I subscribed to your ebook because we fit most of the descriptions of parents of out of control teens. I didn't even get to the bottom of the first session and our daughter has gotten much worse. As I write this she is in juvenile detention. She was arrested at our home last night after she scratched my husband’s arms when he tried to get her from spraying peroxide around our bathroom. In the last week she has become more angry and has had threatening behavior brought on by a “no” answer from us for demanding behavior on her part.
Last night, she demanded in a rude manner that we go shopping at 8 o'clock last night for a new outfit for school today. When told that we weren't going at 8pm but we could go in the next couple of days, she began to slam things in her room. It sounded like furniture breaking. It deteriorated from there and 911 was called because I was scared of her behavior. I was looking for crisis intervention, not the cops. 911 didn't answer, so I hung up and tried to call her therapist. 911 tried to call back and the line was busy so the cops came to our house. When we relayed the story, they said that she would have to either be admitted to the hospital or be arrested and sent to juvenile detention. I don't know if you can help or if this falls within your parent-coaching offer. I don't know what to do next. I don't know what to do when she comes home.
First of all, as I mentioned in the program material, it is very common for things to get worse before they get better. A child who may have been over-indulged most of her life has great difficulty – initially – in adjusting to the parent’s more assertive parenting approach.
Second, it’s good that the police arrived at your doorstep after your daughter engaged in “battery” (scratching is indeed “battery” in the legal sense).
I think it was a blessing in disguise that the cops came out to your house. If you had your way about it, you would have talked to some crisis counselor over the phone – which would have been a total waste of everybody’s time. You were about to employ a “half-measure” – but fortunately, this was not in the cards (so to speak).
So, in spite of yourself, you are on track. Your daughter will sit in detention for a few days, then she’ll have a court date soon, then she’ll come home – at which point you simply continue to work the program as outlined.
She got a wonderful “life-lesson” (i.e., battery has legal consequences).
Mark Hutten, M.A.