Online Parent Support Chat


Today was the last straw...

Hi Mark,

Have found myself at your website through utter frustration with our almost 15yo son.

We are a family of 5. My husband, myself and three boys aged 17, 14 & 12. Our problem is with Stefan, our 14yo, who can only be described as our "Wild Child"

We started attending "Parenting Information Nights" to try to understand Stef's train of thought after a few incidents of him breaking out of various child proof establishments.

The first at approx 2 was when he was found walking down the middle of a main road in search of me. At this time I was visiting the Child Health Care Nurse with his eight week old brother in the next room. I had locked the outside door to this room and thought that he was secure. Apparently someone opened the adjoining room from the Kindergarten and he just went with the flow, couldn't see me so proceeded out the front door and scaled a six foot cyclone fence to the road. I might add this all happened in a space of around 5 minutes.

The school run nights in 1996, 1997, & 1998 with the "Parenting Expert" that we attended did not have any answers as he chose to move to the next question... I guess we were just trying to understand what drove Stef to do the things he did...

Stef has always done well at school with many teachers being wrapped around his little finger. Most describe him as being independent and with no fear. The few that he butted heads with over his Primary School years tried, in conjunction with us, to enforce consequences of actions.

We have known for many years that you could literally kill this kid with kindness. Unfortunately when he is consistently stealing money from us, and then from his teachers when we removed the temptation at home, you run out of the urge to be kind...

After meetings with the principal of the school after a serious theft incident, we asked them to get the police involved to hopefully scare the crap out of him. A police officer did eventually speak to him but I fear it was more of a "slap on the wrist".

I then joined various parent chat rooms in my quest for some suggestions - most came up with "Don't know what you are going to do with that one!!!"

Stef is now in his 3rd year of High school. We moved him from one school at the end of 3rd term last year as he was the only boy left in his year level from our community and he felt he was being bullied. It was a constant battle for me to get him to go to school each day and eventually we considered that the change to a different school, where he had more friends, would be something that would help.

He continues to do well at school with a B average. Our problem is that he continues to think that any money around the house, being in our wallets or in his brother's room, who now works full-time, is fare game. We have again tried removing the temptations, put locks on his brother's room, taken our wallets into our room at night, etc but one lapse by any of us results in money missing. Stef is given the opportunity to earn money with $15 pocket money paid each week for menial tasks but apparently this is not enough. Numerous part-time job applications around the community have also been ignored. We have tried enforcing consequences of action by grounding him, taking away friends visiting, removed privileges ie TV, Internet, Mobile Phone and have even on occasion stopped him playing football & cricket, the latter being extremely difficult for us as, both of us feel that encouraging children's involvement in sport is important. Stef enjoys playing both football and cricket and has won numerous awards including a premiership medal in football and team champion in cricket for the last two years running.

Today was the last straw...

It was School Carnival at the local primary school. The school Stef has attended for 7 out of the last 9 years and where our whole family has been involved in many fundraising and social activities. There is the opportunity to purchase wrist bands for $15 that allows you unlimited rides on the attractions that are present on the day (normally costing $5 a ride). I purchased a wrist band for our youngest as the last couple of years the older boys haven't been interested. Stef went to the carnival early and found out what colour the wrist bands were. He then went to the local shop and bought a sheet of cardboard the same colour, came home and made a couple. We told him, infront of the friends that were with him, of our disgust at his deceit and dishonesty. We were unable to stop him going back out the door. Whilst we both were attending the carnival for an hour or so, he returned home and made another 20 bands which apparently he sold to other kids. When we found out about this we immediately went back to the school and picked him up. I guess we should have called the police on him then and there....

We have again had discussions with him tonight about how this latest incident has further damaged his reputation (his friend just said "That's Stef!!") We know he knows the difference between right and wrong and tonight we asked him to consider that his actions were no longer just affecting his standing in the community but also ours and that of his brothers. His answer is "I don't know why I do this!!"

I guess I need to know whether you consider that your methods may have some impact. As I said, Stef mostly does well at school, with his teachers singing his praises. We don't need another "expert" telling us to "Praise the Good Behaviour and Ignore the Bad" because we have done that. He excels in everything he does but perhaps his problem is that he is not passionate about anything. At some point in time he is going to have to learn that "consequences of actions" means more than being grounded or losing privileges for a week. I still can't help feeling that he is going to end up in prison....

We have, I'm afraid, lost faith in our ability to get through to him...



My Out-of-Control Teen


My son WILL end up in prison or dead if we do NOTHING!!

Dear Mr Hutten;

I live in Vancouver B.C and am desperate to find something to help my son. I don't know if it's the same in the states, but here in Vancouver there are alot of organizations that will tell you what you can't do, but nothing available to tell us what you can do. You'd think living in a city that houses the most notorious drug street (East Hastings) in the world, produces the most pot in the country if not North America, and has a gang shooting in broad daylight almost on a daily basis now we would have something in effect to deter the youth!!!!

We have been involved with youth workers- who I am sure are effective with some kids, but with ours the in ability to give any meaningful direction has been laughable. We have quickly learned that the over all banter is he needs to learn on his own, maybe it's time for independent living...sorry but none of these are acceptable options for us and quite frankly lazy, thoughtless and very dangerous answers. My son WILL end up in prison or dead if we do NOTHING!! Not a reality I am prepared to live through.

We have been involved with the court system where we were actually hopeful a true meaningful sentence would be put into place- i even told both his lawyer and the crown what I wanted to see happen, which was community service served in the hospital either serving coffee to families in the family room of intensive care- or being the candy striper for a young person who was severely injured do to gang violence or a with a severe brain injury do to drug use- I asked that this be in conjunction with hours spent on East Hastings serving food or working in the aids clinic...I wanted him to be court ordered to attend school and counselling and mandatory pee tests- What they gave him was to report to his probation officer and 20 hours of community service in the community centre......sorry, but where is the diversion??????

He was charged again- this time I begged his probation office to help me execute a real life plan for my son- A true rounded diversion program that covers all aspects of his life- I gave them the program- This time he got what is known as restorative justice-a youth diversion program- I'm thinking woo hoo here will be a forward thinking program that uses non traditional measures to help youth at risk feel better about themselves so they will be less self destructive and hopefully turn a new leaf----sadly I am mistaken----and have lost all faith in our system...he got 100 more community hours, at the same place- and has to have a meeting with the person effected by his crime--perhaps the meeting would help if he did something like took a life- but under the circumstances he won't feel anything deep enough to promote change...he just wont break into her house again....

(these examples are just a small example of what we have come up against in an attempt to save my sons life)

I am so discouraged about this that I am a millisecond away from taking a podium and becoming an activist...

Anyhow..I severely digress.

I appreciate you and am thankful that I think I may have actually found something with some substance.

On a positive note-as I type my son and his dad are sitting at the table in our galley playing yahtzee...have not seen that in years...It's really nice to listen to the laughter and positive interaction, I truly thought we would never see that side again. I will bask in this moment! Oh my goodness, my husband just ignored a call on his cell...Your better than you thought ; )



My Out-of-Control Teen

I have spoiled him and indulged him...

I have a 19 year old son who is currently in jail for several counts of burglary to a vehicle. He will turn 20 years old in May. He was arrested in December and we have left him there for 3 months so that he would hopefully learn his lesson. We will be getting him out of jail in the next week. He will still have some court hearings to finish everything up.

I have spoiled him and indulged him because I am no longer married to his father but my current husband has raised him since he was 3. They butt heads because I have spoiled my son because of guilt. When he gets out we want to keep him on a strict curfew with really only letting him out to go to work. We are afraid that he will go back out and do the same thing. We are desparate and don't want to fight with him everytime he doesn't agree with the rules. Prior to going to jail he was living with a cousin and had no supervision and was able to run the streets and because of this I am afraid that the rules are going to be very difficult to enforce. Please help me.

Thank you,


My Out-of-Control Teen

I have exhausted all recourses...

Dear Mark,

My husband and I have five children between the ages of 19 and 11 years old. They seem to all have inherited a very strong will and the road has not always been easy. It was not easy but always bearable. I am a stay at home Mom that has made my marriage and children my top priority. I thought the fifth child was supposed to be the easiest. This could not be further from the truth. My 11 year old daughter seems to manipulate the entire house. Things were about to get easier. My oldest is off to college and my second son is leaving next year for college. My daughter Katherine is presenting challenges that I don’t seem too able to meet. She is OUT OF CONTROL! When something does not go her way she will kick, jump, scream, hit and say I hate you almost on a daily basis. I have tried everything that I know to help and to get her under control... She will show remorse after the temper tantrums, only to do it again when another situation occurs. I am scared that if she is behaving this way at 11, I can only imagine what she will do when she enters the teen years.

I am praying for guidance and for God to lead me to the information I need to get my life back. This is out of the realm of normal behavior and it has stolen peace from my family. My oldest exhibited some of the same behaviors but never at such a young age. HELP! I have exhausted all recourses.

Thanks, Anastasia

My Out-of-Control Child


I spoiled him to some degree...

Hello Mark,

I purchased your program yesterday (3-24). My ex-wife and I have reached our wits end with our 13 year old son. Our strategies to get him back on the right path of life is not working. I pray that we will learn from you will help.

Our situation:

· My son’s mother and I are on the same page (95% of the time) in working together in helping our son

· I raised our son from age 3 to the beginning of this past school year (7th grade), I spoiled him to some degree (his mother blames me for the way he is now). The last two years I gradually got a little tougher on him (began holding Michael accountable for his actions & when necessary he lost some privileges for short periods of time). At the beginning of 7th grade Michael said I was too tough on him and he was going to live with his mother. I said, ok. We live within 2 miles of each other. As you guessed it….he goes back and forth, at his convenience.

· His mother has a difficult time with Michael, she has lost her job recently, and is having a hard time keeping up with Michael’s behavior issues, failing school grades (he has failed every class this past year & will not go on to the 8th grade), & trying to find a job and paying bills is a lot on mind. We agree that Michael should, at least for the time being, move back with me. He refuses. The tail is definitely wagging the dogs.

· To make matters worse, Michael is insulin resistant & has a fatty liver condition. I enrolled us into a 12 week program at Children’s Hospital last year. We went on a diet, he lost weight, liver enzymes got to be a normal level, and insulin levels were normal. However, it is a losing battle coaching him to eat healthy. He just refuses to eat healthy.

Bottom line, I do not keep anything in my house that is not healthy for him to eat. He can eat right, or don’t eat, either case he loses weight (he weighs 200 lbs). It is likely just another reason that he does not like to be at my home. And yes, there is a sweet treat, or “once a week pizza”.

As stated, I purchased your program, and will study & apply every bit of advice (I feel like, we have to save our son before he ruins his life more). He doesn’t do drugs, or has been in trouble with the police………yet!

My Out-of-Control Teen

We are at wits end...

Hello Mr. Hutten,

My name is Geri Ficklin and I am the proud parent of two adopted children. My husband and I adopted or receive each of our children at 3 days of age. After which, we went through the full legal adoption process. I will not go into all of the detail here, but needless to say, if I am writing you, we are facing a difficult time. Our son is now thirteen and has taken on an entirely new personality. He curses, talks back, will not do his chores, yells, homework...etc. We have tried counseling but found that for the most part, it last as long as your money does. If you don't have deep pockets you are out of luck. Also some of the suggestions being told to "let you child stay in bed if he doesn't want to go to school".....and saying it in front of our son. This was not good.

I have been searching for months for someone or something that would help our son and us, and today after our son would not get up for school again (this is starting to happen every Wednesday now), I started searching again and came across your website. It looks promising and I pray that it will help us, because at this point we are at wits end. We love our child and want the best for him, the problem is that he must want it for him self.

We live in New Jersey and will try the On-line version. I pray that this is God's answer to our prayers.



Online Parent Support


Teens & Masterbating

I'm trying to figure out how not to lose what’s left of my mind from my 13 year old son. Everything your website says is what is happening with him now, except for the trouble with the police (yet). He has no father and I am a single mother, lots of health problems and with today’s economy just trying to stay ahead, it seems to fuel his fire. I apologize for the following content but I am desperate in knowing how to handle it. My son was taking 50 minute showers and costing me a fortune. I walked in on him one morning without him knowing that I was there and looked in the shower. He was masturbating vigorously. OMG! Of course I didn’t let him know I was there for his sake, and mine I guess. Yesterday (it’s now March school break) I dropped off the dog at my mothers and made a surprise visit back home. He didn’t hear me come in nor did he hear me come into his bedroom. I caught him on an internet sex site watching a woman engaged in oral sex, while my son was masturbating. OMG! I am by no means a prude and I think I handled it well. Hell, what do I know. I’ve got holes in my walls from his fist when I took away his computer for 1 day, he’s threatened to do the same with my head. He’s stolen from me, lied, cheated, and is starting to drop in his grades. He has ADD and has kept me from any kind of relationships for the past 12 years (they were scared) and I have aged drastically the past five years alone. Is his masturbation normal. I’ve lost my job because of him, any attempt to better myself with education and now my entire savings was sacrificed to put a down payment on this house and he is destroying it with his anger, resentment, animosity or whatever you want to call it.

Out-of-Control Teen

Out Of Control Daughter

We started dealing with the disrespect from out daughter at the end part of her being 14. we didn't always handle it the way we should have----but soon had learned to ignore some of the things coming out of her mouth and letting her know we weren't going to argue with her. Well she is now almost 17 and we have seen alot of progress. over a year ago she was allowed to go to a friends house on New Years eve----what happened is she decided to leave that place with a boy she didn't really know well and go to a drinking party----she got smashed. I picked her up from the friends house at 5:00am when the parents found out what had happened----we let her go to bed and dealt with it the next day after she was sober. She was not allowed to lay around and sleep the next day she was kept up and busy. We ended up grounding her from activities and phone privelages for the month of January. Now mind you in that months time her grades dropped. I didn't understand as she had nothing else to do. She isn't a real self motivator in doing homework mind you. So after reading some of your ebook I am thinking maybe a month wasn't the thing to do? However she hasn't repeated her wrong doing since. Ok SO----we have seen improvements in her since her 15th year of life. She turned 16 in April of 08 and was told her whole 15th year of life that if she didn't start showing us maturity and responsibility that she would not be allowed behind the wheel of a car and would not be getting her license on her 16th b-day. Well she apparently didn't believe us---her birthday came and went and she didn't get her license. Her drivers ed certificate had expired in July so therefore she would have to drive with an instructor in order to get her license. So in October we decided she had earned trying for her license. the first try she had too many mistakes. 2 weeks later though she did pass it. She now has her license. Ok then about 2 weeks ago her purse was sitting on the love seat before school and it was pretty big----something told me to look in there---so I did. She had gym clothes in there as she refuses to use a book bag---why? I have no idea. Anyway I also seen in there this little tin gift card box----it didn't look familiar at all---it was tapes shut. So I opened it up and in there was 3 cigarettes. Mind you she has been raised that smoking is just gross and states that to us from time to time. I have never smelled smoke on her. So I removed the case from her purse that morning saying nothing to her and the bus was almost to our house. She got home from school that day and we said nothing about it---out of her mouth came the words "they weren't mine" I told her that dad and I are still discussing the situation and we will talk about it with her once we have finished talking about it. She told us someone came up to her in school and asked if she was going to see Amy at all the rest of the day---my daughter said yes---the girl asked if she could give this box to Amy for her. My daughter said ok. She got to her next class and opened it up and saw there was cigs in there. She said she shoved it back into her purse. She didn't see Amy as she thought she would. So then they were brought home in her purse til the next day. Well I intercepted that by checking her purse. We informed her that if something is found in your possession that it will be assumed as yours. She shattered our trust in her her 15th year of life ---and yes we explained to her that once trust is broken it is so hard to gain back. Well we are trying on that front. My kids had been told quite some time ago that if they decided to ever start lying to us and we weren't able to fully trust what they were telling us that there would be nothing off limits to us as far as looking through their things. They were warned----she decided to go ahead and test that I guess. Ok so anyway we sat down with our daughter and I had her write down for us----who was involved in the cig incident, why did she do this, what would she have done had she gotten caught on school grounds or bus with this, and what did she think her consequence should be? Well she thought her consequence should be taking away her phone for a while. Mind you when our kids are home their phones are to be on the counter---as is the parents when they are home. No calls after 9:00pm and there is not texting at this time. We have restrictions on seeing her boyfriend to one time a week-------and a 1/2 hour call at night. She is ticked like no other at that. We just believe in the tightly wound boy-girlfriend relationship in high school. So anywho what we decided for her consequence was no activities other than obligations like church, tumbling class, etc.... and no phone privelages at all for 2 weeks. Now was that wrong to go that length of time? Should everything been taken away? I have seen where you write about grounding and how everything should be removed? Our kids have no tv, computer, etc in their bedrooms. Only a radio. We have only one computer in our house. they don't have free range on that----it is set up with passwords and my daughter used to sneak on it after being told No. So I solved that problem.

My Out-of-Control Daughter


My wife thinks I just have to be nice to her...

I discovered your web page when trying to find help with my step-daughters odd. I have read alot about the symptoms and am convinced this is what she has. She is 22 years old and is an alcoholic. She has not grown out of her behaviors but has gotten worse. She had all the behaviors you catalog and now is also violent.

AS her stepfather I believe I am in no position to disipline her. Her mother cannot seem to bring herself to give her consequenses for her behavior. Her mother just tries to keep the peace and would seem to do anything to avoid upsetting her daughter. She is lieing and manipulating our conversations to her mom. She is trying to break us up and is close to succeeding. She has no respect for anybody in the house.

She will fly into a rage for just calling out her name or knocking on her bedroom door and then convince her mom that it was something that I precipitated. Everything is always someone elses fault. The more I try to reason for consequenses for poor behavior the more resistance I get from her mom and then the mom will find fault with my children (her stepchildren). Everybody who knows our situation tells me to just kick her out. I can't do this, it has to come from her mom, and she won't do it, she would trash her marriage first.

Her mom says she would like to kick all the kids out (my 17 year old as well). He is an A student and graduates this year, but gets frustrated a the different treatment and lack of respect he gets from his stepmom and domineering attitude of his stepsister. This daughter is very inteligent and can have a very sweet demeanor if she wants to. Only she rarely shows it at home and can change in an instant. Very unpredictable mood swings. She is ill equipped for the real world.

I am at a loss as to what to do. She resists any guidance or direction from me. And continually causes fights between me and my spouse. My wife has suggested that they would get along great if I were to move out or that maybe they should move out.

Well I don't think this is the answer and would have a confrontation to kick the daughter out first. Also not the answer. My wife thinks I just have to be nice to her. I am convinced that I can be the most influencial and supportive person in her life.However as things are there is no joy in doing anything for her. I guess what I would like to know is does your program work for young adults, or is there anything specific out there tailored to them. I wish I found you 10 years ago.

My Out-of-Control Daughter


I have been "struggling" with my daughter for the past two years...

I have been "struggling" with my daughter for the past two years (behavioural issues began at age 13, she is now 15). Grounding and removing privileges does not work...she simply takes off and disappears for days, even weeks at a time when I place any type of restriction on her whatsoever.

She failed every class last year in school and I was asked to voluntarily withdraw her from school this year due to excessive skipping. The school felt she should attempt to salvage some school credits by enrolling in "virtual" school. She has been enrolled for the past 3 months and has yet to complete anything...She has no motivation to "do" anything whatsoever with her life. She sleeps all day and stays up all night, disturbing the rest of the household who have to get up in morning...

We have attempted counselling to no avail; and she has been diagnosed with depression - but as she disappears so frequently I am having an extremely difficult time seeing that she takes her medication on a consistent basis.

I am a widow and work fulltime...short of following her around all day everday, and staying up all night to keep an eye on her activities; I am at my wits end as to what to do to motivate her to accomplish anything, or to keep her out of trouble. Her bedroom looks like a landfill of dirty laundry and empty alcohol bottles...she refuses to take pride in or take care of anything. Her "peer" group seem to be as motivated as she is and into all kinds of trouble.

I was away on a business trip this past week: Monday to Friday evening. Her grandmother was taking care of things at home in my absence. I had given my daughter specific instructions as to what I expected while I was gone; one of which was that she was not to have anyone over to the house until I came home. She is excessively abusive to her grandmother when friends are around. The very Monday I left she broke this rule. My mom asked the kids to leave and said she would call the police if they returned. That night, my daughter snuck them in her bedroom window and was sleeping under her bed with her boyfriend. My mom did, in fact, call the police and now has a restraining order against the daughter took off the next day and just returned home a few minutes ago. I don't even know where to begin to deal with it really beginning with assignment #1, humbling myself?

She just walked in as I sit typing this...I asked her to go to her room. To which she replied "why?" I simply said, "You know why and I am not prepared to discuss this with you right now as I have not finished processing everything that has gone on." Her response: "OMG, she didn't tell you what she said - DID SHE?" Referring to my mom...who unfortuantely said something very unwise in the course of their altercation...while attempting to get my daughter to see how she was throwing her life away and where it was heading if she didn't stop...she made the comment "why not just OD now and save everyone the heartache." This is now what my daughter is going to use to justify her actions - which PRECEEDED the comment, I might add.

My Out-of-Control Teen

I am on the verge of a divorce...

I am on the verge of a divorce because of the difference of my parenting skills and my husbands. We have been married for 17 years and our daughter is 16.

She ran away last week, and said she wouldn't come home if her dad was there? What was I suppose to do? My husband left and my daughter is home. My husband felt I should have told her then when your ready come home, but your dad is not going anywhere and I didn't do this.

What punishment should she have received for running away? I didn't whopp her, but he wanted me to. She ran becasue of the previous whoopin. and ran away because she was going to get a whoopin.

Why did she say this, because he diciplined her two days before. Overboard for my taste though. I agree with her he is over kill, but she deserved discipline, but not as harsh.

She was already on punishment and came home late and got a tatoo. What more can you do to punish her? Hit her????? My husband was mad at me because I didn't hit her.

My husband saids Im not on his side, we are definelty not working together. I don't know what to do. I don't agree with his total approach and he doesn't agree with mines. I told him I will meet him half way, but im not going as far as he wants me to which includes hitting.

My Out-of-Control Teen


17 year old daughter explodes anytime she is asked to do anything around the house...

17 year old daughter explodes anytime she is asked to do anything around the house. Lies about where she goes. Will only associate with Hispanic youth. Is a natural blonde with blue eyes, but dyes her hair dark brown and insists on purchasing all ethnic snacks and drinks, her myspace/facbook profile, she lists herself as Hispanic. She uses a online translation to post what she writes in Spanish. She recently got a tattoo from an individual's house. There was not much we could do about it, she was grounded for a week and told not to do it again and if she did, we would report the person who gave her the tattoo. 8 weeks later, she came home, she had been drinking and the same person gave her another tattoo. We have revoked her driving privileges (she drove home after she had been drinking), we took her cell phone and limited her internet use. After one week, I told her she could get her phone back and her internet privileges only after she gives me the name and address of the person that gave her the tattoo. We suspect that that person is illegally in the US. She chose to go without her phone and internet.

She will be 18 July 29th. She insists that on that day she will leave home. She has no discipline with her money, cannot manage her time, set priorities, she doesn't have a job, refuses to do anything around the house without being told, does not pick up after herself, leaves dirty clothes strung out on the floor of both her bedroom and bathroom, even lets the trash over flow in the bathroom and leaves it on the floor for someone else to pick up (actually she and her younger sister do this). She openly in front of both her mom and dad will tell mom that she hates her. She has unprotected sex and says she doesn't know why she does it, she doesn't have a steady boyfriend and she will not bring her friends to our house. She will argue with her younger sister over the smallest of things. Her older sister has cerebral palsy, she just ignores her. She is constantly blaming me (her mother) for everything that goes wrong for her. For her teeth getting crooked, even though she does not wear her retainer, it is my fault for not paying to have her wisdom teeth pulled. She refuses to take the optometrists advice on the proper way to wear contacts and she says it is my fault she has blurred vision, I don't do enough to get her what she needs. (She has glasses, just won't wear them, they are the same RX as her contacts) We have had money problems lately and are trying to recover from dad's hours being cut and mom's wages being reduced. (Fortunately we still have our jobs) She was recently fired from her job for what appeared to be a misunderstanding, but her friend that works with her told me it probably had more to do with her attitude. We attend church regularly as a family, in the past 2 years she refuses to engage with the youth, or participate in the things she says she enjoys like choir, getting her there is one thing, having he pay attention once she is there is another.

My Out-of-Control Daughter


I've been having problems with this child since I've been married to his father...

This past Saturday I told my DH of six years I couldn't live in a house where lying and dishonesty was the norm. I told him I had the right to have rules in place and that they be followed. I told him his 14 year old son does not possess the qualities of an Eagle Scout with his lying and dishonesty. Consequences now, not in the future needed to be handed down. After much thought DH agreed to the some of the above and even stated rules were in place, I don't know what rules he is referring to, since I have written some rules twice and DH wouldn't even consider them and didn't want them POSTED where his son could see them!

I've been having problems with this child since I've been married to his father. I believe most of it is due to the fact stepson is ADD and didn't want me in their life. His father is a high school teacher, married for the first time at age 40, had his one and only child at 42 and his bipolar wife divorced him three years after their wedding date. My DH has physcial custody of his son, but the mother controls just about every aspect of her son's upbringing. There is no consequences for lying, dishonesty, or disrespect. My DH does not support me in the disciplining of his son. When I tried DH gives me excuses for his son "it's his age; it's because he's a boy; leave him alone, he's doing just fine!" In his subtle way he has shown his son I'm no one to be reckoned with and don't listen to her. He may not have intentionally done so, but his son got the message and so doesn't do as I ask.

I have disengaged myself from this child since he will not do as I ask, I go to his father to get him to tell his son to do his chores. Stepson's room is a disaster area. He has been told many times to clean his room up. As a Boy Scout, this child has not learned anything from any of the merit badges he has earned. His behavior has not changed. He has lied to us so many times. I have told him lying is wrong, a Christian Boy Scout is to be honest, truthful and trustworthy. He is also to be clean. Stepson ignores everything I say. He cannot follow my verbal or written direction. He is constantly forgetting to do his chores, his homework assignments, writing down his assignments so his father can view them, turning in papers in a timely manner and so forth. Stepson does not argue or yell. We are thinking since he has four F's in his academic classes, he must be depressed about something. His teachers say he is in another world and wastes lots of time in class.

I know stepson didn't want me in his life or his dad's for that matter. He was tired of being a ping pong ball going back and forward between his parents. There was a lot of yelling and shouting between the two over stepson, but things have been pretty calm for the past two years. I believe and I'm just speculating, stepson's mother has been pushing him to go live with her since he was about 12. She has told him when he's 13 or 14 he can make that decision to move in with her. Since she is bipolar, she is on SSI and doesn't work outside the home. (I work outside the home 1 day a week, I have been home three afternoons when stepson came home, stepson is with mother one afternoon during the week) She claims she has heart disease (she's in her 40's) and now possibly MS which is affecting her speech. I believe stepson is torn between the two and doesn't want to make this decision of moving because of the effect it will have on his dad, but he doesn't want to disappoint his mother either. But I could be way off base here. We are in the process of seeing a Child Pysch who will evaluate stepson and see what medication could be given to help with his ADD (or determine if he is still ADD) and energize him.

I raised two boys in my first marriage and didn't have this kind of trouble with them. I had rules and they knew what they were. They each had chores and did them. They were told what was expected of them and they did it. Each of my sons had a learning disabilty, my youngest also had a speech impediment. But each son knew we didn't accept D's or F's. C or above was acceptable. If they brought home a good report card they were rewarded for it. Stepson always had A's and B's through grade school until 5th grade. Then his handwriting got sloppy and his spelling went south. His father will not reward him for good grades, even now. So I'm at a loss as to what to do with stepson and his father.

My Out-of-Control Teen

He's flunked kindergarden...

This morning i was looking around the webb trying to find something to help my grandson yo behave , its almost inpossible to take him any where , or to do anything with him as he acts up all the time.... He totaly wants to be incharge , meals are a living hell ,hes almost 6 years old and still makes a mess of his clothes , he has more food on his face then and the floor then most babys do...

Hes flunked kindergarden, hes been kicked out of school can not return this year and may not beable to attend classes there even next year ....

He has or does this

yells in class
tears things up
will not do whats asked of him period
its a battle just to get him to pick up his toys
Driving in the car he talks all the time morning to night , you ask him to quiet down he just laughs at you ...

If you say something , He will tell you your wrong and why , he thinks he knows more then anyone else and he lets you know it ALL THE TIME.....

When out in public he really lets go and we have had business owners ask us to leave if we could not get him quiet , or just say cant you control your child what kinda parent are you ...

One day my grandson was asked to do some little thing buy his mother and the words coming out of this 5 years olds mouth (4 letter words ) even made my face red , his father popped his mouth , Told him hes not to talk to his mother that way , yep he told his teacher , the cops got involved , my son was taken to jail , if thats not bad enought the cops told my Grandson that he didnt have to do what his parents tell him to do , and boy he lets us not forget that ....

We have tryed all the things that you talk about like time outs , no TV losing toys etc nothing works CAN your PROGRAM HELP us ...

My sons talking of sending him to a miltary school , all the family members here have had problems in school , we just want the best for Nathen , God can you help us ...

We cant keep babysitters , preschool teacher told us not to bring him back the list goes on and on

Rom McClenahan a tired grandfather

My Out-of-Control Child


I feel like I hate her...

I have a 17 year old daughter who just doesn't care. About anything, nor anyone. The ONLY person she wants anything to do with is her "boyfriend". She will be 18 this year and has already said she is moving out and will never see me again. I do believe this to be true. I am completely at my wits end with her. She is the most disrespectful, non-caring person I have ever met.

Screaming matches and threats is all our relationship is any more. Whenever we are together I get to the point with her that before we separate, I find myself breaking down and screaming at the top of my lungs, cursing at her, and putting her down. Then I feel like crap for doing it.

She absolutely hates me and my husband. And honestly, I am to the point that sometimes I feel like I hate her. She has no friends she hangs around outside of school. She will NOT speak to me now, will not take $$ I leave her for lunch at school. Wants nothing to me with me at all now. And just cannot wait until she's 18 to tell me to go to hell and leave me forever. This has been going on for over a year.

My Out-of-Control Daughter

She is not a girl I approve of...

It has now become apparent to me that he has been moody since he was 12, 13, when he met this girl called “Billy”. He has always told me that she is his best friend. In the last couple of years I have found a couple of love letters he has written to her but obviously never given to her. I think the love was just on his side. Over the last 2 to 3 years thinking back there have been several occasions where he has come home very upset, angry, moody and then when I have asked him to do something or asked where he was he has become angry and we have had a fight. But he would always tell me, I am in a bad mood and I cannot tell you, I have problems. These problems are because of this girl. Another friend (boy) told me that this girl has arguments with him and then he becomes very moody.

I think she may be causing some problems here. I have always thought this in the past.

Before he came back to the house he told me he loved this girl and she loved him too now. I had been in touch with her over the 2 weeks he was living away from the house. She kept me informed of his movements etc etc, so I got to know her a bit.

Last night I could hear him arguing with her on the phone when he was talking to her for almost 2 hours. She just would not let it go. He then said I have to go out and sort it out and he left the house for 1.5 hours late at night and then came back. I asked if everything was ok and he said its ok for now and he went to bed. I told him I am here to listen if he wanted to talk about it but he said no, its personal, I cannot tell you.

If this girl is influencing him and making his life miserable as he is so upset by what she says to him (vulnerable) his home life and his mood if they are the result of her actions, then it is going to be very difficult for me to carry out my assertive parenting technique if he will be more influenced by her and moody. When he is in this state he does not want to listen to me or reason, just needs clarification or re-assurance from her. She is not a girl I approve of but as you say we cannot control them. How do I deal with the situation with this girl always ready to cloud or ruin any good I am hoping to achieve in his behaviour?

My Out-of-Control Teen


Bring in the police?

He fits your profile of a dependent person to a tee.

Last evening he flew off the handle because he was unhappy with his dinner choices. He worked himself into a rage and became quite verbally abusive. I told him if he insulted me again, he'd choose the consequence of losing his phone, and as predicted, he insulted me. He wouldn't hand over the phone, refused punishment, and ultimately broke the casing and molding on my door which was locked to keep him out. To make a long story short, he is now on 3 days of no TV, phone, Computer, and has been told the clock starts when he calms down and stops the abusive behavior. This happened last evening, and as of this morning, the abusive behavior has continued. He refused to go to school, and only went because he was told he'd miss his end of year hockey dinner tonight if he didn't go. After tonight, there is nothing left really to take away.

He will likely continue his abusive behavior tonight, and throughout the punishment. The punishment will be prolonged, because he will be resetting the clock, and the abusive behavior will likely escalate.

He has never been in trouble with the law or in school. The behavioral issues seem limited to the household.

I know in your program you said if necessary, bring in the police. I'm getting near that point but am reluctant to give him a criminal record because of the implications on his future. It is our plan for him to attend college.

Not sure where to go from here and how to get through the next few nights of abuse.

My Out-of-Control Teen


I am a mom of a teenage son......does that sum it for you?

I am a mom of a teenage son......does that sum it for you?

I stumbled across your website as I was searching out new and improved ways of coping or battling my teenage son's rebellion. I was intrigued when I found out you were here in the Indiana area and also work out of a juvenile facility. My background started as a police officer, to probation, parole, and now working in a school with troubled kids. I never thought I would be that mom of a teenager I deal with on a daily basis!!!

Although my son has never been in trouble with the law, it is probably only a matter of time. He is randomly drug tested and having a mother and step fathers as police officers, I don't think he has gained enough courage (or stupidity) to bring alcohol and/or drugs into our home. He hasn't failed any drug testing in sports and/or work, so I'm at least hopeful from that aspect, but not delusional that experimentation has occurred. My son has had issues in dealing with his parents divorce, his mother's remarriage, and his father's now living a homosexual lifestyle, which was a main cause of his parents divorce!!! He wants to be treated like an adult and have all the adult privileges at the age of 16, yet enjoy all the privileges of mom paying for things, so that is where the rebellion begins!!! Not to mention, unacceptable grades at school!!!

Mother of a teenage son and 2- 14 year old daughters, and still somewhat sane!! :)

My Out-of-Control Teen