Online Parent Support Chat

18.8.08

We are at our wits end...

Brooke is 15 years old and attends a local High School. She was diagnosed as ADHD at the age of 8 and was on medication until the age of 13. I opted to take her off the medication after running a series of tests with her school teachers. I designed this test to determine the effectiveness of the medication. The results showed that the teachers could not distinguish weeks when she was on the medication to when she wasn't. The good news is that in term 1 of this year she has achieved an A grade pass in English!

Michael works in the computer industry in Sydney. He leaves for work at 6.30am and returns home at 7pm, 5 days a week. Sometimes he is sent overseas for 2 - 3 weeks. I have my own business as a bookkeeper/accountant for various business in the local area. I arrange my own work times with my clients.

At our wits end we decided to design a new approach which is similar to the suggestions in Session 1 of your videos. We have weekly family meetings in an effort to keep communication lines open and discuss any problems we all might have. For the past 2 weeks we have implemented the strategy of 'no more free stuff' and 'earning freedom'.

For the first week there wasn't too much resistance. By the second week when she realized we meant it and were not going to change our minds. She has badgered us, thrown tantrums, abuse, outrageous accusations all to which has been met by me with the poker face. This has only increased her anger & frustration.

A few days ago (Thursday) this reached a peak when she informed me that she was going to stay at a friends house on Friday night. With poker face on I asked her how she was going to earn the right for that freedom. She wanted to use the phone to tell this friend she couldn't stay because her mom was mean. Access to the phone was denied because she had not 'earnt the right'. She implemented her usual tactics as mentioned above which I responded with 'You seem a bit upset now, how about sitting down and eating dinner with me or go to your room and calm down a bit.' She then threw her head back and started screaming hysterically at the roof as if I was abusing her. I was detached enough to think this is interesting she's not done this before! I just stood and watched her for a while, when it was obvious she was not going to stop any time soon I placed my hand over her mouth. I calmly told her it might be a good idea to get some of her things and I would take her to her grandmothers for the night. She responded with more abuse and then tried to leave the house to go to a friend's place. I put my hand against the door to stop her from opening it. She turned around and bit hard into the inside of my upper arm. I had to pull her head back with my left hand to remove her teeth from my arm. I admit I lost my cool at that point and asked her if she was insane. She replied that I deserved it because I was a bitch and stormed off to her room.

I contacted the school on Friday morning (she is currently on a monitoring program for behavior and has approx 3 weeks left to turn things around before the school will ask her to leave). The school counselor talked to Brooke and arranged for her to stay at a friend's place over the weekend. So it seems Brooke has won and got not only her sleepover at a friend's place but the whole weekend! As yet we have not seen her but she is due back home sometime this afternoon. We've used the weekend to seek some advice and help when we've found your site.

We are at our wits end. We've been seeking help for over 7 years for this problem. Counseling through local health services have not helped nor the medication they had her on. We are at the verge of looking for camps or alternative accommodation for her. She's not happy living here with us and she's making our life hell as well.

My Out-of-Control Teen

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