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

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

Daughter getting up and going to school on time...

Dear Mark,

My husband and I have started on your course for out of control teens. It is a work in progress and we are up to week three course doing the second set of assignments. Having success in many areas.

One area we are having a lot of trouble in is, with our daughter getting up and going to school on time, She is 14 in year 9 at school in Australia. Are there any suggestions that you can make regarding this? She wakes up early enough but puts on the “go slow.” We live within walking distance of the school. We offer to drive her if she is ready by 8.30 as school starts at 8.45. A couple of times she has achieved this. Mostly she doesn't care though and walks to school arriving after 9 to 9.30 and misses the first lesson every day. For a while she had been truanting school, about 3 weeks of this 10 week term and has been late every day except the couple.

The school has her on what’s called a 'level three', which means no excursions, no sport. (She doesn't want to do sport any way). Because of the truanting and lateness to school. Her behaviour in class is good. Next step is suspension.

Her teachers say she is a very intelligent girl …we need some suggestions if you can please help. Also further down the track we need to know ways to encourage her to do her homework, which she doesn't do.

Thank you for you help regarding the above matter.

Regards

J.

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Hi J.,

School is your daughter’s job -- not yours. The more you take responsibility for her getting up and getting to school on time – the less responsibility she will take for this.

I’m guessing that her “getting to school” is more important to YOU than it is to her. Let go of playing “time keeper” …let go of playing ”taxi cab driver” …don’t “nag” her about getting off to school in a timely fashion.

Give her one (1) wake up call. The rest is up to her. If she wants to choose to be late – allow it. She will get a natural consequence through the school (actually she already has).

Now your next question may be “What if she gets suspended.” Let’s cross that bridge when we get to it. In the meantime, let her make poor choices – and let her experience the consequences associated with those poor choices. But most importantly, STOP taking responsibility for her work (i.e., complying with school policies and procedures, doing homework, etc.).

Mark Hutten, M.A.

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