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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The biggest mistake I made...

Please look for my responses where you see these arrows: ==>

Dear Mr. Hutten:

I would like to speak with you on the phone. To be worth doing at all it will entail some time commitment (say an hour minimum). Are you willing to do this? Would you be willing to make a phone date so I will be sure to have the time free? During school
hours is best.

==> Due to the sheer volume of OPS members I respond to on a daily basis, it would be best to communicate via email.


I have had a lot of success using NVC (non-violent communication) and imagine your program could be integrated into what I already do. The family situation is difficult legally and every other way. You may think you've heard it all but I bet this one has a few new kinks. Actually the child's behavior is not all that bad compared to what I'm reading from other parents. I've done a not bad job I think under extraordinarily bad circumstances.

The biggest mistake I' made was not to sue for guardianship when both of her parents were certifiably incompetent. Instead I kept trying to prop them up, hoping for eventual help and that the kid would have at least parents she could know instead of a vacuum.

But things are at a very critical point right now where poor choices could have far reaching ill effects for her life and education.

In terms of what I've read on your web site: she's moved out from the stricter gramma (me) to the indulgent parent (her dad) who left her with whoever for 6 weeks until she swallowed a bottle of aspirin to get his attention. She's back with him now. She comes by my place to use the computer almost daily. I need to return to my home in CA (she likes it there by the way) for many reasons and want to get her completely out of her present environment. I think that below her anger she knows she's better off with me. i want her to come back with the willingness to accept me as her legal guardian even to the point of filing a petition herself which she can now do in california (at age 12).

Her stated reason for leaving is that she can't stand me; that I don't care about her and any statement i may make about the deep love that I have for her is derided as BS. These ideas border on delusional. it is opposite to what she was saying 2 years ago and I have
very moving statement which she wrote at that time as to why she wanted me for her guardian. She will say that she was lying she always hated me etc. this just isn't true. She's in deep pain and needs a way out. I can help her if she will just cooperate a little.

In your view do I have to wait for her to blow up with her dad or is there some way I can reach her now? I'm afraid if I leave town interference from outsiders will prevent my knowing what's going on and will discourage her from calling. That's what happened
with her suicide attempt. It was just by chance I found out.

==> It sounds like you will have to wait for her to be in a severe state of "needing to reach out" to you before she will be ripe for a "live-in" relationship with you.

She has been mostly with me since age 3 and has asked for me to be her guardian till now and has accepted my authority to make the big decisions. She thinks she wants the apparent freedom her dad will give but she will actually get more real autonomy and independence and more real choice (meaning more choices, more options) much sooner and ultimately, with me.

On paper I have physical custody and her dad has legal custody, since a year or so ago. She is very very smart. Smart enough to figure out what she needs but will she figure in time? Her defiant behavior seems really compulsive to me. Like she knows it's not what
she really wants but she MUST rebel and side with her "friends". These are in part adult "friends" in there 20's 30's who along with her dad have fomented the rebellion as it were. I need to get her out of town and willingly. She has been very conflicted over her family situation for years and i think maybe the defiance, flat out and non negotiable shored up with a lot of anger is a way out of inner conflict. Any suggestions?

==> Let her know she is always welcome to come live with you as long as she is willing to abide by your house rules.

She spent 10 days in acute psychiatric care after her suicide attempt and was diagnosed ODD which is what lead me to your site, looking for more info on just what the hell is that. i suspect that she has an extremely high IQ and would like to have her evaluated by the Gifted Developement Center in denver; I've wanted to for years. She was released to her dad against the recommendations of the staff because she refused to go with me and the tribe (she's registered navaho) intervened to prevent her being placed in non indian foster care. The hospital recommended a 30 to 90 day treatment foster care. there is no such Indian foster care available so she's back with dad.

In general my approach with her has been like reeling in a fish only in reverse: trying to keep just enough tension on the line to give her the security of feeling some control and boundaries and reeling it out as fast as she can handle the responsibility. There are some very practical reasons for this: mainly i am 63 years old and there are no other family members remotely able to take over. Also it works real well. She responds well to real challenge. Again my problem is getting her dad out of the way. He is clueless.

Her dad is a marijuana dealer and heavy user. I have off and on for years debated making an anonymous phone call to try to have him busted. I hesitate for two reasons: (1) it makes me feel like a mean person; I favor legalization and to my knowledge he doesn't
handle the hard stuff. But it brings him in contact with people who do. It makes him a pitiful excuse for a dad and no role model for anybody. But I have a hard time with the idea of sending him up just to get him out of the way. (2) more importantly I don't think it in the child's best interest to have her dad in prison, to possibly ever know I blew the whistle even if he got off without serving time, which I think would be the most likely outcome.) I have been told that kids with parents who go to prison are statistically far more likely to do so themselves and part of what i am sensing with him is that he would
not be sorry to see her adopt his lifestyle.

I am fed up with trying to work with her dad. The personal/cultural differences are too great and I have been trying for 10 years.

Any opinions here?

==> Again, I think until her father "has had enough" and is willing to work with you rather than against you, your hands are tied.

There is a lot more. Some whole important areas I haven't even touched on. these are just a few bites. Might you be willing to work with me?

==> Yes... but due to time constraints, we will do best to communicate via email.

Thanks for your phone call maybe this email will spark questions and be a jumping off point.

AND do you know of anyway to disable MySpace without disconnecting from the internet? It is a Really Bad Thing. My kid started at 10 (at the instigation of one of those 20 something "friends") and then the cat was out. If you don't already understand the damage this thing (and other copy cats) are doing don't get me started. Just start looking at what's happening.You'll see.

==> At this time, she really should not have computer privileges. Here's parental control software to use if you want to continue to allow computer privileges, however ==> PC Tattletail.

This is what we use at our house. I think it is probably the best one out there.

Mark

Online Parent Support

This son will just defy me as soon as Dad leaves the house...

Dear Mr. Hutten:

I have read most of your book today. I am almost done, but am quite confused regarding my own personal situation. I know I sent you that long email, but please remember these facts, as they are much harder for me than you realize. I am not trying to say that no one knows what they are talking about, I want you to realize that I need exact instructions on how to deal with my son AT THE POINT WE HAVE REACHED. My husband is gone for days at a time, and my son and I have an very very estranged relationship. If I even asked him to do a chore, to tried to impose a curfew or told him no to anything, he knows he can hang over my head the act of busting up my house. He would just say "F_ _ _ _ you B _ _ _ _ _, make me", grab his keys and walk out, doing whatever he wants. He just literally stands there and says "No." How do I converse with someone like that? He scares me, has hit me once about 5 years ago, and is now 6'1" and a brown belt. (I should have never paid for that), he never learned dicipline there, they taught it, but he used it against me.

In short, since my husband is an airline pilot, I can fly for free. Would it pay for me to have a session with you? An appointment? Would you be able to meet with me, for a while, hear everything I have to say and give me some honest to goodness guidance and sound advice on exactly what to do? I have been dealing with this for 10 years and am on the brink of divorce over it and have 3 more kids to raise. What I am trying to say is that I hear your advice in your book, but for many of your situations (such as imposing chores, or setting guidlines), this son will just defy me as soon as Dad leaves the house. I am stripped of authority, how do I get it back? I know my husband must join forces, but even if he does, how do I enforce it when Dad goes away? Please let me know something more.

Thank you,

A.

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Hi A.,

First of all, please do not use this program in “crash-course” fashion. Parents make a huge mistake when they try to shoot for a quick fix by blasting through the printable version of the ebook in one afternoon and then try to implement change. This approach will be the kiss of failure. Simply do one session per week – and be sure to listen to all the audio.

Secondly, I understood from your first email what you particular dilemma is. You are basically parenting alone with a very angry son who has no respect for you. Since your husband is not there to back you up, you must seek some form of outside assistance. I think this should come in the form of juvenile probation if necessary. That’s right – juvenile probation.

Use the strategies as outlined in the eBook. If your son threatens you, destroys property, violates curfew, etc., you should go to your local probation department and file a complaint (whether you get your husband’s approval or not). Then you will get assistance from a probation officer.

Now I’m going to be a bit tough on you:

If you are one of those parents that wants to save her son from uncomfortable emotions associated with his poor choices …if you find the above recommendation to be unthinkable …if you choose to be held captive in that abusive environment with little support from your absent husband, then you are NOT working this program as it is intended. This is a serious matter. You will either make a stand as well as muster the courage to implement change, or you will find a host of reasons why this program will not work – it’s your choice.

Having said that, I trust that you will take things one-step at a time by fully digesting session #1 (and implementing session #1 assignments) this week – and nothing more. Save session #2 for next week. Also email me as needed for any clarification you may need.

Lastly, shift from focusing on all that’s going wrong and how you are being treated unfairly to focusing on how you can begin to take care of you.

Mark

Online Parent Support

This will be hard, won't it?

Mr. Hutten:

I purchased your book, but am worried about something. Correct me if I am wrong: I cannot effectively do this if my husband doesn't right? Also, how am I to pull this off every time my pilot husband leaves town? This will be hard, won't it?

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While it's true that it will be exceedingly difficult to implement these strategies if your husband is working in the opposite direction from you, I find that - even in worse case scenarios - spouses can find at least a few areas they agree on.

Rarely is the case that husband and wife are 100% diametrically opposed on ALL decision-making opportunities about their kids. A weaker plan supported by both parents is much, much better than a strong plan supported by only one.

Mark

Online Parent Support

Serious problem with son...

Hello Mark,

I have serious problem with my son and his breaking our family rules. This story sounds like a great plan; however our son is able to stay the course for three days and then start all over again, hence the weekend begins. Over the Thanksgiving holiday he stayed out all night and then came home and we took all his privileges away. He told his father that he understood his punishment and within 2 hours proceeded to walk out the door.

He also tells us that if we put our hands on him he will call the police. Now we know that we can restrain him but this is a no win situation. We cannot watch over him 24 hours a day. We already went down that road a year and a half ago. When he ran off for 5 days at the age of 13 we were told that a wilderness trip and boarding school was the answer. After being gone for over a year he came back and seems to be worse.

He has been in counseling and everyone who has ever encountered him says the same thing; he is an edgy kid who likes to take risks. We also know he loves to smoke marijuana. More so than most of his acquaintances; I have often asked if this is a sign of depression and have been told that in their opinion he is not depressed. What do you suggest?

I wanted you to be aware that we live in Maryland and I am not sure what the laws are concerning his absence. He has now been gone for over 2 days. I am going to find out the laws today that govern this situation. We have had advice saying that we should just let him stay out there and see what it is like; they say he will tire of it and come home. I have wondered the same thing; maybe we should just let it run its course. Another suggestion has been to call the police each and every time he stays out. This will give him a track record and maybe the police can give him a citation and then we would go to juvenile services and he would be given community service. I am looking into that aspect today. What would your opinion be concerning this action?

We have found out thru different sources that he is staying at various friends houses in and around our area. My mind is consumed with worry and I just want him safe; there are so many different drugs out there and trouble that he could get into. Believe me when I say we have tried a lot of different approaches. Please help us with your experience in these matters.

Thank you,

M.

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Since he refuses to accept rules and discipline, your only recourse (that will be effective) is to file a run away complaint as well as an incorrigibility complaint at your local juvenile probation department. You need outside assistance in the form of “formal probation.” Then he will be “court-ordered” to follow through with several objectives (e.g., comply with curfew, attend school, seek drug treatment, etc.).

DO NOT attempt to save him from uncomfortable emotions associated with his poor choices. Allow him to experience the full range of legal difficulties that result from with his defiant behavior.

Mark

Online Parent Support

Failure to Launch

How would this program work for an 18 year old who keeps leaving home and who isn’t motivated to work or go to school. He graduated this past June and since then has been rebelling. He hasn’t spent time with his dad in months. We have always had a 50/50 custody.

Thanks

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The latest parenting challenge is dealing with emerging adults who have no intention of leaving the nest. Many 18- to 26-year-olds either return home after college or they've never even left home. The media refers to them as "Boomerang Kids." Parents are worried that their kids won't leave home.

This new phenomenon is highlighted in the movie Failure to Launch. Matthew McConaughey plays Tripp, 30-something bachelor whose parents want him out of the house. They've hired Paula (Sarah Jessica Parker), an interventionist, to help him move out. Paula has a track record of successfully boosting men's self-confidence to cause them to want to be independent.

Interestingly, this story line is not as far-fetched as it may seem. Young adults are indeed becoming more difficult to coax out of their comfy childhood homes.

Since the '70s, the number of 26-year-olds still living at home has nearly doubled! Here are the top 4 factors contributing to this change:

1. They Are Unprepared

They are overwhelmed or unmotivated to live independently. They would rather play it safe by occupying the family home, playing computer games and delivering pizza.

These kids often grow up living the life of the privileged. Here, well-meaning parents provide their children with all the amenities congruent with an affluent lifestyle. The parents are focused on doing more for their children than what their parents did for them – at the expense of keeping them dependent. Kids don't move out because they've got it made!

When your financial generosity isn't combined with teaching kids how to become self-sufficient at an early age, we cannot expect them to automatically possess adequate life skills when they reach legal adulthood. How will they gain the skills to confidently live their own life when they haven't had the opportunity to do things for themselves?

2. They Are Cautious or Clueless

They are committed, but unsure how to discover their ideal career path. They approach college with the same trial and error mindset their parents had only to find out that it no longer prepares them for today's competitive world.

Parents do their kids a disservice by waiting until they are 17 or 18 before initiating career-related discussions. In our dynamic society where change is a daily diet, this is much too late! It's best to start young, at age 13. This stage of development is the perfect time to begin connecting the dots between what they love to do and possible career options. It can take years to prepare for the perfect career. Beginning early will help teens maximize their opportunities in high school and make college a much better investment.

3. They Have Personal Problems

They don't have effective life coping skills, have failed relationships or are grieving some other loss or wrestling with a challenging life event.

In Failure to Launch, we learn that Tripp's parents indulged him largely because the woman he loved died, and he hasn't gotten over his loss. When Tripp falls in love with Paula – the new girl of his dreams – his self-sabotaging habit of dumping a girl before she can get too close gets reactivated. Finally, his friends intervene and Tripp eventually faces his demons, to everyone's delight.

If your teen is struggling emotionally, don't make the mistake of thinking it will somehow magically get better without an intervention. Tough love requires that you insist your adolescent get professional help so that he or she can move forward. If you don't know how to have that kind of conversation, consider getting help from a parenting expert.

4. They Have Mounting Debt

They've accumulated significant credit card debt and moving back in with their parents is a way to pay it off. According to the National Credit Card Research Foundation, 55 percent of students ages 16 to 22 have at least one credit card. If your teen falls into this group, make sure you monitor spending together online. Helping your teen understand how to budget and manage credit cards will be important for handling a household budget in the future.

Kids can't learn to manage money if they don't have any or if parents always pay for everything. If your offspring moves back home, I recommend you charge a nominal amount for room and board. As an adult member of your household, it's important for your young adult to contribute to household chores and expenses.

If the purpose of your child's return home is to pay off bills or a college loan, have a realistic plan and stick to the plan to make sure your young adult moves out of the house.

Determine Goals and Stick to Them

Most parents enjoy having their children visit and will consider offering some short-term help. However, indulging an adult child's inaction does not help your son or daughter begin his or her own life. If your child defaults on your agreement, be willing to enforce consequences to help him or her launch into responsible adulthood.

My Out-of-Control Teen

Active vs. Passive Parenting

Hi Mark,

Thanks for sharing and helping us parents who are frustrated and absolutely dumbfounded as to what to do with our little darlings.

My question to you is how do parents who are divorced work together and stay consistent? My ex and I are equally worried and upset with our 17yr old boy. We however, have very different parenting styles. I'm more into boundaries and keeping the lines of communication open. My ex lets our son run the show. I cannot tell my ex what to do or how to handle situations because he doesn't like anyone doing this, especially his ex. He takes everything very personally.

I have raised my son for over 16 yrs. My son is now living with his dad. He needs to see if the grass is greener and in some ways it is through his eyes. Less structure, way more freedom, no chores, no sch. meals, girlfriend can sleepover, money magically appears in his bank acct., curfew not enforced. These are just a few examples that I cannot deal with. His father doesn't know how to parent, because historically his been the Disneyland parent and now he needs to be the real parent and he doesn't know where to begin.

Can you give me some simple steps that will help us see eye to eye just a little?

I do plan on offering your web page to him. Yes or No

Thanks for your time and wisdom,

D.

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Hi D.,

Yes …please do offer the website and eBook. Do your best to recruit your ex as a partner in problem solving in spite of the fact that he seems to be on the opposite page from you.

==> A weaker plan supported by both parents is much better than a strong plan supported by only one parent. <==

Your situation is far from ideal. Your husband is apparently doing a lot of things that contribute to the problem rather than help resolve it. However, that system tends to break down in the long run. Here’s the pattern I see quite frequently with divorced parents:

1. Child does not like the structured environment with the ‘active parent’ (i.e., the one in which the parent issues and enforces house rules).
2. Child moves to the least restrictive environment with ‘passive parent’ (i.e., the one in which the parent has few rules/expectations).
3. Due to low supervision/monitoring, the child gets into significant trouble (e.g., at school, with the law, etc.) – or -- child and ‘passive parent’ get into a huge argument, thus ‘passive parent’ kicks child out of his/her home.
4. Child returns to the ‘active parent’s’ home.

Your husband is trying to be the “good guy” – but the “good guy” usually only maintains “good-guy-status” for the short-term due to the following: The more free hand-outs of stuff and freedom the ‘passive parent’ issues, the more the child expects and desires (enough is never enough!). This strong sense of entitlement on the part of the child tends to grate on the ‘passive parent’s’ nerves over time, resulting in some serious parent-child conflict.

In any event, remember that a weaker plan supported by both parents is much better than a strong plan supported by only one parent.

Good luck,

Mark

Online Parent Support

Let Go

Hi Mark,

I am just into my first week of the course and would like your help in what to do at this point. I have emailed you prior to purchasing your manual about the fact that my son D___ (17 years old) has left home and I need to get him back in order to implement your suggestions and bring us back as a family. I don't know how to go about this. If it sounds as a threat, he will not return. Should I ask him to return for his own safety and our love for him, should I give him an option or tell him he must return. It has now been 6 weeks and I feel he is slipping further away from us. I have like many other of your subscribers, been to counselling and she suggested that hard love was the option and that David needs to return on his own accord and on our terms. But I can see that the longer I leave this that there is a less likely chance that he will ever return.

Just to fill you in a little more, D___ ran away back in August and was gone for 8 days. We asked him to return, but once he had it seemed that D___ was set to do anything and everything to make sure that he gets kicked out. So my husband gave him an ultimatum; live in our house with our rules or get out. So he chose the latter, of course. I feel that my husband made a very bad decision at this point and that we will never get D___ back. He is getting too heavily involved into the heavy metal music culture and has started to get body piercing and wants tattoos, all the things that my husband forbid him to do at home. He has given up school even though he was a great student. Please let me know what I should do at this point, as you know I would not be asking if I wasn't so desperate and feeling so lonely and vulnerable in this situation.

S.T.

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Hi S.,

My first thought is: Your husband did the right thing. If your son were any younger, giving him the “all-or-nothing” ultimatum would not be appropriate. However, he’s an adult now – literally [although not legally recognized as one depending on what country you live in].

This will be no consolation to you at all - I’m sure, but bear in mind that “self-reliance” in key. If your son is out on his own, he is developing self-reliance. He is growing up quickly and learning how the real world operates. Although this is terribly painful and worrisome for you, the mother, this current situation is largely a positive one.

I don’t expect you to be able to shut your emotions off and somehow muster up the ability to see this dilemma through rosy lens. But what I would ask you to do is 3-fold:

1. Trust that this will work out for the best in the long run, and do not make yourself miserable in the meantime.
2. Acknowledge the reality that, even if he were to come home today, you would either have to go through all this parent-child conflict again, or simply let him be in charge.
3. Let him know that he is always welcome to come home to visit – and he is even welcome to return home to live, but only if he is willing to abide by a reasonable set of house rules.

This will be much more difficult for you than your husband. You and I both know that this is in God’s hands now.

My prayer for you today is: God grant S__ the ability to accept the things she cannot change, the courage to change the things she can – and the wisdom to know the difference. - The Serenity Prayer

Mark

Online Parent Support

We love him but sure don’t like him...

Hi Mark,

I’ve quickly reviewed your program and I think it will help.

My youngest (16) boy is not really that far out of control. My older boy (19) is just great.

Both are extremely smart and do great in school. Snag with youngest is mostly on the disrespect side. Which of course leads to lots of communication problems.

We’re kind of at the “we love him but sure don’t like him” stage.

Pretty sure his problems stem from my wife developing serious illness and almost dying when he was only in grade 5.

She’s now stable but some limited functionality.

We need to reverse what’s going on, otherwise I can see me booting him out in the future.

So we will follow your plan and see if it will help,

D.

Online Parent Support

11 year old son with ODD...

My name is D___ i have an 11 year old son with ODD. My husband and i are a our wit ends and don't know what to do with him or where to turn he gets worse every day at home and school he got straight f's across the board in school and no one wants to sit next to him . the teachers don't know what to do with him and i don't know what to say to try to even help them help him. Here's my question is there any other way to get your book, like at the library or something i don't have any credit cards and i don't think i could get one if i tried at this point . but so far your site seems to be the only one that understands what we are going threw and we need help desperately ............thank you D___

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Hi D.,

You can pay by check if you want. Click Here for more info. I really want you to get this material as soon as possible.

Call or email me if you have any questions or concerns.

==> Cell: 765-635-9037
==> Toll Free: 856-457-4883 [leave message on toll free #, and I'll call you back when I'm back at my desk]

Mark

I've already learned new strategies...

Hey Mark,

I downloaded my printable version of your book yesterday. Uhhh...I couldn't print it out cuz my printer was out of ink!!! This is just a teensy weensy setback, which will be remedied today.

I spent a bit of time reading the first part of the book. I've gotta say - I'm impressed! Just from the small amount of reading I did - I've already learned new strategies. For instance...

Last night...my son decided to "do his thang!" Normally, this results in a verbal version of "Hell In A Cell" between him and I that could rival a Smackdown match featuring: The Undertaker vs Batista but nuh uh...I didn't react. Plain and simple. I understand exactly what you mean when you say that our kids want us to react. My poor baby was so disappointed...but guess what? I have one less gray hair - already!!! *two thumbs up!*

I am really looking forward to further reading and doing the assignments, once I print out the book. I will also listen to the online version of the ebook as you suggested. I'm up for getting all the knowledge I can. But I'm fully aware that obtaining knowledge and strategies are not enough. We have to utilize them if we want results. When you utilize knowledge and make it part of your life - it becomes wisdom. After all, it starts with me - then filters down to my kids.

Thank you Mark, for sharing your wisdom and showing me, as a parent, that there is always hope. That's a wonderful feeling - it's also very infectious!

I'll be in touch.

Blessings,

K.M.

My Out-of-Control Teen

Son Collects Girl's Underwear

"WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO. OUR SON IS 13 GOING ON 14. HE HAS BEEN LYING TO US AND WE KEEP ON FINDING GIRL'S UNDER GARMENTS IN HIS ROOM & BOOK BAG. WHEN WE ASK HIM ABOUT THEM HE TELLS US THAT SOMEONE ELSE PUT THEM THERE OR HE FOUND THEM IN THE GARBAGE ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD. WE ARE LOOKING INTO COUNSELING FOR ALL OF US. CAN YOU PLEASE HELP US. WHAT IS HE DOING WITH THEM? WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP HIM?"

Boys often investigate their sexuality in strange ways around the age of puberty. I doubt that he’s up to anything other than typical post-pubescent experimentation. Talking openly with your son about sex may be one of the most difficult things you do. However, the insight you provide may be more valuable to him than you may think. It not only gives him information to help make healthy decisions regarding sex, but can provide the tools he needs to prevent disastrous mistakes as well. If talking with your son about sex makes you uncomfortable, consider these tips for overcoming your reluctance:
  • Answer your son's questions simply and directly.
  • Approach the discussions with a sense of humor.
  • Be honest with your son about your discomfort.
  • Practice what you want to say.
  • Read books or watch videotapes about ways to teach him about sexual issues.
  • Talk with a counselor or other professional.

Talking to your son about sex may be difficult, but it is far better to learn from a parent than other kids, television, or experimentation. Help him develop opinions that are shaped by your values and not by those of others.

My Out-of-Control Teen: Help for Parents

What now?

Our 15 yr old will not go to the doctors with us. He agrees to go then starts a fight just before we need to go so that we end up not going. This week he has smashed two house phones, put holes in walls, doors, spat at me and threatened to run away and kill himself. How do we get him to the doctors? He has also refused the medication the doctor wanted to put him on and when I asked if we could get it and slip it to him quietly, the doctor said that it was unethical!! What now?

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Yes … that would be unethical. Have you downloaded the eBook? If so, have you listened to ALL the audio? If not, please do so, because the long answer (which is what you need) to your question - “What now?” - is in there, specifically the technique entitled “When You Want Something From Your Kid” in the Anger Management chapter of the Online Version of the eBook. Please read that chapter and listen to all the audio there, then email me again with any specific questions you may have regarding implementing that particular strategy.

Mark

Online Parent Support

Son Refuses to be Grounded

"We have been following you advice about the 3 day punishment, but our son still will not adhere to the rules. He comes and goes when he wants to. Over the summer he had a few small construction jobs with my brothers and made a couple hundred dollars. We have been giving this to him in small increments on the weekend. We have asked him to look for a job or join a sport, but as you know, you cannot force anyone (especially a hard-headed 15 year old) to do anything ...it is their choice. My question to you is: should we withhold his money this weekend since he won’t stay in after school for the three days you had suggested? I feel as though he should listen to our restrictions and then he can have back his cell phone and computer privileges along with some of his money. Could you direct us asap?"


I think the best way to answer your question is to offer an example from another mother - and member of Online Parent Support - who was going through the same problem.

Her 16-year-old son simply refused to be grounded. He came and went as he pleased with total disregard for the 3-day-discipline. And this went on for weeks. It seemed as though her son had "won the game."

So...

One day, mom finally mustered up the courage to work the program as intended. She had been a "softy" up to this point.

While her son was out gallivanting around, she confiscated everything - and I mean everything!

When her son returned home, he had nothing ...no T.V. ...no computer ...no iPod ...no DVD player ...no cell phone ...no snack food ...not even a bedroom door - nothing!!!

And to make matters worse, she canceled his YMCA membership (which was where he was spending his time while violating the 3-day-discipline).

Needless to say, he was very angry and threw a huge temper tantrum. So mom told him that the 3-day-grounding would NOT start until he calmed down. He got even more angry and ran his forearm across the end table, which sent a lamp, ash tray, and various other items all other the living room floor. Mom said again, "The 3-day-grounding does not start until all of this is picked up."

Well it didn't get picked up that day. But, when her son came home from school the next day and saw that mom had not picked up after him (like she usually did), he realized that the start of the 3-day-grounding was totally up to him. So he reluctantly picked it all up. And at that moment, mom looked at her watch and started the 3-day-discipline.

He stayed home for 3 days (except going to school of course). After 3 days, mom returned all his items and even re-instated his YMCA membership. She reports that his refusal to honor the 3-day-discipline has not occurred since. In fact, she states she has only had to implement the 3-day-discipline one other time to date.

Some parents choose to do tough love, others don't. The ones who don't keep getting what they always got - a huge amount of disrespect and drama.

My Out-of-Control Teen: Help for Parents

She wants to be totally independent...

My daughter who is 16 keeps getting out of control. She wants to be totally independent and wants to emancipate herself. Last week she got her cell phone turned off because she would not physically give it to me, so I found out I could get on the website and deactivate it. So she went out and bought a phone and month-to-month service. I had told her not to. But long story short, her dad physically took the phone from her as well as her old phone, which ended in her calling the cops. They arrived, interviewed us all separately, and then told she had to follow our rules. My problem is that this isn't first time we have had the cops to our home.

How do I get my husband to not fly off the handle and get into a physical situation with our daughter? He has never hit her, but she has been very defiant and won't budge and that is when all hell breaks. I don't even know if anything I am typing here is making sense, but I don't know what to do. I have started reading your book, being told by others I should get her evaluated, go to counseling. We have done all this and it seems to work for a short while but then all falls apart again. My husband doesn’t think he is part of the problem. I know that we can handle how we talk to our kids better and I keep asking him show our kids what he wants done, don't just tell them. Thank you for your time.

````````````````````

Hi L.,

Re: Emancipation—

Please forward the info below to your daughter.

To L___’s Daughter:

Emancipation is only one of several alternatives available to you if you feel you cannot live with your parents. You may want to consider other options such as:

·an informal agreement with your parents allowing you to live outside your home
·family counseling or mediation service between you and your parents
·living with another responsible adult (aunt, uncle, grandparent, or family friend)
·seeking assistance from public and private agencies

Although the emancipation procedure is not exactly "divorcing" one's parents, it is a method whereby a minor can become free of his or her parents' control and responsibility. However, if there are statements on your petition that are not true or if you become unable to support yourself, the court may set aside the Declaration of Emancipation.

In some states, certain forms need to be completed and filed with the court. Minimally, a minor must show he or she (1) is at least 14 years of age; (2) willingly wants to live away from home with the consent or acquiescence of his or her parents; (3) can manage his or her own finances; and (4) has a legitimate source of income. The court must also be convinced that emancipation would not be contrary to the minor's "best interests."

Only the minor himself or herself may petition the court for emancipation. Some of the information that must be submitted with the petition includes a statement explaining the minor's current living situation, why the minor wants to be emancipated and by what means he or she is financially self-sufficient. Usually, the judge will insist that the minor must receive income from his or her own resources, such as wages, and not from the government (e.g. welfare). The judge is also likely to be concerned with existing medical coverage and other insurance coverage of the minor.

Minors are usually required to notify their parents about the petition for emancipation, but if the minor does not wish to, he or she is required to state in full detail the reasons why.

Once the petition and supporting papers are filed, the court can approve or deny the petition without a hearing, but more often sets the matter for a hearing. At the hearing, the judge is primarily interested in verifying that the emancipation is not contrary to the minor's best interests. If the judge is satisfied and the other requirements have been met, the court will approve a final document called the Declaration of Emancipation.

The minor will need to keep copies of the Declaration of Emancipation to submit to employers, landlords, doctors, school officials, and anyone else who might otherwise require parental consent.

Likewise, the emancipated minor may submit certain legal forms to the California Department of Motor Vehicles along with a certified copy of the Declaration of Emancipation so the minor's driver's license or identification card will show that he or she is emancipated.

Should circumstances change at any point in time after the Declaration of Emancipation is signed by the judge, the court does have the ability to revoke the order and notify the minor's parents of the revocation.

Good Luck,

Mark

Online Parent Support

Will this program help me?

Hi Mr. Hutten,

I have just seen your website and it looks very encouraging.

I have a 14 year old son who is very disrespectful, talks to me like he is talking to his school friends, he gets agitated quickly, he loses his temper quickly, you cannot confront him, as he will want to fight me, and has before, he also threatens me.

I have had to send him to his dads house to live for 3 months to let him see that it is not all roses and he cant live with me unless he changes, unfortunately, he loves it at his dads house, because his dad only comes there maybe once a week as he lives with his girlfriend and my son goes out every weekend and now I have heard he is beginning to hang around with gangs, he also when at home was not allowed to go out to the shop late at night and now goes to the shop on a school night as late as midnight, his father hardly buys food for him in the house, I do supply him with food and lunch money, but I cannot have him at home until as I say he gets better, otherwise, he will continue, as he always says I say things and don’t carry them out, so I have to carry this out.

I’m wondering if your program would help me and my son, even though he is not living in my house at the moment as when I call him he gets irritable if I ask him where he is or who he is with or just doesn’t answer his phone.

I am a desperate parent and need to act urgently, as my eldest 27yr old son says I am signing a death sentence for my 14yr old by leaving him at his dads, but again if I have him at home it would be like I am a domestic violence case, just keep saying he will do better, but still accepting and putting up with his behaviour.

My son is due to come back just before xmas, but nothing has changed as yet he is getting worse.

I want to join your program today, but if this is not for me then I need to find something else.

He has also been in trouble with the law, and that is when he lived with me, he argues a lot with me constantly, and doesn’t give up asking for things even when I say no, he tries to wear me down, he also deliberately annoys people, and blames others for his mistakes, does not like rules,

I just need to get him to a level of giving me respect before he comes back in order to work with him and get things better.

Will this program help me?

Looking forward to your reply as if it will help I will join straight away.

Regards,

Desperate mother js

`````````````

Hi J.,

I’m sure you will benefit from my help. In the unlikely event this program does not work for you, just email me with a request for refund and ClickBank will immediately refund 100% of your purchase – no questions asked. I don’t want you to waste your money.

The parents I work with have tried very hard to address their child’s emotional and behavioral problems on their own, but with little or no success. And it seems the harder they try, the worse it gets.

Every Monday night at Madison Superior Court [Div. 2], I meet with a group of parents who are at a loss on what to do or how to help. We meet for 1 hour each session for 4 Mondays.

During our brief time together, I show the parent how to use some highly effective “unconventional” parenting strategies to use with their out-of-control, “unconventional” child.

I follow up with these parents weeks and months after they complete the program to track their success, and 80% - 90% of them report back to me that problems in the home have reduced in frequency and severity, and that the parent-child conflict is finally manageable.

Now I want to show YOU what I show them. I want to teach YOU how to approach your child -- in spite of all the emotional and behavioral problems.

There is no need for you to continue living as a frustrated, stressed-out parent. I will help you resolve most of the behavioral problems, but I can’t do it for you!

If you will read my eBook, listen to my talks, view my videos and power point presentations, and email me with specific questions as you go along – you WILL get the problems turned around. If you will take a step of faith here, you WILL experience the same success that thousands of other parents are now enjoying.

After years of dealing with strong-willed, defiant children, many parents feel so defeated that they believe nothing or nobody will be able to help them – they think it’s simply “too late.” But I promise you – it is NOT too late!!

If you’re tired of disrespect, dishonesty, arguments, hot tempers, etc., and if things are steadily getting worse as time goes by, then you may want to get started with these parenting strategies today.

I'm not a “miracle worker,” but you don't need a miracle to get your kid on a good track behaviorally and emotionally -- you just need the right combination of these “unconventional” parenting strategies I’d like to show you.

I’m here for you should you decide to Join Online Parent Support…

Mark Hutten, M.A.
Online Parent Support
Madison County Juvenile Probation
Madison Superior Court, Division 2
3420 Mounds Road
Anderson, Indiana
46017-1873

Cell: (765) 635-9037
Toll Free: (856) 457-4883
Email: mbhutten@gmail.com

==> CLICK HERE to join Online Parent Support.

Problems with 11-year-old son...

Hello Mark

I'm having a lot of problems with my 11-year-old son A___. Not so much at home but at school. We find that he is unable to take it when he is in trouble and it is always someone else who started the fight. A___'s biggest problem is, he doesn’t know when to keep quite, and he is disrespectful to all the teachers, lazy both at home and at school. He does come from a broken family but has a great stepfather whom he gets on great with. A___ will be attending High School next year and this scares me because I think if he doesn’t get control of his problem he will be worst when it comes to High School. So I suppose I’m asking if we fit the part for the need of other source of help. As we have tried all that we know as parents and we want to make A___’s live better more so then worse.

Regards,

R.

```````````
Hi R.,

Well, first of all, I’m glad you have the eBook. Most of what you’ll need will be in there. If you haven’t done so already - and if you want to go the extra mile – have a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation done on your son to test for ADHD, ODD, etc. If you begin to have a lot of trouble out of him in high school, you may want to consider an alternative school setting. My juvenile clients do very well in alternative school because the classroom is smaller/less noisy, they get a lot of one-on-one attention, and they work mostly of the computer when doing lessons.

Mark

My Out-of-Control Teen

Where can things be nipped in the bud...

Greetings Mr. Hutten:

Currently completing an article on things that parents must tell their children before control becomes an unmanageable issue, I am seeking comments - to be ascribed - regarding discussions between parents and children - preteen and teen - about control that can be meaningful and productive to both sides on this important aspect of parenting.

Setting ground rules is one thing, but enforcing them fairly, and following them responsibly, are quite another. Control comes from both the top down and from the bottom up as the child will self-determine, rightly or otherwise, what kind and degree of control is just, how it should be followed and for how long, etc.

My question at the moment is, perhaps, where can things be nipped in the bud as far as the extent that parents and their children go in setting control and altering it appropriately over the course of the children's development?

When do obedience, wise counsel and independent evaluation safely get into the cross-hairs of both sides so that the right decision is made, or if there is confusion, that youth seek counsel with parents rather than peers?

Thank you in advance.

Sincerely,

Frank G Anderson

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My response is derived from my paradigm, which is (a) oppositional children cannot be controlled and (b) parents should spend their time controlling children's activities and material items rather than behavior.

Parents should neither discuss 'parenting matters' nor attempt to "reason with" their defiant children. To appeal to defiant children's logical mind is an exercise in futility due to the fact that most simply want things to go their way - they are not interested in comprise, negotiation or discussion.

Things are "nipped in the bud" [so to speak] by (a) stating parental expectations, (b) stating the consequence for violating expectations, and (c) following through with the consequence in the event expectations are not met. Lastly, all this must be done with no expression of emotion on the parent's part, because children will continue to "misbehave" when they receive a bigger payoff for misbehavior than they do for desired behavior.

When the parent reacts strongly to "misbehavior" (e.g., arguing, lecturing, threatening, rage, emotional discussions, etc.), the defiant child - who is a very "intensity-seeking" child - receives a highly satiating dose of intensity (i.e., negative attention, which is infinitely better than no attention) from the parent. Thus, misbehavior is once again reinforced.

Defiant children do not seek counsel from parents. Instead, they have fired their parents as managers. Parents can, however, be re-hired as "child-protectors" (i.e., parent's willingness to shift from trying to be the child's 'buddy' to doing whatever is in the best interest of the child) - but only by controlling what is controllable and leaving the 'uncontrollable' up to the children (i.e., children get to decide whether or not they lose freedom to engage in activities and/or access to their material items such as toys, games, media, cell phones, etc.).

Mark

MyOutOfControlTeen.com

16-year-old dates 19-year-old...

Hi Mark-

My problem is my 16 yr. old son. A few weeks before his birthday, he ran away with a 19 yr. old girl. He was gone for 2 months. he is at Sycamore place right now, picked up for minor consumption as well as being a runaway. He insists that he is going to be with this 19 yr. old, regardless of what I say, do or think. He goes to court on Nov. 13th. My husband (has raised him since he was 2) says my son is not going to come back home. I don't know what I can or should do. Any suggestions?

Thanks for any help,

S.

```````````````````````````````````````````

Is your husband saying 'he doesn't believe your son will come back home' or is he saying 'he insists that your son live elsewhere'. If it's the later, you don't have a choice. If you are the legal guardian, you have to take him back.

You will NOT be able to keep your son from seeing his g-friend. The only way that is going to happen is if he's locked up - which can't last forever. Fortunately, you have some support from probation. You can go to them and file other charges in the event he returns home and starts violating house rules again. At this point, I would let probation take the lead.

Mark

Online Parent Support

Increasing back talk...

Hi Mark--I will ask a question. I have a 12 year old daughter that we started a behavior contract with because of increasing back talk and not finishing her chores and homework before starting to watch TV. This contract has worked well, so far, I used your example. She also was being asked alot to pick up after herself and once we put that in the contract if she doesn't follow through then we issue a consequence. We keep the consequences appropriate for the incident. My question is, I want to make sure she isn't too young for this? Her older sister has moved out (we asked her to) she was a terrible influence on my youngest daughter and that was one of the reasons we asked her to move out--what I am seeing is that D___ my youngest has picked up on alot of my oldest sarcasm and she uses it often. I have also put that on the behavior contract list. I think it is getting better, but I am concerned I am going to be dealing with the same problems, since her sister was such a problem, any other suggestions you have to avoid, problem child # 2. Since my oldest has left there is a lot more peace in the house, which we all cherish. My oldest daughter often stops by and has made references to how ridiculous the behavior contract is and is just her usual self and of course we tell her to stay out of it. She says all of this in front of my youngest and I am not sure if her influence is something I should be concerned about. One last question. My husband spends alot of time explaining his consequences, as well as listening to my youngest go on and on about how upset she is. I have told him that it should be short and just to implement the consequence since he already warned her once. What advice do you have that I could say to him to support that less is more? Please respond, thanks P.

```````````````````

Hi P.,

Re: Sarcasm. I’m not sure that she necessarily “picked-up” your oldest daughter’s sarcasm …she’s probably at the age where she would be doing this anyway (although the oldest is not helping matters any). Sarcasm is normal – and falls into the “pick-your-battles-carefully” category. The more attention you pay to it, the more she will continue doing it. Conversely, the more you ignore it, the less “pay-off” she will receive, and she will eventually stop it. As long as it is pure sarcasm (and not a house-rule-violation per say), I would simply ignore it. You don’t have to – nor should you – include every problem in a behavior contract. When she’s sarcastic, “act as if” you are not offended.

Re: Oldest daughter influence. It sounds like you are handling this one just fine. I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Again, the more you make an issue of her comments about younger sibling’s contract, the more she will be inclined to comment negatively about it.

Re: Less is more. Your right! It must be your husband’s style to try to “reason with” your daughter. Unfortunately, “reasoning with” a child is an exercise in futility. Children don’t respond well to ‘logic’ – they simply want things to go their way. It would be easier - and a lot less painful in the long run - to simply beat your head against a brick wall than to make an appeal to your child’s ‘rational mind’. Share this email with your husband, then let him decide whether or not he wants to continue wasting his time and energy trying to get your daughter to “understand.”

Mark

Online Parent Support

Two ADHD kids...

Dear Mark,

I am a mother of two ADHD kids, 14 and 9. There are a lot of different conflicts that we have to deal with of course, but the main problem we have is with the nine year old who we are on the point of deciding to have examined to see if something else (ODD, CD) that might be the problem, or just that we are not being consequent enough with our parenting strategy.

I have seen your pages in the internet and like the sound of the commonsense advice, but since my husband has been unemployed for the last two years, we are really tight on money and I am reluctant to invest on something that I am unsure of. There are so many parenting tips and tricks and in the end no one is sure of anything anymore. If you think that your book would help up, I would be grateful for a return e-mail with some information how I can pay for the Your On-Line Parent Support and book, I have no credit cards.

My youngest son has ADHD with hyperactivity. He has been the black sheep of the village we live in for the last five years. There has always been trouble with him whenever he is in a social situation, i.e., bullying, hitting, smart mouth etc. In Kindergarten, the situation was under control, however, in the first grade he was unfortunate enough to get a teacher who doesn’t understand the symptoms and doesn’t know how to deal with ADHD kids and in the end L was banned to the cellar for most of the time he spent in school in the first half of the year. Because I already had experience with this teacher, (she pulled a few really fast ones on my older son in the third grade, i.e., wrong books to do homework, or homework incorrectly corrected) I was able, with the help of our Psychologist and Family Doctor to push the school into transferring him to another class after the X-mas break and things improved immediately. He was able to stay with this new teacher for the second grade also, and although there were always problems on the playground, in class everything was fine and he made marked improvement.

L has been playing hockey since is 4 years old. His older brother is also an ice hockey player (in the team for 7 years) and L grew up next to the ice rink. He is the real talent in the family and has been playing 1 to 2 levels above due to this talent. However, this fall, L moved to the third grade, new school building, new teacher, and new kids on the playground and to top it all off, a new head trainer. This is all too much for an ADHD kid to deal with and despite the Concerta) 36mg. + 5 mg. Ritalin in the morning, we are having a phase where I freak when I hear the phone ring because I know that it’s either the teacher or one of the mothers calling to tell me that they had problems with L again. Since the beginning of the hockey season, he has been suspended from training for one week and was not allowed to play any matches for two weeks. Then things settled down until one day we had a match where he checked a kid, and the trainer from the opposing team grabbed him, pretty roughly on the arm, and yelled at him. Three weeks later, we had a match against this team again, and L flipped this trainer the bird right in the middle of the match. Now he is suspended, indefinitely. No training, no matches. This was his life, he thought of nothing but hockey and now he can’t play. And now he’s driving us nuts at home and at school.

His major problems are: he can’t lose, at anything, football, hockey, card game etc. He flips out or “blocks” and then no one can touch him or talk to him. This makes things hard for the trainers who are coaching the matches and have 12 other players to worry about needless to say the teacher. When he is in this state, he refuses to listen to anyone, including me, until I give him a homeopathic medicine, after about 10 minutes, he is back to “normal”. This blocking can happen in the school and then I receive the phone call that I have to come and get him. Mostly happens when he thinks he is being treated unfairly, by fellow students or the teacher. At other times, he will swear at other kids, throw stones, or hit or push them when things don’t go his way.

He gets frustrated easily, allows himself to be provoked at the slightest, he always has to have his way, will yell, scream and even lie to get his way. He will steal when he sees something that he wants from his brother or other students in his class. This week he stole another kid’s homework and wrote his own name on it and when he was caught he lied and said that the other kid’s handwriting is the same as his and he couldn’t tell the difference. Then he stated that the other kid needs to change his handwriting. This morning he ruined my two best, newest, most expensive knives, and lied about it. In the end the story came out that he was playing with them as swords (I don’t believe it) and that’s how it happened. (It’s Sunday and he was up and about before the rest of the family, this is normal for him.) I imagine he thought he was going to get into big trouble and that’s why he lied, but the lying was worse than what he did, in my eyes.

I don’t have one piece of furniture or a wall in the house that isn’t marked up, scratched or gouged. And I have a lot of problems with the older son, who is also ADHD, because I have to spend so much energy dealing with the problems from the little one. My husband is on the point of breakdown, and wants to send him away; because he can’t deal with it (he doesn’t know the half of it, because I don’t always tell him everything). My husband is the type of person who thinks if you can’t see it, it doesn’t exist (i.e. ADHD) and grew up with an authoritarian father so that’s how he would like to raise our kids. Despite talks with the doctor and the therapist, he doesn’t really understand ADHD and is always looking for a reason, or someone to blame it on, like myself, or my parenting etc.

My childhood wasn’t exactly rosy either, but my strategy is more like I wouldn’t want to do to the kids what my parents did to me. I am not exactly lenient but don’t want to hit the kids (this has happened, to my shame, in a backlash when the nerves are overstretched) but punishment in the form of chores or house arrest, no TV or Playstation are the only things I can think of. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

I am constantly using my energy to think up new strategies or surfing the internet to find tips and tricks. As I said, the insurance doesn’t cover all the therapy possibilities (we are thinking about Neurofeedback) and so I have to find something that doesn’t cost money. The whole family is suffering under these circumstances and my marriage in really on the rocks because I don’t have any energy left over for anything, not even myself.

Please write back and tell me what you think. I hope you have a good suggestion. I live in Switzerland so you can’t really help from that distance, but any leads would be a great help. I tried to send you this mail over your link, but somehow the link got broken and I don’t think you received this. If you did, then sorry for the duplication.

Thanks for listening.

Regards,

J.

``````````````````````

Hi J.,

==> HERE ON THIS PAGE, I stated that I guarantee this eBook will be a big help to you. In the unlikely event that it’s not, just email me and I’ll give an immediate a prompt refund – you’ve got nothing to lose. We don’t scam people here at Online Parent Support. We wouldn’t be in business very long if we did (we’ve been online since March of 2004).

The parents I work with have tried very hard to address their child’s emotional and behavioral problems on their own, but with little or no success. And it seems the harder they try, the worse it gets.

Every Monday night at Madison Superior Court [Div. 2], I meet with a group of parents who are at a loss on what to do or how to help. We meet for 1 hour each session for 4 Mondays.

During our brief time together, I show the parent how to use some highly effective “unconventional” parenting strategies to use with their out-of-control, “unconventional” child.

I follow up with these parents weeks and months after they complete the program to track their success, and 80% - 90% of them report back to me that problems in the home have reduced in frequency and severity, and that the parent-child conflict is finally manageable.

Now I want to show YOU what I show them. I want to teach YOU how to approach your child -- in spite of all the emotional and behavioral problems.

There is no need for you to continue living as a frustrated, stressed-out parent. I will help you resolve most of the behavioral problems, but I can’t do it for you!

If you will read my eBook, listen to my talks, view my videos and power point presentations, and email me with specific questions as you go along – you WILL get the problems turned around, and you WILL experience the same success that thousands of other parents are now enjoying.

After years of dealing with strong-willed, defiant children, many parents feel so defeated that they believe nothing and nobody will be able to help them – they think it’s simply “too late.” But I promise you – it is NOT too late!!

If you’re tired of disrespect, dishonesty, arguments, hot tempers, etc., and if things are steadily getting worse as time goes by, then you may want to get started with these parenting strategies without any more delay.

I'm not a “miracle worker,” but you don't need a miracle to get your kid on a good track behaviorally and emotionally -- you just need the right combination of parenting strategies to use with out-of-control kids.

Mark Hutten, M.A.
Online Parent Support
Madison County Juvenile Probation
Madison Superior Court, Division 2
3420 Mounds Road
Anderson, Indiana
46017-1873

Cell: (765) 635-9037
Toll Free: (856) 457-4883
Email: mbhutten@gmail.com

==> CLICK HERE to join Online Parent Support.

==> CLICK HERE if you don't have a credit card.

Mom is on-track...

Hi J.,

>>>>>>>>>> Please look for my comments within your email.

Mark,

It's been a while since I last e-mailed you. M______ has been to court. They dropped the DV charge but kept the incorrigible which is in his best interest if he decides to follow the rules since they can be dropped when he turns of age. He did get 6 mos of probation and must still meet with his counselor. It seems that things at home have been better since he has motivation over the use of a car. We made him sign a driving contract and when he messes up, we just pull it out and their is no argument (well he tries but it is fruitless). He has been checking in when he is supposed to also. Mind you, this is MOST of the time. He still "forgets" and has consequences. Husband has come around to a degree. What is working for us (again still some arguments over your program and we had to compromise somewhat but like you preach, 2 parents in agreement are better than 2 divided) is that Dad still blows up when something goes wrong, but we hold out on consequence until he is calm and rational. M______ is told that we will decide consequence when Dad and I have a chance to calmly discuss it. We also are saying something like "I may not totally agree with XYZ, but it is Dad's decision and I am supporting him on it."

>>>>>>>>>> Good news so far. You are a great student!

Well, he met with his PO yesterday and just like I predicted, he went against the rules. He came home 20 minutes past his court ordered curfew and he left his 9 yr old brother home alone and went out and we did not know where (Dad and I were gone 2 hours to receive a community "Volunteer of the Year" award). He was told he could go pick up a friend (with his brother) and come back to our house. He left his brother at home and did not come home for 2 1/3 hrs. He did not bring back his friend. He did lose the use of the car. I'm OK with this consequence as it is in the contract about curfew, where he is, etc. He of course threw his tantrum, but again to no avail.

>>>>>>>>>> You’re still on-track.

The biggest issue I am having is M______ not listening fully to the instructions. Then he will twist what was said or deny some of it. It becomes "He said/she said." I know that I have the power but do you have any tricks to having them FULLY listen to everything.

>>>>>>>>>> Yes …keep instructions very SHORT and CONCRETE …let me say this again …short and concrete. Also, write it down on a post-it note and put it on the refrigerator or bathroom mirror. If your instructions are too long to write down, then they are too long for him to remember – shorten it up.

He also rushes off the phone when told something. Once I wrote is down, but is this acceptable or am I trapping myself if I don't remember to include EVERYTHING?

>>>>>>>>>> SHORT and CONCRETE

The last issue we are having is when M______ losing driving privileges, and Mom and Dad refuse to drive him to school he is not going, or going late. The bus stop is 2 doors away and the girl next door drives and has taken him on several occasions so there is no excuse for missing. I am sure it is not "cool" when you're a junior to take the bus, but losing the use of the car is his decision. He is on credit review for several classes, and has been suspended for not serving the detentions he got from his unexcused tardies/absences (I made him go with me to a business meeting so he couldn't stay home and be rewarded. If it happens again, he will be volunteering somewhere for the day). He also is not doing ANY homework. I know you believe in natural consequences, but he is a gifted athelete and very possibly able to get a scholarship for wrestling. I hate to see him throw this away. He may get sent back to juve. it he continues. Have you any ideas how to get a kid motivated again? He used to get all A's and B's. I am trying to be creative, but have no ideas about this.

>>>>>>>>>> NO! I do not have any suggestions to get him motivated again. I can’t make your son spit …I can’t make him stand on his head …I can’t motivate him - and neither will you. Motivation to perform well academically is an inside job (i.e., something that he – and only he – will be able to accomplish). When the student is ready, the teacher will appear – and not a moment earlier.

Thanks for your input.

J___

<========> Addendum

Mark,

Well, it's now 12:21am Saturday. M______ curfew (court ordered) is 9:00pm. He is not with the boy he left with. This boy says M______ "ditched" him and he doesn't know who he's with now. I'm sure he won't be home all night. How can someone who is so bright and talented not understand the long term ramifications of their actions? Why doesn't spending time in the juve. justice center (4 days) and being on probation scare him? What do we do now?

>>>>>>> Fear-based motivation has no effect. Teens are invincible (in their minds). This is just another minor setback – not a major catastrophe. You should do what you always do – nothing more and nothing less:

  1. State the rule.
  2. State the consequence for violating the rule.
  3. Follow through with the consequence (w/poker face) when the rule is broken.

Eventually, the child desires positive change – but on his time, not the parent’s.

Mark

Online Parent Support

Sleepy Son

Mark-

My 13-year-old son seems tired all the time. He doesn’t sleep well at night for one thing. Any suggestions?

T.Y.

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Hi T.,

If you have a tired teen, have them read about teens and sleep on a page just for teens.

Print out Awake at the Wheel-it's an interactive brochure for teens-and discuss it with them.

Take a look at these pointers for parents on teens and sleep from the National Sleep Foundation.

The National Sleep Foundation Teens and Sleep homepage has many more great resources.

Here are some "Do’s and Don’ts":

DO:

Keep to a regular daily routine—the same waking time, meal times, etc.

Make sure your kids have interesting and varied activities during the day, including physical activity and fresh air.

Use a simple, regular bedtime routine. It should not last too long and should take place primarily in the room where the child will sleep. It may include a few simple, quiet activities, such as a light snack, shower, saying goodnight, etc. The kinds of activities in the routine will depend on the child’s age.

Use light to your advantage. Keep lights dim in the evening as bedtime approaches. In the morning, get your child into bright light, and, if possible, take them outside. Light helps signal the brain into the right sleep-wake cycle.

DON’T:

Don’t fill up your child’s room with video games, computers, toys, etc. It’s probably best to keep your child’s bedroom a place to sleep, rather than a place to play.

Don’t give your child foods and drinks with caffeine in them, like hot chocolate, tea, cola, chocolate, etc. Even caffeine earlier in the day could disrupt your child’s sleep cycle.

Don't let your child watch more than one to two hours of TV during the day, and don't let them watch TV at bedtime at all. TV viewing at bedtime has been linked to poor sleep.

If your child has a TV set in their bedroom, remove it. Research shows watching TV is linked to sleep problems, especially if the TV set is in the child’s bedroom. The presence of other media, such as a computer, video games or Internet in a kid’s bedroom is also associated with worse sleep.

Never use sending your child to bed as a threat. Bedtime needs to be a secure, loving time, not a punishment. Your goal is to teach your kids that bedtime is enjoyable, just as it is for us adults. If the feeling around bedtime is a good feeling, your child will fall asleep easier.

Mark


Online Parent Support

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