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

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

I feel like I am in the middle of a Tornado...

Hi B.,

== > I’ve responded throughout your email below:

Hi Mark

Thanks for the quick response to my queries..I am now having a few more... I told L___ that I realised I had made mistakes etc this morning and she flew off the handle so aggressively telling me that I couldn't change things now and that she would not change no matter what etc etc..

== > This is to be expected.

I managed to remain relatively calm, at least externally but on the inside i left the room and proceeded over the next hour to experience a pretty intense emotional meltdown... it felt like a combination of guilt for the past, pain and anger at having such a difficult child and fear that it was all too much and that things were never going to change... I am thinking that perhaps it is quite natural to feel a deep emotional reaction to all this shift..??

== > That’s correct. People don’t like change, because change gets them out of their comfort zone. Plus it takes a lot of energy to adjust to new things.

I want to know if I am supposed to TELL her that she is going to have to EARN everything from now on or do I just implement the strategies without explaining exactly WHAT and WHY we are doing life like this now...

== > This was discussed in Session #2 Assignments. What you say is, “I want to try compromising this week.” Be sure to watch Instructional Video #18.

Also our situation is made complex by a few practical factors..they are:

...we have a shop business that D___ and I run that is 45 mins from home…we travel there each day but sometimes one of us is at home ( we have two smaller children who go to school) ..Many, in fact most weekends we are staying down at the shop as it is just easier that way and we take the two small children with us but for the past 6 months or more we have been leaving L___ at home due to the extreme amount of tension with her and her wanting to be with her friends etc... she has proven to be reliable and responsible in the sense that she respects the home and does not throw parties and she maintains jobs like caring for animals and garden when asked etc whilst we are away...BUT she has as a result experienced a lot of trust from me and a lot of freedom...she has not broken my trust, she is not one of those really wild kids with NO respect at all for others etc but I can certainly see the symptoms of the ODD character in her and the disregard she shows for myself and D___ and the family system in general is VERY DISTURBING… she lacks any real motivation and has left school and is not doing anything about getting a job etc..

So basically the situation is very uncomfortable and I am unsure about how I am going to fully implement the new boundaries etc when we have to attend to the needs of the business and to hers when we stay away from the home base for periods of time.. We are just about to move shop premises starting July 1st and so we will be staying down there with the small children from tomorrow for three weeks of the school holidays to get the job done...I have told her already the other day that I am not happy for her to be at home unsupervised for long periods and that she will have to come and stay with us for at least Mon-thurs and that she can be up the hill at home on the weekends to see her friends etc…She of course balked at that but has not yet refused as I have yet to implement it…Now I am confused about whether I should be allowing her any freedom to be with her friends AT All, due to the Self-reliance strategy program or should I be waiting to implement ANYTHING you teach until I have nothing else major going on in my life

== > We want our kids to have as much freedom as possible – HOWEVER – this freedom MUST be earned. “Freedom” does not contribute to the behavior problems. “Unearned freedom” does, though. Allow her to continue to have the freedom to be with her friends, but come up with something simple for her to do to earn that privilege.

... I thought I recalled reading somewhere that we should not undertake ANY major endeavour whilst going thru this program..???

== > Yes …do not fix anything that is not broken. If your daughter is living up to your trust, then do not change anything in that particular area.

I feel like I am in the middle of a Tornado and very overwhelmed with all that is on my plate so I will await your reply...

PS..You are absolutely sure that these strategies work...??? stupid question...she feels so irretrievable now...at times I feel like it's just too late..

==> Doubting yourself is normal. I track outcomes with this program, and approximately 92% of parents report that (a) problems have reduced in frequency and severity and (b) the few remaining problems are manageable. So it doesn’t work 100% of the time – and it doesn’t wipe out ALL behavior problems. But the overall success rate is very good.

Mark

P.S. Be sure to watch ALL the Instructional Videos.

My Out-of-Control Teen

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