HELP FOR PARENTS WITH STRONG-WILLED, OUT-OF-CONTROL CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS

Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Oppositional Defiant Disorder and ADHD

Search OnlineParentingCoach.com

Teens and Texting Addiction

Many teens seem to be slaves to technology these days. They have their cell phones, iPads, iPods, laptops, etc. It's gotten so bad that, for some teens, it's an addiction in the fullest sense of the term. Everywhere you look, there's a cell phone and thumbs are texting. Anything that a teen can become obsessed with, and she does so much that she doesn't do the things she needs to do with family, school, work, etc. – that’s an addiction (FYI: adolescent females lead the charge).

A full 75% of adolescents own cell phones, and a third of those text more than 100 times a day. About 11% say they send over 200 messages every day. Approximately 4% say they have sent a "nude" or nearly nude image of themselves to someone via text, while 15% say they have received such an image of someone else via text.

With excessive texting come a number of problems (e.g., poor dietary habits, isolation from family, sleep deprivation, poor academic performance, etc.). Adolescent forms of communication (e.g., texting, talking on cell phones) make teenagers less communicative (at least with the people they live with). However, in today's world, forbidding all use of cell phones is not only unrealistic, but hurtful. Staying connected with their peers is very important to adolescents.

One of the biggest problems that many parents seem to have with adolescents who text constantly is the lack of boundaries as to what is appropriate and what is not. Adolescents find themselves being able to send messages that they would never dare to verbalize in the real world. This creates a false sense of security, and coupled with most adolescents already inherent lack of realization for consequences can make the entire situation very dangerous. Thus, it is crucial that parents help their teenager determine appropriate boundaries for his or her texting.

How to set boundaries for your texting-addicted teenager:

1. Bullying texts: Help your adolescent understand some of the problems associated with this technology. Despite their increased maturity-level, most adolescents still lack a certain amount of empathy. Help you adolescent understand that reputation damaging and bullying texts are harmful. Many adolescents mistake the anonymity of texting as the freedom to be able to say whatever they want. Let your teen know that once it is out there, there is no way to pull it back in. And it all can be traced back to him or her if someone needed to find out where the hurtful text came from.

2. Cell phone checks: Let your adolescent know that you will be checking his cell phone periodically. This simple fact may serve as a deterrent for bad cell phone behavior. Since most moms and dads pay for their teen’s cell phone, they have the right to check what kind of text is being sent. Your adolescent needs to understand that you reserve the right to confiscate it at any time to check the text log.

3. Restricted possession: Don’t let your teenager have her cell phone on her at all times (e.g., “If we go out to eat, you have to leave the phone at home”). Don’t over-explain your reasons, simply say, “You are a member of the family, so you need to participate during the times we’re together”). Some moms and dads request that their adolescent’s cell phone be given to them during meal time, homework time, and bed time (which prevents all-night texting). Research shows that adolescents who don’t have 24/7 access to their cell phones are much more likely to send appropriate texts.

4. Passing the bill: Require your teen to pay her own cell phone bills if it gets to the point where you need to limit how many minutes she spends talking and texting. This has a way of reducing a teen’s cell phone addiction.

5. Relaxing standards: As a parent, understand that what you believe to be “too much” texting may not actually be “too much” by today’s standards. If your son or daughter is doing chores, functioning well at school, fairly well-behaved, and not completely isolated from family life, it's probably O.K. to relax your expectations around the amount of time he or she spends texting.

6. Sexting: Most parents are uncomfortable discussing anything involving sexual content with their adolescent. Now is not the time to be prudish. Texting with sexual content (i.e., “sexting”) has become a serious issue. Parents should clearly spell out for their adolescent that they will not condone this behavior. Whether the teen is the instigator of a sexual message or simply passing it on, he is equally guilty. Help your adolescent have a clear understanding of the consequences for this misuse of the cell phone (e.g., losing cell phone privileges, legal actions if a sexting message or picture is traced back to him, etc.).

7. Time limits: Make a rule regarding when texting can be done. If your adolescent is texting through dinner, while trying to do homework, or seems unable to separate herself from her cell phone, it is a good idea to set some time limits on texting. Have times in your family when there is no texting allowed (e.g., from 5 p.m. - 6 p.m. for dinner, from 7:00 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. for homework, and again from 10:00 p.m. – 8:00 a.m. for bed time).

If you implement the ideas listed above for a period of time, but are still concerned about the amount of time that texting is taking up in your adolescent’s life, contact the phone company for a detailed record.

My Out-of-Control Teen: Help for Parents

Parenting Rebellious Teens

One day you wake up and find that life has changed forever. Instead of greeting you with a hug, your little boy rolls his eyes when you say "good morning" and shouts, "You're ruining my life!" You may think you've stepped into the Twilight Zone, but you've actually been thrust into your son's teen years.

During adolescence, teens start to break away from parents and become "their own person." Some talk back, ignore rules and slack off at school. Others may sneak out or break curfew. Still others experiment with alcohol, tobacco or drugs. So how can you tell the difference between normal teen rebellion versus dangerous behavior? And what's the best way for a parent to respond?

Click here for full article...

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)

Many families of defiant children live in a home that has become a battleground. In the beginning, the daily struggles can be expected. After all, we knew that problems would occur. Initially, stress can be so subtle that we lose sight of a war, which others do not realize is occurring. We honestly believe that we can work through the problems.

Outbursts, rages, and strife become a way of life (an emotionally unhealthy way of life). We set aside our own needs and focus on the needs of our children. But what does it cost us?

The majority of the population does not understand the dynamics of parenting an ODD child. Family and friends may think that you - the parent - are the one with the problem. Families are frequently turned in on false abuse allegations. Support is non-existent, because outsiders can't even begin to imagine that children can be so destructive. Where does that leave a parent?

Click here for the full article...

Online Parenting Coach - Syndicated Content