Online Parent Support Chat

30.1.09

We put it down to teenage mood swings...

We are at the end of our tether with our 19 year old daughter. She is the oldest of 3 children and has 2 younger brothers. She rules this family and our lives with her mood swings, temper tantrums, constant swearing and hateful glares. She slams doors and is always angry.

SHe has attended boarding school for the last 5 years, we changed schools for her last 2 years which for her was a better move, she was so much happier at a co-ed school rather than the single sex school she first attended. We had problems with her during these years but not unmanageable ones, we put it down to teenage mood swings.

After leaving shcool at the end of 2007 she attended a hospitality course which she didnt like and came back home after one term. She had put on a lot of weight during that term which she was very unhappy with. We have since had 7 months of her at home with us, she has put on more weight, has had very little work as she doesn't want to go anywhere. She has attempted suicide a couple of times, we have taken her to our Gp who prescribed an anti-depressant which she took for 3 months but this made her more tired and even more unable to get the door so she stopped taking them. Her unhappiness in herself I believe is at the root of all of this, she drinks alot when she goes out and has become very reckless and just doesn't seem to care anbout anything. We are at our wits end as to what to do to help her or how we can make her change her ways.

My Out-of-Control Teen

29.1.09

I was thrown in jail over a spanking gone wrong...

We have been struggling with our son's behavior problem for some time now and ended up getting counseling and taking parenting classes. It seems we are offered no help from the juvenile and local police department. I will give you an example of what I am talking about. My wife calls the police because my son is in an outrage, he pulls the coax cable out of the wall because his mother tells him he is grounded from watching TV (he says if I can't watch TV then neither can you), he goes down to the basement and then turns the power off to the house. The police arrive and tell my wife if front of my son "I am sorry mam but I don't have a magic wand, there is nothing I can do". I forgot to mention where I am during the whole episode, I am kicked out of my own home and held away from my wife for 3 and a half months because of an episode with my son where I end up going to jail. My mother in law lets me stay at her house for the 3.5 months because she knows what type of a tyrant her grandson is.

Yes, I was thrown in jail over a spanking gone wrong. He was 14 at the time and his mother came to me sobbing telling me she needed more help with him so I agreed. The next day my son was yelling and cussing at my wife and then went down stairs to play on his x-box, I go downstairs and tell him I am taking his computer out of his room because of the way he has been talking to his mother (he was so enthralled with his x-box that I get no response), I start unplugging the computer and the usb cable he had going to the x-box which was hooked to the TV. Now I get a response, "what the fuck are you doing!!!!!!!!" says my son. I then tell him "Alex what did I just tell you about how you have been talking to people, you are going to get a spanking!". I start to lift him from the futon and he tries to hit me so I instinctively drop him or let go of him and throw my arms up in the air and tell my wife "I can't handle him", he sneaks out of the window and calls the police. My son is extremely intelligent and knows how to manipulate the system. He used lies to get me in trouble: an example of this is him pulling a "golf ball size wad of hair"from his pocket and presenting it to the officer for evidence (my son had very long thin blonde hair which he had pulled out himself to get me in more trouble), he also told the police I have been abusing him since he was about 5 years old. Keep in mind my son is highly intelligent and very convincing, the police take a statement from my wife and they say her story agreed with mine but that they were concerned for the safety of my son. I spent 3 days in lock down and then was not allowed to even have contact with my wife for the next 3.5 months. I say my son is extremely intelligent but have given no examples, I am talking top 2 percent of the nation on his last SAT scores (almost off the charts said the tag teacher), he is a tag (talented and gifted) student and has been since the first grade. I can go on and on with my story, but do not want to bore you with it. I can report however that I am and have been living with my wife and 3 daughters for the past 17 months. The first 12 were under a diversion agreement and our son has been living with my mother in law. She is to the point where she cant handle the stress caused by his behavior anymore. We are at the fork in the road where he may have to come back to live with us again or we may be forced to send him to a treatment facility. We do not want to lean toward the latter, this is why I am writing to you. Your program seems to focus on every aspect of his disrespectful, defiant behavior.

My Out-of-Control Teen

27.1.09

Out-of-Control Students

I'm a teacher in a small private school (7th grade). I have come across your website in looking for a bit of information and a fresh approach to working with a difficult group of young people. I have a class of 12 (5 of which I modify work for). There is a young man in my class who is causing havoc and loving it. He is asking me to expel him both in words and actions. He was doing well through the first part of the year but right before and since coming back from Christmas break, he is pouring it on big time! He has some learning issues, is a middle child in the midst of a nasty divorce. His problems at this point are mostly coming from his need to be in a power play with me continually - refusing to follow any direction given (took a 0 on quiz today rather than do what I asked by taking the quiz) - his attitude is harmful in my classroom and quite frankly I'm tired of giving him so much of my attention, thought and energy. I'm exhausted and angry by the end of each day. I'm really angry about him stealing our time together as a class this year and the fun we could be having. One of my biggest problems is that I have a couple of other students who are followers. Because of severe adhd and other challenges in my class, they are easily swayed, making wrong choices and being very vocal in their attempts to follow all the while thinking they are being cool. I'm having a challenge each day being able to get the work done that we need to and keeping the class on track. This class had a horrible year last year with an inexperienced teacher who told them not to worry about following rules as long as they didn't get caught. They have huge gaps academically and have lost skills that were there two years ago when I taught them.

My Out-of-Control Students

26.1.09

My daughter decided over Christmas to leave school...

My daughter decided over Christmas to leave school. She is 16 and studying for her A levels. She decided instead to go to college in September. Although I am unhappy with her leaving school we discussed it very calmly (much to her relief) and I said that I would support her decision but that she was not going to be allowed to sit around the house entertaining her friends but would be expected to work and contribute financially and practically to maintaining our home together. I said she would have to leave and live elsewhere if not (perhaps with her dad). I gave her a month to find a job. I have not bought her anything or given her any money in order to reinforce this message (other than food), however, she was given money over christmas. She has frequently demanded money and I have said no consistently in the manner you suggest and she is gradually breaking more and more things in the house and throwing things at me, pushing me around and threatening to hit me. She has made virtually no effort to get a job and in the current climate effort is what is needed. Her dad has now offered to find her voluntary work and pay the at or above the minimum wage depending on what sort of voluntary work it is.

I can't make her do anything let alone something as difficult as getting a job. Should I say you can only live here if you are working and contribute and thus risk having to throw her out? Most of her peers are living like this and some have been thrown out of home for this reason.

Also she is a very angry young woman and is not only verbally and physically abusive with me but also with her boyfriend, even to the point of hitting him and giving him a fat lip!. She has at times resorted to self harming and did ask at one point for me to find her a counsellor. It has taken a few weeks to do so and she is backing off the counsellor idea now though I think it would be so helpful. I have had counsellor call and offer her an appointment but she is reluctant to return the call. How can I support her to do this better without resorting to bribes? Any ideas?

I am at the end of my tether and feel like throwing her out now just so that I can have a life and not dread coming home from work and have to put up with the abuse, damage to the house and my things and the threats. I feel I need a break and it is so tempting to kick her out!

My Out-of-Control Teen

25.1.09

I am at my wits end with him...

My son has just turned 14 years of age, Since a very young child i have had serious problems with him. I have been to numerous doctors specialists Mental Health, Counsellors and many other people. He has been on numerous medications that work for a few week's and then he is back to his violent self again. He was diagnosed at 5yrs with Autism. Or rather Pervasive Developmental Disorder I read heavily into ODD disorder to which i am wondering he has as well. He is violent disruptive and very very defiant. I am a single mum and often have to call the police to help me when he is attacking myself and my other children. I have taken him off all his meds as last year i took him back to his paediatrician and basically nothing is working for me so i talked to her and decided to just go cold turkey and see what happens. He has periods of perfect behaviour then he just changes as if someone has flicked a switch and decides to destroy my property smash windows doors and bash me. I am at my wits end with him.

Last year he went to live with his dad for 5 weeks to help me out but unfortunately it didn't work out too well so he has come back to live with me now!

Can you offer any advice to me how i can deal with his violent and non compliant behaviour and yes believe you me i have and i mean have tried everything with him.

My Out-of-Control Teen

20.1.09

She's be coded with a slight learning disability...

We have a 12 year old daughter that I'm at a loss with. She's be coded with a slight learning disability that can't be detected in a general sense. However, she lacks the ability to problem solve effectively. This certainly reflects on home issues as they arise. Though I know it's easy to diagnose someone I also know my daughter and believe that it's perhaps become a 'learned' behavior over time which is a result of us doing everything for her and taking on her responsibilities.

Now, at the age of 12, we're experiencing difficulties with her accepting and taking responsibility for anything she has done. She always has an excuse and is quick to blame. She honestly believes in what she is saying and isn't being devious or creating lies. She's genuine in her beliefs which makes it even more of a challenge. One quick example is this. The school gives out pick stickers when home work isn't completed. We're very good about checking daily if she has homework since she forgets. She doesn't get lots of pink stickers (perhaps 4-5 year). However, she really shouldn't be getting any so that's what we try to aim for with the understanding that no one is perfect. On the last pink sticker I agreed to sign it, which meant she wouldn't have to go to her father, if she would promise me that she wouldn't get further stickers for the year and complete the asignments as asked of her. She agreed. Well, then she got another pick sticker and I wouldn't sign it. Which meant she would have to go to her father and face puniskment (such as being grounded). She them blamed me because I made mer make a promise to not get another sticker....when apparently I knew she would get another one. Though petty, this is what all her problems are like and the way they end.

My Out-of-Control Child

18.1.09

I can't stand my lying, manipulating, tell you what you want to hear son...

I'm to the point where I can't stand my lying, manipulating, tell you what you want to hear son. Oh boy, he's passing in school, we think with D minus's (maybe he'll graduate after all) He's at Sat. school now, for the third time. He drinks, smokes, smokes pot, who knows what else, Oh, but he's a nice guy, and he is. We can't even be happy for him that he passed finals because he had to go out, break curfew, drink, and of course then we have to endure this vicious screaming, breaking things pattern, that has to happen every weekend, oh maybe the pot happens only on days he's out of school early. (We work out of town) (great) He lost his job, hangs out with fellow partiers, and won’t obey rules. Suggestions work for about a week, and then he's right back to his behavior. He's 17 thinking he's 27, and can do whatever he wants. Just like gang mentality, live and smile for today, cry tomorrow.

We have addiction in out family and I'm pretty sure he is now full-blown addicted to alcohol, but in denial. His Dad had to go to another state to work, not good during all this. He went and stayed with him a week in hopes for some progress, good as long as he is not with his fellow partiers. Do I take him out of this environment and put him in another high school, can only be for 3 months, then his dad returns. I'm so done with being angry all the time, they all (teenagers) think I'm the crazy one; I do lose my temper at this drinking thing. He just had a friend die, from the whole party thing the driver didn't call 911, and the passenger died, alcohol was involved, and my son is still going out and partying. He went to the funeral; he's been to a class showing reality of driving and death, nothing phases him. It has to be severe addiction!! I have a 15 yr, and a 12 yr. old right behind him. By the way, I work in educ., use to teach a PATHS program, and my son was diagnosed with ADD along time ago, but we chose not to medicate.

My Out-of-Control Teen

16.1.09

I am so down and desperate...

I need some emergency action to calm it down. In addition to staying out late, stealing money, dogging school, the abuse from my son has spun out of control, there is nothing but explitives that come out of his mouth from first thing in the morning until last thing at night, he is threatening in his behaviour and contacntly bangs and throws things, I have just had a call from my partner who has returned from work to find broken dishes all over the floor where my son has kicked a football and smashed all of the dishes gone out and left them there. Where the dishes were this has to have been deliberate. He is completely out of control.

How can I ask open questions to someone who starts abuse the second I open my mouth, we are 3 million miles away from sitting down and having dinner, I do tell him I love him but I wont begin to tell you his reaction.I have remained consistent, but he will not budge, he just keeps doing what he likes although he is very unhappy that we wnet into his room and took his Sky box and Play Station, I have told him that that was the choice he made when he stayed out late and that he will get it back after 3 days.

Tonight my partner has told me he has had enough and that if I don't do something he will put my son out and never let him back, he is a man of his word I can tell you( he is not my sons father) My sons father is absolutely no support, he lives in another country and never backs me or gives help, I have asked so many times.

I have always said I will never give up but I need to know how to get us past this. If you just say refer back I will scream I have tried I need something which will get him to calm down otherwise something really bad is going to happen, I know he is trying to get me to enter into a fight ( or my partner) and he is just keeping pushing , I have not succumbed and will not. The police have been a complete let down, I have called them 3 times and they have never shown up for one reason or another. I am trying to lead my own life and look after myself but right now I am so down and desperate.

My Out-of-Control Teen

14.1.09

She's acting out sexually...

I'm having serious problems with my 12-year-old daughter. Fortunately or unfortunately she is a very beautiful girl and has been acting out sexually. She is tall (5'11") with naturally blond hair, blue eyes, tanned skin and a developed figure. At 12 she looks like a teen super model. This has resulted in a lot of attention from men in their late teens/early 20s who think she is older. She enjoys the male attention a lot but is too young to date, establish healthy boundaries and understand when she is playing with fire. Earlier this year she had been allowed to attend movies with her friends at the mall but unfortunately her best friend (13) met someone online, and invited him to the movies (he was 17). My daughter allowed him to have "a bit of a pash" and things went too far and she was raped this past August. I discovered what happened by accident and we've since gone to the doctors, police, child protection services etc. I thought that was the end of it. Prior to this entire happening she had been having sexual conversations with boys on the Internet and on a back up family mobile phone. When my husband and I discovered this, the phone was deactivated and all of her computer privileges were taken away. (She had been previously warned not to go into chat rooms post photos of herself on the Internet etc.)

When we discovered what had happened to her we found that she was of course very distressed about the rape, happy that we now knew and eager to seek medical screening. We never blamed her for what happened and have given her as much support as we can. We have been trying to teach her how to avoid getting herself into potentially dangerous situations. We have been trying to give her back her computer privileges on the proviso that she doesn't visit inappropriate sites, have illicit conversations, visit chat rooms etc.

But, last night I discovered that even after being raped she has been having extremely illicit sexual conversations over the computer with a local boy. I confronted her about it asked her WHY she was doing this, explained that she was leading him on, reminded her that she'd been raped and how could she possibly keep doing this sort of thing. I reminded her of the life consequences of unprotected / teen sex. She swore that she has never allowed the boy to touch her - and I believe her but she keeps playing with fire, I can't trust her and don't know what to do to protect her from herself. Any suggestions you have would be very welcome - I love my daughter very much, she is a bright beautiful girl with SO much potential and I just want to see her grow up safe and happy.

PS. We have a stable home life happily married for the last 19 years, upper middle class, both parents professionals and work, children in Christian schools. They have never suffered any form of neglect or abuse.

My Out-of-Control Teen

12.1.09

I don't know how to get back on track..

Things have gone from bad to worse. As my son refused to be grounded he had his play station and sky box confiscated for 3 days which ended Christmas eve. He got them back but continued to be rude and abusive. He refused to get up on Christmas wished no one Happy Cmas and wouldn't open his presents I said I was sorry he felt that way and apart from that showed no other reaction, put them in a pile and told him they were there when he wanted to open them as we were going to my sisters on an overnight they remained there until the next day. When we returned he grabbed the pile and took them up to his room and rushed down and handed me 2 unwrapped books and my partner a toiletry set, he then rushed back up stairs and opened his presents behind closed doors, he has not mentioned anything about them. He refused to come with us that night to my partners mothers for dinner who is very good to my son. We returned from dinner to find around ten of his friends rushing out of the house fortunately there was no mess, he was rushing out with them and we stopped him , he wasn't happy as it was still early but I told him that I was sorry he had gone behind my back and that if he wanted to have his friends over then he should ask and we could work it out within the boundaries of the house and that as a result he was grouned for the rest of the night.

He has continued to be abusive every time I open my mouth, he deliberately stays out after his curfew, he is out all of the time apart from when he is sleeping, on new years eve we had organised to spend it with another couple who have a son of the same age whom he knows well but he disappeared and stayed out until 6am.

He deliberately leaves a mess, does no chores.

I have confiscated his privilidges under the 3 day rule but he sees this as a cat and mouse game of finding them and re-instating them. He is currently running about with his play station in his ruck sack. I didin't want this to become a game with him so I then stopped his pocket money and told him he would get it back when he is ready to follow the rules and start earning it again. He stole money from me and I am making him pay it back by making him take pack lunches instead of dinner money. Unfortunately his father gave him money for Christmas and he is using that so the no pocket money is having no effect. I feel I have failed here as I have 2 punishements going on which I know is against the rules, I have his sky box but not his play station so only half of the three day confiscation and I don't know how to get back on track.

My Out-of-Control Teen

8.1.09

I am desperate...

I have a major problem I have been divorced for 9 years but am currently remarried to a wonderful man, but my 13 1/2 year old teenage boy has suddenly gone out of control. He blatantly tells my current husband that he hates him and that he is nothing let me tell you he tells him is lower than and "shit" he knows, He is also rude to me with ever word he speaks and he acts like he is the adult in the house and we must just comply. He is still in a lot of contact with his father, as I have never denied him or his brother this right.

I don’t no what to do any more, my current husband and I have split up at least 5 times due to this and tonight was the worst ever for me I cant take it any more. He is down right rude and disrespectful to me it feels as if he is in constant competition with my husband for the authority and I don’t no where he gets this from, I have never made him feel as if he is nothing to me on the contrary my children are very spoiled. He has this thing that everything in the house belongs to me and he wont hear any different that my current husband and I share everything. What do I do I am so desperate that I am going insane it is not good on my mental mind. I have made a booking for him to see a clinical psychologist but I see on your web page that you don’t advise this, I am lost and feel alone I don’t no what to do. I am desperate please help me before I go completely insane.

My Out-of-Control Teen

We are at our wits end and are afraid our children are going to destroy our family...

My name is Marcy Whittaker. I was married to my 3 girls father for 14 yrs before he passed away in front of my girls who were 13, 11 and 7 at the time. They are now almost 16, 14 and 10. My husband Michael, who is also a widower has 2 children--boy almost 13 and girl almost 9. Jan. 19th will be our 1st wedding anniversary.

Meghan--15 almost 16--straight A National Honor Society kid. A good kid has become mouthy and disrespectful to all.

Carly 13 almost 14 was born with health issues. She has brain damage and the mentality of only 3-9 yrs old. She also has ADHD. On the A/B honor roll. Lies in bed all the time, when given chores to do never feels good and lies alot.She is on Adderall and seroquel.

Ricky 12 almost 13--ONLY BOY in family. Been diagnosed with ADHD, OCD, Asbergers, and Bipolar. Acts like 3-4 yr old when he does not get his way. Has extreme outbursts of anger over minor things and has gone thru anger mngmnt which just made things worse. He is on concerta, seroquel and mirtrazapine.

Morgan 9 almsot 10 is MY baby. At age of 4 survived what should have been a fatal fall from 2nd story window--head first on cement patio. According to Drs no brain damage. Recently diagnosed with ADHD, ODD, PTSD and Dyslexia. She is our biggest problem, angry all the time, irritates and aggravates Ricky to get him upset, talks back, is lazy and insults everybody. She is also VERY fearless. She is on Adderall and Risperal.

Maggie 8 almost 9--Michael's baby and baby of the family. A straight A student but is starting to talk and act like Ricky and Morgan. Maggie has no diagnosis she is just learning from the older ones.

Michael and I actually had to seperate and my girls and I moved out for 4 mnths to try to gain some control over our children. We know that we have 5 children who have all lost a parent at an early age and then expected to accept a step parent and new siblings.

We were even seeing a family counselor who's suggestion for us was to get a divorce. My husband and I love each other and all 5 kids. Michael works 12 hr shifts for the sheriffs dept as a corrections corporal and can handle 450 inmates but when it comes to our kids we are lost. I am the main caregiver--a stay at home mom who is overwelmed. My house is trashed constantly and I cant keep up with all the kids messes. Trust me, my kids would frustrate even you!!!

Our question for you is with different problems with 5 kids can your program help us with all of them?

We are at our wits end and are afraid our children are going to destroy our family or kill one of us--stress wise.

Please help us because the psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors and even our Pastor have given up on our family.

My Out-of-Control Children

6.1.09

Is it too late?

My son (only child) recently turned 18 and since then announced, he's 18, he can do what he wants. He's a senior in high school. He should graduate with no problem, however he has been offered a baseball scholarship but may not be admitted to the college if he doesn't improve his grade point average. He had many colleges interested due to his baseball ability but the doors closed once they saw his transcripts. He is capapable of B work but rarely puts the effort in. He has told us if we get off his back his grades will go up. We are taking your advice and removing ourselves from that situation...big relief to all of us.

Since he is 18 will we still be able to follow this plan, or is it too late ?

When we started to talk to him saying we made some mistakes etc, he left the room. He interprets everything we try to say as trying to control him. Should we back off from everything for awhile until things cool down. We told him we had some house rules we expect him to respect, and he wouldn't even listen. He was recently hurt by a couple of relationships with girls and friends, he was supposed to be selected captain of the baseball team, but his coach told him he will keep the spot open but didn't give it to him because he was disrespectful and slow getting ready for practices and games toward the end of the season.The pressure started last season when colleges were sending him letters and scouts watching. He is a pitcher and his team was not great...he felt every game was all on him to win. Until last April he was the happiest kid around, around this same time he was hurt by a girl who he had asked to the Prom. People tell us all the time how very polite, respectful, personable, has tons of friends. Teachers tell me he is their favorite student, but yet in some classes he is disruptive and won't sit still...and just like you said diagnosed w/ ADD just this past fall. He was voted "class flirt" and "class clown". I thought it was kids who don't get attention at home that crave it, but apparently I was wrong. Over the past few months he started to hang around with older kids and we suspected drugs, but all our detective work has proven to be purchasing stereo equip for his car. Car was given to him in April by grandfather who could no longer drive. We originally told him he couldn't get his license until he made the honor roll...the vice principal told me that maybe that was a standard he felt he could not achieve and so maybe he was giving up....we let him his license in April (he was 17 1/2), saying that if his grades or behavior slipped we would take it or car away. We threatened but never followed through, trying to be understanding that he was going through tough times. He began lying and not letting us know where he was. Pierced his ears, looks different, acts different. Found cigarettes and cigars, all these new kids do have reputations of smoking pot.

He acted very defiant over the past couple of weeks because he was on school vacation --he said he will get back on track now that he's back to school. What should our next step be ?

I spoke to a therapist a few week s ago and she said he is trying to break away from us to help him be able to leave for college -- natural part of adolescence. Advised not taking the car away and us backing off. Do you agree? He had a part time job on Friday nights and did not go the past 2 Friday nights. We don't know if we should make him get another job or if this is too much. He is starting to work with a private Coach this week each Wed. on his pitching. He is playing basketball in a town league on Tuesday nights. He also started going to the gym yesterday after school, I heard him ask a friend to go with him but the friend wouldn't go. He didn't go to the gym all vacation because the gym he was going to went bankrupt and closed.

My Out-of-Control Teen

5.1.09

I don't quite understand about my son's thinking right now...

These a few days have been very handful for me because it is a mixture
of birthday and consequence.

January 2 was my son's 18th birthday.

As the presents, I gave him my consent to have his writing test to get
his learner's license if he signs a family contract with me and I am
willing to contribute a half of tuition towards his professional
driver course(worth 2 credits of grade 12). I also gave him the
graduation photo collection. The presents are just face value in my
opinion until he works to redeem them. It may have the indulgent
component in it, but I really need to involve in my son's driving
process so that he can learn it properly for his own safety and
others. By age of 19, he can do it without my consent. I also have my
secret plan for the curfew issue hoping he can earn driving practice
time by following the curfew rule. This driving consent is my biggest
gun I could pull now and last. My son has resented me since he was 16
when a teen can start driving. I also gave him a huge dose of
compliments in the birthday card I made for him. He has been very good
in house keeping, personal organization and own chores. I specially
pointed it out his improvement with the drug and alcohol because he
has almost not come home puke, stoned or used at home for a few
months.

On behavior issues I mostly communicate with my son through writing
notes leaving them on our kitchen counter because I was afraid that he
would cut me off when I begin to speak and that I could not express
properly in the new parenting style and also I usually don't see him
because he is not home before I go to bed.

The 3-day consequence grounding in the house

I issued and let my son know the 3-day grounding consequence starting
8 o'clock Jan.2 with no phones and internet. He will be ungrounded 3
days from the time it starts if he stays in the house the entire time.
If he chooses to walk out, the clock will not start until he returns
home. If he chooses to not come home again, I will call the police and
file runaway and missing person against him. In Vancouver Canada the
police does not help me with runaway because he is 18. So I mentioned
missing person to make my son feel uncomfortable if he didn't want to
be searched in his school and his photos were to be posted everywhere.

Day 1 of the 3 days Jan 2

He stayed in the house when I came home from work. I went out shortly
when he was doing his laundry. I returned 9:30 PM and he was not home.
He came back shortly before 10 pm. I saw a note in his room while he
was out. He should know that I could see it easily. "I find it amusing
how you attempt to keep me home. By taking the only tow things I come
home to, call the police I don't care. They will laugh when they find
out I'm not missing. You are just mentally unstable. Thanks for the
pictures I did not want them They are for you when I'm out of here.
You really think I would stay home do nothing for 3 days. Put my birth
certificate somewhere I can get it. I will get my license in 2 years
with or without your help."

Day 2 Jan 3

Slept to 4 pm. I slipped a note into his room needing him to help
shovel snow before dark. 5 minutes later he got up and went out
shoveling. 7 pm he told me he went to pick up his backpack and would
be back. I said nothing because he was telling me while he was leaving
from another room. He did not come back until 4 am. While he was away
I discovered that the house phone cord was missing because the phone
wasn't working. By this point I was unhappy about him. I then write a
new consequence note before going to bed telling him that he chose to
violate the grounding by going out; also the house phone cord was
missing, unless he can convince me, I assume he took it. The 3 day
grounding will re-start when he returns the phone cord.

Day 3 Jan 4

I am here writing to you. My son is sleeping in his room. I am unsure
if he saw the note or not when he came in 4 am. I have to assume that
he did. I found a cord for the phone temporally. This is the first
time he took things away. Good thing I learned it from your training
or I would be clueless about it. Do I ignore this and wait for him to
return it and let it go? Do I tell him that if he chooses to take
things away again, he will choose the consequence, which is that he
can only be in the house when I am in and that means I will change the
lock on the house. Also, if he chooses to be destructive of the house,
I will call the police. The history of going into jail and staying
outside the house may repeat because of his choice.

I am feeling discouraged.

I didn't have a good sleep. When will this end without my son's
cooperation? Starting a minor cell phone misuse and a light1-day
consequence to his refusal of the 3-day discipline and now taking
things away, we are almost losing the focus of original issue and are
battling about the disciplines. I don't understand why he doesn't just
get over this and looks ahead of the better things in front of him.
Surly it is no fun with such a kid living in the house. I try to
manage by telling myself that, I am giving the whole January for
things to get worse before getting better; he is 11 emotionally though
18 physically so it is my responsibility to help things turn around
for him. What is his life going to be like if he lives on his own with
such behavior conditions? You have said that we need never to give up
and that 18 is not too late and it just takes a lot of work. I do not
get very much support from other authorities now because of his age of
18. I am going to try my very best to hang in there until this summer
when he finishes his grade 12.

One credit I must give my son is that he has not used foul language
this whole time in refusing the consequences. I was actually afraid
that he would put back the foul language again in his room. We two are
like playing chess back and forth.

What are my son's thoughts?

I don't quite understand about my son's thinking right now. Does he
want to fight long enough so that I give up the consequences? Is he
not interested in starting the driving preparations? Will I keep the
phones and internet away from him as long as he does not complete the
3-day grounding discipline? Here are the notes he wrote in response to
my earlier discipline notes requesting him leaving his cell phone with
me: "I'm 18, moving out in summer. So you really think I'll begin
listening to rules when I haven't for years? Dream. "You're a phyco.
Too old for rules, too bad."

My Out-of-Control Teen

4.1.09

We ended up sending him away to a boarding school for 5 months...

My son has already pushed us to the point where we ended up sending him away to a boarding school for 5 months over the summer and he returned a better person somewhat. Gradually he has gone back to the way he was before he left, but seems more "street smart" toward us.

We no longer have shouting matches, but I feel as if 95% of every situation that occurs is controlled by him. There is that 5% that he won't push us over the edge but..

He has his own car and drives everywhere to go out and hang out with his friends. His weeknight curfew is 11PM and his weekend curfew is 12midnight (ish according to his rules) He always arrives home just a bit after the time, but will always be out every night unless we specifically forbid it. But that rarely happens because we can't push our luck on whether he will. We know he drinks, and smokes (cigars and pot) but we can't prove the pot and we only smell alcohol on his breath.

All this is based on "If you leave me alone, and let me go out, and don't bug me about my grades, I'll do better in school. His grades right now aren't too bad expcept 1-F, otherwise he has 2-B's, a C and an A in art. Hopefull he will graduate this year? He plans on taking the ASVAB test and joining the Air National Guard, but though we have managed to get him a study guide he barely even looks at it. Says he doesn't need it, he will do fine.

Where he is going or what he will do in his life beyond High school is a good question. We tell ourselves it's only 5 more months and then he will be gone, but I don't believe in this kind of magic? He lives for the moment and his own pleasure right now and my husband and I are at our wit's end. We feel as if he has reached a point where by becoming 18 he feels he is an adult and should be treated as such though he doesn't act like one. Also, he doesn't have a job but not for lack of trying somewhat to get one. (They are kind of scarce around here) He has many priveledges but if we threaten to take any away, he doesn't understand why? We feel as if our son is delusional and feels he is invincible and nothing bad will ever happen to him.

My Out-of-Control Teen

Our problems stem from my son's learning disabilities...

My husband believes that our problems stem from my son's learning disabilities and how the school system is failing him. My son is 14, in the 8th grade and currently has 7-F's, 2-B's on this last grade sheet. He has an IEP, his diagnosis is "slow learner" with cognitive problems. He is having another evaluation done on the 23rd of this month with a psychologist and psychiatrist, for a complete eval. I am also agreeing with my husband that part of our son's behavior is due to his low self worth, self esteem and how other children constantly remind him of how dumb he is. I don't blame any one person or group of people for our situation. As long as "we" place value on knowledge, high achievement, image, and class, and not values, we will see a rise in crime in our country.

I try to always understand where my son is coming from....at times it is hard because of the mind set I must put myself in to understand how he is processing information. I must say it is hard and challenging most of the time, especially now that he is a teenager and he knows much more about avoidance.

We just recently started seeing a counselor. He told Ep, my son, that he is oppositional. I think most teens are if they haven't learned how to "play" or "manipulate" at a higher level. The counselor is about 57 and seems to see things through humor interaction, which I kinda like. Humor is something that has been real difficult for me in the last 14 years. I am looking into taking a class from our local college on "how to laugh again". I can't say that I never laugh, it is just hard to find the humor when your always looking for a fix.

One of the issues I face is with my son being a slow learner, is that his cognitive thinking is starting to deteriorate and his emotional development is in full swing. This last few days he stayed gone with a 19 year old girl. I plan on approaching her on how this is not an appropriate activity for her or him. I hope to not be a person of "control" but an advisor to their well being. How do you think I should deal with this situation?

His slow learner has also put him in jeopardy of having to deal with the law and being expelled from school. I told his counselor that Ep took a BB-gun to school. He did not take it to hurt anyone, just wanted to take it some ones house after school. It is this kind of non-thinking actions that I worry about. I am afraid to tell the school because they have already labeled him a "bad kid" and so all teachers have sent the word out and they all treat him like he is not there. I have a lawyer. The counselor is suggesting I not go that far. It is a place between a rock and a hard spot for me. I know my son is damaged and we pick up the broken pieces here at home. another words his behavior. My husband wants to send him away. I will not see to that. I am strong and wise enough to know we all make bad choices, just hopefully others will forgive us and we can continue to become the person God intended us to be in his image.

I know the system does not acknowledge slow learners, and so they make no allowance for mistakes in the courts. I just need your advice on how to open his cognitive thinking skills, Should I take him to the prisons, court house to hearings, shelters, and anywhere else for exposure....remember I am talking about a 14 year old who took a weapon to school, and had no idea of the consequence.

We live in the country and the police said that is our safest place. We are not letting him get a driving permit due to the fact he will acknowledge that as a license and drive something to town when he is angry with us. It is very hard very hard to know what to do with him. No one seems to care or understand. Parents appear to be the worst. They criticize us, and tell their children they cannot have anything to do with my son. I understand... we all want to be the best parent for our child.

My Out-of-Control Teen

Boot camps are out...

I was online searching for help for my nearly 19 yr old daughter Alanna ... boot camps are out ... found your site ... I've been married to my husband for four years .. we moved from Newfoundland to BC Canada and married him so Alanna was 14 at the time .. left all her friends behind to move to a life she didn't know .. got in with loser boyfriend for 3 years, drinking friends, well you know the routine with teenagers .. my husband accepted her but now says she has 12 days to get out .. he's sick of her lying, ongoing asking girls in without permission even though we tell her to ask, then they make up and go out at 11, calling at 3 a.m. saying she's stuck at someone's house can I either come get her/pay a cab for her .. ended up at the ER the other night with chest pain, they told her it was from drinking, just plain irresponsible, wont look for a job, thinks I have to take her around to find a job .. it is affecting my whole relationship with him and he said it's time to either grow up, get a job and move out .. or if I choose not to put her out then he wants me out as well ... I have nowhere to send her, no family here .. her own father lives out east and has a 72 year old wife who doesn't like children (nor would Alanna go with him, he left when she was two and isn't an integral part of her life) ...

We're Christians as well tho my husband is getting pretty weak with it ... I can see he is frustrated and he finds that she just berates and argues, twists stuff around to suit her yet if I dont take her here or pick her up there, take her friend home, I am rude and inconsiderate and a b**tch who has ruined her life. My husband has done everything to give her a good life here .. she is struggling with night school to get her grade 12 as she's been put out of school 4 times due to just not going .. thinks she can go when she wants and still get an education.

Sound familiar?

My Out-of-Control Teen

1.1.09

She has always had problems being accepted by her peers...

My 15-year-old daughter: She has always had problems being accepted by her peers. She was diagnosed with adhd when she was 12 and is taking meds. She has had numerous attendance, behavior, and poor grade issues in the past several months. She also lost her job because she could not stop texting during her 2-3 hr shift. She has had numerous "boyfriends". A couple months ago, she had sex with a boy who then announced the event to her entire high school. She responded by telling everyone (including me) that she was pregnant. We quickly determined that she was not pregnant and told her to fix the lying with kids and adults at school. When I continued to get calls from teachers that she was using this pregnancy as manipulation to get out of classes, etc and clarified with them that this was a lie, I again told her that I had given the truth to the adults I had spoken with and that she should stop lying to the kids. She responded by taking a handful of adhd meds she says she bought from school, telling a boy and having the sheriff and emts take her to the emergency room. We don't think she actually took the meds, she says she took and was released. We started using your program at about this time. We have taken her cell phone and TV 5-6 times in the past couple of months when she has broken a rule. Over Xmas break, she told me she was going to work on past due homework and apply for jobs. Instead, she has basically stayed in her room texting and only comes out to eat. She has not showered or done anything for days. Yesterday she asks if her new "boyfriend" can come over and hang out. I had told her previously, that the lack of doing anything, including picking up after herself and working on the things she said she would do over break was going to have an impact on her social life. So when I told her no and reminded her to do a chore, which she said she would do, but did not do. Since she chose not to do her chore, we chose not to provide her with a TV in her room for 2 days. She is continuing to be rude to us. She now won't speak to us or acknowledge us as all. I have no idea who the boy is she claims is her new boyfriend and don't feel comfortable having him in our house. We have another 12-year-old daughter and the 15 year old has previously broken the rule of having boys over when we are not home. We have so many issues going on constantly that it is difficult to keep track of what is what. I realize that not doing anything is her choice. However, existing in our house and eating our food while ignoring us and lying to us but then asking for something when she has done nothing (she did offer to clean her room if he came over), just does not seem logical. I also suspect that she is selling her adhd meds. I only keep a small number of pills in the cabinet and periodically check and replenish. When I check on occasion in the past month, I think, there are one or two pills missing several times. If I say something to her, she is just going to lie anyway.

My Out-of-Control Teen