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She's Back To Her Old Ways


Good to hear from you. I've responded to this email in several places throughout where you see these arrows: >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Hi Mark,

I haven't completed reading the e-book as yet but it certainly is very relevant so far. I live in Australia and found your website via Google. I have been divorced from my 14-year-old daughter's mother for the past 9 years. I live in another state but have maintained regular contact with my daughter over the phone and every school holidays she stays with me and my new wife and children.

I had no idea there was a problem until recently. Whenever she visits or speaks with me, she is fine and when I spoke with her mother, she didn't let on there was anything wrong. About 4 months ago, I get a call from my ex saying that my daughter was skipping school and had been suspended. Then she tells me that she had been getting progressively worse over the prior 12 months that led to this point. She had become friends with a group of kids who were all getting into trouble and had started to behave very badly at home. I felt completely hopeless and annoyed with myself that it got to this point without me realising.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> You were in the fortunate position of being the "good guy." If your daughter comes to live with you, you will have to be willing to be the "bad guy" (i.e., the one who issues consequences for poor choices).

We both came to the conclusion that it would be best for her to get out of that environment and come live with me. Trouble was, my daughter didn't want to. She felt her friends are more important and didn't want to move away from them. This is when I finally got to see the side of her that her mother had been dealing with for the past year. I was devastated. I had no idea she could be like this. When I went down to pick her up, she was yelling and screaming at us both and flat out refused to come with me. We ended up calling the police to come talk to her as we didn't know what else to do. This is the stage she is at. She knows that we as parents can't force her to do anything. The police basically confirmed this for her. There is no law that says she has to do what we say. The police finally convinced her to come and stay with me as a trial but a week after she was with me, she begged me to go back to say goodbye to her friends and when I let her, she again refused to come back.

>>>>>>>>>>>>> Clearly, the tail is wagging the dog (i.e., your daughter has been "in charge" for several years now).

We didn't want to go through the whole thing again so she is still living with her mother. I'm sure she knows she can walk all over her mother so that's why she prefers to live there. She has stopped going to school completely and quite often goes out with her friends and doesn't come home for 2 nights straight. She is a very smart girl and I truly believe it is not too late to turn her around but we are at our wit's end.

>>>>>>>>>>>>> Please feel free to give your ex the password to the online and printable version of my ebook. If the two of you will coordinate and collaborate, you'll have all the tools you need to get the problems turned around. I know this is a bold statement, but I repeatedly find that, in those cases where the parents are dead serious about using the strategies discussed in the ebook, the results are quite remarkable.

In addition to all this, at about the time when I first found out about the problems, we found out she was pregnant. Luckily she realised this was a mistake and had the pregnancy terminated but going through all this made no difference to her behavior. It seemed to reinforce her belief that she can do as she pleases. Whenever I talk with her and feel as though I am getting through to her, a few days later I get a call from her mother and sure enough, she is back to her old ways.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Your daughter is intense and strong-willed (i.e., unconventional). And as you and your ex have discovered, conventional parenting strategies DO NOT WORK with an unconventional kid. She's not a bad kid -- no way. But she is intense, and she seeks intensity from others -- especially her parents (more on this in the ebook).

I know it's hard for a child in her situation. I have not been there for her and she has had some issues with her step-sister who is the daughter of her mother's new husband (who she has recently separated from). As you can see there are plenty of reasons for her to be like this and I feel terrible she has had to go through all this. We have tried to get her to go to counseling as I am sure she needs to speak to someone who knows how to deal with all this but she refuses to go.

>>>>>>>>>>> I detect a bit of you "feeling sorry" for you daughter. Unfortunately, this has been a contributing factor to some of her behavioral problems. There are hundreds of thousands of children dealing without divorce and/or seeing their other parent infrequently. This is no excuse for misbehavior and making every other family member's life hellish.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>Counseling is a conventional parenting strategy, and as you have already heard me say, conventional strategies DO NOT WORK with an unconventional kid such as your daughter. I can promise you that counseling will be yet another failed attempt at getting her behavior on the right track (it won't hurt, but you will get virtually no bang for your buck).

I am hoping I can pass your book onto her mother so she can better handle her. The good thing is that her mother and I still get on really well and always present a united front to our daughter. It's difficult with me living so far away and I am conscious of how it is affecting my three other children and my marriage to my new wife.

>>>>>>>>>>> I detect a bit of you "beating up on yourself" -- again! This will unfortunately contribute to the problem rather than the solution.

>>>>>>>>>>>.. I'm sure glad you stumbled into Online Parent Support. It was created for parents like you (i.e., a well intentioned, loving, caring parent who has lost control of his out-of-control child).

>>>>>>>>>>I can tell you that, in your family's case, the hen is in charge of the hen house, which is extremely unhealthy for the hen.
You and your ex now have a solution-based program to work with -- you need nothing else (another bold statement, I know).

>>>>>>>>>>Get busy reading and implementing the strategies discussed in the ebook. Keep me posted on the progress, or lack thereof -- and keep in touch frequently. Your ex may contact me as well. This will take some work, but you will be successful if you follow my recommendations.

>>>>>>>>>>Your daughter will never be willing to work for what you and your wife want, be she will be willing to work for what she wants (more on this in the ebook).

>>>>>>>>>Please forward this email to your ex-wife.

Here's to a better home environment,

Mark Hutten, M.A.

Cell: 765-810-3319
Home Page:


==> My Out-of-Control Teen: Help for Parents

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