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 Hates Father

Mark,

Things have been going great and my 14 year old daughter A___ was even going to school on time and her overall behaviour was on the up until the school told me that in the past 3 weeks she has not been going, to cut a long story short she went to her dads this weekend < we are divorced and he has re married> And she told her dad to fuck off and walked out the house saying she does not have a dad anymore. All because they were having a chat about her not going to school and why. She has not been away having fun with friends but been staying in her room on her own.

My ex and his wife are both a great help and we all get on very well and all talk often about A___.

This past week she has changed a lot, in the past if I ground her for the day, she puts up a fight but wont go over the door, this week she has gone out anyway and comes back when she pleases.

I have a very open relationship with her and always tell her and show her how much I love her. I feel in a way she seems to be lost and not sure were her place in the family is now with her dad remarried and I am engaged.

But then again I might be wrong. We have some very long chats and think we are getting somewhere and then she goes and does her own thing no matter how it can hurt anyone else or put anyone out.

A little about A___.... until she went to high school she was a sweet little girl that all the teachers loved and said she was a pleasure to have in her class, but always chatty and outgoing. Would go out her way to help in anyway she could. She was always leaving me wee notes saying how much she loved me and would leave me her last sweet.

In second year at high school her dad and I went to parents night at the school and were shocked at what the teachers were saying about A___ as at home and at her dads she was just the same girl. Then things seemed to get bad with her i.e. drinking swearing and her makeup was thick and started going out with boys. But I do believe she was only had kisses and cuddles. She has turned into a hard nut with a foul mouth and talks as common as she can.

She says she hates school …hates her dad and hates her brothers …her world is her friends and no one else matters and if they dare cross her she is not shy in letting them now, police teachers or her parents.

Yesterday at her dads was like another bad turn with her because if she was on her best behaviour it was always with her dad.

I’m sorry if im rambling but trying to set a picture for you in hope u have a magic wand and give me the answer to get her back on track and see she does well at school and does not have this hate for everyone.

L.

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Hi L.,

Re: school.

Please refer to the section of the eBook entitled “Read These Email From Exasperated Parents” [online version – session #4].

Re: I feel in a way she seems to be lost and not sure were her place in the family is now with her dad remarried and I am engaged.

Many studies have reported that children of divorced parents experience more problems in adjustment than children who grow up in intact families. Much of the research suggests that children of divorce are more likely to have more difficulties in school and to be more sexually active, more aggressive, more anxious, more withdrawn, less prosocial, more depressed, and more likely to abuse substances and participate in delinquent acts than their peers from intact families.

Despite many adjustment difficulties, adolescents show some positive changes such as an impressive development of maturity and moral growth, a more realistic understanding of finances, and a chance to experience new family roles and responsibilities.

Most children's adjustment problems occur within the first two years following their parent's divorce or remarriage. Research indicates that while behavior problems are common at the time of divorce, they typically diminish as time passes. Most children will eventually adapt successfully to this life transition and have no long-term ill effects.

Adolescent adjustment (absence of depression, low levels of deviant behaviors, and academic achievement) is influenced by many factors within the adolescents' primary residence. These factors include a feeling of closeness to the residential parent, effective parental monitoring, joint decision-making between the adolescent and parent regarding household rules and youth activities, and low parent-child conflict. Activities that reflect effective parenting include providing warmth and support, assisting with problems, providing encouragement, setting and explaining standards, monitoring, and enforcing discipline.

Also, cooperative, mutually supportive, low conflict co-parenting relationships are advantageous for both children and adults. Other family process variables such as the maintenance of parent involvement, successful manipulation of the logistics of co-parenting (e.g., maintaining schedules, visitation, communication, decision-making), and the coordination of parenting roles and values are important mechanisms for reducing the stress of both parents and children.

Recommendations—

· Attempt to keep the changes that you can control in your adolescent's life to a minimum.

· Be aware of your adjustment or becoming depressed. Seek help from professionals if you need it.

· Continue to be a parent to your child rather than turning into a friend.

· Maintain a feeling of closeness with your teen, use effective parental monitoring, allow them to make decisions with you regarding their activities—aim for low parent-child conflict, and strive for organization and predictable routines in your household.

· Reduce inter-parental conflict. If possible, cooperatively parent with your child's other parent. Speak positively about your child's other parent in front of the child and do not place the child in the middle. For example, having your child spy on the other parent or using visitation rights as a bargaining tool undermines the confidence your child has with the other parent and strains his or her emotional well-being.

· Refrain from burdening your adolescent with your problems or using your teen as a confidant. Allow your adolescent to remain a teenager.

· The father needs to participate in important activities like forming morals, helping to solve problems, enforcing consistent discipline, and reinforcing appropriate behavior.

· Use effective parenting by providing encouragement and emotional support, establishing and explaining standards for conduct, and administering consistent discipline.

Mark

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