Online Parent Support Chat

28.2.09

I am at a loss, my heart is broken...

I have a sixteen year old son who has two personalities. The one “Cody” is a delight, the boy all moms want to take their daughter out. He would walked a whole block out of his way just to say hello to a friend parents. Then there is the “Cody” that lives in our house. Cody has never been an easy child, he was the child that would run from you as a toddler, always escaped out of his car seat but he was such a cute little stinker!

In kindergarten he didn’t catch on to everything like his older brother did. He would say to me that the kids can do things better than he can. It broke my heart when he said that. In first grade he struggled as well so I decided to enroll him the Sylvan School and focus on his reading. He did so much better, he was reading books all the time and up until around 6th grade he did alright, Bs mostly and occasional C. Middle school was a nightmare and in 8th grade I finally got him a private Tudor who met with him once or twice a week for over a year. He did really well at her house and wanted to please her, however he refused to put any effort into it at school or at home. I lost my job last April and I had to stop the tutoring sessions. I hoped he would do better just being motivated by his desire be on the swim team and getting letters from Universities already because of his swimming. When his sophomore year started it was not any better, in desperation I order the Simple Way to an A. It was very expensive and didn’t do anything because he wouldn’t put the effort in. Today he brought home his report card and he had two Fs on his report card. I am at such a loss. Cody’s private teacher said that he is very bright, however I am not sure. Why won’t he try.

He is our squeaky wheel in the family. He can make our day a delight or if he wants to he can destroy the it in a minute. He had one older brother and two younger brothers. He is awful to our youngest who is really tall, and a bit heavy for a nine year old. I just can’t make him understand that his behavior is very destructive.

I am at a loss, my heart is broken. He just left the house after I told him he couldn’t. I was very calm and I didn’t yell, I told him he was not allowed to go. He screamed at me about not having his license. WHAT? I am devastated because he is squandering his chances to get into college and he is really making our home toxic and he talks about his drivers license. I don’t know what to try anymore.

My Out-of-Control Teen

Do I leave them alone?

I have two teenage boys 19 and 18, senior and sophomore in High School. They have both run away. The 19 year old left last Thursday, as I have been trying to get him to stay focused and graduate from High School in May. He has been cutting classes a lot the past 2 years. He was even put in an alternative school in Dec. for 18 days due to skipping. He has lost credit in a couple classed. He assured me that while in the alternative school he got everything caught up and was ready to graduate. I received a phone call from the school principal, letting me know not to buy a cap and gown or invitations as he was not going to graduate because he was supposed to be staying after school everyday until he got everything caught up. I explained that I thought everything was caught up after he returned from the alternative school. The principal then told me that if my son would come after school, he would try helping him in getting everything completed. I at that point told my son, and he did not stay after school the next day. I at that point told him he was grounded and I took his cell phone away, and his truck, and told him I would be taking him to school and picking him up after, his after school session. I also gave him a drug test, as his behavior has been so crazy. He failed for marijuana, which this is not the first time. I have been doing random testing with all three of my teens for a couple years. If they fail, we take their vehicles and cell phones till they pass, which usually takes about a month to get the stuff out of their system. He said he was 19 years old and that he was not going to be grounded and left.

My 18 year old left today, as he skipped school on Tues, which I just found out about. I told him he was grounded for the weekend, and took his cell phone away and he had someone pick him up.

I am doing the so called tough love and its killing me. I have had zero tolerance to drugs in my home, they have known it. I also feel it is my responsibility to get these boys out of high school with a diploma. What do I do? It terrifies me them out there with no money, no phone. What will the turn to for money, food, and a place to stay. I think they are with friends, but not 100% sure.

Please help me. I'm going crazy inside. I have been praying almost all of my waking moments. What are your thoughts on all this, do I leave them alone? Or go grab them by their head of hair and make them come home and do whats right?

My Out-of-Control Teen

26.2.09

Our situation is awful, and feels hopeless...

My husband and I are at our wits end with our son.

When taking away privileges from our son as a "grounding" is it right in your opinion to take something away that the child himself has purchased? ie. computer, cell phone, X-Box? I don't see eye to eye with my husband on this. He has recently taken away all of my son's things, and constantly threatens to sell everything, even though my son worked hard for it, and has purchased it himself.

*Our main issues right now are his lack of respect for us, constant lying, and failure to keep on top of school work (barely passing..but doesn't listen to our pleas/concern for his own future. He thinks he will get back at us but not doing things such as going to his work, or failing school - when it is only harming his own future). It has thus created an "I hate you dad, and want you to get lost". All as we want is the best for him..yet he fights us on us. He is very nasty to a younger sibling who is a "high achiever" and does well in things..but she works very hard at things. He is lazy. Blames everything that goes wrong in his life on us.

This ongoing situation has affected my health, and often I feel like I want out of the family..I just want to take leave, which I know is not the right thing to do. Our situation is awful, and feels hopeless.

My Out-of-Control Teen

19.2.09

ODD Grandson

I have a Grandson who is 15 years old. I was reading online about ODD. My Grandson has many of the symptoms such as looses his temper, constantly argues with adults, failing at school, when asked to do something he always has to do it on his time or not at all, he is a loner and is always gaming on his computer. He is very against drugs, he is not interested in girls because even though he is 15 he is not mature at all. He is always getting in trouble at school because he is the class clown or refuses to listen to the teachers. He is not cruel to animals matter of fact he loves them. His mother was pretty much vacant during his early childhood. His father verbally abuses him. He has been with me now for the past 5 years and I thought it was just the teenager coming out. He recently wanted to go live with his father and I did everything to make him stay. He lasted only a few weeks and wanted to come home. He hates his mother and will not talk to her. I am giving you a very general diagnosis but I know he will not go to counseling with me.

My Out-of-Control Child

I have considered sending her to the Sheriffs Youth Ranch...

Our story is a lengthy one so I will just give you the meat and potatoes of it. My daughter SIerra is 15 almost 16. Almost two years ago her father was accused for the second time of child molestation. Not on SIerra though. The first victim that we know of was my oldest daughter, which was brought to the authorities in 2001, and the state of FL decided not to prosecute. In 2006 another little girl in TX, his current wifes niece made the same accusations. The Air Force got involved and court martialled him. And in Dec 2007 he was convicted and sentenced. The summer of 2007 Sierra went to her fathers for the summer visitation, I had been threatened that if I did not let her go he would file charges against me for violating a court order and I am a single mom and could not risk that. So I sent her. He never sent her back and petitioned the courts in TX were he was residing for custody. I divorce was in Orange county FL. TX courts gave him temporary custody although they knew he was in the midst of a court battle and what the allegations were. When he was convicted in Dec TX DCF stepped in and took Sierra from the step mother who was trying to conceal Sierra's location from them. And they returned her to my custody. Since then it has been a nightmare. The 6 months that Sierra was with them they manipulated her mind and she has been nothing but a nightmare since returning. She has been Baker Acted, She has run away, she has been in juvi for hitting me, she has been in therapy, she skips school or better yet refuses to go, he was in a program for behavior problems until my insurance ran out, you name it I have tried it. Therapy, life coaches, day boot camps, etc. I don't know what else to do or for that matter how much I can take before I have a breakdown myself.

Currently I more help then I had before, my boyfriend is very helpful and she seems to respect him, but he can't do everything. I have no idea what else to do. I have considered sending her to the Sheriffs Youth Ranch because I just can't take any more.

My Out-of-Control Teen

13.2.09

He has downright refused to do schoolwork in school...

Hello, my name is Kristie Hills. I have a 10 year old (almost 11) son who has been diagnosed with ODD and we have been seeing a Psychologist for about 2 years now. First of all I will give you as short of a history as I can about Will. His father and I were never married. He has gone between our houses since he was six weeks old, spending one week with me and one week with his father. His father and I have always communicated and do our best to do what is right for our son. I have to admit that I was a very indulgent parent until the past three years and have been working hard at braking this cycle. I am on week three (so it has been a total of 5 weeks) of the program. My son has been grounded 85% of the time he has been with me. I am committed to seeing this through. I plan to give his father copies of your program, soon!!!

Will's behavior is disruptive in school and at home, he is defiant and refuses to willingly do anything that he does not want to do. This includes cleaning his room, homework, or just about anything that does not fit in to his plan. So, to make a long story short he is a textbook ODD kid. He can be great at times, and so very challenging at others. I am currently working on a Psychology B.S. and almost every journal review I have done for school has to do with ODD. I have tried to educate myself the best I can on the disorder and how to properly handle the situations he throws at me.

I recently found out that he has been lying to me about homework (again). He is required by his teacher to write down his assignments on a sheet that I (or his father) sign every day. His grades dropped significantly in the second quarter of school, and I have more diligent about checking to see if the homework is done. I have required him to sit at our dinning room table (TV and other distraction turned off) to do his homework. This way I am there if he needs my help and I can observe that he is actually doing his work (I don't know how this is done at his father's house). Together we review his sheet from school to see what needs to be done, this is where the lying is coming into play. He will bring home one or two assignments, and tell me (and I guess his father) that the other ones (if there are other ones) are at school and have been completed. I received an email yesterday from his teacher letting me know that he is again getting behind for the quarter and has been very disruptive in the class room, to the point where he had to eat lunch in the principal's office, and has been sent to another class room to work independently (without an "audience"). He has downright refused to do schoolwork in school, and has been lying to both his father and I about the homework at night.

I don't know if I should ground him after the fact, or set clear rules and start from here. We ride a roller coaster with him. He will be good for months, and then he will be defiant for months. On top of the ODD he has an above average IQ, so he is intelligent in how he manipulates the adults in his life, and we all have to try to be one step ahead of him all the time, which just isn't possible.

My Out-of-Control Child

12.2.09

Our daughter has found ways now to not come home on the bus after school...

Our daughter has found ways now to not come home on the bus after school this past week. She is 16 and is getting a ride from other teens who have their license. (She was interested in a time in getting her license but doesn't seem to care about earning that privilege now.) She instead goes over to her boyfriend's house.

He recently dropped out of school so she is now spending after school and weekends at his house. He is 16, does not have his license either. He does not work but tells my daughter he is looking for a job. I've spoken to his mother about my daughter going there and she says she doesn't mind. She says that Taylor helps her with the other 6 boys she has as she is pregnant with another one. There is no father in the picture. His mom even picks her up at school, picks her up from our home on weekends and brings her home. (We offer to take her to his house on the weekends but it is always a "Yes, but..." so that has stopped.) The boyfriend does not want to hang out at our house.

There are also times when my daughter calls us to pick her up as it gets close to curfew and says the mom can't take her home for one or another reason. I know my daughter does this because of the consequence for running away over the summer. The probation department still has not had her to court over it so I imagine they are waiting to see if she has a second offense before they take any further action. So one of us, of course, picks her up and brings her home.

She has an excuse each day as to why she is going there after school. She texts me from a friend's phone. (She does not have a cell phone.) Each night she comes home smelling like cigarettes and she came home high on marijuana once. We are taking each issue one at a time and she is just blowing off the consequences. We've tried to talk to her and set up some perimeters on working on what is going on but to no avail. In fact, it is an issue she won't talk to us calmly about at all. She says she does not like our rules or talking to us about anything. We've maintained our poker faces. We've stayed calm. We've repeated the house rules and issued consequences but are currently at a loss as to what has happened here.

Let me say her grades at school so far are very good. She was working on applying for a job. We had compromised with her previously about the weekends as to be more accepting of the boyfriend.

She has however stopped taking care of herself like she used to. For example, showering every day, getting enough sleep, and eating right. When she wants something from us she can lay on the charm. We've stayed steadfast and focussed on the issues at hand. Since your course, however, we are watchful of the guilt trips and reacting. She no longer does her chores either.

Needless to say we are concerned about what is going on with her and how you thought we could or should approach this.

My Out-of-Control Daughter

Our son has been diagnosed ADHD for many years and Bipolar more recently...

Our son has been diagnosed ADHD for many years and Bipolar more recently, but we believe he's had that disorder all along. He's been extremely difficult but manageable until last summer. Now we're in a vicious cycle of fights, outbursts, poor grades in school (they've never been great, but never failing) emotional highs and lows, talk about quitting school, running away, shop lifting, refusing to accept responsibililty for his behavior, and on and on. At school, the guidance counselor knew about a doctor's appointment with his psychiatrist and our son's refusal to go. The school resource officer was called in to give him the options of going with us, or being brought somewhere with him for a 72 hour stay. Our family is in turmoil, our hearts are breaking. I see you've used this program successfully on up to 15 year old per the info on your web site. Our son is 17. Do you think it will work for him? Our greatest concern is that in another 8-9 months he'll be 18 and an "adult" in the eyes of the law. But in real life he'll only be an out of control teen who is not driving (thank God!), and beginning the 11th grade. He still has juvenile court to go to next week for arraignment, as the state attorney did not accept the recommendation for the diversionary Teen Court, as he's had a petty theft charge 3 yrs ago.

My Out-of-Control Child

11.2.09

His grades have gone in the toilet...

My son is a junior in high school. He has never loved school, is very bright, and easily made As and Bs with little effort taking all honors courses. This year his grades have gone in the toilet. He is a band student (first trumpet), varsity wrestler, and is taking all honors and 3 AP courses. He has decided to not do the work. This quarter he has Ds and Cs. I can't believe I am even saying "just let him get Cs". That is one problem.

My husband's and my relationship with our son is terrible. We are constantly after him. He has a bad attitude and does little around the house. He curses and yells. He tries to shout me down, and is successful. That is another problem.

He got a car last February. He has gotten 2 tickets and had 2 minor accidents. We made him pay for the tickets (he worked during the summer and over Christmas) and he will have to pay the extra insurance if it goes up. The tickets were for an illegal U turn and not coming to a complete stop at a light (there was no traffic on the road - just him and the police) I am telling you this to let you know it was not for speeding or reckless driving. He paid for one minor accident and there was no damage in the other. Another problem.

Basically, the kid is good. Everyone outside the home thinks he is great, except for the grades. He says as soon as he turns 18 he is joining the Army. Of course, we want him to go to college first. I ask him to please go to college first and then join the military, but he says no. He thinks he will go to college in the Army. And, he wants to join the special forces and be a sniper. That he would want to be a sniper makes me sick to my stomach. I can't bear to think that killing another person would be a goal for my son.

Anyway, I don't know what to do. Do I just let him fail and join the Army. Is there a way to help him succeed with the remainder of school? Can we repair our relationship? Will your course help with our problem. Oh and by the way, he hates us. I just tell him my love is unconditional. Even if you hate me, I still love you. And, I truly mean that, but I would love to be loved and respected by him.

PS: My husband was in Vietnam and is completely against our son joining the military. (Of course, he can't prevent this)

My Out-of-Control Teen

Out-of-Control Daughter

I need to preface this by telling you I know that compared to some my issues are minimal and I am grateful that I have the children I have.

I have an 11 year old daughter who is a good kid for the most part. She gets good grades, good communication skills with her teachers, polite on most occasions etc. The problem we have is when she blows there is no stopping her. I don't know that it is as much her problem as it is mine---the lack of our knowing how to deal with it. She gets mad about something and then there is no shutting her down for a bit..... nobody cares about her, everything we say she puts a spin on and makes it sound terrible, always has to have the last word in, gets very loud, clenches her teeth, says hateful things. ( I know this must sound like every kid in America to you.) The problem is we don't know how to deal with it and I am terribly afraid that if we have these blow ups at 11 then at 15 it will be a problem for her in her ability to have healthy relationships not to mention devastating to ours. Usually within 1 hr she is over it and can talk about it calmly, not to say she will assume any responsibility and if she does it is usually a lot of crying and "it is all my fault"....etc, etc. But it will happen again maybe the next day, next week, next month, you just never know.

I read the information on your website and it talked a lot about troubled teens and although we are not there currently I really want to make sure we are not there in the future. She is a good kid that is bright, beautiful but extremely easily manipulated by others also and I fear that if I have any communication barrier in the home it might cause her to lean in the wrong direction outside the home. I was just wondering if your material covers anything of this nature? Helping her deal with her anger....from an adults perspective who knows how rough she could have it I find myself thinking, "what could you possibly have to be that mad about". Certainly not much in her lavish little lifestyle. Is there something to help us as parents put into perspective how big the issues she is having really are in her mind? I would like to find something that we could all benefit from. We live in a very small community and I have suggested we talk to someone locally but my daughter is actually against that because of the stigma sometimes associated with seeing a counselor.

My Out-of-Control Daughter

7.2.09

This child is beyond defiant...

My name is Craig Smith and I currently am employed as a detention officer for Forsyth County here in NC. I'am kind of skeptical about what you are saying, but I'am open to anything that would help get my step daughter back in line. You see over the last 3 years she has become increasingly worse over during that time. She has gotten to the point that she refuses to listen to anything that is said to her from either myself, my wife, school adminstraters, law enforcement officers, and even her own grand parents. She has refused to go to go to school, and as a matter of fact she hasn't been to school in over three weeks. Over the last 2 1/2 weeks my wife and I have had to fill out four missing persons reports against her, we have been to the juvenile court system, the magistrates office and even the school and all of the above have refused to help us get our daughter the help that she needs so that she can get back to where she needs to be. We have been to several counselors, we have been through social services, and we have even involuntarily committed her once for drug use. So when I say that we have literally done everything possible to help her I absolutley mean that we have done everything. Mr. Hutten this child is beyond defiant, she is an absolute delinquent, and it has been hard for me as a step parent to watch as this child has assaulted me twice, verbally abused both myself, and my wife, she has attacked my wife once, attacked her sister several times, damaged our house, has had more then several brushes with the law, has failed her grades at school, been violent towards my wife and myself, and has refused over the last 4 weeks to come home when told either by us or by the law. I have watched as my wife has sat and cried because she can't seem to understand why her own daughter has so much hatred for her that she treats her this badly or for that matter acts this way. Heck as a matter of fact I can't seem to understand it either. We have a nice home, she has her own room, we have a nice pool out back, and on top of it she has a good mother who loves her to death and yet she chooses to act like an animal. Sir I have seen may things in my life, but I have never seen anyone who abuses her mother as badly as this child does with hers. It totally disgusts me to no end. I know that what yuop are saying is that you can try and build the last 10% of the bridge to help make things better, but what can you do when you have a child who is hell bent on totally destroying her own life over what smoking dope, and riding four wheelers all day. To me that is not life that is just plain stupid if you ask me. I truly don't know if this child can be saved, she seems to think that she has it all figured out. Her plan is to drop out of school at 16, move out of our home, maybe get a job, smoke dope all day, and ride four wheelers all day that is her plan. So now I'm coming to you, and I'm asking you what do we do here? How do we make her see that she is making a big mistake? She that needs to see that getting a high school education is important in this chaotic society that we live in? And that her plan is just plain stupid.

My Out-of-Control Teen

4.2.09

15 year-old daughter is physically abusive...

My 15 year-old daughter is physically abusive to both myself and my son. She has been in counseling for years and in two different behavioral hospitals over the last year. She has had more sexual partners in her short life than I have at 40. She has run away 12 times. She tells the police I beat her. She tells the school staff I take videos of her having sexual encounters. Of course none of this is true. She lies, steals, curses at me, throws things. Her 17 year old sex partner breaks into my home on a regular basis through the window in her room. She insists on meeting men over the internet while in her father's care (for sex). Her father (my ex) refuses to support anything I do to try to help her. He will not lay down any rules while he has her for visitation.

Every police officer in town knows me and has labled me a bad parent and or child abuser, at least in their minds. I have done everything I can think of for her, but I don't think she wants help. She wants to do whatever she wants to do, period.

I have written the State's attorney about the boy, been involved with DCFS about issues with her father (I won't go into all of it), and searched for help everywhere with no luck. Everyone looks at me like I've done something wrong.

I am afraid she is lost to me.

My Out-of-Control Teen

3.2.09

We've locked the doors so she is not able to enter with just her key anymore...

My daughter Alysha is now 17 and while things started improving and she did well in her final exams last year, recently she has started with her nasty attitude again. Yesterday she was in a rotten mood and we were in the doctor's waiting room (as she had ingrown toenails), I brought up the cigarettes that I had found in her bag. She has kept lying all this time saying that she doesn't smoke but this time she lashed out and me and said "yes I do and you can't tell me what to do. It's my body and I can do what I like!" I told her that I had the right to tell her when she makes bad choices by virtue of the fact that I am her mother.

When we got home, the argument got worse and she started saying that she hated being her because she had no freedom. This is a child who goes out every Fri and Sat and has a curfew of 1 am but always tries to push the boundaries. She usually goes down to the local mall near school most days after school as well even though she has been told not to go as often as she does. So I really don't know how much more freedom she wants.

When I said that, she said that she just wanted to get out of this house. Whenever she has said this in the past, I've always said that we love her and want her to be part of the family and we can sort things out but this time, I said in a very calm voice, alright then go. She packed her school uniform and left within 5 minutes. She went to say with a friend. I spoke to his mum and she said that maybe it was best to leave her there since she was safe and everyone needed some space. Meantime, I had taken everything out of her closets and only left her uniforms and socks and underwear.

She came home after school. My husband and I were at work but my 19 year old son was home. She said hi but went to her room and to pack clothes and was furious when she saw that there was nothing there. She went straight to my bedroom which we had locked. She left a note for me to say that I had no right to take her stuff and that she was coming back tomorrow to collect it. I've written a note and stuck it on the front door to say that she was welcome to come back to take her stuff if she could sit down with us and be reasonable and non-abusive so we could work things out. If not willing to do that, she could leave her house key under the doormat. We've locked the doors so she is not able to enter with just her key anymore.

My Out-of-Control Teen

I am totally exhausted emotionally and finding it very hard to cope...

We are really struggling with our son. We see a psychiatrist and specialist paediatrician but no one has any answers. They tell us that in time things will improve. He has various issues – adhd, asd, ocd and severe anxiety. He has had a number of breakdowns and has had to be pulled out of school numerous times. He is now 16 and we feel that things are going down hill fast.

We live in Australia in a small city away from any more specialised facilities. We are feel like we have exhausted every avenue and need help as Dom is not the average type of kid. I am angry because I feel he is totally manipulating my husband and myself. Last night, when my husband was disciplining him, I sat in another room and just cried. He came in pointed and laughed. I have given up my career 4 years ago to give him stability and so am just a little upset at how everything is progressing. He just stands up to us and refuses to do things. We could take everything away and he would still stand firm. We know it is all getting to him but he won’t give in.

As you can see from this email, I am totally exhausted emotionally and finding it very hard to cope.

My Out-of-Control Teen

2.2.09

I am no match for my child...

Hello, I hope this email reaches you and finds you and your family well and in good health.

I started to write this at 5 am my time. My child had been out of the house since 3 am with one of her girl friends. I suspect that at 14 she is dealing drugs and sexually active.

She also smokes (out there) and avoids hygiene.

I did buy and get your online book. I went about 1/2 way through and stopped because it seemed to me that I'd need a kid that listened (ever) to even start with this.

I'm now a single mother. About 2 years back my daughter was harassed and physically attacked by the school drug dealer in her primary school (meaning in grade 8). She thought she was defending herself by taking a multi-tool to school (type that includes a pull out blade, bottle opener etc.), that this would scare him off if she was cornered. She was cornered not far outside the school and showed this item when she thought it was going to be several boys against her. 2 were there and more being summoned by cell phone.

Short of it is that although the school had on record that she'd been kicked and knocked down and more....by this other student, (witnessed by kids and an adult) she was expelled permanently from this school and for 40 days from any school. The boy was given a one day "at school" suspension. His family has money and even though the students down to grade 5 know he is the main drug pusher there, he had some amazing power with the teachers and administration.

My mother is deceased but each day through this crisis I could feel her at my back pinging me not to let this matter go. In this country and city it is a real issue that females feel very subject to the violence and harassment of other male students and this is Canada (sorry Michael Moore). I mean no disrespect but personally I think this is the state of the world with few exceptions. But to give in, is to teach our daughters to be lower. Before my husband left me (to live with his much younger girlfriend) we had suffered with this very oppositional daughter and part of our parting and heartbreak is that her dad had given up on her early --even to the point of saying to me that he did not care at all about her and saying this to others. We have another older daughter who is caring and loving and mostly compliant. My ex however saw this school crisis as a great opportunity to take control and regain something with the younger daughter plus cease the effort of taking her so far in the mornings to school. (School was half way point between homes and life was 1 week at mom's, 1 week dad's). He would re-locate her to a local school down the block from his home. He told her that he would be liberal with her and how wonderful it would be and she could go home on weekends to mom's (party time on mom). She feared this boy so she begged that I let her dad's plan go through with no opposition to what the school judged and did.

When my daughter collected her glasses with other stuff in her desk, the lenses had been scratched over badly. The school principal promised $200 to replace these to my child's dad. When the little talk on my child's situation was carried out, I let it go without a board hearing but refused to sign off on no further legal action on my part. I caved because my child begged me not to stand up to this. Her father did not look healthy when I saw him – heavy chain smoker (generally see him the least possible) and I felt that it would endanger my job to focus on this. I felt that the children should all have had real consequences but not be discarded as was my daughter. This was spring and she needed the school time to graduate etc. The school saw an easy way to toss a non-compliant, unpleasant, financially struggling child who came from outside the well-to-do neighborhood. Despite 4 calls to talk to the principal after this, no calls were returned and my expenses on the glasses (I had bought out of pocket) were never compensated.

So it lasted about 7 weeks with dad's plan and after running once from him and returning, she ran again to my house on her birthday. She wanted out of his house for a walk and he did not want her out alone because he figured she’d meet up with friends he did not like. She refused to go back.

Her dad offered to take her at Christmas in 2007 to see her Grandmother and after he'd packed the first daughter in the car he turned to her and told her he wasn't running a taxi service and she could take her stuff and go back. Dad set it up just to get revenge on his 13 year old because she no longer bothered to call him ever. She came in and sat and cried for half an hour. So I noted that you write in your book that a weak parenting plan shared by 2 separated parents is better than a strong one by 1 parent. This dad is the same person that I must now prove to the government is not living in my home because it seems he's giving out that idea to booster his credit. We have been apart 8 years now. I am always on guard in dealing with her dad as he is a very manipulative and self centered person. My older daughter has a great bond with him and despite what has been done to me, I "try" to make only positive references in her presence (and miss the mark at times). I love both my daughters deeply but as to their father, he is untrustworthy.

So to close this saga, my youngest survived finishing school near dad's, bussing each day from my house. She got through grade 8 barely. This is a child considered gifted in earlier years. Now high school at mom's has been the nightmare as she goes when she wants and may have "no" credits for her first semester. Results are not in yet. I took extra time in the mornings to push her from bed. I transferred to an office closer to home to get more time with her. She would not sleep at night. After 25 years with a company, when downsizing came, I was first in line. My work knew by my later arrivals, my struggle with 2nd daughter. Of course I worked later hours and gave much - much more time to make up for this but that does not count in our industrialized world where children should all be perfect and the worst crime should be balking at their piano practice. That would be my boss's only child as she has the funds to private school him to the top.

Now I am a mid 50's single woman looking for work with a child who is verbally and sometimes physically abusive. I'm trying for counseling at what looks to be one of the more serious places (the last counseling I set up was skewed by her school expulsion and she stopped going after her dad's girlfriend was nasty with the staff (as child was now at dad's home, I was blocked in attending the counseling I had initiated).

Honestly, verbally, I am no match for my child who should use these skills to make her living. Currently her living is conning her mother. Unfortunately when she returned at 7:20 this a.m. she broke the door handle off as I had barricaded the door to give her a message that free night roaming might have some drawbacks.

There was an awful verbal altercation and she pushed me once trying to move it to a physical fight. We calmed down but the end result is still she packed her back pack and is out there somewhere now. I was not falling to bits over her and this angered her. Of course I said things I should not. I am worn into dust.

I am re-reading your whole book and will eventually pay the price of my guilt to say no and remove computer, other devices etc. should she return. It may result in destructiveness from her but I have to grow up about this or perish. If she is gone much longer, I will call the police so must now prepare for this. This is not what you meant by emailing you but I see that you are a man with religion. If you had the strength to read this, I thank you and am hoping that you have tolerance and will not judge me harshly. Of course should you reply, your thoughts are much appreciated.

God Bless.

D.

My Out-of-Control Teen