Online Parent Support Chat


What we are doing is clearly NOT working...

My husband and I are disagreeing about what type of consequence to give our 16 yr old son who has just returned from "running away"for 5 days (to a girlfriends house) for the second time in a month.

Last month he did something wrong and was going to be grounded for a weekend. Instead he never came home from school on Friday until I located him and picked him up on Sunday. We then gave him 2 weeks of grounding which he quietly accepted until my husband kept yelling and then they had a terrible fight. By the next day my son was still so angry, I brought him to the local psych hospital and they kept him for an eval. and sent him home with meds. We stayed firm on the 2 week grounding. My son spent 10 days at a relatives then came home. He's been stating he doesn't want to live with us and is looking for alternates ( friends, county teen shelters etc.)I even contacted a learning consultant about boarding schools. Lo and behold, last Thurs, he ran away to the same girlfriends house for 5 days this time. I called the police initially, but when I heard from him, the missing persons search was called off. He came home 2 days ago and my husband wants to throw the book at him with more grounding, no computer, cell phone etc. I know some type of consequence is in order, but what we are doing is clearly NOT working.

My Out-of-Control Teen


She is destroying the fiber of our home and tearing at an already frayed marriage...

When our daughter does something awful, like a temper tantrum, throwing things, cursing her parents, vile language (yes, all at the same time) besides our trying to remain calm, I instructed her to go to her room. Her mom, Lea, and I agreed this would be a good short term consequence for her flare-ups and there should be no goodies like her electronic devices--just reading material.

Problem is, she refuses to go to her room and defiantly says, "You can't make me go to my room or do anything. What are you going to do, hit me?" She then stormed out of the house at night and we went to look for her. Fortunately she was found not too far away tearing at her skin and sobbing that we would not let her use her cell phone to contact a 16-yr old boy in Miami who she has had multiple instances of phone sex with.

You hit the nail on the head when you said maybe you just want your child out of the house. WE DO! She is destroying the fiber of our home and tearing at an already frayed marriage. But we can't afford Group Homes or any of the alternatives I have researched. At some point do we just hand her over to authorities as a dangerous, suicidal, destructive youth and let the state do whatever they do? Honestly, we feel if she continues on her path some very bad things are going to happen like drugs, suicide, attacking her family at night, who knows? Lea and I and are son AJ are all pretty normal, peace-loving people and don't understand her behavior and choices and are tired of being victimized.

Lea and I also feel like we are in this alone as we don't want our friends or parents to know the evil Veronica is in to. We have gone to individual therapy, family therapy, marriage counseling, psychiatrist meetings (have another one of those tomorrow). I don't see the therapy as being effective at all.

My Out-of-Control Teen


He was placed in juvenile detention...

My child is sixteen years old. He was placed in juvenile detention for breaking probation and has been sent to a wilderness program for six weeks.

I so desperately need a better way of communicating with him. He has been diagnosed as ODD. There has been some drug use in the past mostly over the counter cough medicine, which he overdosed on-that is very scary. I believe that recently he may have used some illegal drugs.

I am a widowed single mom and my son is the youngest of six children. I feel like I am in such strange territory-I did not have any of these problem with my other children.

My Out-of-Control Teen

Sixteen year old has been a handful since he turned 2 years old...

My husband and I have been married for 23 years and have 5 children. We are a Christian family. We have great kids. The oldest to youngest are girl 22, girl 21, boy 20, boy 16, girl 13. The three oldest have been fine. They all work full time and have held steady jobs since leaving school. Our youngest is no problem at all.

The sixteen year old has been a handful since he turned 2 years old. His school years have always been a struggle, his high school years were a nightmare. We tried different schools, then went back to a school he had originally gone too. It was 2 weeks into the school year and he was expelled already. He had taken marijuana to school.

He is a very well liked person, and has a great sense of humor, and he has leadership qualities. But at that time he was leading a lot of peers down the wrong path.

As a parent I was glad his school days were over. But he ran away from home. We rang the police and filed for a missing person. It was the next day that our boy ran from a pay phone and I picked him up to take him home. We found him work as a roofer. He worked hard and stuck with the job everyday 5 days a week for about 8 weeks. Then our boy had an issue with one of the workers, didn't know how to deal with it, and the next day wouldn’t get out of bed. I reacted and said we would not have bums laying around the house with no work, and that he had to get up. He did get up, next thing I knew was he had packed a bag with very few belongings and ran away again. This time it was 2 weeks before we heard from him. Actually it was that I found out where he was staying from someone else. I wrote him a letter and told him that we loved him and a whole lot of other things, and invited him to come back home under certain circumstances. He did come back. His old boss was prepared to take him on again, because he was a good worker. But our boy still didn't want to. It's not that he didn't want to work, it's the job wasn't for him he said. Well as parents we thought different, but did out best to stay calm about the situation. I have found him other work, in a motorbike shop and then on to a farming job. When he is busy he has less time to get into trouble. Things were settling down and he was happy with his farming job and his bike job.

The problem I have is he comes home from work has tea. Then he is away on his bike back to the place, which was his abode when he ran away from home, it's just 2 blocks away from our home. How do I stop him from continually going to this person’s place?

This person has no rules, allows him to smoke there. Allows drinking there. Other problem teens come and go from her place. I thought work would be the answer, but that has blown up in our faces now.

He dislocated his knee badly and can't work physically. He will need surgery, which could take about 2 years on the waiting list. How do I keep him on the straight and narrow now? How do I influence him into better friendships?

My Out-of-Control Teen

My daughter is yelling and getting worse and had a very bad tantrum...

My daughter is yelling and getting worse and had a very bad tantrum 2 days in a row. Screaming and hitting her head on the coach and kept on saying she hates her family and wants to die. Similar thing happened in June of this year and we called the police on her. She is out on control and does not listen to us only at home, at school she is a straight A student and her teacher says that she is a great student. She is 13 and half now and it is getting worse and it is hard to live her like that. She is only eating bread and cheese and hates anything else I give her. She is punishing me by not eating well?

My Out-of-Control Teen


We were going to kick her in the guts until the baby was dead...

My 15 yr old daughter told cruel lies to get her boyfriend's family to take her in ie. when she told her father and I that she was pregnant, we were going to kick her in the guts until the baby was dead.

That was 5 months ago.

She was never pregnant.

She and the boyfriend (16) are no longer together.

She lives with this family. I have spoken to the parents a few times.

They say that she is free to come and go. They love having her there because -

· She cleans the house and the mother rewards her with $20 shopping vouchers.
· The "boyfriend" doesn't do drugs, drink like he did or steal wallets anymore.
· In a house of 3/4 males, the mother says it's lovely to have another female around.
· The mother says "She's the daughter I never had."

Her reasons for not being home change -

· she was scared of me (Mum) for the above reason
· we are too organised
· we are too busy
· it's 'fun' living out there
· there was no wall on her new bedroom (it was being built that week)
· she can't talk to me (she's never been a talker. the counsellor says she doesn't open up)

Her 12 yr old brother is now in counselling and his twin sister cries every day. We miss her terribly and have told her. She just doesn't seem to care.

We were once a close family. She once had lovely friends and was a great kid ie. loving daughter and sister, primary school vice-captain, B grade student, played bass guitar and sport, glowing references from teachers and friends.

My Out-of-Control Teen

She remains difficult, at best, to get messages through to...

I have a 15 yr old daughter who has been diagnosed with ODD, previously with General Anxiety Disorder. The anxiety has decreased, the defiance has increased.

She is not violent, a thief or a liar,nor does she smoke or do drugs. However, she is argumentative, judgmental, has a temper, blameful towards others and feels she has it harder than anyone she knows and does not do household chores without great prodding.

She is involved with the church youth group and has a broad base of friends, although, none very close. She very seldom will bring friends over. She has mentioned that she is embarrassed by her father, and some friends are afraid of him.

She has self imposed high academic expectations, and was in a 'gifted education' part time program. She is the youngest of three, her brother is 20, her sister is 17. Both she and her sister seem resentful towards their 'high achieving' brother when he returns from University, and she does get along with her sister, although her sister does not engage in clubs or academics as she does.

She greatly resents the fact that I am a smoker and that I returned to and completed a college program to enable me to return to the work force. I am an Educational Assistant and work with a broad spectrum of Special Need students. I believe she became accustomed to having me available and willing to take care of things at home. My husband was self employed, and has closed business to work for another company.

Considering my line of work, my husband and I have done our best with our 15 yr old. She remains difficult, at best, to get messages through to. I very much feel like the 'bad guy' as I do not want to enable her, nor do I want to push her away. I do believe that she still needs parental guidance to keep herself in check. I have asked the doctor who diagnosed her, how much behaviour is her, how much is teen? Understandably, he was unable to answer.

I am concerned for her and her ability to make good choices for her future.

My Out-of-Control Teen

I have always used the term ‘defiant’ to describe her bad behaviour...

My daughter has not been diagnosed by any body but I have always used the term ‘defiant’ to describe her bad behaviour. I also believe she is extremely strong willed. I notice your book cover says for 3-15 year olds though. Can this also work for her? She is extremely bright and I think ‘been here before’ maybe. She just started pre-school 3 days a week, a few weeks ago and the teachers all say she is so sweet and a model child! This leaves me feeling like I am failing at what ever I am doing when she plays up at home.

Sleeping is a big problem…..getting her to sleep is a battle nearly every night (unless she is completely exhausted and I mean zonked), she will play up and play up….hitting, scratching, pinching me… even if she cries….she then quickly turns and laughs and always smiles, ha-ha! at me. I cannot believe I have this gorgeous girl mostly with sweet behaviour and then she turns! When she does go to sleep… eventually, she comes into my bed at all hours and we then play the up and down, in and out beds all night or I give in and let her sleep with me. Only problem is I have another child, a 4and ½ yr old daughter who does not display any of her sisters lashing out moods, but also has sleep issues and comes in my bed hence I am very sleep deprived.

I am concerned that I lose my patience (after 2 or 3 hours usually) nonetheless I am worn out and feel terrible that I have smacked her. I have threatened her with going outside to sleep with the chickens (which I have put her outside the door at night for a while) and she may cry for a bit and then once in side just starts acting up/playing up again…like she is laughing at me.

It is almost as if she has taken something or eaten something and turned into another person. I wish I knew why her behaviour changes.

My Out-of-Control Child

I have a 13 year old son who is driving me mad...

I have a 13 year old son, who is driving me mad with his behaviour. We do not have too much of a problem at home, apart from being very untidy and not liking to shower. He is never verbal or aggressive to us, school is where the real problems start, firstly he is dyslexic, but very intelligent. He has no respect for teachers, is constantly skipping school, being aggressive and rude to his teachers, will not accept that he is wrong, acting the class 'fool', refusing to work and take any instructions from his teachers, he is starting threaten violence toward teachers and has just been excluded from school once again.

When he is in the company of other teens, his personality changes, I feel that I don't recognise him. He works well with his teachers if it is one to one, but if another adult or pupil joins, his attitude changes for the worse.

I feel like a failure.

My Out-of-Control Teen


I am desperate...

My 13 year old daughter has always been highly strung and difficult. We lost our 18 year old cousin last November to suicide, and we are devestated. Jess (daughter) tried to take an overdose 10 days later, and still talks about it. She has been assessed by a psychiatrist, last year, and had councelling........didn't work. She has been referred again to him next Thursday, and is booked in with a private bereavement counsellor for Friday.

She is experimenting with boys, I believe. I don't think she has had sex, but is close. Her attitude is that she knows everything about life, boys everything!!! I don't let her have a social life as when I do, she lets me down, and does something wrong.....she is on self-destruct mode...and hanging out in the wrong crowd.

I am desperate.......single Mom, with a partner, and a 3 year old boy, (thank God!) Her school work is falling too.

My Out-of-Control Teen

Things seem to be getting worse...

I have just started researching advice to help my husband find a positive way to connecting and having a reasonable relationship with his two children 13 yrs and 10 yrs. He left the UK family home when they were 7yrs and 4yrs and has tried to be a dad to them on a part time basis. He was seeing them every other weekend but then we married and he moved to Australia from Britain. He hoped that he could keep his relationship healthy through Skype and telephone and visits maybe twice a year. It has not been a good 18 months. Their mother has symptoms similar to those of Borderline Personality Disorder and this is very much a part of the problem.

She is very manipulative and can fill their heads with all sorts depending on what her agenda is. This summer my husband visited the UK and had a family holiday booked to take the children away but she manipulated the situation to the point where initially they were happy to go away with their dad but ended up saying they didn't want to go and we had to cancel their trip.

Things seem to be getting worse and their mother is not consistent in her attitude about their dad. Sometimes she'll act like his best buddy and the next is a victim accusing him of all manner of irrational things. She involves the children in all her negative thoughts and decisions. She has no reasoning ability. He is desperate to stay involved in their lives but at this point in time the 13 yr old Tom went through a stage recently refusing to speak to him over something that appeared on the surface to be very minor and had been acknowledged. This is hurtful and worrying and with the limited communication no resolution in sight. 10 year old Millie blows hot and cold with him and the explanations vary from mum depending on the mood of the day yet when he visits, Millie is relaxed and happy with him and Tom is happy to be with him. Their dad is planning on returning to UK very soon as a result of the worsening situation and we have put our marriage on hold for the time being it may well be years.

He has very little say or influence and his ex wife has let the children know on countless occasions that they don't have to do anything they don't want to do regarding their dad.

My Out-of-Control Teen


Son Has ODD Behavior

My 9 year old son is as described in the list for ODD behavior types... to the letter. Tonight we carved a pumpkin {miniature}. He wanted to put a candle in it and I recommended the battery-powered ones we have. Deal. Then he wanted the real candle lit in his bedroom, and I explained we don't have lit candles upstairs due to fire hazard. No Deal, and no agreement to try the battery-powered ones in the room. And so began the tyrade and stopped-up ears. I joined him upstairs and found he had lit the candle with matches he had found in my drawer {we do not smoke, but keep them there for black-outs}. How can I keep our house and all therein safe? It is typical for him to not care about rules and say he does not care, like he did tonight.

My Out-of-Control Child

I am really at a loss...

My daughter stayed out late on Monday evening and did not get off at her bus stop after school and then when she did come home Monday night she was sick. So to make a long story short she stayed home from school on Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday. I asked her ?'s all 3 days, made it a point to tell her that I loved her every night and then we actually did dinner at the table on Thursday night. She even made the comment that it was the best dinner and everything. On Friday I made her go to school and she did not want to but I did get her to go finally. Friday also happened to be the day that report cards came home but, needless to say she did not get off the bus at our street on Friday afternoon. She went to her boyfriend's house & then proceeded to tell his parents that she was staying the night at a girlfriend's house on Friday but stayed at his house with out their knowledge. She then stayed gone all day Saturday & Saturday night & again on Sunday. She never called or came home all weekend and then she was found last night at about 9pm by myself, her girlfriend's dad (the girlfriend was w/ my daughter) & the boyfriend's mom (boyfriend was w/ the 2 girls as well). We found them in another friend's house and the friend and her parents have been out of town for quite some time & they decided to go into this house thru a window. I don't know if this other girl's dad would not have been there if I could have ever got them out of there considering they are all bigger and more violent than I could ever be.

So any way we came home and set down and proceeded to talk about things and I did keep my cool and never raised my voice. She answered every ? w/ whatever, yes, no or I was fine and I didn't ask you to worry about me all weekend or drive around looking for me. I did make her turn over her cell phone to me and I also took her to school this morning & dropped her off. I told her that either her grandmother or myself would be there at 2:30 to pick her up and she said whatever, I won't be here & I am fully capable of riding the bus home. I said if you ride the bus are you going to get off at your stop & come home & her response was yeah, sure.

She also stated last night that the reason she did not come home on Friday was that she was tired of being grounded or that no other 10th graders had to be home at 8pm on the weekends and she was tired of me & her grandmother smothering her. So I am really at a loss. Do I step back today when she comes home & try to reach a happy medium w/ her and give her another chance to wipe the slate clean or what should I do???

Also, I don't know if I told you but I am a single mother & my mother (her grandmother) lives 2 houses away from me & my daughter has jumped between staying at the 2 houses for about 3 1/2 years now. She is ADHD & has been on medicine for quite a few years but for the last year she has been on Adderall XR & complains that it makes her sick so instead of her taking the required dose of (2) 25mg capsules in the am sometimes she only takes 1, sometimes 2 & none on the weekends. She just started taking a new drug as of this morning called Vyvanse & it is a (1) 50mg capsule.

My Out-of-Control Teen


Runaway Son

My son is now 19yrs old and we have had on going relationship problems with him since the the past 3/4 yrs. He does not like to communicate and sends both his father and I ''too hell'' to put it mildly any time we want to set rules or ask him to do something. Well yesterday,, the worst thing happened. He went out at 11am , when I asked where he was going his answer ' I dont know", just out. I mentioned lunch would be ready around 1pm. My husband is not always home on sundays, as he works as a cook, and when he is we like all the family to be present. He said he was not coming home for lunch, and when we tried call him all day, he did not answer his phone, He came home at 1030pm and when his father confronted him, it did not go well, because as usual we can never have a 2 way reasonable conversation. He will never answer or say what his problem is , he just gets upset and tells us off. So his father lost it, last night and asked him to pack his bags and leave. AND HE DID. We are not happy with this, we love our son and don't know how to deal with this .

My husband went out looking for him last night, could not find him and he is not answering his phone, When he walked out the door , I tried to stop him and told him we care about him. I asked where he was going and he said he would figure something out. I finally found his best friend's telephone nbr and I would like to call to see if he is there.

My Out-of-Control Teen


ADHD, ODD and Conduct Disorder

Hi my name is Elizabeth I am a single mother of 2 children my son Jayden has ADHD, ODD and recently after having to leave my home because of safety issues has been diagnosed with Conduct disorder so I am doing research on the illness to better understand...

He was diagnosed at 3 with ADHD and put on Ridilian I did like what it was doing to him so I worked with my doctor and he started Concerta it seems to be better,Jayden stared having problems in school and daycare I had to pull him out of JK for the year because he kept getting suspended.

I was so used of Jaydens behaviour I was suprised when people stopped asking me to do things friends didnt want to hang out I had a' bad kid 'and amazing enough my daughter Jain is completely humble she is quiet,and gentle and kind Jayden is kind to and I love him more than life but I just dont understand what I can do.

I got a call today when I got to work Kevin is the intensive care worker from Family and children services who is helping me, said Jayden is so out of control we have to think about a treatment center and he will live there.

I live in a remote location in North western ontario so we are no sure where he will be going, The hardest thing I have ever done in my life was calling Family and children services and saying you have to take my son Iam scared he is going to hurt me and my daughter and he is so young he is only 6 years old. I thought the hard part was over and its only just begun I am scared.

My Out-of-Control Child


She is currently having anger management counselling by 3 different counsellors!

I live in Suffolk, UK and my adoptive daughter is 15.5 years old and currently is not living with us due to a major upset. I managed to answer yes to all your question “about do they” and have tried all the strategies which have had little or no effect. She is currently having anger management counselling by 3 different counsellors!

She has been staying with a school friend for the last month as she had become so rude and abusive to me that I told her she would have to behave or go elsewhere so she choose to go elsewhere. She has told me that that is who she is and that she is not going to behave so I had better get used it.

I have Social Services involved and they suggested we meet for a coffee on Saturday which was very difficult. I have told her she can come home if she follows are basic house rules but she refused.

I had phone call from her last night at 10.30 asking if she could see me today after I finish work. This morning I received a text message from the lady where she is staying to advise that Sophie had fallen out with her friends and had had a fight and had been hit by her own daughter. This has resulted in them saying she can’t now stay there.

I guess she wants to see me to ask if she can come home but I want her to come home for the right reasons, I am not prepared to have abuse me, steal from us and generally take over again.

My Out-of-Control Teen

He seems hung up in life...

I don’t know if my son has a behavioural problem that may develop into a serious issue or ‘just a phase’

Lewis is 13 and was very quiet, but awkward from the age of 7.

His attention span was, and still is, nil and he gave up football even though he was good, because the coach was an arsehole, (So he said!)

I was involved in the junior footy club, (but not as a coach) and used to go to all his games. Lewis had a problem with discipline (NB his peers and coaches, could not suggest a better way without Lewis just giving backchat and then sulking

He has no friends (Except at school, NB he has never ‘played out’ or had friends around) and stays at home on the PC and watching TV.

He is very bright and gets A’s mostly at school.

After his 13th Birthday, he showed signs of ‘coming out of his shell’ and has been good company when he is in ‘the mood!’ NB occasionally he is really grown up and is a nice guy, but most of the time he isn’t.

I have just taken him away on a ‘boys’ weekend with guys of various ages, and he really embarrassed me, as he was cheeky to me and the others, was disrespectful, big headed and did not seem to feel self-conscious of this himself, even though the others where hinting to him what they thought, both seriously and in a joking manor.

When I ask him not to act like this, he just doesn’t get it.

The type of things he says are, commenting on people in terms of there appearance (Fat, Bold, scruffy, ugly, spotty, you name it!) – (Engaging mouth before brain, in general!) – For example I was showing a photograph of a party of friends, one of whom was with us, and Lewis says, who’s that Fat bitch next to you Harry? – and its Harry’s Mum!)

I cannot stop seem to stop him being ‘big headed’ and obnoxious.

What I worry about is that he will have no friends and alienate everyone, and end up being sad and lonely.

His Mum and I are separated, and we have new relationships, we broke up 3 years ago. As far as I am aware this was an amicable matter and Lewis and his Sister (Amy, 19) was not over affected by the break up. Amy looked after Lewis like a Mum and he treats her with contempt.

He seems hung up in life, but this hasn’t only happened lately. (NB in the teen years, its just got worse in the last couple of years)

I always tried to work out what his ‘hot button’ was in life (NB football, cars, bikes etc etc) but nothing ever seemed to interest him, so we didn’t have that Father / son relationship that, the perfect family seem to have!

My Out-of-Control Teen


Stepson Resents Stepfather

Hello Mark

My husband and I have been using your programme for a few months now and we have seen some improvements but with lapses that have included two suspensions from school.

At the moment my husband and I get along really, really well with each other (as usual) but our son, K___ is barely on speaking terms with us.

We'd seen that he wrote to a friend of his that he hates my husband and I am my husband's slave. We're particularly unhappy with this because a few weeks ago K___ was attacked by a group of young men and kicked repeatedly about the head. He lost consciousness and could have been killed. K___ was not at all to blame for what had happened to him - the perpetrators had gatecrashed a party K___ had had our permission to attend, and had just decided to pick on him. We protected him by taking him to the hospital and supporting him whilst he made police reports, etc about this attack. For him to reward our loyalty with this lack of respect is very hurtful.

I find his behaviour embarrassing too because it reflects poorly on me as a mother.

My husband is the one who cooks mainly in house and we've pointed out to K___ that he won't want to eat from someone who he hates - so now he is living off of egg sandwiches and other fried rubbish - that will soon run out and we're not replacing it with convenience food.

I actually would like for K___ to move out and leave us alone. The only problems we have in the house are surrounding him and his stupid teenage angst. He is rude, disrespectful and frankly, very stupid. He repeats the same negative behaviour whilst thinking that he will get a different outcome. He is draining me and I'm sick of him.

I don't think the local authorities will take him and his biological father won't take him because he simply can't afford to look after K___, his wife, and his three other children.

K___ will be 15 years old next Saturday. I preferred him when he was a toddler.

Any advice you can give would be most welcome.

I look forward to your response.




Hi X.,

Sounds like the problem is typical “step-father resentment.” So maybe I should direct this email to your husband:

You are more of a mentor than a father. You are an adult male in your stepson’s life, much like an uncle, a scout leader or a teacher, but you live under the same roof and sleep with his mother. Being one family unit will require careful planning with your wife. Set rules and boundaries together, but try to disrupt the family karma as little as possible. Decisions about finances need to be made with your partner as well, and not in a vacuum.

One of the major roads to failure as a stepfather is to take on the role of disciplinarian. The teenager tends to resent this new guy with new rules who comes in to disrupt his family. Successful stepfathers and family relations experts suggest that mom should continue her role as the dispenser of discipline when required to maintain some consistency with the children. Your job as stepfather is to support her role, to make sure she is treated with respect, and to show solidarity. If you disagree with something, discuss it in private and reach a common understanding with your wife so as not to undermine her role.

Don't take rebellion personally. The teenage years are the transition time from dependence as a child to independence as an adult. Rebellion in some form is to be expected from all teens, even in intact families. So don't get offended when your stepson is rebellious; take it in stride and focus on the behavior exhibited. It is less likely to be focused at you than it is to be focused on their changing world.

Having come through a time in your stepson’s life when someone "rejected" him (i.e., his bio-father), he has a tough time coming to trust again. Be patient with him and keep on keeping on as you try to show love and build a new relationship. If you are consistent, stay within your role, and show that you care about and love him and his mom, the barriers will eventually come down and a positive relationship will become the pattern.

All the above is easier said than done, but very possible none-the-less.


Online Parent Support

Mother's Rant

Its about 4 am Sunday, imp still up! Im so confused and concerned about my daughter’s relationship and mine. She is 16, a cheerleader at her school and into drinking with her friends. The more I monitor her the more she says I hurt her trust in me... she has expressed to me how that she wants a close rel' w/ me but that I use the info she shares w/me about her personal life against her. How I see it, for ex. She tells me she wants to go to parties and alcohol is present...I then say you cant go. Also she shared with me that she likes a guy who has been her good friend for a while, that now they are more than just friends im putting limits on when and where they hang out. She is crying out very emotionally stating she can’t trust me w/ personal info. Distorting me putting limits down because of what she tells me into "using her shared info. against her"..(im probably just not sly enough!)

Drinking is another on her friends myspace of her holding a beer and a shot? And she wants me to trust her????? twisting it around saying that she can’t trust me? This weekend was home coming game and dance. I stayed home from work just to be available because of the likelihood she will try to go to a party. When i gave her time limits and told her she had to come home after no more than 2 hrs (which is totally lenient) of socializing at a supervised-no alcohol party- she argued and argued, cried her makeup off and still contends that i ruined her whole night! I need to learn how to parent...I know its not bad to monitor (she knows im not afraid to talk to other parents) and set limits but maybe my harshness and insecurities are driving a wedge. This existence is truly horrible - our relationship feels so distorted and divided. I work nights and double mandatory shifts as a correctional officer and it’s taking its toll on us. How can I parent a beautiful gregarious, yet argumentative and spoiled teen more constructively? (We are Christian incidentally, but apparently very weak)…

My Out-of-Control Teen



My name is Jacqueline Massengale, and I have a 29 yr. old son. Where do I begin? Ok, here's my problem. His name is Hans' and he is going to school and he has his C.D.L.'s. Hans' lives with me & my husband, and we have 2 teenage girls. When we fuss at the girls he interfers. Especially, the youngest one. I ask Renea to do something and Hans' does it for her. Renea is 13 in a half. She will be 14 in December. Lynn is 15 yrs. old. Lynn does everything I ask her to do + more. Renea hardly does anything in the house. For instance, I told Renea, she was going to clean the bathroom, "Why do I have to do it?" She also likes to listen to Hans' cell phone, but it's rap music. We do not allow rap music in our home. We are Christians and don't approve of it , unless it's christian rap. When things need to be done in the house Renea will disappear to her room or she's playing on the x-box. Now, to let you know, my husband & I have problems with our bodies. Where the girls can do it better because they're able to bend over and clean the tub, pick up things out of the floor, etc. They DON'T do laundry. We have to fuss at them to do that. Here's something, when they take off their socks, I ask them to pen them, so they will be mated. They won't even do that. Lynn says she hates mating socks. Now the problem with Lynn. Jimmy has full custody of his kids. Their mother is supposed to have visitation. But, she is in Las Vegas, Nevada,and is trying to get custody of both of the girls, so they can be babysitters. But Jimmy has full custody and Tonya (mom) told them, that when they turn 14 they can come live with her. Not a good idea. Their divorce papers say that she will have visitation in Jimmy's presents agreeable between the parties. Including phone calls. Well, Lynn has been contacting her mother without us knowing about it. Lynn was going to run away to her mother and Lynn was hoping that her mother was going to come in on mother's day and when she did, Lynn was going home with her. We put a stop to it, quick. Now, Lynn gives attitude about everything, most of the time. They're ok when they don't talk to their mother, but when they do, we have problems out of them.

Sorry that this is so long, but that's the only way you could understand where I'm coming from. I'm the step-mother and I've had them since they were 5-6 yrs.old. For 9 yrs. We have ended up in court for some reason or another. Jimmy is pushing child-support now. Before , he had let it go. Now if she comes to Ga. she will be locked-up for back child-support. She hasn't paid in 7-8 yrs? Lynn has also been going to the women in our Church for help to contact her mother and our neighbor. It was a bad divorce. My kids hold my past over my head. I keep telling them that I can't change the past, But, I can change the future. Now, none of my kids like me too much. I have grandchildern and Crystle won't let me see them, because of what I said to her. I'M AT MY WITS END. I'm supposed to take medication for my menapause, but I don't. It's also for my nerves.

My Out-of-Control Children

Son is severely over-indulged...

I want to raise my children to have them go out in the world with confidence and my husband wants to control everything they do.

My husband is angry at his immediate family and has decided that instead of dealing with the feelings, will stay away and have nothing to do with his siblings. They are mean spirited and I can see that he feels powerless and vulnerable, therefore he has written them off. My son is a great kid. He is a good person and well liked but has always been very difficult.

After reading the quiz questions, I can see that he is severely over-indulged. My husband is a micro-manager (above us all) and we (mostly my son and myself) have spent years trying to live with my husband.(therapy etc..). My daughter (11) has taken on the role of peacemaker and that concerns me as well.

The worst thing my son has ever done is cut a class (admittedly) yesterday, with the excuse that he had not done the work and would have failed a presentation that he had not prepared for. (He lies about having done his work). I have been told to "always believe him when asked about his work" by a therapist who I do respect. (In this case, we differ in opinion). He believes that if you don't trust the child, it will create an untrustworthy person). I'm not sure what to make of this and feel confused. My fear is that once this sense of entitlement personality has developed, is it too late to change?

My husband is in too much pain to let my son fail, and I have seen and tried to fight this for my whole marriage. I believe that my husband needs to go to therapy and try to see what his "well meaning" parenting is creating. He was raised by a holocost surviver (child) and a father who is in total denial (He'll see what he wants only). I'm not sure if I want to continue this marriage because no matter how much I do to try to create a self-sufficient child, I get undermined by my husband. I'm scared.

Online Parent Support

He doesn't seem to care about his grades...

No matter what I do he doesn't seem to care about his grades. I try the consequences and rewards and he just doesn't put much effort in. His grades aren't horrible but they could easily be better. He is just lazy and doesn't care. So I tried discussing it with him last night to see if he had any suggestions on what might help him. He wouldn't say much. I am wondering if he doesn't care because I care too much? I think he figures no matter what he's not getting A's and I'm going to be mad so why try. I am ready to give him the full responsibility, as it's his future and make him own it. Then maybe he will feel like he has an investment. Does that make sense? I'm not completely stepping out, I'll still be there if he needs me and I'll definitely give him praise but he has to do the work and bear the burden. I'm just afraid that he won't care enough and things could get worse.

I was trying to come to a compromise and he wouldn't offer any suggestions. He's always "afraid" I'm going to get mad at him if he says something. I tried many times to reassure him last night that I wouldn't and I really wanted his opinions but he wouldn't speak. I am aware that comes from many years of me losing my temper and yelling but I am not doing that anymore. I haven't yelled all week and feel good about it. I know it's going to take a long time.

I feel like there are so many issues and problems to address that have been around for years and are going to be hard to handle.

My Out-of-Control Teen


Bipolar Son

I was on the webite, as our 21 yr. old son was diagnosed with Bi-polar 3 months ago after a jetski accident, when that sent him into a huge manic episode. It was all extremely devastating and occured about 4 days after the accident, which actually landed him in the hospital for 7 days for severe manic episode. He did hit his head pretty hard in the accident and we thought it was a frontal head injury. I'm actually still not convinced that isn't the case.

This is very new to us, but now in hindsight we do see where he probably was bi-polar and just didn't know it. He does exhibit almost all of the characteristics you describe on your webpage. He is no longer in college, was playing college football and threw it all away fro marijuana use and is now living at home. My husband and I are so afraid that since he is not taking his medication, but seems to be doing pretty well, until you make him mad, that he will end up in jail or worse yet, dead, from his behavior.This has been so hard, not only watching your son make such destructive choices, but also not sure of our role and just how much longer we should enable him, as he is still making bad chioces.

My Out-of-Control Bipolar Teen


I am considering relinquishing my parental rights...

I am the father of a 15-yo girl. We've been having huge problems and it's actually at the point where I am considering relinquishing my parental rights because I can't seem to have any peace in my life when I try to deal with her.

Her mother and I were never married, and separated when my child was two years old. From the very beginning, I willingly took on the roles of father, teacher, nurturer and provider. I took a lot of crap from the family of my child's mother because I was presumed to be "uppity", and that family actually contributed to the breakup.

I dealt with being the weekend dad for ten years. Over that time, I can't remember being aware of much follow-through on my ex's part to help our child grow into a responsible, conscientious person. Her mother would issue discipline and set boundaries in words, but in little action; discussing it with her was moot. It didn't help at all that they also lived with the grandmother, further diluting the idea of just which adult (if at all) was in charge.

My child, by her choice, moved in with me at twelve, just before I remarried. During that short marriage, she stole, she lied about everything, she caused MUCH upset in my home, and very often, attempted to get my stepdaughter in trouble. She didn't respect my wife, and I didn't get much better treatment. Any time my wife and I tried to set boundaries in our home as to what was acceptable and what was not, my child made it apparent that she wasn't going to play by the rules. She was a contributing factor to my divorce.

It's been just over a year since I separated from my wife. I moved to a great neighborhood, with a good school. In the first two months, my child ran my phone bill up an extra $600 (even after stern warnings); I have a camera in my living room to monitor who's in my house (but she insisted on pointing it away from the room as soon as I'd leave the house); I have a rule of no one in my home that she'd break repeatedly; I've had to install two way locks on the bedroom doors to keep her from taking stuff out of my room and to keep her from sneaking boys in the back window. She's been on punishments for up to four months at a time, and it is meaningless.

The mother of my child has told her again and again to stop breaking the rules of my house, and that as her father, I've presented her with a great opportunity to improve her life vs the environment her mom had her in...and it's been useless.

Finally, when my daughter stole the key to her room off my keychain, and the police wouldn't arrest her (even after admitting that it appeared a crime had taken place), I lost it and spanked her good when I got home.

NOW the whole county seems to be involved. I've been to dependency court, and may be looking at jail time, for spanking her. I've tried to stay off the "deadbeat black fathers" list my whole life, but it seems useless to try to continue to help a kid that doesn't want to be helped. The police won't help me NOT be a victim to her messes. If she returns to her mother's, her mother can't keep her away from gangs, drugs, or a teenage pregnancy (I don't think she's active, but we're getting really close)

My child has no consideration at all for anyone; instead of "give-and-take", it's all "take". And despite anything I do to set limits, I think her mother will always be the "pushover" parent, and that effectively negates any work that I do. The county now has our child in custody pending a next hearing, but I don't want her back in my home if it's gonna be the same hell for me again. The courts have her pegged as the "victim", so I don't see a judge helping me much at all to get her to see how damaging her behavior has been.

My Out-of-Control Teen


My child is so strong willed that he will continue on a rampage for hour upon hour upon hour...

My son is almost 17 and has been out of control for years but has recently escalated his behaviors. I am going through a divorce and he moved in with me after his father hit him. His father has enforced into him a disrespect for women and it is mainly directed at me.

He cusses me out, calls me a fat ass whore, etc... His friends and him are well on their way to getting me evicted over their behavior, which isn't of itself all that bad, but it against the rules where I live (going out onto the roof; hanging out in the parking lots)

His most recent thing is his car broke down (I bought it and pay insurance) and now he thinks he has a right to take my car and tell me I need to walk to work. He has an attitude of entitlement that is beyond anything I have ever seen. His father does to, but manages it appropriately. He also got an arrest for Marijuana and has been drinking and refuses all attempts at reason or discipline.

I suppose whatever is in your materials may help him - but I think the key is can I do it? After 2 hours of him yelling at me, belittling me, cussing at me I get such a headache that I am sometimes forced to give in to get some relief. Usually I don't give in so much as negotiate concessions, but this too is prolly wrong.

He's on a path of self destruction and seems to think his "full grown ass man" self can do as he pleases wherever he pleases.

How easy is it for a weak willed parent to regain control. And I'm not normally weak willed, but my child is so strong willed that he will continue on a rampage for hour upon hour upon hour. Calling me horrid names, talking to me like I'm a child, demanding things and money and privileges and if he doesn't get permission for something he does it anyway. His father is absolutely no help what so ever and I am wondering if it is time to commit him to a boot camp (lest I could afford it)

My Out-of-Control Teen

Strong willed son...

I have a very strong willed son who is 16. He has always struggled in school, but this year he is not even trying. I have tried to talk to him about this and he says that it is the teachers, that he does not like any of them. He says the work is to hard and he is not interested in anything the teachers have to say. He says that he will be 18 before his senior year ends and that he is done with school then. He says he would do better if I would let him be home schooled - this is not an option.

My Out-of-Control Teen

She does exhibit some behaviors that mirror ODD...

Re: My 7 year old daughter. She has not been diagnosed for ODD but she has been diagnosed with speech language impairment, ADHD and sensory integration disorder. She is struggling in her academics and she does exhibit some behaviors that mirror ODD. I have tried many different strategies with her. She has been saying curse words for the past 3 years. When she becomes frustrated, she will say many obscenities and call me stupid. She hits her sister and she will hit at me. I really want to help my daughter and my family.

My Out-of-Control Child

He just keeps pushing and pushing...

I seriously need some help. My 13 and 19 yr/o son's are driving me crazy. I almost want to pack my stuff an leave. Totally disrespectful to me, questions everything I tell him or ask him to do, I want to do your course right now and don't have the extra money right now. What can I do any suggestions. I have tried prayer. I know the lord can handle all things big and small. I knew your site said there would be some immediate results that's what I would like to see. His principle called me the other day and wants me to consider putting him in an alternative school. that is the last thing I want to do. If I could just break him down and let him know I am the mom and I am in control he might would be okay. He just keeps pushing and pushing.

My Out-of-Control Teen

Kate has all the symptoms of ODD...

I have an eight (8) year old little girl named Kate who has all the symptoms of ODD - On doing some searching on the internet I have come across your website.

We live In Geelong, Victoria, Australia and we feel that she seems to be getting worse. She is never happy and we are at our wits end as to how to parent her - am feeling at the moment like I really don't even like her due to the disrespect that she shows us. I have in the past read 123 Magic and this at times does work with the counting 123 to get her to stop the badgering etc....

My Out-of-Control Child

I would like to just "kick him out "...

I am beginning to think he has antisocial personality except for the fact that he seems to have a large group of friends some of whom he has known for years - they seem average enough teens (he is nineteen now) , and every now and then he has what I call break-through 'nice' moments.

At nineteen he has made a lot of bad decisions since leaving school - esp with money - but it is more the lying (just about anything you care to mention), manipulation (I'm quite aware of this behaviour) and stealing (money - if left lying around - always vigilant about this now)and bully boy abusive behaviour at home when challenged or requested to do something. In fact he almost mocks me when I challenge him about his behaviour and then becomes accusatory towards me.....along with this he has burnt some pretty big bridges for himself - some of which he recognises and regrets.

He pays no board and takes no responsibility for pretty much anything around the house - its just him and me with older sis at UNI. I am terrified to leave the dog for 5 days on a brief holiday (one of few as I have been a single Mum, mortgage etc...) in case he does not look after him - have asked a friend and my sister to check in as I don't trust him.

I would like to just "kick him out " which is what everyone else says I should do, But surely there is a better way - he still needs to right some wrongs, pay his debts and live a bit less of a chaotic existence.

I do not believe he is taking drugs and he denies this emphatically, but sometimes I wonder especially the night he accused me of being an alcoholic and "probably" a "drug-addict"- I rarely drink and never ever have I taken drugs......I have no idea where this came from and was totally shocked when he said it -

I don't believe there is much in my neighbourhood for this age group as it requires him to attend - forget about that - but I am still his Mum and wonder if I can do something to modify this and get on track a bit. What I'm doing now just ain't working! Dad is around and aware and helps when he can but I guess I always come off as though I am the winging mother, you know - "what's he done this time?????"


Boyfriend Problems

In our daughter's desire to spend more time with her 15-year-old boyfriend she will lie to us to make it happen. We are picking the battles on this one and even instituted visitations into our home with him within our boundaries. We've also included him on family outings, allowed them to go to the movies, to school football games, etc. Their public displays of affection are getting to be problem at school and in our home. So much so that she is looking for more time to be with him in areas where "...authority will let us do what we want when we want." As I mentioned in the past, I did put her on birth control when I discovered she was sexually active.

The runaway charge we made over the summer where she was found at his home was postponed and so we haven't even been to court on this charge. The reason I am writing and mentioning this is because a couple of weekends ago she got caught lying in school and then lying to me about the day a tardy detention was to be served so she could spend time with the boyfriend. She got caught on school grounds after hours and I was called to pick her up. I told her that she could not use the computer (house rule is 3 hours a day computer use) for 3 days because of the lying. I also explained to her that when you lie people will not trust you.

When we got into the house she immediately got on the computer so she could IM her boyfriend. I reminded her of our discussion and the consequence and told her to shut down the computer. She told me that I could shut the f*** up now and then went at me physically. She tore my shirt and left bruises on my chest. I told her to stop, trying to remain poker faced but visibly shaken, not hitting her back but pushing her off of me and screamed I would file a charge of domestic battery if she did not quit right now. My husband woke up as he works nights and told her to go to her room. He had me sit down to calm down.

We then found that she had taken her older brother's laptop into her room and contacted the boyfriend to come and get her. My husband called off of work and told me to get out of the house for a little while. The boyfriend came over with 2 other friends of his and asked to see her. My husband said with his poker face that this was not a good time. The boyfriend was at a loss as to what to do as he did not expect my husband to be home at that time. He left but asked him to tell her he was there.

The next day when everyone was calm we sat down with her and told her that violence and disrespect would not be allowed in our home. That if a violent incidence to any member of the family occurred a domestic battery charge would be filed. If she chose to disrespect authority there would be consequences and we would be willing to clarify them depending on the circumstance. We also we believed, etc. (Six Steps).

She then told us that she wanted to be emancipated from us and that she would be sixteen in a few months. Her boyfriend and his mother are going to help her. With my best poker face I said "I hope you find a good lawyer and have some place to live. I don't know a lot about emancipation in Indiana but that it would be a good idea if it was researched first." My husband called a timeout at that time.

Since refuses to do any chores around the house, and continues to just try to get out and see the boyfriend.

My Out-of-Control Daughter

Teen out of control, vandalising, shop lifting, aggressive, etc...

We desperatly need help for a teenager 16 who is out of control, he is involve in vandalising, shop lifting, aggressive attitude towards parents, bad company of drug addicted people, racist kind of attitude, running away from school all the time (and now expelled from it finally) and what not.
we have tried some councelling and spend money and time, but now its very difficult to take him to the councelors etc.

My Out-of-Control Teen


My son is "bullying"...

My name is Simone Jackson and i live in wale's in the united kingdom i have recently been told my son who is 9 yrs old has ODD and i am at my wits end . And was hoping you may be able to help me as i haven't been told of any where round here.

I have been told and noticed now my son is "bullying" he's younger brother to the point of emotional abuse and im so worried about this , he's father was an abuser and i am scared this may be traits of his dad coming through and i don't know how to deal with this... no matter what we tell him if we tell him no for what ever reason he tells us yea whatever or f off or other abuse that comes out he's mouth... he refers to me as a stupid cow and i need to help him. I need to protect he's younger brother from he's abuse, he's younger brother is 8 and i have a younger one who is 5 and thinks the son (shelton) who has ODD is cool and wants to be like him. Jordan the lad that's being bullied is being investigated for autism and all three have ADHD well shelton more ODD.

My Out-of-Control Child