I am writing after firstly downloading and reading your article on 'Out of Control Teenagers' and wished I'd had this manual a few years ago.
I have a fifteen year old daughter 'L___' and a ten year old boy 'C___'.
Since L___ reached the age of 12 and onwards I have had an uphill daily struggle and battle within our home. She has pushed the boundaries full scale and more.
In brief, she has had sex at age 12, started smoking, drinking and trying out drugs from that age, continually truanting school, arguing and walking out of class and school, to the point of near exclusion from that school, running away from home, threatening suicide and cutting herself (due to mixing within a cult of what we calls 'Emo's' who seem to be into all this and self harm).
From this, I decided to (before she was expelled) moved her to an all girls grammar school (just starting into Year 9 and because her grades being an A and A* student at this point, secured her a place and fresh start). L___ did not really settle due to leaving friends behind but did go for the first 6 months with no truancy.
However, I then decided to move house so that we would be closer to her school and where I worked, to an area which probably was not ideal to the situation and L___ started once again truanting and running away.
Her behaviour escallated to a point where if I tried to stop her from running away or leaving the house, she would just start to smash things up until I opened the door and let her go.
The police have been involved over the last 3 years, social services have been involved (a pointless exercise), harbour drugs people, I have tried to have her attend councilling to which she refuses to attend. L___ has been under the Youth Offending Team here for four months, after I pressed charges for the third time in relation to her smashing up the home and assault on myself and her brother.
I am at present in the process of being taken to court for not getting my Daughter to school, as the law here puts all responsibility onto the parent in getting your children to school or a fine could be implemented, as could a stint in jail. The Education Officer is aware of how hard I have tried to get L___ to go to school and does not particularly want to take me but has to his job.
My daughter constantly answers me back, calls me verbally abusive names, has told me even recently that if she had a knife she would kill me, as she hates living with me and wishes I would kick her out. Then in the space of a few hours could be trying to sit next to me on the sofa expecting me to give her a cuddle (but purely to get around me for some thing or other).
I have tried the ignoring techniques, taking away of valuable items including phone, i pod, and with holding of any money. None of it has really worked.
She has fallen so far behind with her studies, she is now at a C Grade or ungraded, and it makes my heart ache to think she has the ability but can not seem to apply it.
Would rather just sleep in late, hang around, not help around the house, but expects money to be forthcoming etc.
I am a single parent and have brought them up single handedly since L___ was 5 and C___ 18 months, with little/no help from there dad who is only in the country on approx 2 to 3 weeks a year. He is financially supportive, but no help really on the discipline matters.
Everybody from friends to family, authorities and even her own friends have said they can not understand why she is like she is and that she has a fantastic mother.
I begin to wonder.
I am trying to go by your manual, to see if there is anything there I have not tried and tested already. One thing is for sure, when she is sixteen, I am entitled then to throw her out, not something I wish to do, but if it will teach her a hard lesson, then that is what I will have to do.
Any further help would be appreciated
This is only some of what I have had to go through, and probably a bit all over the place. Sorry had to crack it into half hour lunch break.
Re: I have tried the ignoring techniques, taking away of valuable items including phone, i pod, and with holding of any money. None of it has really worked. … I am trying to go by your manual, to see if there is anything there I have not tried and tested already.
I think the best help I can be to you at this time is to provide you with a checklist of sorts.
Let's trouble shoot...
Below is a summary of all the assignments I gave you in the eBook. If parents do not implement most of these assignments, it is often the "kiss of failure." For example, the transmission in your car has hundreds of parts, but if just one little tiny part is not working -- the whole transmission does not work. The same is true with this "parent program." Omit just one strategy, and the whole plan runs the risk of failing.
1. Are you asking your daughter at least one question each day that cannot be answered with a simple "yes" or a "no" to demonstrate that you are interested in what is going on in her life?
2. Are you saying to her "I love you" everyday and expecting nothing in return?
3. Are you eating dinner together at least one evening each week -- either at home or out?
4. Do you use "The Art of Saying Yes" whenever your answer is yes?
5. Do you use "The Art of Saying No" whenever your answer is no?
6. Do you catch her in the act of doing something right at least once each day?
7. Do you use the "When You Want Something From Your Kid" approach as needed?
8. Do you give her at least one chore each day?
9. Do you find something fun to do with her each week?
10. Do you use the "I noticed ...I felt ...Listen" approach when something unexpected pops-up?
11. When you are undecided about what to say or do in any particular situation, are you asking yourself the following question: "Will this promote the development of self-reliance in my daughter, or will this inhibit the development of self-reliance?" If it is supportive of self-reliance, say it or do it. If it is not supportive, don't!
12. Is she EARNING ALL of her stuff and freedom? (see "Self-Reliance Cycle")?
13. Have you watched ALL the videos in the Online Version of the eBook?
14. Are you putting on your best poker face when “things are going wrong?”
15. And perhaps most importantly, are you doing things to take care of your mental and physical health?
If you answered "no" to any of the above, you are missing some important pieces to the puzzle. Most parents DO miss a few pieces initially -- you can't be expected to remember everything! But don't get frustrated and give up. We must be willing to hang in there for the long haul.
I'm talking about refinement here. Refinement is a necessary tool to use in order to truly be successful with these parenting strategies.
HERE IS THE GOOD NEWS: Parents who refine are, on average, 95% - 100% successful at getting the parent-child difficulties reduced in intensity and severity (i.e., the problems are easily managed).
The same can be true in your case. Continue to refine by emailing me as needed over the next few months. Refinement is a process, not a one-time event.
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