I realise Ive been an overindulgent parent to my 14 year old son since the separation with his dad 11 years ago. I am a primary school teacher (quite a stressful job) who has been off sick from work for the past 6 months, I'm due back to work next week.I totally agree that it takes enormous amount of supervision and parenting concerns to keep Conall on track! Conall is both physically and verbally abusive to me. He has ODD and ADHD tendencies and has suffered emotional abuse due to the ongoing fractious relationship between myself and his Dad. Dad has an over-anxious and immature personality and Conall has similar personality traits. I've tried allsorts of strategies to try and make a more stable environment for Conall eg. trying to include Dad in my home in parenting Conall and being as nice as I could to both Dad and Conall to improve my son's behaviour. However I burnt myself out both physically and emotionally. Now I know that it was doomed to failure as it was a "superficial relationship" as it was a strained relationship when the 3 of us spent a period of time together. I suppose I was using Dad to discipline Conall as I was not being successful at parenting Conall on my own. Now thanks to your parenting programme I have begun to feel empowered again and more confident in myself as a parent. I am aware that a weaker joint parenting programme is better than one single strong parenting approach, however as I've tried working with Conall's Dad already and he has undermined my parenting and acts more like Conall's friend than a father I feel I've no choice but to go it alone with your parenting programme? I feel if I inform Dad about this on-line programme he will show Conall what I'm doing, with regard to working the "Out of Control Teen" Programme. Therefore do you think it is better to try to focus on the behaviours in my home with this programme and not mention it to his Dad?
At present Conall is refusing to do a three day grounding as a consequence to leaving the home in the evening time without informing me. He knows he needs to get my permission first before going to his friends house or there will be a grounding consequence. We were getting ready to go to Church to a family anniversary service which he knew was important to attend. When he did'nt return home I went alone to the service. He turned up late and sat at the back of the church. I was annoyed as he had got his friend (who is only 14 years old) to drive him to the church which is 4 mins from our neighbourhood on a minor country road. As you mentioned in your e-book "birds of a feather - flock together". When he returned home I discussed the rule violation with him. He intially lied and said he got a taxi to the church. Then he eventually told me that his friend drove him to the church. I issued a one day grounding, the next day, which he refused to do. As it was Easter Sunday that day and we go annually out to a parade, I gave him the second chance of completing his grounding on Monday the following day which he also refused. I warned him if he ignored the one day grounding I would have to issue a three day grounding. I have restricted him from the usual priveledges - T.V. Computer, ipod, mobile phone. He went to his Dad's house the following two days (where he could escape the consequence in my home)! Now today he is leaving my home and going to friends house (same one who took him to church) without my permission. As he has this week off school (Easter Holidays) he doesn't intend doing the grounding until it suits him. I keep my poker face on and inform him each day that he has his 3 day grounding to begin and that he'll be un-grounded in 3 days. I then leave it (become emotionally detached) and carry on the day as usual (with his priveledges restricted). Three days before Easter he went to a Disco, before the grounding consequence was issued. I know there is a disco on tommorrow night which he wants to go to, and he has made excuses to me that he is staying over at his dads house. I believe he is lying and intends going to the disco and staying over at a friends house. At present dad and I are not on speaking terms and Conall knows I won't be communicating with dad about the disco. He hasn't earned the freedom to go to a second disco over the Easter Holidays and I told him he was not allowed to go - as he is only allowed to one disco during the holiday period. Do I issue another 3 day grounding if he ignores my request and goes on to the disco anyway. This would mean he has a six day grounding to do. I don't want him doing what he likes and running to discos when he pleases! without my permission. He has already gone to a disco that he was not allowed to go to a month ago . He did his 3 day grounding as a consequence to ignoring my request - not to go. This week he has refused to do his chores and is pushing my buttons quite alot, but I just use the deal with it later file and don't provide any negative intensity ( which I would have done in the past). I know this is a long e-mail and I thank you for taking the time to read it as I do need your help as Conall is rebelling quite strongly at present and I want to do the right thing to remain on track!
My Out-of-Control Teen