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I've tried every form of punishment known to man...

{Email from brand new member of Online Parent Support:}


Honestly my situation is in a hopeless state right now. I have 2 girls, E___, age 15, 10th grade and L___, age 15, 9th grade. I have full custody of E___ and she has lived with me for about 14 years. L___ is my stepdaughter from a 2-1/2 year marriage to my wife S___. E___ sees her real mom, D___, each week on Thurs and every other weekend. The relationship is currently good between D___ and S___ and myself. We try to work together for E___ as best we can.

I've always had issues with controlling E___'s attitude, anger and hostility towards me. I think I've tried every form of punishment known to man to no avail. One example of an episode occurred last night. I asked E___ to be off the computer by a certain time and gave her 10 min to do it. That time elapsed and she was still on. I went and asked again for her to get off and she huffed and said sternly, "OK, OK." I stood there waiting and noticed this was making her more agitated. I walked away for a minute or two and returned to see her still on Facebook. I then asked, "Why are you still on? I gave you plenty of notice..." She blurts out, "Aaaaggh, I'm getting OFF! Leave me alone." Keep in mind this was at the request of my wife, who wanted to get to bed earlier that night and the bed she sleeps on is in the same room as the computer. She had passed by and was aware of the conflict going on but did not join in.

E___ finally gets off, 15 min past the time I had asked her to. She storms off to her room. I asked her for her schedule book while she was on the way, as I needed it for some summer dates. She goes to her room upstairs and then flings it down the stairs. L___ is in the room and witnessed this. I had enough of this behavior and went up the stairs to talk with E___.

S___ is of the opinion that as long as I allow her to talk to me and act the way she does, it will continue. She thinks I need to be more strict. As I've mentioned before, talking, reasoning, punishment do not work, but yet I keep trying if only for S___'s approval. E___'s outbursts happen about every two weeks. She is rather moody most of the time.

I go in E___'s room and am immediately unwanted there. "GET OUT!!” she yells. I just wanted to calm her down and talk. She kept yelling and running around the room. " I DON"T WANT YOU IN HERE!!” I said, "Lower your voice, calm down and sit for a minute." "NO, GET OUT" The yelling and tantrum started. I said, "All right, the computer is off limits to you for two days." She yells, "GET OUT!" I say, "OK two weeks." This made things worse and I left.

E___ had just gotten off being grounded for about two months for a combination of poor grades, lying, breaking grounding rules, and talking back.

I go back downstairs and S___ and L___ are distraught, huddled up on our bed. I apologize for what had happened. L___ went to bed and S___ and I talked for a bit before she went to sleep. She doesn't have any hope of it getting any better. Her relationship with E___ is distant and this is not healthy. L___'s is the same. I don't think they are willing to go any further as far as trying to build that relationship.

We have been seeing a counselor as a group and individually for the past few months. He has been a great help, however S___ is becoming less willing to attend. He has requested only the two of us for upcoming sessions because he wants to try and start again building our commitment.

There are many other factors involved in this situation, but this is what I'm burdened with at the moment.

Thanks for any help you can give.



Hi E.,

I think what I would like to do at this point (since you are just now starting to use the strategies outlined in the eBook) is to give you some time to digest the material. Most, if not all, of the problems you're currently experiencing will be covered in the eBook.

Be sure to listen to ALL the audio files as well. If you don't have time to sit at your computer to do this, you can get audio CDs and listen in your car ==> Audio CDs.

In a few weeks, please email me with some very specific questions, and we will tweak these strategies according to your specific parent-child problems.

Stay in touch,


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