Hello, I hope this email reaches you and finds you and your family well and in good health.
I started to write this at 5 am my time. My child had been out of the house since 3 am with one of her girl friends. I suspect that at 14 she is dealing drugs and sexually active.
She also smokes (out there) and avoids hygiene.
I did buy and get your online book. I went about 1/2 way through and stopped because it seemed to me that I'd need a kid that listened (ever) to even start with this.
I'm now a single mother. About 2 years back my daughter was harassed and physically attacked by the school drug dealer in her primary school (meaning in grade 8). She thought she was defending herself by taking a multi-tool to school (type that includes a pull out blade, bottle opener etc.), that this would scare him off if she was cornered. She was cornered not far outside the school and showed this item when she thought it was going to be several boys against her. 2 were there and more being summoned by cell phone.
Short of it is that although the school had on record that she'd been kicked and knocked down and more....by this other student, (witnessed by kids and an adult) she was expelled permanently from this school and for 40 days from any school. The boy was given a one day "at school" suspension. His family has money and even though the students down to grade 5 know he is the main drug pusher there, he had some amazing power with the teachers and administration.
My mother is deceased but each day through this crisis I could feel her at my back pinging me not to let this matter go. In this country and city it is a real issue that females feel very subject to the violence and harassment of other male students and this is Canada (sorry Michael Moore). I mean no disrespect but personally I think this is the state of the world with few exceptions. But to give in, is to teach our daughters to be lower. Before my husband left me (to live with his much younger girlfriend) we had suffered with this very oppositional daughter and part of our parting and heartbreak is that her dad had given up on her early --even to the point of saying to me that he did not care at all about her and saying this to others. We have another older daughter who is caring and loving and mostly compliant. My ex however saw this school crisis as a great opportunity to take control and regain something with the younger daughter plus cease the effort of taking her so far in the mornings to school. (School was half way point between homes and life was 1 week at mom's, 1 week dad's). He would re-locate her to a local school down the block from his home. He told her that he would be liberal with her and how wonderful it would be and she could go home on weekends to mom's (party time on mom). She feared this boy so she begged that I let her dad's plan go through with no opposition to what the school judged and did.
When my daughter collected her glasses with other stuff in her desk, the lenses had been scratched over badly. The school principal promised $200 to replace these to my child's dad. When the little talk on my child's situation was carried out, I let it go without a board hearing but refused to sign off on no further legal action on my part. I caved because my child begged me not to stand up to this. Her father did not look healthy when I saw him – heavy chain smoker (generally see him the least possible) and I felt that it would endanger my job to focus on this. I felt that the children should all have had real consequences but not be discarded as was my daughter. This was spring and she needed the school time to graduate etc. The school saw an easy way to toss a non-compliant, unpleasant, financially struggling child who came from outside the well-to-do neighborhood. Despite 4 calls to talk to the principal after this, no calls were returned and my expenses on the glasses (I had bought out of pocket) were never compensated.
So it lasted about 7 weeks with dad's plan and after running once from him and returning, she ran again to my house on her birthday. She wanted out of his house for a walk and he did not want her out alone because he figured she’d meet up with friends he did not like. She refused to go back.
Her dad offered to take her at Christmas in 2007 to see her Grandmother and after he'd packed the first daughter in the car he turned to her and told her he wasn't running a taxi service and she could take her stuff and go back. Dad set it up just to get revenge on his 13 year old because she no longer bothered to call him ever. She came in and sat and cried for half an hour. So I noted that you write in your book that a weak parenting plan shared by 2 separated parents is better than a strong one by 1 parent. This dad is the same person that I must now prove to the government is not living in my home because it seems he's giving out that idea to booster his credit. We have been apart 8 years now. I am always on guard in dealing with her dad as he is a very manipulative and self centered person. My older daughter has a great bond with him and despite what has been done to me, I "try" to make only positive references in her presence (and miss the mark at times). I love both my daughters deeply but as to their father, he is untrustworthy.
So to close this saga, my youngest survived finishing school near dad's, bussing each day from my house. She got through grade 8 barely. This is a child considered gifted in earlier years. Now high school at mom's has been the nightmare as she goes when she wants and may have "no" credits for her first semester. Results are not in yet. I took extra time in the mornings to push her from bed. I transferred to an office closer to home to get more time with her. She would not sleep at night. After 25 years with a company, when downsizing came, I was first in line. My work knew by my later arrivals, my struggle with 2nd daughter. Of course I worked later hours and gave much - much more time to make up for this but that does not count in our industrialized world where children should all be perfect and the worst crime should be balking at their piano practice. That would be my boss's only child as she has the funds to private school him to the top.
Now I am a mid 50's single woman looking for work with a child who is verbally and sometimes physically abusive. I'm trying for counseling at what looks to be one of the more serious places (the last counseling I set up was skewed by her school expulsion and she stopped going after her dad's girlfriend was nasty with the staff (as child was now at dad's home, I was blocked in attending the counseling I had initiated).
Honestly, verbally, I am no match for my child who should use these skills to make her living. Currently her living is conning her mother. Unfortunately when she returned at 7:20 this a.m. she broke the door handle off as I had barricaded the door to give her a message that free night roaming might have some drawbacks.
There was an awful verbal altercation and she pushed me once trying to move it to a physical fight. We calmed down but the end result is still she packed her back pack and is out there somewhere now. I was not falling to bits over her and this angered her. Of course I said things I should not. I am worn into dust.
I am re-reading your whole book and will eventually pay the price of my guilt to say no and remove computer, other devices etc. should she return. It may result in destructiveness from her but I have to grow up about this or perish. If she is gone much longer, I will call the police so must now prepare for this. This is not what you meant by emailing you but I see that you are a man with religion. If you had the strength to read this, I thank you and am hoping that you have tolerance and will not judge me harshly. Of course should you reply, your thoughts are much appreciated.
My Out-of-Control Teen