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

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

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We are on the right track finally...

Mark,

The situation with my daughter became critical Sunday/Monday, so instead of waiting for the CD's to listen to in the car, I took the day off and read up to the first assignment in the e-book. I listened to all the audio too... I read it a few times.
I realized that the problem is from my being an uninvolved parent. I did all the assignments the first night (except make a contract) and lo and behold, about 4 hours after telling her I had made mistakes as a parent, she came downstairs and announced she was ready to talk and spilled her guts about stuff she has been lying to me about for quite awhile. No hostility (she had been physically aggressive with me just that morning.)

I feel like we are on the right track finally. Thank you. Your info is pretty commonsense (should be, anyway), but I was handling it all in the opposite way (getting mad at her, withdrawing further, etc.)

THANK YOU.

D.

www.MyOutOfControlTeen.com

Puppy Love Problems

Dear Mark,

Having read this very interesting info from your website, I am truly interested in attending the OPS you offer, although I’m wondering if you think it will help me in my situation with my 16 year old son D___, he has just started going out with an 18 year old girl he met at work as he works part time, we have had a lot of attitude and behavior problems over the last 6 months or so with him just taking off when things don't always go his way and not coming home. Now he's wanting to have this girl sleep over in his room in his bed and I totally don't agree with it and have made it very clear, he swears at me all the time, takes off to her house for days at a time without my permission, only coming home of a morning, then goes straight to his room to sleep half the day, hasn't been going to school hardly at all since he has been seeing her, and said I am ruining his life and he won't have anything to do with us and will keep doing what he's doing until I let him do what he wants to do, and this girls mother sees no harm and lets them sleep in the girls room together, as I see it as not the right thing to do as he has only just turned 16 last month and has only been seeing this girl for about 2 weeks, since then he has only slept at home for 3 nights during that whole period, two of those nights he has brought her to my home and had her sleep in his room totally against my rules and judgment, and he has warned me that if that's what he wants to do he will do so no matter what I think, using profane language at me, could you please give me some advice on whether I am doing the right thing by trying to make him see my rules must matter in our home and if this programme can help me at all.

Kindest Regards,

M.P.

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Hi M.,

I believe you’re doing the right thing by not condoning their sleeping together – it’s all a bit weird, don’t you think? I mean how many other 16-year-old males are sleeping with 18-year-old females – in the female’s home! His girlfriend’s mother seems to be a very poor role model.

You will profit from the strategies discussed in my eBook. In the unlikely event that you find nothing of benefit, just email me and ask for a refund. I don’t want you paying for something that doesn’t live up to its claims.

Mark @ www.MyOutOfControlTeen.com

mbhutten@gmail.com

mbhutten@yahoo.com

Empty Nest

Dear Mark,

I am writing from _____, Idaho, and am the mother of an 18-year-old teenage daughter who, as of last night, has decided that her boyfriend's parents' home is where she wants to live. She took most of her clothing, which she had bought from her pay at a part-time job. However, she was not allowed to take the car that we had paid the largest percentage of or her cell phone with the plan that we pay for. Her boyfriend's words were, "We support T___ 100% in whatever she wants to do." I am just wondering where we stand as parents at this juncture...Since she is 18 years of age, she is legally within her rights to do this. We cannot report her as a runaway because of her age. I am at a loss as to what to do and where to turn. I know time can heal lots of things but I am really hurting right now. And I am bipolar and am afraid this will really bring me down if I don't do some proactive mental health management! I currently take medications for my bipolar disorder but my husband and daughter really have chosen not to educate themselves about this other than to read a few articles that I printed from various websites.

Please note the following:
· We both still love T___ very much, and did not force her to move out but rather hoped for an opposite final response.
· We are not perfect and admit that we have made mistakes as parents/people because of that fact.
· We didn't realize that she felt this strongly that her life was so horrible.
· We know/knew there were issues, but we do not believe they are unsolvable with some counseling, communication and compromise from both sides.
· We have raised our children in a Christian home, and have consistently attended and been involved with a Christian church here.
· We raised our children using timeouts as the first line of major consequence, followed by spanking as a last resort with discussion of the discipline prior to and following the offense, and have always made it clear that we love our children even when they made mistakes.
· Although it is sometimes not easy for us to do, we have apologized to our children throughout their growing years when we knew we were wrong.
· T___ was adopted as an infant (at 14 hours old) and she has been our legal daughter since nine months of age. She has lived with us until last night.
· She has an older brother who was also adopted and lives in ________, Arizona, at present.
· She has been given much freedom because she is really a good girl for the most part: gets good grades, doesn't do drugs or drink, has always chosen nice friends with strong moral values, is involved in many school activities (sports, academic organizations, etc.), and has successfully held a part-time job for over 18 months
· She and her boyfriend have just turned 18, and she claims to have been thinking about this move since she was a freshman in high school.
· Last night, she blamed her adoptive dad as the biggest reason she has chosen to move out, due to his excessive controlling behavior and constant criticism of her.
· She has fluctuated between blaming me (her mom) and her dad for the terrible things that she must endure at home and in life.
· She has had anger management issues since about age 10, which worsened with her menstrual cycles that started at age 11, but which she claims to have learned from us as parents...not totally untrue, sadly enough!
· She still has issues with fear of the dark, even at this age.
· She has not been sleeping well lately and has been having lots of nightmares.
· She has been gaining weight lately...We did not ask last night if she was pregnant but we felt there was enough conflict and that would just add to the already out-of-control behavior she was exhibiting. I wonder now if that was a mistake on our part.
· She feels that any other family would be better than the one she currently has.
· She has not done anything to harm herself, such as cutting, etc., but has threatened to harm herself in the past although not lately.
· She has currently has become extremely close to another girl who is pregnant, and has moved out of her home to live with the family of and the father of her child.
· She has amazing potential to do well at college but did not do well on her SAT exam (1580 out of 2400) that she took about three weeks ago.
· She has been to counseling regarding issues with her adoption and lack of communication with her adoptive mother that stopped abruptly after eight years of consistent communication at least two-three times per year.
· About three months ago, she was unexpectedly caught with her boyfriend in a sexual situation that had the potential to lead to intercouse but claims that nothing happened.
· She stopped attending church about 18 months ago due to working on Sunday mornings; but had decided to attend a different church three years prior to this because of issues with her youth groups at our chosen family place of worship.
· She feels and has felt for about three years that most restrictions we put upon her are excessive and unfair.
· She has always been extremely independent and able to take care of herself.
· She said that she hated us and that she could not live with us any longer because she felt so badly about herself.
Please help me to understand what to do at this point because I want to make the best choices, not only for T___, but also for my husband and myself. I appreciate this website because I know you have dealt with much worse situations and know the legal ramifications of such circumstances. Please advise as soon as possible so that we know the best next step(s) to take. Thank you for this resource and for your time and support.

Take care and God bless,

B. and N.

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Hi B.,

You should be relieved to know that this is an easy one for me (i.e., easy to come to a conclusion re: a recommendation)—

As I trust you are discovering in the eBook, self-reliance is key. Fostering the development of self-reliance in our children is THE #1 goal with these parenting strategies. (Self-reliance defined as the “child having the ability to meet personal needs - spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, financially, vocationally - with minimal assistance from parents”.)

When you are undecided about what decision to make, or what course of action to take, always ask yourself the following question: “Will this promote the development of self-reliance in my child, or will it inhibit its development.” If it is likely to promote self-reliance, then it is a good parenting choice to make.

Clearly, this is an opportunity for your daughter to work toward autonomy and self-reliance. Thus, if her new living arrangement is a safe one, the she should go for it.

Re: Your feelings of loss (i.e., empty nest syndrome)—

While you grieve the loss of your daughter (although she is still alive and well), be sure to distract yourself.

Distract yourself by focusing on all that is going right rather than on that is going wrong …focus on your blessings rather than on your “curses” (which there is no such thing) …regularly talk about your parenting struggles with someone you trust …accept help and support when it is offered …remind myself that your responses are normal responses to a child leaving the home and launching into adulthood …and give yourself permission to do whatever you need to do to take care of YOU.

Your body and mind will tell you what you need to do -- your job is to listen to them.

Your daughter will gain some wonderful experience out in the real world – and experience is a great teacher (a much better teacher than you will be at this point …no offense).

You and your husband may experience some of the following:

· Abandoned pets need feeding.
· The house stays clean.
· There's food in the refrigerator.
· You are delighted to see emails from your kids or have them call you.
· You look forward to receiving pictures from the kids.
· You may feel a sense of emptiness and loneliness.
· You only have to wash clothes and towels once a week.
· Your calendar is often just as busy as it ever was, but it is filled with fun things to do with one another.
· Your grocery bills are lower.

There are many things the two of you can do to prevent the empty nest syndrome from hurting your marriage:

· Accept that you will experience grief and that it hits men just as hard as it hits women. Empty nest dads may feel a sense of regret over things they didn't do and time not spent with their children.
· Develop a flexible mindset and be open to change.
· Don't place guilt trips on your kids. This is especially important during the holidays.
· Keep lists of each kids' favorite foods for when they visit or when you put together a care package to send out.
· Limit how often you call your kids.
· Seek counseling if your empty nest marriage is showing signs of withdrawal, alienation, and negativity.
· Work on becoming friends with your adult children.
· Remember that “absence makes the heart grow fonder” (your heart and your daughter’s heart ) …you have many years of quality mother-daughter relationship to come.

Empty nest syndrome can afflict both parents, but mothers seem to be most susceptible. Many mothers may have dedicated 20 years or more of their lives to bringing up their children, and see motherhood as their primary role. This is true even for most working mothers. Once the last child moves out, the mother may feel that her most important job is finished. Similarly to anyone experiencing redundancy, the mother may feel worthless, disoriented and unsure of what meaning her future may hold. However, most mothers adapt in time. Psychologists suggest that it may take between 18 months and two years to make the successful transition from ‘mum’ to independent woman.

Research suggests that some parents are more susceptible than others. People who suffer the most from empty nest syndrome tend to have things in common, including:

·Change is considered stressful, rather than challenging or refreshing
·Experiences such as weaning their babies from the breast, or sending their children off to school, were emotional and painful.
·Parents who worry that their children aren’t ready to take on adult responsibilities tend to experience more grief.
·People who are full-time parents are more often affected than people who also have other duties to perform (such as paid employment).
·People who rely on their roles for self-identity are more likely to feel bereft than people who have a strong sense of self-worth.
·Their marriage is unstable or unsatisfactory.
·They found moving out of home a difficult and emotional experience.

The challenges faced by parents experiencing empty nest syndrome include:

·Becoming a couple again, after years of sharing the home with children.
·Establishing a new kind of relationship with their adult children.
·Filling the void in the daily routine created by absent children.
·Lack of sympathy or understanding from others, who consider children moving out to be a normal, healthy event.

The grief of empty nest syndrome may be compounded by other life events happening at the same time, including:

· Death of a spouse
· Menopause
· Redundancy
· Retirement

Some full-time mothers (and fathers) return to work or retrain. Suggestions include:

·Consider volunteer work to expand your network of contacts.
·Join professional associations or hobby groups.
·Network with friends and associates to uncover employment opportunities.
·Set achievable goals to start with, for example, short courses are probably more realistic as a first step, than launching into a three year degree.
·Write up a list of all those things you promised you would do ‘one day’ and start making those dreams a reality.

Your child moving out of home is a significant stress. Suggestions for coping include:

·Acknowledge your grief (even if you feel that no one else seems to understand) and allow yourself to feel upset.
·Discuss your thoughts, feelings and future plans with your spouse.
·Give yourself time to adapt to the changes. Don’t expect too much of yourself, particularly in the first few weeks or months.
·Keep up regular routines and self-care, such as eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.
·Pursue your hobbies and interests now that you have more time.
·Put off making any big decisions - such as selling up and moving to a smaller house - until you feel you have adapted.
·Rituals, such as funerals, help us to come to terms with difficult changes. Create your own rituals to help acknowledge your feelings. Suggestions include planting a tree, or redecorating your child’s old room.
·Seek advice and support from other friends who understand how you feel, some of them may also have experienced empty nest syndrome.
·Seek professional help if you feel overwhelmed.
·Some people find that keeping a journal is helpful, while others find peace through prayer. Do whatever feels right for you.

If one child has moved out and you still have others living at home with you, plan in advance for the day when your nest will be empty of all children. Small changes made over time will mean less of a shock when your last child moves out. You may find, with thought and careful planning, that the occasion of your last child leaving home will offer a little happiness too, as you can then implement your plans for an independent life with your spouse.

Things to remember:

·Empty nest syndrome refers to the grief that many parents feel when their children move out of home.
·If one child has moved out and you still have others living at home with you, plan in advance for the day when your nest will be empty of all children.
·Seek professional help if you feel overwhelmed.
·This condition is typically more common in women, who are more likely to have had the role of primary carer.

Good Luck,

Mark


Online Parent Support
Mark,

We prescribe to your teen maintenance program and we (my husband and I) feel things have improved...everyone knows the rules, no more screaming matches, no more guessing at the consequences. However, I would appreciate your opinion on one issue.

Last Saturday was my daughters 17th birthday and my husband and I agreed to let our daughter have a small party at our home under our rules. I managed the birthday crowd from 30 feet away. Roughly 15 kids arrived and were great until they left at 11pm.

Our daughter and her two girl friends who planned to spend the night were in the guest house. When I went to check on the girls the doors to the guest house were locked. After some banging by me, the doors were open and the 3 gals looked too casual. When I opened the guest closet and found a male friend of theirs standing there, I drove him home. Apparently, he came back to our guest home drunk or under the influence of something (we have a gate, so he must have jumped the gate or more likely, the girls let him in (roughly 2am) and punched multiply holes in our plantation shutters and a whole in our flat screen plasma TV.

When I told my husband this, he just gave a brief "hu" almost a chuckle. He and my daughter are close... My concern is that my husband and I are not on a united front and my daughter knows this, so she "plays" to dad. What can I do to get my husband on a united front with me so he is not enabling my daughter?

Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks, yet again, Mark.

D.

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Hi D.,

A weaker plan supported by both parents is much better than a stronger plan supported by only one. Having said that, I’ll simply share a recent success story from a wife in the same dilemma (i.e., husband didn’t really get with the program, and in some cases worked against the wife):

Hi Mark,
I don’t know if you remember me or not. We spoke last week on the phone re: my husband not wanting to do the program because he thinks it’s too easy on our daughter (he believes she should be grounded the entire grading period for making mostly F’s on her last report card). Anyway, he and I were not on the same page, and this was creating some real problems …he refused to read the eBook. So I got the CDs and played them every time we were in the car together (which is a lot). I had a captive audience – LOL
:).

Anyway, since he’s been force-fed some of the strategies (as well as the reasoning behind them) he’s been a bit more open to going along with me. Our daughter’s behaviour is slowly improving as a result. Although we have much work to do, she has great difficulty playing one parent against the other now.

Just wanted to give you an update,

J.W.

Is this something you think might work D__? If so, you can get the audio CDs of the program by clicking here. If not, we can talk about another plan.

Mark

I have a very out of control 17 year old boy...

Mark-

I just read your e-book and loved it. As you have probably heard before, I have been doing everything wrong. I am not beating myself up, I just need to learn these techniques.

I have a very out of control 17 year old boy (junior, C. He fits your worst profile to a tee. I am a single mom. Dad is an alcoholic and barely in the picture. I also have 2 girls, 12 and 14. Our house is a boil ready to burst.

We already have drug abuse issues with C. and I have a very good outpatient counselor seeing him. My requirement for C. staying here was he keep his grades up (he is very bright) and stay in sports. He is with a better group of kids, busy and needs the discipline. He has always loved football and wrestling. I had to push him into football this season and he was glad I did. I am hearing the same objections for wrestling, which has always been his favorite sport.

He is incredibly angry and wants his freedom. He wants to work, get a car and get out of our home!

His father had a recent relapse and C. has started smoking pot again. I am just starting your program, but am at a loss about whether I insist he go out for wrestling. I believe he will be fine once he starts. It was part of the contract for staying here. I cannot get a hold of his counselor and need to make a decision. Help!!

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Hi B.,

I think you have bigger fish to fry that “insisting he go out for wrestling” {e.g., anger, drug abuse, alcoholic/unavailable father}. I would say - at this point - to ‘choose your battles carefully’. I think once you digest most of the material in the eBook, you’ll have some good ideas of how to address the most important issues. {Be sure to listen to all the audio}.

Stay in touch,

Mark

Online Parent Support

Time for Alternative School?

"Hi Mark: Having problems with my 15 year old son, B___. In the past twenty-four hours.... He returned to school yesterday after a TWO WEEK OUT-OF-SCHOOL SUSPENSION for calling one of his teachers an F----ing B----- and wadded up the office referral and threw it at her hitting her in the face. We had to meet with the Principal and he was told to tow the line or he would be sent to an alternative school. Three hours later...I get a call from school. He was in the ISS room, used HIS CELL PHONE to call the ISS monitor's phone to make it ring many times and disrupt everything. His phone was confiscated. This morning after he left for school, I was picking up things in his room. I found a receipt from the grocery store for the machine that swamps in coins for cash. He had helped himself to $80.00 worth of change I had in my closet and took it in to cash. Everyday it is something else... every day the only responses I get from him are F ___YOU! He is very angry since his Dad left in June. What do I do???"

When my adolescent clients get into regular teacher-student conflict [like your son], I always lobby for them to be withdrawn from regular school and moved to an alternative school setting. When I do, nearly all of them do very well in a different environment.

Most of us recognize the needs of very young children. We know that in the early grades, kids need small schools with a close and personal atmosphere. We understand that young children require nurturing to develop a sense of confidence in themselves.

Yet, for some reason, we seem to think that once students get to the middle grades—a time that encompasses all the confusion and turbulence of adolescence—they don't need as much personal support. This myth gets perpetuated in our high schools. Students who become alienated in junior high usually remain that way through high school, if they don't drop out altogether.

It is important for us to recognize that we are not talking about strange or weird kids who walk around schools in trench coats, threatening others. Most of the young people who don't seem to fit are very normal kids. They are not "other people's children." They are our kids—ones we see in church, at the mall, or across the street.

These are students who may withdraw when they are in a large group. They may not respond to the normal activities of a traditional school. They may not play sports. Some may have questions about their sexual identity. Some may be quite intelligent and interested in learning, but not in the way traditional schools expect.

For years, many in education have operated under the flawed assumption that large schools are cost- effective. We have reasoned that, by placing a lot of students and teachers together, we could offer more programs and classes. In a large school, for example, we can offer Greek or advanced calculus and have enough students to expect to fill those classes.

Unfortunately, economies of scale do not only pay the dividends expected. The flaws in our system of large schools also have become obvious. Increasingly, we have felt the need to create many smaller structures or groupings within a large school to give students a chance to feel that they have "a place." These kinds of innovations take time, personnel, and money. And many of the students they attempt to serve simply are not "joiners" and may never become part of the sub-groupings.

Another hefty cost of large schools comes in the number of students who repeat a grade and require an extra year of schooling—along with other programs—if they remain in school and graduate. Consider the numbers: If you have a high school of 1,200 students (not unusual), and a graduating class of 300, it is probable that 30 to 50 of these students will have repeated a grade at some point in their school careers. This means that each year, the school system has, for all intents and purposes, served 30 to 50 more students than necessary.

For those students who do not make it through school and drop out prior to graduation, the cost is not usually borne by the school system, but by some other segment of the state's social programs. In either case, the money comes from the pocket of the taxpayers.

Some of these students, the luckier ones, get jobs and eventually obtain their General Educational Development diplomas. A small number then go on to post-secondary education and end up fulfilling a reasonable part of their potential. Others just "hang out" and go from one temporary job to another, often collecting whatever benefits come their way, whether from the state, their parents, or friends. Some become parents themselves. Others get into trouble and end up in group homes. A few eventually end up in a training school, at a cost that is several times that of traditional schools. The most seriously alienated of these children end up dead.

Just in terms of public spending, there is no sense in our not meeting the needs of these children at an earlier age. Unfortunately, it is not now in the short-term financial interest of towns or school systems to provide small alternative schools. But we could design incentives for our public schools to serve these children.

The incentives could take the form of start-up grants from the state or the federal government. Most districts, given the choice to make adjustments for fewer students in other schools, would find that they could afford these alternatives. But without outside help, few if any districts are likely to set aside scarce funds to serve a group of students who may be falling behind and leaving school very quietly. Other incentives might take a harder line, requiring, for example, that school districts pay for a portion of the social services students who end up in state care need.

The missing piece in our system of public education is the lack of options for students who need something different. Interestingly enough, it is in our urban areas that we find the greatest availability of alternatives to large traditional schools. But there are still not enough of these schools in cities, and virtually none in suburban districts, where the need for them is just as great.

By their very nature, alternative schools are generally small schools, often with fewer than 200 students. They tend to be staffed by teachers with a desire to work in nontraditional settings. When you walk into an alternative school, you generally get a sense of community and personal caring. Different alternatives can have different missions, and they can operate in substantially different ways. The goal is not sameness; it is to reflect the needs and personalities of the students.

An expanding body of research in recent years has been telling us something about these schools that seems like common sense: Small schools are places where students get more attention, perform better, and are happier. In her synthesis of this research, Mary Anne Raywid notes that small learning communities often employ unconventional organizational structures that help promote the sense of belonging. The bonds that are created in small schools, she says, are likely to have a positive influence on students long after they leave high school.

What makes these schools so valuable in violence reduction is the fact that a child will find it hard to go through even a portion of the day without some meaningful contact with an adult. Says Cathleen Cotton, a researcher at the Northeast Regional Educational Laboratory: "It doesn't matter what category you measure. Things are better in smaller environments. Shy kids, poor kids, the average athletes—they are all made to feel like they truly fit in."

Small alternative schools are not, of course, the complete solution to the problems of alienated young people and violence in the schools. But they can be an important part of the solution.

Charter school legislation should spur the creation of these small alternative public schools. Districts can devise plans on their own or through any of the existing collaboratives. But educators should not underestimate the public's desire for more choice. They should recognize the possibility that, by not meeting this need, they could strengthen the call for vouchers.

For the students and parents who want an alternative to the often impersonal world of large, comprehensive public secondary schools, it won't matter how we get there, only that we do.

Online Parent Support: Help for Parents

Hi Mark,

My name is M___ and I have 13 year old daughter who has ADHD and pulls her hair out. She constantly lies about everything and I mean everything. I am a single parent and she sees her day only 4 days out of the month. She is afraid of him but not me. She constantly argues with me and does not listen to what I ask her to do. I have taken things away from her but it does not help. Can you give me some suggestions on what to do with her? I plan on purchasing your book to help me also. I do admit that I do not always follow through.

Thanks, M.

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Hi M.,

Re: ADHD—

Here’s a full report on ADHD:

http://www.myoutofcontrolteen.com/oddreport4.html

Here are some parenting strategies to use with ADHD kids:

http://www.myoutofcontrolteen.com/adhd

Electroencephalographic Biofeedback -
Alternative Treatment for Adult ADD and Teen ADD/ADHD:

http://www.myoutofcontrolteen.com/mr-biofeedback.html

Are there any natural ways to treat ADHD?

http://www.myoutofcontrolteen.com/mr-adhdtx.html

Re: Pulling her hair out—

Trichotillomania (pronounced: trik-oh-till-oh-may-nee-ah) is a type of psychological condition that involves strong urges to pull hair. The condition is fairly rare - statistics show it affects only 1% to 3% of the population, although new research suggests that the rate of hair pulling may be around 10% or higher.

Trichotillomania affects about twice as many girls as guys. Most people who have trichotillomania develop the condition during adolescence. But it can start when a person is as young as 1 year old.

People with trichotillomania pull hair out at the root from places like the scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, or pubic area. Some people pull large handfuls of hair, which can leave bald patches on the scalp or eyebrows. Other people pull out their hair one strand at a time. Some inspect the strand after pulling it out, or play with the hair after it's been pulled. About half of people with the condition put the hair in their mouths after pulling it.

Trichotillomania isn't just a habit that a person can easily stop. It's a medical condition.

Trichotillomania is a type of compulsive behavior, which means that people with the condition feel an overwhelming urge to pull their hair. People with trichotillomania also may experience other compulsive behaviors, such as nail biting or skin picking. Some may have problems like depression, anxiety, or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Compulsive behaviors like trichotillomania can sometimes run in families.

Trichotillomania often leads to embarrassment, frustration, shame, or depression about the condition. Self-esteem problems are very common among those with trichotillomania. They usually try to hide the behavior from others, which can make it difficult to get help.

Doctors don't know for certain what causes trichotillomania. Some think it might be related to OCD since OCD and trichotillomania are both anxiety disorders. This is one reason why the impulses that lead to hair pulling can be stronger when a person is stressed out or worried.

Experts think that compulsive behaviors like hair pulling may be caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. These chemicals, called neurotransmitters (pronounced: nur-oh-tranz-mit-urs), are part of the brain's communication center. When something interferes with how neurotransmitters work, it can cause problems like compulsive behaviors.

Sometimes compulsive behaviors happen when the mind mistakenly thinks that activities like hair pulling will provide relief from stress or other problems. Some people with trichotillomania say that they notice a pleasurable feeling when they pull their hair or get relief from uncomfortable feelings. (This isn't the case for all people with the condition, though; some, like Daria, don't know why they do it.)

Any relief that comes with hair pulling usually only lasts for a moment. The urge almost always returns. That's because when the mind becomes used to giving in to the powerful urges that go with compulsive behaviors, the behavior is reinforced. The mind gets trapped in a cycle of expecting to have the urge fulfilled.

Because trichotillomania is a medical condition, it's not something most people can just stop doing when they feel like it. People with trichotillomania usually need help from medical experts before they can stop. With the right help, though, most people overcome their hair-pulling urges. This help may involve therapy, medication, or a combination of both.

Therapists teach people with trichotillomania special behavior techniques that help them recognize the urge to pull hair before it becomes too strong to resist. The person learns ways to resist the urge so that it eventually grows weaker and then goes away.

Because the urges behind compulsive behaviors like hair pulling are so powerful, a person may feel more tension or anxiety when first trying to resist the urge. That's why it helps to work with an expert who can offer support and practical advice about overcoming the problem. Some doctors may prescribe medications that can help the brain deal better with urges, making them easier to resist. Medication therapy can help to correct the imbalance of chemicals in the brain.

Many people find it helpful to keep their hands busy with a different activity (like squeezing a stress ball or drawing) during times when pulling is the worst. In the beginning, Daria found that knitting while watching TV helped keep her hands busy at a time when she might feel the urge to pull her hair. Homework time was harder, though. Daria worked with her therapist to realize that she tended to pull more during homework due to a combination of boredom and worrying about tests.

Everyone has his or her own individual triggers for hair pulling. There is one similarity shared by almost all people with hair-pulling compulsions, though: The hair grows back when they overcome the urge to pull it.

If you're worried about hair pulling, talk to a parent, school counselor, or someone you trust about getting help overcoming the problem.

Re: Lying—

When your out-of-control kid lies:

http://www.myoutofcontrolteen.com/lying

Re: Arguing—

That’s covered in the eBook quite heavily. Please consider downloading it.

==> Click Below to Download:

http://www.myoutofcontrolteen.com/sl

Mark

Aspergers

Is there an agency that works specifically with children with Asperger Syndrone?

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You may want to check here: Special Needs Camps

My Out-of-Control Teen: On compact disc

Thank you Mark, it worked this time and I ordered the CD's. It will be a lot easier to listen in my car without my twin 15 year old girls nearby while I drive to work. I am sure I will be back in touch with questions after listening. I am grateful to have found your website and I hope to find some help in single parenting these girls. One is easy, one seems to be the challenge of my life.

Take care,

D.A.

Teen Suicide On The Rise

Mark-

I saw on the news last night that teen suicide is on the rise. Do you know whether or not this is really the case, and if so, why?

T.T.

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Hi T.,

Two reports released this week show significant increases in youth suicide rates between 2003 and 2004, following a consistent drop since the 1990s. A study released in the September issue of The American Journal of Psychiatry, shows a 14 percent increase in suicide rates for children and adolescents under the age of 19 from 2003 to 2004. The second study, published in the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, shows an eight percent increase in suicide rates for individuals between the ages of 10 and 24 in 2004, following a 28 percent decrease over the last 15 years. This is the largest escalation in this group since the agency began collecting suicide data in 1979.

Unfortunately, child and adolescent suicide is at the highest rate in 15 years.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's report, the decline took place from 1990 to 2003 (from 9.48 to 6.78 per 100,000 people), and the increase took place from 2003 to 2004, (from 6.78 to 7.32).

Whether this is a short-term spike or the start of a trend, we, as parents, must do everything in our power to prevent more teen suicides from occurring.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration placed a black box warning on antidepressants for pediatric use in 2004, which was followed by pervasive media coverage and a 22 percent decrease in the prescription of antidepressant medications from 2003 to children and adolescents. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry advised the FDA's Pediatric Advisory Committee against placing a black box warning on antidepressant medications.

More research is needed to find out whether there is a correlation between the black box warning and this increase in teen suicide. My concern is that the FDA's warning has made families fearful of obtaining help. This is a tragedy as treatment works.

Antidepressant medications, when monitored and paired with talk therapy like cognitive behavioral therapy can be an effective component of treating youth depression. The National Institute of Mental Health's (NIMH) Treatment of Adolescents with Depression Study (TADS) reports that a combination of Fluoxetine (Prozac®) and cognitive behavior (talk) therapy led to significant clinical improvement in 71 percent of moderately-to-severely depressed adolescents.

For more information on antidepressant medications, visit www.parentsmedguide.com or www.physiciansmedguide.com.

Online Parent Support

Parenting Suicidal Teens

Vitamin B12 Injections for Autism

Mark,

Have you heard anything about vitamin B12 shots for autism? And if so, do you know about it's effectiveness?

C.W.

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Hi C.,

Unfortunately, preliminary results of a small ongoing study of vitamin B12 injections for children with autism showed no signs of significant benefit, but researchers remain hopeful.

Hope is derived from anecdotal reports of remarkable clinical improvements using subcutaneous vitamin B12 (methyl cobalamin), although there have been no supporting published studies. Vitamin B12 is an antioxidant involved in metabolism pathways for cellular methylation, which has been implicated in other neurological disorders like schizophrenia and Alzheimer's Disease.

The researchers reported that no significant benefits have turned up yet for the 14 patients who have completed three months in the current double-blind crossover study. They found no significant differences with active versus placebo treatment for the following measures:

· Clinical Global Impression Scale Improvement (P=0.4129),
· Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test scores (P=0.2895), and
· Social Communication Questionnaire verbal results (P=0.4211).

A significant improvement found for nonverbal Social Communication Questionnaire scores in the vitamin B12 group compared to placebo (P=0.0309) disappeared after adjusting for multiple testing.

The researchers randomized half of the participants to six weeks of 64.5 ug/kg of subcutaneous methyl cobalamin injections every three days and the other half to a similar schedule of saline injections disguised to maintain the double-blind. For the following six weeks, the children were crossed over to the opposite group.

Diagnosis of autism was confirmed using several clinical measures including the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, and Mullen Scales of Early Learning. Patients could stay on all other treatment modalities they entered with but no additions were allowed during the trial.

Interestingly, several of the children seemed to respond well. Three of the eight participants who subsequently completed three months of open-label therapy and two of the five who have completed six months were rated "much improved" on the Clinical Global Impression Improvement scale.

While there is a general trend toward improvement in several of the subjects, this trend does not reach group significance with this small sample size.

Autism is so heterogeneous - you can't expect one treatment is going to work for all kids with autism.

The real usefulness of the study may be to indicate which patients will respond to the treatment, which is generally thought to have few side effects.

The study does not have a traditional design and will likely be scrutinized critically. It is a wonderful bridge between research and the complimentary and alternative medicine that so many patients are using where ground needs to be broken.

The researchers said they plan to enroll at least 42 children in the study, which was supported by the University of California at Davis.

Online Parent Support

Too Much T.V.!?


Mark,

Thanks for your time. I have another questions. What can you do when your son is addicted to t.v. Do I take that privilege away, limit it...? He doesn't do homework or chores becasue he is always glued to the T.V. It's becoming a real problem. It's like the more t.v. he watches, the more problems we are having. Can T.V affect a child's behavior?

J.C.

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Hi J.,

American children watch an average of three to fours hours of television daily. Television can be a powerful influence in developing value systems and shaping behavior. Unfortunately, much of today's television programming is violent. Hundreds of studies of the effects of TV violence on children and teenagers have found that children may:

· become "immune" or numb to the horror of violence
· gradually accept violence as a way to solve problems
· identify with certain characters, victims and/or victimizers
· imitate the violence they observe on television; and

Children with emotional, behavioral, learning or impulse control problems may be more easily influenced by TV violence. The impact of TV violence may be immediately evident in the child's behavior or may surface years later. Young people can even be affected when the family atmosphere shows no tendency toward violence.

Extensive viewing of television violence by children causes greater aggressiveness. Sometimes, watching a single violent program can increase aggressiveness. Children who view shows in which violence is very realistic, frequently repeated or unpunished, are more likely to imitate what they see.

While TV violence is not the only cause of aggressive or violent behavior, it is clearly a significant factor. Parents can protect children from excessive TV violence in the following ways:

·disapprove of the violent episodes in front of the children, stressing the belief that such behavior is not the best way to resolve a problem
·pay attention to the programs their children are watching and watch some with them
·point out that although the actor has not actually been hurt or killed, such violence in real life results in pain or death
·refuse to let the children see shows known to be violent, and change the channel or turn off the TV set when offensive material comes on, with an explanation of what is wrong with the program
·set limits on the amount of time they spend with the television; consider removing the TV set from the child=s bedroom
·to offset peer pressure among friends and classmates, contact other parents and agree to enforce similar rules about the length of time and type of program the children may watch

Parents can also use these measures to prevent harmful effects from television in other areas such as racial or sexual stereotyping. The amount of time children watch TV, regardless of content, should be moderated because it decreases time spent on more beneficial activities such as reading, playing with friends, and developing hobbies.

More tips…

Be conscious of what your teen is watching away from home.

1.Casually ask them what they did at a friend's house and use open-ended questions. This will give you some insight into what they may be watching away from home.
2.Encourage your teen not to watch inappropriate shows away from home.
3.Talk to your teen's friends and their parents about your beliefs on TV viewing.

Cut down the amount of time your teen watches TV - Involve your teen in other activities he enjoys.

1.Designate certain evenings for special family activities, like a family bike ride or a game.
2.Encourage your teen take part in sports, games, hobbies, and music.
3.Put books, magazines, and board games in the family room to provide your teen the opportunity to do something other than watch television.

Want your teen to rethink his TV viewing habits? Go without TV for a week.

1.Be creative in finding alternatives to TV like scavenger hunts around the house.
2.Get the whole family involved and find activities you can do together.

Tips to keeping your teen from watching violence on TV:

1.Be aware of what your teen is seeing on the news. Often the news can include graphic violence and other adult material that may not be suitable for children.
2.Do not allow your teen to watch violence on television. To help monitor his viewing habits when you are gone, consider installing parental controls.
3.Share your beliefs and values when it comes to watching TV, and set a good example.

Tips to Encouraging Your Teen to Watch Less TV:

1.Keep the TV off during family mealtimes.
2.Limit your children's daily and weekend TV viewing time. For instance, no TV before school, during homework, or late at night.
3.Limit your teen's ability to watch shows that contain adult content or violence by using parental controls available on most televisions.

Set a good example for your teen's TV viewing habits. Be a role model.

1.Spend your free time reading, exercising, or interacting with your family.
2.Turn off the TV when a particular show is over.
3.Watch adult programs when your teen is not present.

Mark

Online Parent Support

I am making a presentation to my class on ODD...

Thanks Mark,

I am a student studying Masters in Counselling at Wesley Institute, Sydney, Australia. I am making a presentation to my class on ODD - assessments etc., and my opinions and their downfalls. I also have at least one client that has been labelled ODD so far and find it greatly challenging with him. Your site is great and encouraging to a beginner in this field.

J.W.

MyOutOfControlTeen.com

The last straw...


hi mark,

I am contacting you with the hope that you can maybe put me in the right direction to help my teen. Firstly i need some advice. don't know what to do. He is not conforming at all …he struggles to maintain any education program. There always seems to be a problem with the teacher. lack of organization, motivation. Its always somebody elses fault. He lacks motivation always late has no idea of time. He refuses to take any responsibility for his actions and does not see that he has any problems or how his behaviour affects his family members. He is lazy It is always a battle to get him to clean up after himself to be honest he is utterly disgusting i never thought that anybody can be so nasty and uncaring. his bedroom floor is a dustbin he has constant mood swings. He only seems happy when he is left alone to do what ever he wants. I am completely worried for him and for his future.

He has had brushes with the law and it is the grace of god that he has not ended up in prison. He is only 17. I often felt he had a form of aspergers. He attended a few consultations but the consultant does not want to label him. Also my son does not want to attend any more sessions. He finds it very hard to open up and talk about what is happening inside his head. I have got to a stage where i cannot take any more of his behaviour it has caused so many problems in the household. he thinks completely different and has an answer to everything but never straight answers. the last straw came when i found some cannabis in his room he completely denied any knowledge of it but we know that he does smoke it. He says he was looking after it for a friend, but he could not see that he was disrespecting our family values and home. I think this seems to be a big issue that he does not see the consequences of things or think about other peoples feelings. Does not sleep much always restless at nighttime will often spend up to 3 to 4 hours on the phone.

Sorry to have to write you a negative letter. But I need help to try and help this teen to be a good person in society and to get some kind of education. I am probably one of many that has said I have tried everything!!!!! He is very talented in music and sport but he cant even be bothered to get him self ready or turn up on time.


help !!!

B.

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Hi B.,

You’ve mentioned quite a few problems here:

· poor academic performance
· time management difficulties
· lacks motivation
· mood swings
· brushes w/law
· possible cannabis abuse
· sleep problems

Not that this will be any consolation to you, but you just described all the other teens I work with.

Going on what you’ve told me, his behavior doesn’t seem to be reminiscent of Aspergers, rather ADHD.

Please review THIS PAGE re: poor academic performance and drug abuse. Also, I think the power point presentation FOUND HERE will be of some benefit.

In addition, CLICK HERE for a complete rundown on ADHD symptoms and treatment.

I trust that the above will shed some light on things,

Mark

Articles

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?

Click here for the full article...

The Strong-Willed Out-of-Control Teen

The standard disciplinary techniques that are recommended for “typical” teenagers do not take into account the many issues facing teens with serious behavioral problems. Disrespect, anger, violent rages, self-injury, running away from home, school failure, hanging-out with the wrong crowd, drug abuse, theft, and legal problems are just some of the behaviors that parents of defiant teens will have to learn to control.

Click here for the full article...

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