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.
My Out-of-Control Daughter