Online Parent Support Chat

13.12.10

Out-of-Control Daughter

My daughter is 13 years old, and she is very over-indulged and defiant with many of the signs and manifestations described in your eBook.

I have decided to talk to her about setting the rules and establishing consequences (which is a totally unknown concept to her at home with her parents and grandparents, although her behaviour has been acceptable at school, at friends', etc.). I have discussed this with my daughter's mother and grandmother (who is staying at the same house long-term), and they have supported me with this decision though expressing doubts if we are capable of carrying this project through.


I thought I was prepared for an aggressive and angry reaction to the attempted conversation, however I greatly underestimated the intensity of it. After my few words that we wanted to talk to her about how adults co-exist with each other, she refused talking or even listening to me, and burst into rage crying and shouting for hours that she hates me, wants to kill me and wants me dead.

Please note that the rules which I want to implement are the following:
- to stop shouting at her parents and grandparents when she is just tired, in a bad mood or frustrated by something trivial;
- to stop using phrases like "hate you" and "go away" in relation to her parents and grandparents;
- to stop slamming doors,
- to stop throwing things.

I told her that I was not going to argue with her and will continue the conversation when she cools down after a time out. She did not stop crying and shouting for a number of hours with short breaks. I decided to give her till next day before making an attempt to follow your suggestion on talking in the form:
"When it was repeatedly proclaimed that I was wanted to be killed and dead, I felt it was not acceptable for all of us because such proclamations may be interpreted as a criminal offence with a possible jail term. I'd rather you not say that but talk with me about how we deal with our situation." (or something like this).

At night (when she for many hours had stopped crying and shouting and was sulking in her room with her laptop and her TV) I knocked on her door to say good night and that I loved her. In return I received "Go away, I do not love you".

I do not see how we will be able to sit down and talk even after a very long time out of a few days. I still plan to try to say the above along the lines "When it was.... I felt...... I'd rather......", but do not have big hopes that it will work. I think more anger and insults are more likely.

On page 17 of your eBook you note:
"If you and your out-of-control teen are having difficulty with a few ground rules, then it may be time to sit down together to negotiate limits and expectations."

I do not see how to achieve a simple first step of sitting down and talking with my daughter about limits and expectations when she actively and aggressively refuses to do that and deliberately filters out whatever I have to say with my best poker face.

What can I do in such a situation?

I am thinking of still announcing to her what I have to say about her proclamations of hate and desire to see me dead, even if only in a monologue form. And then following up with an announcement that if she repeats those or similar words, there will be consequences in the form of taking her laptop away for 3 days. And then following it up with actually taking the laptop away when she does (and I expect she will repeat those words in order to express her anger as well as to test my threat).

However, my concern is that she is more likely to increase her degree of rebellion and defiance, while at the same time trying to rely on alternatives, such as another computer in the house (we have 3 more computers besides her laptop and including a desktop which is normally accessible by anyone and used mostly by her grandmother) or other means of entertainment and communications. Will I have to take all of them away one by one or all of them in one go?

To follow your suggestion on breaking the dependency cycle and fostering self-reliance, I might need to start taking away more things and freedoms, such as:
things: laptop, access to Internet, ipod, mobile phone, TV in her room, DVD-player in her room, cable TV, door to her room, etc.;
freedoms: going to shops, movies and other entertainment venues, having her girlfriends on sleepovers and visiting her girlfriends, studying in a private school with her friends, trips and travelling, etc.

However, I need your advice on how to talk to my daughter and have a fair fighting when she bluntly denies any possibility of a conversation or of even talking to her.

And what shall I be prepared to do if all the above fails? Shall I consider enrolling her in a boarding school and sending her away against her will (and most likely breaking hearts of her mother and grandmother by doing so)? Something else?

My Out-of-Control Teen

5.12.10

Online Parent Support Group Chat: 11/25 - 12/5

Australia Thu 23:15 Hi Mark, I suppose what I'm really asking is at what point should we go and get our under age daughter and bring her home or is that the wrong strategy - should we wait for her to return - we are feeling pretty out of control at this point? Thanks I'm in need of specific actions please.

Mark Fri 8:39 Try to get word to her that she is welcome to come home - but that there will be a house-rules contract she'll need to sign-off on.

Mark Fri 8:40 How to Create a "House Rules" Contract ...click ==> http://myoutofcontrolt...rulescontract.html

Julie Kennedy, Psy.D. Fri 8:42 Teen Anger-Management Problems ...click ==> http://myoutofcontrolteen.com/mr-IED.html

Australia Fri 8:48 thank you Smile

Mark Fri 12:53 Living with an Aspergers Partner ...click ==> http://www.myoutofcont...thAspergersPartner Crying

How can I communicate with my teenager?

Mark Mon 9:12 To User 325: I've responded to your inquiry here ...click ==> http://myoutofcontrolt...ng-with-teens.html

Julie Kennedy, Psy.D. Mon 9:14 Your older teenager or young “adult child” isn’t sure what to do, and he is asking you for money every few days. How do you cut the purse strings and teach him to be independent? If you have an older Aspergers teenager who has no clue where he is going in life, or if you have an adult Aspergers child still living at home (in his early 20s or beyond), then this will be the most important letter you will ever read...

Julie Kennedy, Psy.D. Mon 9:14 Click here ==> http://myoutofcontrolt...ren-Aspergers.html

David McLaughlin, MD Tue 12:27 Here you will find information on understanding learning disabilities, negotiating the special education process and helping your child and yourself... click ==> http://myoutofcontrolteen.com/mr-ld.html

User 66 Wed 10:22 Mark, We caught our son in a lie regarding money that was taken from a drawer in our bedroom. What is the best discipline for this? Thanks, A.C.

Mark Wed 10:23 To User 66: I've responded to your inquiry here ...click ==> http://myoutofcontrolteen.com/lying.html

Julie Kennedy, Psy.D. Thu 10:00 Happy Thanksgiving!Hot

David McLaughlin, MD Fri 14:09 Psychiatric Medication for ADHD, Autism, Conduct Disorder & Oppositional Defiant Disorder ...click ==> http://myoutofcontrolteen.com/mr-meds.html

Mark Sat 9:23 Parental Control Software ...click ==> http://myoutofcontrolteen.com/mr-PCS.html


Julie Kennedy, Psy.D. Sun 10:16 Receive FREE Weekly Newsletters About "Parenting Out-of-Control Children & Teens" Click here ==> http://myoutofcontrolt...rt-Newsletter.html

User 119 Mon 9:50 Are there some children -- or parents for that matter -- that are just plain "bad"?

Mark Mon 9:51 I've responded to your inquiry here ...click ==> http://myoutofcontrolt...entchildmyths.html

User 202 Tue 11:00 My child was recently diagnosed with ODD and ADHD... do you have any suggestions on what I can do as his mother?

David McLaughlin, MD Tue 11:01 ODD is a psychiatric disorder that is characterized by two different sets of problems. These are aggressiveness and a tendency to purposefully bother and irritate others. It is often the reason that people seek treatment. When ODD is present with ADHD, depression, tourette's, anxiety disorders, or other neuropsychiatric disorders, it makes life with that child far more difficult. For Example, ADHD plus ODD is much worse than ADHD alone, often enough to make people seek treatment.

David McLaughlin, MD Tue 11:01 Click here for more info ==> http://myoutofcontrolteen.com/oddreport1.html

Julie Kennedy, Psy.D. Wed 8:52 Parenting Tips & Tricks ...click ==> http://myoutofcontrolteen.com/tricks.html

Mark Thu 15:14 PDF Library for Moms & Dads ...click ==> http://myoutofcontrolt...ng-PDFlibrary.html

User 272 Fri 8:43 "My daughter has a few friends who have experimented with alcohol. How can I keep her from seeing these friends, and what should I do if she comes home drunk?"

Mark Fri 8:43 I've responded to your inquiry here ==> http://myoutofcontrolteen.com/q-a.html

delisa hall Sat 21:03 hi mark I was wondering if you could tell me if psychotherapy is an effective method for treating ODD? also about how many children have been successfully treated with the usage of psychotherapy? when were noticeable changes made( after how many sessions) also was the treatment more effective when parents were a part of the treatment process( they were involved in therapy as well)? what types of changes are made when psychotherapy is used( attitude, grades, communication, etc..)? thank you!

delisa hall Sat 21:07 how many sessions of psychotherapy do most children need before measured success can be obtained

delisa hall Sat 21:09 how do teachers play a role in the picture to yield effectiveness and success?

ShellyinOC Sun 3:57 My daughter got a tattoo without me knowing & she is being very disrespectful to me in the way she talks to me. I'm a single mom (newly divorced) & she is currently in online schooling due to her having some major issues in public school last year. She lives with her grandma during the week, so she can be with her during the day since I work full time. She comes home during the weekends & I see her every Wednesday night. I don't know what to do with her...?

ShellyinOC Sun 4:01 I know she wants to be back home with me, but she is consistently showing me she's irresponsible (tattoo, poor grades)...if I let her back home, she would think that she's "won" in the situation. I can allow her back into a public school, but I have a feeling the same issues will happen all over again. Should I just let her come back home, and basically just let her "live her life" and not worry about it, or should I put even more restrictions on her because of her recent behavior?

User 358 Sun 6:27 Hi, I have a son (19) who has a recent girlfriend and has begun staying out all night. I asked him yesterday before he left NOT to stay out all night tonight. Well... yet, again, he is still not home and this time did not leave me a message/call to let me know. I am at a loss at to what natural consequence/punishment I should use for him. Any ideas? Thank you!

Mark Sun 13:55 To delisa: Here's info on ODD ...click ==> http://www.myoutofcontrolteen.com/oddreport1

Mark Sun 13:57 To Shelly: I would have her come back home ...the two of you start over using the strategies outlined in the "My Out-of-Control Teen" eBook, which you can download here ...click ==> http://www.myoutofcontrolteen.com/sl

Mark Sun 13:59 To User 358: Please refer to the following article ...click ==> http://www.onlineparen...iving-at-home.html

26.11.10

My Out-of-Control Teen

We're going through daily and nightly hell with our son.

We're out of consequences.

Even if there's a consequence he will agree for the sake of getting what he wants and then give hell when he doesn't get it. Every single time. Whether it be computer time, phone time, or going out, or anything lse. Agree a time limit with him He will go over it. Give him warnings. He'll say " in a minute" - we pull the internet cable out but he'll repeat it and repeat it and repeat it - there's no end. He will demand the internet time as of right because all his frineds have it and because it's his human right as he sees it

My husband is ill and about to drop dead at any minute - literally ! he has ulcers and all sort of complications and I just keep expecting something to burst at any minute.

Our son won't even be ready for school on time. We've tried " if you're not ready by 8am, get yourself there" but that reusts in days and weeks off school ! He doesn't care. It's like we're playing straight into his hands.

He is currently without a phone and computer privileges and as far as he's concerned we are evil for not giving him for what everyone else has. We try to reason with him - show him him that when he has these things he abuses them, that that results in detriment to health, including mental health but reansing is not the way to go with him. He will give hell.

Previously we would take the phone away fro limited periods - and give it back knowing he will abuse it , then confiscate it again. Currently there is no date for getting the phone back - because he has been so rude and abusive to everyone in our household constantly and partiuclarly last weekend, so the decisison rests with us.

His demands are these

he should have his mobile phone 24/7 ( we've tried time limits -- hand over at 9pm each day/ or it will be confiscated if you use it 2 hours + / but he will deny he is abusing it and yet be on it ALL day EVERY DAY if allowed - and he will deny IT ! )

he should be able to get on the computer when he wants ( afcebook chat 24/7 - but says he is working - denies he has a problem)

he should be able to go out at the weekends when he wants ( gives hell when grounded and pushes to go out the next day - will push at any random time to be allowed out whether agreed or not)

he should have his X box cable becuase its his property

As far as he is concerned the above things are his human rights and we are the evil monsters running Guantanamo Bay for witholding them.

We do sometimes try to give him other things he wants - to make him feel we are not deproving him of everythgin and often as an incentive to behave better or as a reward for doing somehting good ( even for being honest)

But he will not give in return. Nothing.

We ask :

manners - stay calm when speaking/ do not raise your voice/ listen / show respect

do some work ( we pay for private school and he is not working and can't be bothered to get to school on time or at all ) ; we are considering not paying fees for the last term and have told him but that means he will find a state school and repeat a year ( according to him) which he is prepared to do......he knows he won't do well because how can a person do well when they don't work? So it suits him in some ways if we don't pay the last term because then it was out fault he could not take the exams, and he gets to repeat a year

sleep at 10 pm - what a joke ! he pushes to the early hours, disturbs his sister every night ( shared room/bunk beds) ....sister works hard and cherishes her sleep and suffers as a result; sets his alarm for 5 am but never wakes up - this disturbs sister + us. Too tired ot get up. Doesn't admit it. says someone was in the bathroom so could not go to have a wash then fell asleep again.

be ready at 8am for school - never ready....we have to yell and scream by 8.30pm and treat him like an animal because he behaves like one.

We're sick and tired - ready to die.

We've come tp a terrible state Mark and don't know how to handle this anymore.

We've tried calm/ talking/agreements - it gets us nowhere.

We've tried telling him he will be kicked out ( and by the way if he goes out wihtout pemissionwe will lock the door and he can stay out) - he says it's his houise and he will not leave ( its parents house and we share)....he says we have no rigths because its not our house; they are sick and tired of endless arguments as well and my father has said he should leave....then we all calm down and wait for the next eruption

What do we do?

We've found out he smokes pot - he says occasionally....may be so or may be a heavy smoker we don't know; we are testing him ( did a test last night) and plan to test every week.

2 nights ago he had someone's credit card in his pocket -s aid a friend gave it to him. We confiscated it. He sees it as a joke. We don't think he would have used it - one thing about him is that he would not steal money from anyone ( he is actually generally honest and very clever about being dishonest - you get distorted version of the truth rather than outright lies)

Everything has deteriorated into one big circle of hatred. We hate him; he hates us.

My Out-of-Control Teen

17.11.10

He is now in grade 12 and failing his first semester...

My son has never been diagnosed with Aspergers but there are some traits/symptoms that I do recognize in him. My son’s name is Alex and he is 17 years old. He was a happy child until he reached grade 7 where he started feeling that he did not fit in. Because he was bright and identified as gifted we sent him to a private school where the discipline was paramount. He was happy at first then started coasting. At the end of grade 8 he decided to try for the International Baccalaureate program at a nearby school. He got in despite the rigorous competition. At the end of grade nine it was obvious that the program was not for him. Since then it has been a progressive decline in academic standing but mostly in his happiness….his self-perception, the way he relates to others. We have watched in desperation as our once happy son has turned into a sullen and unmotivated young man. Last year in grade 11 he failed 4out of 8 courses. During the year we worked very closely with the school in trying to provide him with all that is necessary for him to succeed. We found a counselor who worked with him for a while but decided very quickly that the boy was fine and was just being a teenager. Alex is very bright and knows what to tell people to make them happy or to convince them he is fine. He saw a doctor because he expressed that he was feeling depressed and overwhelmed, a state that is understandable for anyone who has let his work slip so much that he knows he will fail. He was on antidepressants for a while but dropped the medication because he said it made him feel detached. My husband and I have tried different approaches, a mistake from what I have read in your manual. I tend to be the disciplinarian while my husband favors a softer approach. This I believe has contributed to the problem. We have been working together to come to some form of solution. I would lie if I said we were not desperate.

Alex does not have many friends but he does have a girlfriend and the two of them get along very well. We know her father and we try to stay as involved as he will let us. For the better part he sticks to the curfew although he has snuck out for the night on a handful of occasions. He was grounded. As a family we are very close despite the strain this is putting on us. Alex comes home but tends to keep to himself. We have dinner together at the kitchen table almost every night and try to engage him as much as possible on a variety of topics. Sometimes we are successful other times he will not participate. But the routine lives on. Whenever there is a confrontation he will reproach me for all the lecturing I used to do when driving him to school ( it was impossible to get him ready on time and we were stressed every morning). He said that it frustrated him so much that he was unable to relate to his peers. I have invited him to discuss this with me alone or with a psychologist but he refuses, saying there is nothing to discuss. Yet he reproaches me every chance he has. I have to add that as a child he had friends over all the time or was invited to his friends’.

He is now in grade 12 and failing his first semester. He started off well or so it seemed but by October it was abundantly clear that he was not meeting his obligations. We have been in to talk to the school repeatedly. We cannot reach him. If pressed he simply flees. He is angry. Unhappy. Does not want to go see the doctor. Despite all that, he is working with the tutor while he is with him but is not capable of handing in assignments or working independently. Truancy at school is becoming more and more of an issue. The school has mentioned that they might expel him, to which he replies “maybe that is what I need to get myself together” or “I will be out of your hair soon enough”. I am sure that you have heard this many times before, but my husband and I don’t know what to do.

My Out-of-Control Teen

7.11.10

She has suffered for years with self destructive behaviors such as bulimia, cutting, drinking, drug use, stealing, lying ...

My name is Rene and I'm writing to see if you can give me any guidance or leads for social services and/or any other type of programs that we may try to help my partner's 19 yr old. She has suffered for years with self destructive behaviors such as bulimia, cutting, drinking, drug use, stealing, lying and most recently arrested for DUI. She has recently gotten a job but is now faced with the possibility of losing it. Her parents are divorced and she is not welcome to stay at her mothers, has been staying at her fathers but was kicked out this weekend. We would like to offer her to come back home but with strict guidelines, with some form of therapy or counseling a must. We just don't know where to start and aren't sure she will participate. With her being 19, going on 20, do we have any legal force to make her participate in a program?

What are your suggestions for us to begin looking at programs that she could participate in but yet still keep her job, which we feel is important to helping her learn to be self-sufficient and responsible. She has shown absolutely no responsibility, respect or concern for anyone, including herself; although she always puts her own wants before others.

We are open to any suggestions you may have. Her mother works at a highschool and I'm assuming would have access through her insurance to some mental health programs. Would you suggest we start there first? Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciate.

My Out-of-Control Teen

28.10.10

I am at wits ends with my teenage boy...

i am at wits ends with my teenage boy... he nearly 17... has been let down in every way from my choices with men.. he doesnt really have amale role mopdel and i cant give him the one thing he screaming out for... his father... my boy pierce has a very big heart an puts on big front but deep down has alot of emotional issues, we clash, i try everything, i am on my own at moment an for the past 3 years lived with my older parents and my daughter his half sister who is 3 an half... i also a shift worker working 2 days 2 nights 4 off, hence livin with my parents for help with the kids... we moving into our own place come xmas me thinkin this will give him more independance and us 3 a bit of freedom and time together, but tonight i read his facebook wall and it really disturbing...brought tears to my eyes.. ever since i split with my daughters dad back in 2007 when she 8months ive had hell with him even phone calls from school every week he was in private catholic school and i cried many times on their shoulders to no avail, even after constant asking of help with this boy or maybe programs we could do together or big brother programs or somethin, after 2 years of no answers an no help from school my mum got involved and they sent him to school counsellor every week but this didnt help much, he is a gorgeous boy seriously deep down best big brother but they do fight, he was close with my daughters dad as he long time family friend, there is so much that has happened that really cant write it all down, me an him very similar prob why we clash, i get so frustrated with him that yell an shout at him but he alwasy gotta have last say, always someone else fault , even now that he at different school, he is very immature nearly 17 year old, just wanting people to like him, but doesnt have many friends, i worry constantly, but can see why no one wants to be his friends he annoys the livin shit out you, i cant sometimes more often lately even stand it when he opens his mouth, tried so many things with him so have my parents, his father never really been part of his life only when he felt like it, hit n miss an he did more damage than good, his father very immature 40 year old that will never grow up... he got married last year to girlfriend he'd been with since pierce was 2 an i never had problem with it, they have 2 girls 11 and 9 i think he never had much to do with em, all pierce ever wanted was his dad, his dad was a part of his life on an off when i fell pregnant with my daughter all was fine and his dad asked if he'd be his best man, he was so excited, then i had abbey 1st day of high school for him in year 8 2007, and his father got the shits on again for some reason we never could understand why but he did and my daughters dad after lots of discussion wanted to adopt pierce, i asked pierce's dad if he'd agree as he didnt give shit about him anyways never paid child support, we never mentioned it to pierce as wanted to speak to his dad first, his father hit the roof and said he wouldnt or if pierce wanted this then he wouldnt have 2 sisters a cousin liam who has always been close to an was the only one a constant part of pierce's life.. so we decided to drop it an not say anything to pierce to spare him the hurt, but that easter he was liam and decided without me knowin to suprise his dad an go see him, his father told him what i had asked and then spend 10 mins with him an left to go the local TAB an didnt come back while pierce was there, he confronted me about it and in end wanted tony to adopt him, he was so hurt but never talked bout alwasy on the defencive when mentioning his father, always sticking up for him, we have always tried sparing pierce the hurt from his dad and his parents, never ever bad mouthed his dad as my biggest fear was to loose him to his father as a teenager, to someone that couldnt so much as a phone 2 or 3 times a year, when he was younger 10 11 an 12 maybe he'd want to ring his dad, quite often his father not home an not return his phone calls, then would call months later and i'd have an arguement with him over it and his reply would be well the little fuck doesnt call me or come see me only when he wants something, it broke my heart as he couldnt see the only thing he wanted was him... now that hes' older i dont shield him from my feelings towards his dad for the way he treats him, but he still will stick up for him, and then not want to talk bout it... pierce has alot of attitude and its in every way he talks to everyone, always, then we all end up arguing.. he not got anger issues to the point he will get into fights or anythin, his mouth gets him into trouble , from years of bullying but try explaing to him what he does with his mouth his still bullyin, its emotional, not physical abuse, he's a big boy 6 ft and prob bout 90 kilos solid little shit not fat stocky with tree trunks for legs very good aussie rules footballer an could go long way with it and is very passionate about it but playing football in a town were his dad once played and everyone knows him but pierce, and the attitude pierce has people often tell him " your just like ya father"... !!! when he clashes with older people my age that are coaches and stuff.... when i split with tony he blamed me and had alot of anger towards me cos he'd left.... thats when we started havin attitude and behavioural problems pretty much for the last 3 years have good patches and to all my friends etc etc they think he's wonderful, he bahves is polite etc etc,, very cocky but my friends an family understand whats gone on in last 16 years pretty much they dont discuss with him but always take interest with him an take him places etc etc spend time with him... i'm a pretty down to earth person an try to be new age mum as i cant an wont tell him he cant do something cos ive probably done it myself and ive always been very open an honest when talking bout drugs alcohol and he gets to have a few beers an stuff i try working with him but then give him an inch he take a mile, i so worried he gonna get no where in life as he be in year 12 next year the last year of school, and really he's just waisting my time time and money and his own, he has so much to offer he has big heart very caring very lovin very emotionall side to him, if he'd just grow up and i always say it to him just think before ya speak....cos i swear he actin like he has lost every brain cell....at moment.... i just no what to do it is very hard cos of my work and little one and it only being us an my parents which i clash with to, and the constant struggle, he works only 3 or 4 hours a week and acts like im sendind him off to prison for life every week we argue bout him working couple hours he just wants it all handed to him cos all his mates give him shit or dont have to work, but my kids only got me an i support him every other way with money sports clothes tryin to give him things but everything i can, tryiny to be everything for him and abbey, but i cant give him the one thing he wants and so desperately needs which is father or a role model my dads 61 and an my dad is his ali, always sticking up for him, but pierce plays us all off against each other so cause tension for everyone, and when he starts carrying on with attitude and his mouth we all cant take it... no one for him to talk teenage boy stuff with, girl stuff, all the stuff he wants to babble on about... he doesnt no how to have civilised conversation sensibly always ends up with him bein childish and idoit talk... im really at wits ends with him i have tried everything bein cool mum, bein tuff, bein carin, bein supportive, treid counselling tried teen camp projects, pretty much gone broke trying everything on our own because wherever we asked for help even with child welfare, governments etc etc everyone would say we dont know how we can help,,,, i pretty much at witts ends and rang welfare to come get him or they'd have blood on their hands, cos i couldnt do it anymore after 2 years of no one wanting to help me, i was screaming foir help, to the point i was put on anti depressants and hospilised, it all became to much dealing with a baby, relationship breakdown, a baby, and i not very open person was dealing with it on my own, keepin it my myself until pretty much i couldnt anymore and my mum stepped in and 6 months of her on phone, internet everything she could think of no one still willing to help.... he not a kid walking the streets, getting into strife like alot of kids his age in this town, not into drugs, and bad in those ways, still plays an loves his sports, haved taken mobile of him amny times and computer and his sports sometimes then he comes good for bit, then back into old ways, i have very heartbreaking and disturbing messages on both phone and his facebook when have had access and this is really starting to worry me cos i dont no where to turn or do with a teenage boy, everything i have trued has failed him.... im so angry and wild at moment with him and hurt but refrainin from speakin to him right at this time as he gone to school and i hope i can be more calm without loosing it with him when he gets home.... can you help us... ? sorry bout the long letter have been up all night with no sleep now and so tried of searching internet.... have spent many many days scouting threw sights..... would love to maybe find a big brother program or something in australia but not alot of options ere...really frustrating... even for us both to go together or something.... anything...read books got him to read books, it not working..... bloody teenage boys i remember at school at that age i hated them they were so annoying an immature but never as bad as pierce is.

My Out-of-Control Teen

22.10.10

My home is a war zone...

My name is Kathy and I am the Step Mother of two teenage boys here in Cos Cob, CT (Greenwich). Tommy is 16 years old and James is 13 years old.

In June 2003 their Mother died of a drug overdose. Tom and I started to date 5 months later. This is my first marriage and I have no biological children.

My husband, Tom and I got married in July 2004 (one year after the death of his wife).

Both boys are opposite in personality and have each their own set of issues. Both are in private schools, have been to therapy and don’t like it and don’t want to change or open up. Both DO NOT GET ALONG WITH EACH OTHER AT ALL. In fact, I have rarely seen them ever enjoy each other’s company.

James is the one that I am having most issues with now.

Example:

If I tell James to turn off the television 2 times and he doesn’t hear me I go over and turn the TV off myself and he goes berserk. Yelling and screaming at me and telling me he hates my guts, I ruined his life and that I should go to Hexx. (Can’t spell out bad language). How I handle this is: I don’t talk to James or drive him around to social events, I completely ignore him. Then he goes out of his way to be nice to me and then we are somewhat friends and there is a calmness. Then the pattern just repeats itself, so presently I am NOT talking to him. After the event happened and I saw my husband at the football field 10 minutes later I started yelling at my husband because of this, and my husband wasn’t there when the episode happened. My husband doesn’t deserve to get yelled at by surprise. I am actually ashamed of myself and disappointed that I could behave in a manner like that when I actually thought I had control over my emotions.

At the end of the School Year in June 2010, James was sent home from a sailing trip with his school because he had punched one of the tour guides in the stomach, out of the blue, for no apparent reason. He also was sexting (sending inappropriate text messages) to some of the girls on the trip and they were very upset. The School director has since printed those inappropriate messages and they are on school record. James denied everything until 5 teachers confronted him round table in a meeting attended by all of us. He grudgingly apologized and really didn’t believe 100% that he did anything wrong or that he deserved to be sent home. I also put him in front of a psychiatrist and a therapist, and they showed real concern that he denied everything. But there is nothing they can do if he doesn’t tell the truth. We begged him to come clean and to be honest with himself and he won’t get in trouble for being honest. Still he lied.

My home is a war zone. If I am not in a fight with both boys, my husband is. The only calmness I get is no talking.

We are a Catholic Family, we go to Church every Sunday, we go to confession once a month, we pray the rosary, and there is definitely cursing that goes on in this house, despite all of that. I organized a public rosary rally last Saturday and am involved with the Catholic Youth Group in our Church every Thursday and Tommy, 16 year old attends.

My Out-of-Control Teen

6.10.10

She gets annoyed and refuses to talk...

I have a daughter who is 14 years old. She has stopped studying and refuses to listen to us parents. She went out with friends a few times (5 -6 times) but later we found out that she had been to the disco theatre and has been telling lies to us about many things.

She gets annoyed and refuses to talk to us (her parents)

The background is that I her mother I feel have been harassing her for being naughty and not studying, and in the home front also my husband and me had many arguments almost every day.

I am now worried and do not know how to make her open up and talk to us and tell us her problem. I am just worried that this problem of hers might land her up in serious problem and with the wrong friends who might take advantage of her situation now. She feels that she can do anything and I feel that there are friends who are encouraging her but do not know how to go about finding this out

I have been worried and have not been able to sleep well recently.

My Out-of-Control Daughter

28.9.10

He doesn't seem to care...

We bought a chore chart, and he and my daughter both loved doing the chores and earning money for them. A couple of times I made him pay me for having to pick up his room, but overall his effort toward helping out was great. He had quit radding the pantry/fridge for unearned treats, and he was much more forthcoming with confessions of wrongdoing when picking fights with his sister. It seemed we were on the right track...

Then school started. For a couple weeks I thought things were going well. And I hoped that we would have a year of homework done on time and no major discipline problems. I asked him everyday how things went, and he told me great. In the past, he would always tell me when something went wrong. Usually he blamed someone else (Stephen got me in trouble today etc...) so I thought things were going well. Then I got an email from his teacher asking to talk with me. Apparently, things had not been going well. His homework had been turned in on time, but he rushes through it all and misses easy things (I would check his homework, except he finishes it during class. I guess that's the rushing through it part. We've since told him he has to take it all home so we can check it. Should I check it, or should I make him responsible for doing it correctly? I don't know if that is fostering self reliance, or if he really does need the help). His desk was already moved away from all the other students because he was a distraction. She believes he can't control himself, constantly yells out the answers, is out of his seat all the time (even after being asked repeatedly to stay put and stop yelling out the answers). But I'm convinced he can control it, but he chooses not to. He is doing this for attention. He has regularly been on honor roll in the past. But now he is, I believe, purposefully messing up. Getting almost every question wrong on some of his tests, then being asked to redo the test (because she thinks he knows better too) and still not doing it right. In Math, and English, and Religion (He's in a Catholic school), not just one subject. Now he lies to us about his conduct grades, knowing full well that I will talk to his teacher (I teach at his school as well, so I talk to her probably every other day).

After the first week of poor conduct, and figuring out that he lied to us, we decided to ground him for the weekend. His conduct did not improve this past week, so now he is grounded for the week. He has practically nothing in his room now, and is not even allowed in a room with a tv. We (especially my husband) are very frustrated and losing patience with him. We thought things were going well, but apparently he was just lying to us the whole time! I don't know if he was just hiding things from us over the summer when we thought things were going well, or if something changed. I feel like he's grounded all the time and don't know what else we can do. He still likes doing the chores for payment, but he has started steeling food again (I promise we don't starve him) loading his lunch box with way too many snacks and leaving very little for his sister. Then lying to us about taking it. Purposefully doing irritating things (in the car he likes to kick our chair 'accidentally' or make sound effects then 'forgetting' that we asked him not to). I know we are supposed to put on our poker face and not give him energy when he does these things, but he doesn't seem to care about the consequences. We will say, if you don't stop making that noise now, you will not get to play when we get to Nan Kim's house. But he doesn't seem to care. So he sits out at her house, and continues to make the noise.

My Out-of-Control Teen

I am the classic over-indulgent parent...

I am, as you put it, the classic over-indulgent parent, my daughters (17 and my youngest is 13) are high on self-esteem and low on motivation and self-reliance and they run rings around me, they do very little in the way of chores or schoolwork and regularly verbally abuse me through criticism and swearing. They say they can’t respect me because I have no backbone and let things go without punishment. Issues often arise as a result of arguments between the 2 girls, they both think they are right and the other is wrong and both expect me make things fair by punishing the other one. It seems impossible to me to come up with any strategy that will please any one so I do tend to ‘stick my head in the sand’ because it is all too hard.

For example – my older daughter had run out of foundation and had been borrowing her sisters until her sister said she needed it for a party the next day and wouldn’t let her sister borrow it. The 17 year old flew into a complete rage, she has issues with anger management, and stormed into the younger sisters room and demanded all her old clothes back in retaliation, they were screaming and swearing at each other in front of the wardrobe, I stood in between them to try to separate them. The older one put her hand out, she says to get stuff from the wardrobe, the younger one, thought she was going to hit her and punched her in the face in defence. This all happened when my younger daughter had a school friend over for a sleepover and my older daughter was in a rush to go out for her 17th birthday. I thought they both behaved shamefully and were both at fault, but the 17 year old refuses to take any responsibility for the situation and demands that the younger one be grounded and she be rewarded for not hitting back (even though she threatened to destroy the younger sister’s cell phone, i-pod, camera and throw out her goldfish) she claims that because she saw reason and didn’t do any of these she should be rewarded. I honestly didn’t know what to do and they both see me as pathetic because I let the other one get away with it.

I’m seeing myself as completely pathetic now and seem to muck up everything because I am unsure of how to deal decisively with these situations.

I really need some help.

My Out-of-Control Daughter

25.9.10

Grandson Problems

I am wondering if your program will work for us. I am trying hard to be a grandparent to my grandson (16 yrs old). He has been kicked out of the house by his mother and his aunt and uncle because of his behavior. I don't want to give up on this child, but I am not exactly 30 or 40 anymore. I work outside the home and try to get him to school and just provide the best home life i can. But, I am at the end of my rope already.

In 5 days of school, and it was a fight to get him into the school - 2 week’s worth of phone calls and pleading on my part. No one wants this disruptive child. He has managed to skip 3 times and be late to classes 7 x. He also swears in class and is disruptive. Daily he blows smoke up my skirt with all his talk of doing well and does squat. After Friday’s classes, we had a yelling match, (I yelled and he was sullen), then i went to work. When I returned home, he had done nothing as usual. Dishes piled in the sink, underwear etc on the floor no picking up anything. He was laying on the couch, snacking and acting as if nothing had happened.

I really do not know whether to just send him back to his old home town, to be in a group home on welfare and let him go. I have turned down shifts (i am a nurse) to handle these problems. It is costing us money, time and I am starting to worry about my stress levels on top of all of this. If you think your program will help, I will purchase it. But truly be honest with me, as I am at the end of my rope with this one.

I hate to let a grandchild fail like this, but I really cannot cope with his anger/skipping/ late/ lack of motivation/ lying, etc. I just got him to stop going on line till 4-5 am in the mornings, by threatening to remove the modem from the computer and take it to work. I should not have to do this over and over again.

Anyway i am writing you a book here, sorry. Just frustrated.

One tired old grandma

My Out-of-Control Grandson

15.9.10

Daughter Problems

My husband and I were away for the past 3 days. Our teen was staying at her sister and brother-in-law's. At some point, either after school or during a school day, she came home and brought her boyfriend with her. She knows that we have the rule that she is not allowed to have anyone over while we are away. We had everything totally cleaned before we left as we are trying to sell our house and there was to be one or two showings while we were gone. She knew this as well. Anyways, when we got home, we found that her bed had been slept in and she had used our jacuzzi tub in our ensuite. She wasn't very discreet about putting things away but it was very obvious that there had been two people in the tub as she had two bath pillows in there (I had only left one in the tub when I left). She had stayed overnight at her sister's again last night as we got home very late. I picked her up this a.m. to give her a ride. I just asked her where she stayed while we were away. She said at her sister's (I will double check that one out) and then I asked her if she had been to the house while we were gone. She said she was and I asked if she had anyone over. She told me she had her boyfriend come over after school one day. I told her we were not happy about that as she knew the rule on that one. I told her we would be changing the door code from now on when we went away and she would not be getting it. She keeps saying "I'm 17" and she got so made when I told her she couldn't have the code when we were gone. Then I asked her about the tub. She said she had a bath there herself (never has before). When I told her that we knew her boyfriend had been in there, too, she blew up at me and called me names and said "f... you" many times.

Her and her boyfriend had been invited to our niece's wedding in a couple of months. He would have to stay with us in the hotel room which we were not happy about to begin with but were willing to take him along. Then this happened and I told her the only way he would be allowed to come with us is if he comes and apologizes to us to our face for this episode. She then got so mad and said he wasn't even at our house after she had just told me he was. She threw her school books on the floor of my vehicle and slammed the door once we got to the school. I just drove off. Then I get a text from her basically telling me she wasn't lying and she was so mad at me because I don't believe her. She tells one lie after another all the time and we have caught her in so many of them. No, I don't believe her and don't trust her at all.

Can you please let me know how to handle this? I should have asked you before I spoke with her this a.m. but I was so upset with her and I wear my heart on my sleeve. She knew I was upset about something. I really have to work on the "poker face". I just get so hurt by her and she has me so worn down that I seem to have no reserve left.

My Out-of-Control Teen

30.8.10

He still struggles with abandonment, anger, submission to authority or discipline and self image...

About 10 months ago, my husband and I took on the responsibility of being kinship foster carers for my sister's 14 year old step son. However, I do most of the parenting as my husband is out of town 4 days a week. Both his natural mother (who abandoned him at 3 years of age) and his father have signed a court order that they are not willing to care for him any more. It has been a rough road but by applying some of the techniques you suggested we are making progress. He has overcome many obstacles since moving in, including that he no longer smokes, takes drugs or fights. However he still struggles with abandonment, anger, submission to authority or discipline and self image. We did not know him before he came into our home, so we are having to find out who he is now and who he can be but know limited information about how he became the way he is. The biggest hurdle we have at the moment, is that for the last several years, he has been unable to successfu!

lly integrate into the school system and is continually being excluded within a short amount of time because of his inability to submit and control his actions and words towards those in authority. Also, at least once a week (it used to be several times a day!) I still bear the brunt of his frustrations through the verbal onslaught of his anger which seem to be triggered as I try to discipline him when his behaviour is inappropriate or control some of his actions or demands. He often runs away and has even got out of a moving car several times when he is overwhelmed. He refuses to get psychological help so that is why I sought help myself and found your website and resources. Though I raised three children who are well balanced adults, I have found my parenting methods of the past are not as effective with my nephew.

Out-of-Control Teen

29.8.10

Out of control daughter...

These are the issues we are currently having with our daughter:

- lying constantly to us
- not coming home for days at a time
- never helping to do anything at home
- does not follow any of our rules
- consequences mean nothing to her
- being disrespectful to her dad & I
- cannot trust her at all
- tells us what we want to hear & does opposite

School is starting on Tuesday and we have a feeling that she will not attend and if she does, it won't be long before she will be skipping again as she did last year. She just has absolutely no interest in school. She has a very part-time job.

We want to give her a chance to see how school will go here but if it doesn't work out, she needs to move out as we can no longer go on this way we are. We lay awake at nights worrying ourselves sick as to where she is and if she's okay. We took away her cell phone as she would never call us anyways to let us know where she was and if she was okay. It was only being used to call/text boyfriend all the time and we are not paying for that! We don't pay for anything else at this point....just food/shelter for when she is home.

So, what would you suggest in a case like this? I know if we ask her if she wants to move out, she would definitely say "yes" but she has no money. As I said, it could take months for her to save enough money for what it would take to even rent an apartment for one month. Jobs are very hard to come by here right now and she is lucky to even have the one she has but she definitely does not make enough to move out...even if she had a few roommates. I don't think we can wait this out if she doesn't attend school. Our health is definitely suffering from all this child has been putting us through. We both feel much resentment towards her as she just does not care how she is affecting us. She just calls us "freaks" because we have rules. Her boyfriend has no rules. His dad left him & his brother (both teens) home alone all summer long and when he is home, he could care less where he is at or what he is doing. So, this is how our daughter thinks we should be. Not a chance of that happening so we butt heads all the time over this. But, now we have had enough and are ready for her to move out because she is gone all the time now. At least if she moved out, we would know where she was staying. We just need to know how to get this process going sooner rather than later if she chooses not to attend school. We don't want to have this carry on for months as we know we can't take it anymore.

My Out-of-Control Daughter

My teenager has been a hand full since he was little...

Like alot of other people, my teenager has been a hand full since he was little. But now at six foot four, he can be a destructive, abusive monster. When he smashes his way through our home with his fist or when he kicks the living daylights out of a door with such fierce hate, I cannot understand if he is normal – I don’t actually know what is normal anymore. He turns from being a calm person, to some monster, normally if he doesn’t get what he wants. His way to get what he wants is to destroy the home and everyone in it with his abuse and destruction. I feel numb now when he is in a rage and have tried to walk away. I have come to a stage in my life, when I know my two girls would have a better life in their home if he moved out. You may think that this is not right, but we have tried so many times to help him have a good life. He was school refusal and his dad and I tried our hardest to help him. Adolescent programs, counselling, just left him be to try and work things out – my doctor who knows him well – has told me that each place we have been – the general feedback is – he is just too hard to work with. There is not much of this home that hasn’t been replastered, most of the doors have been replaced, or maybe it will be a new remote on the wall for the ducted heating that he ripped of the wall this evening, or a panel beater where he punched my car – I just cannot understand him any more. I sat and listened to his foul mouth tonight, screaming outside in the backyard, kicking the gates in and I know he just doesn’t care, what anyone thinks about his behaviour. His dad and I are at a lost – how do you live with such a violate person, even if he is your son. Don’t get me wrong, I love my son and so does his dad, but how long do you have to put up with this behaviour? What worries me is the effect he is having on his sisters, they have lived this life, with his behaviour problems all their life – my youngest who is 12, was tonight, crying with her hands in her head – the look of a much older person – sick of the arguments and destruction, mainly because he wanted to kill the dog she loves, because he chewed up something of his. I don’t want them effected, but how can they not be when he is so out of control. Do I leave and take them with me, or see it out and hope they turn out to be decent people? I don’t want to leave, but their dad and I both agree they are important and I want them to live a “normal” life. For two placid parents, who although we have hit the roof may times – I just do not understand where he is coming from. As parents we have tried to give him a balanced life, his dad takes him fishing, motor bike riding etc, and he can return from these trips and just a small thing when unpacking the trailer can send him into a full rage. Maybe we have tried too hard. Tonight I have changed my ebay password to stop him from buying on line and just expecting that it is his right to use my account – tomorrow I will face at some stage, a full fight as I know he will be furious at me for stopping him from going on ebay and using my account. At seventeen, we both feel that he needs to be more responsible and to respect us, if it means facing another path of destruction, then that is what it will be. His fury is frightening, because you just don’t know where it will end. The most interesting part of all this is, he holds a great job currently, roof plumbing, and he does not show his anger and fury to many people. He is very quiet and well behaved around others, not many people know what we are “trying” to control in the home.

My Out-of-Control Teen

24.8.10

ODD Daughter !?

Leah, is the second oldest of five children. Her older brother Matt has severe adhd and asperger's syndrome. Hence we have spent many hours and much effort trying to help him. Leah, as a child never did learn to entertain herself. In the car driving or at home, all other kids could be happily entertaining themselves and Leah would get bored and within a few seconds, she would have someone yelling. As a child, if mom said stay out of the mud, that was it, she found the biggest mud puddle she could. At age 12, she wanted a string bikini. Mom and dad said no, so she thought she could walk into a gift shop and steal one. Didn't work out for her. We are a good strong stable family who go to church every week and spend lots of time with the kids. She never got that "responsibility trait" that says "as an older sibling I will help out" Never happened. We couldn't ever leave the kids with her. Trouble would happen for sure. If we left her with someone, she would not listen to them and there would be trouble.

As a teenager, we didn't allow drinking or partying (or so we thought) but for 2 or 3 years she managed to do this anyhow and we missed it. At age 19, she was in a major car accident as a result of texting while driving and nearly lost her life. Broke about 25 bones. She has been living on her own (with roommates) for three years now and trying to go to school. She has had some great plans and ideas but can't stick to one thing longer than 6 months before she is bored and changes her plan. Hence it has cost us alot of money and she still doesn't have anything yet. Last spring we decided to cut her off financially. She went to work and earned lots but got a whole bunch of speeding tickets. She just won't listen to anyone and thinks she knows it all and just keeps messing up. She works herself into the ground but has no discipline to manage her money. Leah is and always has been fiercely independant and we've labled her as the girl who has to learn everything the hard way. But could there be something else? Compared to some of the testimonies on your website, Leah seems pretty mild. I would never considered putting her in a juvenille home.

I always wondered if she had add, but compared to her brother, it just didn't seem to be as bad. She is now 20 and sort of on her own. But she still causes us much stress and worry and I don't know if she'll ever be able to have a long term relationship with someone because almost every job she's had and pretty much every place she's lived, she doesn't get along with people and they want her out.

Will she out grow this thing or is there a way to help her?

My Out-of-Control Daughter

17.8.10

I am running out of things to try...

We adopted a boy and his sister in 2001. At that time our son was 5 years old and our daughter was 8 years old. The daughter had abuse and sexal abuse before she was put into the system for adoption. The boy was only 2 before they entered the system. He seems to be normal except for allergies. She has ADHD and is a slow learner and also has allergies. She has had temper tamtams ever since she was little. For a time it was better. We had her tested two years ago and found out that she is behind herself by 4 years. We started her in Sylvan Learning with reading. She was tested and had to start with 4th grade work to catch herself up with her grade. She has been working on math now. She was also tested and had to start at 4th grade. We have also worked on study skills. She is now 17 going on 18 in November. She is very defient. She only helps with work around the house when she gets something in return. If she does not get what she wants, she usually has a temper tamtam. Which now consist of stomping and yelling. When she gets out of control, I hold her down so she does not hurt herself or anyone else.

She started dating at 16. She always seems to pick the boys who are in trouble. She was dating a boy named Philip who ended up in Juvenle Dentention for 14 days for beating his mother. But she did not tell us until later.

She had sex for the first time around Christmas last year. She had a boy, Alan over for an afternoon and asked to go to his house the next weekend. We left her go. I had meet his mother and she seemed fine. But, I was wrong. The mom left them have sex in his bedroom with her in the living room.

It took 6 months to break her from dating Philip. We just found out recently that she had sex with him too after telling us they were not doing it. Now she has a new boyfrield, Steven. We had meet his parents. They seemed very caring and wanted to make sure that the kids were not dating too fast. We trusted the kids to spend some time together. There was someone at home at the time. They had went outside and had sex in a wagon.

She has no sense on right or wrong. We had taken her to a Catholic Youth Conference and thought that it had helped her. But she has gotten worst. She is very resentful at her brother. He is in scouts and goes on trips. She is not in any sports or clubs except 4-H. We have tired to get her in other activites. She seems to be afraid of new things. Like learning to drive. She has only driven 15 hours since December.

When she gets mad now, she threatens to move out when she is 18. I tell her that she needs transportation, money, food, and shelter. So find a job, get your license, and find shelter. She says that she will live in a cardboard box. I said that you better hope it is a warm winter or you will freeze.

I am running out of things to try.

Online Parent Support

14.8.10

I called the police tonight...

Greetings from Australia!
I recently came across your programme when, following the suggestion of a friend, I searched on line for help with my 15 year old daughter, Bek. Almost immediately I found your website and ... WOW! It was just what I needed. You seem to understand what I am dealing with here. The total background is far too complex for me to give it here now, but the basics are: I am a single mum with 4 children - Bek 15 years, Matt 14 years, twins Sophie & Erin, 11 years (12 in Oct). Bek has been living with me all the time since her father physically assaulted her 18 months ago, the other 3 children are in 50% shared care - but in a 4 week plan where I have all 4 children for one week, then 3, then 2 then Bek on her own for a week. It is almost 5 years since separation and they have been very difficult years. My ex-husband is very controlling/authoritarian and I have become over-indulgent. Thanks to your programme I can see where I went wrong and, more importantly, I now have the tools to put things right, although I'm sure I have a very long, hard road ahead, as Bek is particularly stubborn - and ODD - and parenting her has always been difficult. I have just completed the 4 weeks and have used varying degrees of the strategies with all of my children and for the first time feel hope for my them that I can parent them in a way which will be for their best. I have been sick for the last week so it has been an extra challenge for me but I have been determined to stick with it. I'm still working on the finer detail of some aspects, but feel encouraged for the first time in a long time.

My immediate problem is this:

Bek is not in regular schooling (not because she doesn't have the ability - she is highly intelligent) but because she has refused to attend - and the private school her Dad insisted on her attending is only small and didn't really offer enough options to engage her. I have recently enrolled Bek at the local High School in a programme which allows her to work instead of attending school. She is currently saying she wants to attend a different school next year, but doesn't understand the difficulties of being accepted at a school when we don't live in that school zone. Bek is employed part time at Hungry Jacks (same as Burger King) and has been doing lots of late night shifts until paperwork is sorted out allowing her to work during the day - you may hear more about that later! Bek is all out of routine and not sleeping well and tends to be up all night and sleeps all day while the other children are at school and I'm at work. This has been very difficult for me in particular as I tend to hear all the noises during the night - getting food to eat, washing, showering, sometimes even going for a walk in the middle of the night. The week I did the first lot of on-line videos etc I only had Bek and as she is the only child that week there is more potential for things to be less stressful, and I was surprised at how well things went when I said she wasn't to go walking during the night or do washing or showering. However, last Monday night I said that it would be the last night that tv would be on after 10:30pm. Tuesday night Bek came home from work at 1:30 am (wed morning)after a close shift and entered my room and turned the light on and demanded the lead so she could watch tv. After arguing from her (while I practiced my poker face) and at one point refusing to leave my room, etc, she went to her room. Wednesday she had another close shift and went to a friend's house after work so the tv wasn't an issue. Thursday she was watching tv and I reminded her that it needed to be off at 10:30 and if it wasn't she wouldn't have tv for the weekend. She finished watching the programme she had on but then turned to another channel so I put the tv off. This resulted in one of her tantrums and she threw the dvd remote, threw a cup towards the front door and it shattered into a million pieces, went through the kitchen and pushed the toaster onto the floor, threw a chopping board on the floor and the board broke, then went through the family room and pushed a cupboard around, and then to her room. She went out Friday afternoon/evening and while she was out I took 2 of her most treasured possessions - her i-pod dock and hair straightener, but obviously I mis-judged and this was no-where near enough (although her room is such a mess I don't really know what else she would miss). Bek came home about 10pm to get ready for work at 11 pm and said she was never cleaning up the mess and upon being told that she could get her things back and have access to screen time again 3 days after cleaning up the mess she attacked me and threw some bakery items onto the floor. Tonight (Saturday) she again said she wouldn't be cleaning up, and after I said I wouldn't take her to her friend's house she attempted to attack me and then threw a small ginger beer bottle (which still had some ginger beer in it) towards the front door so that is now mixed with the mess already there.

I know you said that things would get worse before they get better, but where did I go wrong and where do I go from here? I am prepared to stick and this and out-last her, but we really need the mess cleaned up as soon as possible - the front door is currently the only door I can lock upon leaving the house, but I don't want to have to walk through all the stuff there every time.

I called the police tonight and after I explained what was going on and how we had got here the woman I spoke to made a couple of comments which prompted me to say she didn't understand what Bek was like and she said she did understand. She promptly proved herself wrong by telling me I was going about it the wrong way and I should give the stuff back and get Bek to work with me in cleaning up her mess! The police wouldn't send a patrol out because by this point Bek had left the house (walking over all the smashed stuff and leaving the door open!). I was advised to report the assault at a police station tomorrow and I am fairly certain that if/when I do, because of the number of reports in the past it won't be my decision what happens but the police will decide. I have had differing advice from the police in the past as to what is the best way to deal with Bek's behaviour, which makes it harder to know what to do because some of the cops give the impression that it isn't worth taking things further because of her age. I know a guy at church who is a policeman based at my local station so I will try and talk to him first.

I sincerely thank you for your programme - I have tried various counselling avenues, including one psychologist who I felt had no idea what I was dealing with finally shrugging her shoulders and said she thought "the horse had already bolted". As mentioned above I feel at last I have tools to use - I know that too many times in the past I should have done something but ended up doing nothing because I didn't know how to go about it. I really believe the time is right for change and I am taking it on faith that this is the way to go. I also have support and encouragement from an older couple from church, and I am taking you at your word that if I work the plan, the plan will work!

My Out-of-Control Teen

13.8.10

I really am at my wits end...

I really am at my wits end. I have cried my eyes out reading here..the validation..is so....powerful..I have been a counselor in the past, ironically, to teens(girls, the child in question is a boy, and has a mildly autistic brother, younger)He steals, lies, breaks things only eith special meaning to me..I'm a single parent. I have never left him..but in his very young age...I spit up with his father, an addict, and a man with anger issues...my son was ild enough to recall my being threatened by his dad..this caused me to leave...his dad has been extremely inconsistent,blaming and neglectful at best towards his son....only now too little too late. I keep wondering why he targets me...I have my own problems, but I successfully take care of my autistic boy...butI have never ever not "been there" for my boys..I had to work, he was extremely difficult to put in daycare...I feel like now, as a teen, I'm losing my mind and as I heal from certain things, it see!

ms to get worse..the less he can manipulate..now he's become a bully...I'm scared, and have done everything to be there for my son fro day one...I never left him..but his dad did...is this enough to cause this? I don't know what to do anymore....I feel so used, so....useless...and I have become a hermit, severaly depressed..and my youngest is always overshadowed by his older brother, to say the least...I don't go to my recovery meetings anymore, and all meds and valuables are locked up...I have the keys of the box on my neck, he'd steal them while I slpet or showered..and my home, is not "home"..and I find myself feeling..finally, angry....and that scares me too...lst in MA....Truly, Tanja

My Out-of-Control Teen

11.8.10

My son has ADHD and I believe ODD...

My son has ADHD and I believe ODD after reading your articles/etc. We took him to a neuropsychologist at the age of 4 who told us he would either be a "hostage negoitiator" or a "mechanical engineer". He is smart and sweet but "no" seems to be a jumping off point for him to begin negotiating. He often blurts out in class - I just had a lengthy phonecall this am from school. They started on Friday. He often asks for another chance and even though we do takes things away such as WII and phone - he begs and asks continually for it back. Evenif we threaten another day of punishment. I'm worried he is going to bug a cop or a judge someday like this and not make it in society. He is turning 12 at the end of the month. I'm his mom. I'm a lot like him. Although I haven't had trouble with the law I've switched jobs (nurse) often and have had difficulties. While I'm not mouthy, I am opioniated. I used to be mouthy! I have a husband who has a job and I am able to work part time. My son will be the head of his household and needs to be able to keep a job and function in society. I would aslo like your input for me if you wouldn't mind. I just had a horrible boss who was a nasty gossip.My job descritpiton was not what it was supposed to be HR came in and my job went downhill. How's that for questions? I want to help my son. My other son daydreams (more like his dad) who does fine at work. Thank God. My son takes clonidine at hs and after school. I hate to give it in the am because it makes him tired. He also takes fluoextine 10 mg at hs. This seems to take the edge off and "things" don't bother him so much. It has worked for me in past and seems to really help him as well. I'm wondering if I should homeschool him because I feel that the constant negative response that he seems unable or unwilling to change regardless of consequences will take a toll on his spirit. I love him and want him to succeed. Please help! I think your website/ebook is better than any therapist could do. He really is a good kid. I'm just worried about the teen years and working on his life skills. Not all kids can do well in public school/private school. He's never been suspended or in trouble like that. Just the blurting out (impulsive) and he isn't great socially. He hasn't had a lot of friends but last year he had a couple and we had to move and he still talks with them on phone and online. We moved from MI to SC to GA. I think going to Middle school is a huge change. He has a 3-inch binder with a bunch of new rules, a locker, daily gym class, and many hormones! I want him not to blurt out and to be respectful. I ask him/tell him/threaten him. Nothing really works. I just honestly feel he is unable to make the brain connection. He would never hurt anyone's feelings or be disrespectful on purpose. He is sensitive to too tight of socks, etc. All I can say is poor little guy! Poor mom too. Poor teachers. Help!

My Out-of-Control Child

22.7.10

I have a 14 year old daughter that I have indulged since birth...

Here is my situation maybe you can help me maybe you can't. I have a 14 year old daughter that I have indulged since birth. At thirteen she hooked up with a boy,became the dark emo type, started sneaking out and having sex. I eliminated the boy from her life and things got better for a while. In the process of eliminating she met a girl in her school who I thought was from a good stable family. This girl's family has a lot of money and worry about how everything looks.They appear to be responsible christian parents. About a month ago this girl's mother told me my daughter had sex at her house with a boy that was spending the night, in the room where 4 other kids were sleeping. She had know this information for about three weeks before she told me. This mother also knew the past situation with my daughter. I found out a couple of days later that my daughter was also stoned that night at her house and the mother was aware of that although she has never told me that. I found out when I checked my daughters phone by a text my daughter recieved from one her friends. I took all of my daughters priveliges away for about two weeks and then her friend asked her if she could come over to her grandmothers for a couple hours.

I told my daughter she could but that there would be no boys there and she would have to stick with my boundaries. I also talked with this girl about my boundries both when I dropped my daughter off and when I picked her up. Both girls agreed and told me they would obey with my wishes. I also told them if they broke my boundries that I would not allow them to see each other anymore. Later that night I was checking my daughters phone message and had a weird feeling about something I did not know what. I decided to check her pictures on her phone which I had never done. I found pictures of the boys at this girls grandmothers house that evening with my daughter and this girl.

Of course I totally overreacted and banned the girls from each other. I also have had my daughter in isolation since. this was six days ago. After the first day my daughters behavior went from moody and angry to pleasant and open.She told me this girl thought it was funny that they went against my boundries. Last night when I came home from work my daughter was back to moodyness. After she went to bed I looked thru her room and found a notebook she had written in. She had written a letter to me telling me she had thought about loving and hating me and that she hated me and if I should find her gone or dead that I should not cry for her stupid whore daughter. The letter was dated for the night after the incident at her friends grandmothers house which was thurs. Today is wedsnesday. I should have just let it go but I am not as healthy as I would like to be emotionally. Today I confronted my daughter about it and things went very badly with me threatening to call the police on the girls mother and that I was going to put my daughter in foster care. I did this in extreme anger. I know I was not doing the best thing for her or me. Now I have caused pain I cannot take back. I am under a lot of stress.

My husband and father of my two children is a truck driver and has been since my daughter was 1 1/2 years old. Before he went on the road the first time he would put my daughter to sleep every night. after he went on the road she at 1 1/2 yrs old would not have anything to do with him when he came home on the weekend. I have raised them on my own with no imput from my husband. I am a recovering heroin addict with 18 years off of it. I was raised in the drug culture and my parents got me stoned from age 4 on. when I was 11 my mom got sober. It was to late for me. I became wild and promiscuous and by the time I was 14 I was living with a man that was 32 with my parents permission. I got sober at 31 and then had my children. When I had ten years of sobriety I relapsed on pot and have struggled with it for the last eight years. Today I have 8 days completely clean. I live with so much emotional pain and fear that my children will follow my path that I know I am creating things that I do not want. To make matters worse I recieved a letter saturday letting me know our home is being foreclosed on and the sale date is in 3 weeks. I have no money and I am in so much stress every day. Also we moved from CA to TN 7 years ago which added more trama to us all. I need help and do not know where to get it.

After my mom got sober she became a drug and alcohol counselor and has helped many people yet she is not able to help us because she has a selfish mean streak and I do not respect or even like her. I love her because she is my mother and I am forced to work with her every day in a business that we have. Sometime I completely understand how my daughter can hate me because so often I feel the same way about my mother and I hate the duty that forces me to take care of her. She is 71. Then I feel so guilty for feeling that way beacuse she is good to me and would give me anything she could. I still resent her for the way she neglected me and how now she says I should do this with my daughter or that. Like keep her with me all the time or spank her. I am sorry to be so long winded. I do not trust anyone and just need help.

My Out-of-Control Daughter

7.7.10

My 16 year old has been expelled from school...

My 16 year old has been expelled from school for doing absolutely nothing the teachers wanted him to do.

We have had him home for 3 months now, and he refuses to put any effort into getting a job, despite our consistent badgering for him to do so. He refuses to get out of bed at a reasonable hour, go to bed at a reasonable hour and is totally unmotivated to do anything. I have not given him any money for anything (including haircuts and clothes), hoping that he will realize he has to go and earn it himself. After a huge blowup last week, my son walked out and has not contacted us since.

I am unsure of what to do if my 16 year old decides to contact us or want to come home again. (It is school holidays here, so I assume he is partying with his friends until they all go back to school).

I want him home, but he causes so much tension in the house and refuses to look for work.

I can not say “ok love, as long as you are here with us, you can do exactly as you like”. But I also can not see myself kicking him out (even though I would love to at times) when he doesn’t follow our rules. What do I do to stop everything going back to how it was?

My Out-of-Control Teen

22.6.10

She was hoarding all kinds of stuff under her bed...

Last year I got married to a dual citizen from Israel. His daughter came over from Israel to live with us one year ago. Previously she was in a home with her father and grandparents. Her grandmother doted over her and instilled in this girl that she can do no wrong and that she should always be the center of attention. She was nearly 10 years old and could not pick out a matching outfit to wear and usually did not have to brush her own hair. Grandma found self-worth by making this girl dependent on her. Now she is on the verge of 11 and has learned to do a lot of things for herself. The year has been a steep learning curve for her as we try to get her caught up to her peers in her development and social behavior. This fall she will start middle school.

Through no fault of her own she has a bladder condition which puts her at a constant risk for a kidney infection and also means that she wears a big kid diaper to bed at night. We have occasionally found an old, wet diaper hidden in her room and would get frustrated and sometimes angry. About 3 or 4 weeks ago we discovered that she was hoarding all kinds of stuff under her bed - old rotten food, clothes, all kids of trash, etc. We handled this much better with minimal frustration and no anger. We simply made her clean up her mess and then instituted daily room inspections and a period of extra chores. We also made her write us a paper on why she had lied to us about many of the things under her bed (there were many specifics involved here). Her reasoning was that she was just lazy and didn't want to bother and then lied because she figured we wouldn't find out since the other kids lie at school and she doesn't see that they get into trouble.

Yesterday we discovered that she had been hiding old wet diapers in her room from before the room inspections started (we started trying to find out why her room smelled bad). While I was checking the places where she used to hide stuff, I didn't check under her pillows. There were multiple old wet diapers hiding under her pillows!! How gross! When she is mad at us (usually for getting caught lying or having to do her regular chores) she drags her feet and does everything very slowly! This morning, after giving her multiple time checks I hustled her out to the car with her toothbrush, toothpaste, shoes and socks in her hands so that I wouldn't be late to work.

We are exasperated! What can we do to get her to change her behavior? We've tried being encouraging and giving her positive attention, but the minute we stop with the compliments she acts out or becomes dismissive because she's not the center of attention. If we remove privileges she cares for about 5 minutes. If we give her a reward, she appreciates it for about 5 minutes. She constantly kisses up to other adults, gets injured for attention on the playground (or plays up a small injury) and tells us what she thinks we want to hear so that we will back off. She expects everything to be about her having fun all the time and that's just not the reality of life. I know something is going on inside her but no matter what we do to try to find out what it is she either cannot or will not articulate it. I realize that it's been a tough year - it has been for all of us! But lying to your parents on a regular basis and hiding dirty diapers under your pillows is not an acceptable expression of frustration especially when we keep telling her that we want to know what's going on inside her that makes her want to do these kinds of things.

Online Parent Support

15.6.10

My Out-of-Control Daughter

Hi there Mr. Mark Hutten, M.A.

My nearly 15 year old child has been giving us hell for the past 5 years:

1. responding badly as soon as me or her father say hi (she says shut up and leave me alone)
2. refuses to do her homework (she just flunked today first year of high school and she was a brilliant student till 8th grade)
3. started drinking alcohol
4. spends the whole day on facebook or on TV.
5. Looks depressed all the time
6. refuses to do any house chores
7. tears things apart like books or cell phones, ipods, new jeans....breaks anything.
8. Leaves crumbs all over the house and gone off sandwiches in her school bag which she mixes these with dirty underwear and used pads which
she throws under the bed.
9. Does not confide or speak to anyone at home. Closes in herself and always keeps quiet and irritable and snaps if we ask any questions.
10. Treats us all like dirt except for her sister who is one year older than her, or 16.
11. Refuses to come visit her auntie only a few minutes away because she says "I can't be bothered going out of the house."
12. Skipped this last week of school so she would not have to study for three exams...the last straw ...and the teachers after giving her one last chance flunked her with four Fs! and four D- (they told me she is brilliant but lazy and reluctant to work or study)
13. She sleeps till 2 pm or 15 hours in a row when there is no school
14. Refuses to sit at the table with us and takes her dish to the couch in front of the TV or gets up off the table after two seconds....after gobbling up her food quickly.

I hope all of the above sounds familiar to you and that I am not an abnormal mother and I do not have an abnormal child I am so worried.

I have chosen to work in the house not to leave the kids with outsiders...but always leave them their freedom and apartment upstairs.

To make a long story short I thought she might have bipolar disorder. But actually her symptoms are more like what you describe as being defiant.

I do not see any extreme mood swings, just irritable all the time and sometimes she comes out of the irritable mood to talk asking me if she can go out or have some money to go out....

Right now I have no idea how to treat her and am avoiding her like the plague to avoid conflict....because as soon as I open my mouth she says : leave me alone and fuck off ...excuse the words but this is what she says.

Now I admit me and her father fight often in front of the children, but her sister who is 16 is much more mature and less affected by this and is going well in school even though it is a tough Scientific Lyceum as you may know schools are in Europe. I have a BSJ degree and have a high profile job.

So now she wants to drop out of school and by Italian law she can as she has turned 14! She is going to waste her life away and she is so intelligent.

Then the next day she says no I will study, then the next day again she changes her mind again driving us mad....like a yo yo...

All I can do is cry cry cry in my studio.

I never expected the school master to call me up today and say "I don't want her in school next year not even to repeat the school year if her attitude does not change. And by the way madame I wanted you to know that she wrote a composition where she made a bet with a school mate that if she flunked she would run away from home, and Mam I called you to warn you before your kid runs away from home" She is defiant at school and at home...

So I am downloading your ebook with little hope of any success. ....not because of your expertise but because of the lack of mine!

We are leaving this thursday for Tunisia for 14 days beach holidays just me and the two girls as my husband is working and hates the beach any way, and has always left the education, housework and all to me. He just comes home from work and goes to bed basically.

I am totally exhausted and feeling hopeless. By the way everyone insists I have always been a good mother but actually I am not if these are the results!

The only thing I am good at is my job, that's about it....

Now my girl has wasted a school year and God knows if she is going to study this upcoming school year or drop out and waste her life on alcohol, oh yes because she began at 14 to drink too and get drunk to add to all of the above......

Well now I will buy your ebook and see how it goes but I am so downhearted I can hardly read....and maybe to start the therapy we should be in the home environment to put things into practice and not at the beach....

By the way the 16 year old girl only says no to housework! She is very conscientious at school and loving to me!

Thanks for listening and God Bless....

Hope you find time to reply to calm my nerves and tell me that my kid does not have bipolar disease...that's all I need, life has been so rough already!

I already had to battle cancer 3 times in my life while raising the kids and I cannot handle any more hard times....and all on my own! No family here.

Cheers

Isa
Italy

My Out-of-Control Daughter