Online Parent Support Chat

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