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

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We are exhausted...how do we get her out this summer...

Hi P.,

>>>>>>>>>>> I’ve responded throughout your text below:


Hello--I did post in the parent forum, but no one has responded, but I will keep reading all the posts, for I am sure they will be beneficial.

>>>>>>>>>>> I'm glad you brought this up! Parent Forum is where parents respond to one another; however, most posts do not get a response. I wish members of Online Parent Support would spend more time in Parent Forum and respond/support each other. Note: Posts have to go through a review process by staff before they are posted (usually takes 24 hours).

>>>>>>>>> Emailing, as you did, is the best way to get a response from me. I post these emails (without individual’s names of course) in the Online Parent Support blog (blog name is ‘Emails From Parents’). However, I tend not to respond to very general questions such as “How do I get my child to behave” …or “How can I teach my child to show more respect” …or “My child has a terrible attitude – HELP!” …and so on.


>>>>>>>>>I figure that if parents are too cheap to spend 20 bucks on their kid …or too lazy to read the eBook, my time is better spent with those parents who (a) actually want to work the program, and (b) are not looking for the “easy way out.”

I read the whole E-book and found it very beneficial in dealing with day-to-day interactions, but I had already tried the verbal contract of respectful conversation and that doesn't work.

>>>>>>>>The strategy you’re referring to here is for younger children, not older teens (I mentioned that in the eBook).

I always have to end the conversation cause she won't stick to being respectful. She is sarcastic 100% of the time and seems to enjoy getting any sort of rise out of me--so I used to really be hurt over the things she says, but now I am numb to it all and I just leave the conversation when she starts. I don't engage unless I absolutely have to with her, which is usually over her chore list. It is difficult to get her to return to any subject, cause she just won't, but I have found ways to get my point across by just being direct, and quick and she usually walks off saying stuff, but I think she hears it then. Nothing else works. I have told her that if she cusses at me one more time she will have to leave this home--I can't and won't tolerate the F word around my 11 year old.

I do see some parenting mistakes in that we allowed too much freedom her senior year, and that we let her out of some consequences when she was younger by saying she was sorry, but we didn't do that with all things. She said that is all she needed was more freedom and things would be better, well things didn't get better. My husband and I mainly caved because she got her grandmother involved and the whole thing just got so ridiculous that we decided she could be out as much as she wants as long as she is home by 2:00 a.m. but in all honesty she is home most of the week. She only goes out about 2-3 days a week, now that her boyfriend has put the breaks on their relationship. But before it was every night. Thank heavens he put a break on it, otherwise she would be gone all the time. I used to really care what others thought, including her grandma, but now I don't and I think her grandmother was completely out of line and I think made things much worse for all of us. I wish I knew what I know now then, cause it would of helped me navigate through all that mess much better.

My questions that I have really weren't answered in the e-book, so I have to ask them. She is graduating from high school soon, in 3 months. My husband and I desperately want her to move out this summer. I know that isn't going to come easy. I want to know how to go about this. She will be starting the university and things will be tight for her. But I no longer think this is my problem, since she makes living here a real difficult task. It doesn't bother me that she hates us right now and thinks she knows everything, but the tension of her being here is wearing. So help me with this. How do we go about this?

>>>>>>>>>>>>>I’ll respond to this question at the end of this email (see below).


In addition she is starting the University. I did tell her that we don't have the funds for the University, but do for a community college. We make a decent living, I am a nurse and my husband works for Fed-Ex, but that isn’t enough to put her through a college that would cost me an additional $1000.00 a month to support. I have agreed to help her with some extra expenses now and again, but that is it. The university says there are loans she can take out and she has applied, but I don't want to sign for them for her to get them? Is that wrong?

>>>>>>>>>>>>> No …it’s not “wrong” …this is a personal decision you make that will have both advantages and disadvantages.

I don’t want to be responsible for her debt in any way. I think she is a bright girl and I think she will make something of herself, but I could see her flaking out on that part of paying, cause she is flaky now with it and then I think she smokes pot as well with her pot head friends and that is concerning of where that is going for her future.

My husband and I can manage the next few months I think, but once the summer gets here, I don't want to be obligated anymore and that is plainly all I feel right now. I love her and always will, but she has snatched the penny from the hand with lack of a better word. She is constantly sarcastic and mean to her younger sister, mainly with emotional abandonment and sarcasm. We are exhausted.

So question--how do we get her out this summer--she has a job--would it be feasible to set a date?

>>>>>>>>> It’s more than feasible – it should be a requirement.

In addition she is seeing our old counselor. He is a psychologist and a nice guy--but he doesn't think the pot smoking is something to be real concerned about. He actually told her that he smoked pot all through college and he had no problem with it and doesn't think it is addicting. I totally disagree in every way--what do you think about this? Is this okay for him to do?

>>>>>>>> Is this o.k.? I don’t know. Is it a “real concern”? It would be if your daughter got busted with a bag of weed by the cops – she’d go to jail, and it will cost her a lot of money (court costs, attorney fees, etc.).

We went to a counseling session with her which was a total mistake, she just blasted us the whole time and being the type of counselor he is, he just sat there and then later told us to have stronger personal boundaries with her that she is just a middle class rebellious kid. I know that is true, but I thought he would make more of the drinking we discovered and the pot. I told her that she isn't allowed to do any of that in my home and we turned over her car to her and her insurance that way she can be responsible for that.

Any direction would be great--thanks again

Signed all out of answers--ha.ha.. P.

>>>>>>>>>> With all the attention on where your kids are going, little may have been said about where they are leaving. Parents would do well to remember their first experience of leaving home. For many it came easily, but for some it was accompanied by stress and for others conflict. In remembering their own experience, parents next have to consider the experience they want to provide their son or daughter.

This experience of leaving home is important psychologically for children, now young adults, and parents alike. The experience can set the tone for the next stage of family development, adult-to-adult relationship with your child. Remember, they will likely be married some day and you will want to see your grandchildren.

After managing their child through adolescence, parents are faced with the fact that their child is a young adult. Long gone are the days of parental authority. Coming to terms with this fact lies at the heart of the leaving home experience and can impact on your son or daughters sense of adult security and your future relationship together.

Perhaps it is not so much that the parents must reassure their children that they will be all right, but that the parents must reassure themselves and not let their concerns impede the children’s departure. Just let ‘em launch and do not try to cram in all the lessons left untaught. Some lessons are only gained by leaving home.

For a better leaving home experience consider these suggestions:

1. Talk with your daughter about her feelings of leaving home.
2. Reminisce with her about her growing up and the pleasures you have had along the way. Marvel at her growth and accomplishments and your anticipation of future accomplishments.
3. Plan well for the departure so the actual moment isn’t fraught with last minute errands or conflicts. Offer your help and be prepared to stand back -- or jump in – only as requested or discussed. Your hand is no longer attached to the bicycle seat and you have to let go now again.

If you follow these suggestions you will experience a smoother transition to an adult relationship with your daughter. This kind of experience can repair past conflicts with her and improve the odds of having a great relationship as adults.

As parents, we are so use to telling our children what to do. To prepare for his leaving however, we must begin to ask them what they think they should do. Let me warn you, our kids’ thinking is very different from ours. I admit that I had to literally press my lips tightly to keep my opinions out of it. Coaching your children to think through things and come up with their own solutions is critical to their exodus.

It's important to distinguish between two types of exodus: (1) moving toward another support system, or (2) simply running away from home with an eye toward escape. The former can be a very positive experience for an adolescent; the latter is much more likely to be terrifying and self-destructive.

It's common for adolescents to look for ways to explore who they are and to see how they fit into the world. The timing may reflect biological changes in their brains, for they can now think differently than they did only a year or two earlier. They can readily imagine new solutions to problems or different approaches to challenging situations. Their world is no longer black-and-white, but a complex mosaic of grays. An explosion in the possibilities they can envision for their lives calls them to reexamine their sense of identity and who they might become. They can picture themselves, often for the first time, as independent from their parents.

For many, spending time away from their immediate families is a normal and appropriate way of testing their new ways of thinking and of forming relationships. These children are very different from runaways, whose dramatic actions often point to serious underlying emotional problems for them or their families.

One way of differentiating the two is to ask yourself why the adolescent is leaving home. Is she running away from issues such as how she should deal with authority, or is this a mature decision to move out because she needs a different environment at that moment in order to grow emotionally?

Mark

www.MyOutOfControlTeen.com


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