it usually ends in anger sessions. He dotes on our 4 year old but has recently shown aggressive signs towards him also. Its as though he treats him like one of his school class mates. We treat all our children equally and don't do more for one than another.

We are in the middle of school holidays and he returns on Monday to school. We seem to be experiencing a pattern of bored and aggressive behaviour, slamming doors, he has told us he hates us, wonders why we live in this **** village as there is no one to play with of his age. We cannot talk to him as he shouts back in anger I wish I did not live here, I hate you, I wish you were dead and then wishes himself dead. He has an extreme rage which we all are on the end of including our 4 year old son. When we had the recent bullying, I got the GP involved and he was emphatic that there was not mental health concerns. Yesterday he took the grout out of some of the tiles in the bathroom, which seems to be to get attention.

The whole family are getting fed up with this aggressive and angry behaviour and when you attempt to ask how we can help, he tells us to shut up and leave him alone. He seems to go for a while without issue and then he starts to by winding his sister up and calling her fat, then my wife gets involved and it escalates culminating in the rage and slamming doors. We have told him this cannot go on and asked him what we can do to work through the issues.He will not communicate except in rage and says 'Then go on get rid of me, then I will be out of this **** villiage.' This lunchtime he could not find anything to his liking for lunch so accused us of not feeding him, slammed the freezer door and demanded I do something about it. I said with that attitude I will do nothing for you. I later relented and offered to take him out for lunch, he refused saying don't want lunch with you. We cannot seem to do right for doing wrong.

Its not all bad, we are working on another house project and James has been helping, tearing the paper off and plaster. He does a good job and we tell him so.

We read your site notes and yes we have used the usual gambits to no effect. In answer to:-

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

Yes to all the above..... Just of late we cannot seem to reason with him. I am awaiting a call from our GP to see what he suggests. he is particularly blaming Debbie and me for his mistakes and behaviour.

We are a caring and loving family and we cannot do right for doing wrong. He has now gone out walking round the villiage and will not return till late PM. He is no doubt looking for his friend who had very similar anger issues and James is aware that we believe this lad to be an unhelpful influence. James seems to be copying this lads behaviour traits of anger and verbal abuse. James seems to be pushing the boundaries of late, in part we believe down to this lads influence.

My Out-of-Control Teen

It’s like I don’t exist. ..

I just want to give you brief summary as to what my case is. I was not married to my son’s father and did live with him 15 years before I left home to start a new life.

This was because my Son’s father was a very controlling person, amongst other things. I left my son with him on that day 5 years ago. My ex (his father) had threatened me if I took our son he would hunt me down. Anyway, my son was visiting with me more often than what he is now. Since he turned 14 he and his father decided he didn’t have to visit it me anymore. So, when he did visit me, since the beginning, he was very angry with me, but then it appeared to get better in that sense. He would always be disrespectful, lazy, wouldn’t mind me, didn’t want to do chores, etc. and always spinning things to work to his advantage.

For the last two years I’ve been married, and the few times he’s come over it’s been only because he wanted to barrow my new car or for me to buy him a new cell phone, which he didn’t tell me that his father currently had him on a plan. As the years go by it’s become worse. First, his father will not talk to me at all. I’ve tried mediation which worked for a short time, but his dad and I would never agree on anything. So we’ve stopped talking because it does nobody any good. I’ve told his father that I wanted to talk to him strictly about our son (important things such as school, etc.) and… he refuses to talk or see me.

My son has been living with this father for the most part, and now he’s avoiding me at all costs. I know his father has a lot to do with this and I feel my son has been totally brain washed and I don’t know how to get him back (I mean his love and friendship). The last time I saw him (a couple of months ago) I stopped to talk to him at his school and he was really rude to me. That’s because I had suspended his cell phone for a month because he had done 5,000 text messages in one month. I asked him to stop texting so much, but he didn’t. From that day on I disconnected his cell phone and I have not heard from him at all. It’s like I don’t exist. He will be turning 17 this April.

My Out-of-Control Teen

The problem is me..

I am the mother of a 16 year old son. His father and I are divorced and I have been remarried for over ten years. My son's father and I have a very bad relationship and this has greatly impacted our son. He currently is a good student and seems to be well in his day to day routines. The problem is me. He is very angry and resentful towards me. I see a lot of pain and anger towards me with my son. I am truly confused and at the point of not knowing what to do. I don't know you but you seem to be a sensible and knowledgeable person. Can your program help me and my family?

My Out-of-Control Teen

My stepson constantly picks on my children...

My stepson constantly picks on my children. His grades are always low and when we try to take away privileges he tells us go ahead I don't care. I don't know what to do because I don't want his behavior to think the other boys can do the same thing. He constantly talks back and threatens us.

My Out-of-Control Child


Can this REALLY help me?


My son is 18 and still living at home. He is currently on Abilify and has been diagnosed Bi-Polar. He does good on the medication but the problem is, he smokes marijuana and that does not work well with his brain chemicals and he is what you have described in your article.

I have had him on a 72 hour hold in the past, he at the time had suicidal thoughts. I've done the counseling, tough love, you name it I've tried it. Can this REALLY help me?

My Out-of-Control Teen


She may have ODD...

My daughter is 11 and two years ago I went through a bought of stealing and lying with her. I dealt with it (so I thought), and we moved on. Now, just last weekend, she was going to steal from her friend at a sleepover, but get caught. Then she lied about it to them and me. I have pulled her from all activities (girl scouts, cheerleading, etc.). I called my Pediatricain (like I did the last time), she suggested that she may have ODD and recommending a counceling group. I am afraid to have her "labeled" and "thrown on meds". I feel there are TOO many kids labeled and/or on meds today then is necessary. I was looking at your website and was curious as to your thoughts.

Help for Parents with ODD Kids