I’ve responded to your email below. Please look for these arrows below >>>>>>>>>>>
Thank you for responding to my last set of questions so quickly. I'm a single parent and the guidance and support is greatly appreciated and needed! So ... we got through the first 3 day punishment. Things seem to be getting better, daughter had a better attitude for a few days, etc.
>>>>>>>>> You may want to review "When You Want Something From Your Kid" (in the Anger Management chapter of the online version).
>>>>>>>> step 1: Pick the least restrictive consequence first (e.g., ground for one day with no computer).
>>>>>>>>>step 2 (if needed): If she doesn't accept this discipline (i.e., she gets on the computer anyway, or leaves the house), then take everything away (or at least her favorite items) and ground her for 3 days.
>>>>>>>>>step 3 (if needed): If she violates the 3-day discipline at any point, merely re-start. If she completes the 3-day discipline successfully, but a few days later behaves inappropriately again, return to step 1 rather than jumping to step 3.
Then, yesterday I had to enforce another 3 day restriction. I have been using her computer time because she loves it. First question ... should I try to use other things as well ... it's not a good idea to ALWAYS use the computer time as the first privilege that is taken away is it?
Second issue is that absences from school have been a real problem. So, I've made it clear that going to school is an expectation in our household and is the law in this country. I've been trying very hard to be consistent and not play in to her constant minor ailments to get out of school.
>>>>>>>> You are on track here.
Yesterday, she called from school with a "headache" so instead of picking her up ... I took some Tylenol down to the school and sent her back to class. I also spoke with the school nurse about what was going on. I don't want to seem unsupportive if she's truly ill, but I'm really trying to stand my ground.
>>>>>>>>> You're still on track -- good work.
This morning when I woke her up she was very combative -- yelling, screaming she doesn't want to live with me and she hates me, slamming doors ... so, I imposed another punishment of no phone (along with no computer) for three days. Should I have simply extended the computer restriction to another 3 days or is it ok to take away another privilege?
>>>>>>>>>>Use the steps I listed above.
Lastly, in the course of observing her ...I realized she really was sick. She was coughing like crazy, her eyes were clearly swollen, nose running, etc. I didn't notice when I first woke her up ... of course I just naturally assumed she was faking again. What do I do? Do I still enforce the no phone restriction ... she was probably so combative because she is sick and I wasn't hearing her or even considering the possibility.
>>>>>>>>> If she has a temperature or swollen lymph nodes in her neck, she should stay home; otherwise, she should go to school.
So, of course I feel guilty. I know I can't let guilt guide my decisions and the words in your e-book "better not to start this program at all than to do it half way" keep ringing in my head.
>>>>>>>>>When you feel guilty, remind yourself that will be doing the most harm possible if you choose to enable her (i.e., save her from uncomfortable emotions associated with poor choices or irresponsibility).
I just want to do the right thing and I'm committed to making these changes and doing what's best for her. Can you help me sort this out?
>>>>>>>>> You are doing great. Relax and keep it simple though.
The Strong-Willed Out-of-Control Teen
The standard disciplinary techniques that are recommended for “typical” teenagers do not take into account the many issues facing teens with serious behavioral problems. Disrespect, anger, violent rages, self-injury, running away from home, school failure, hanging-out with the wrong crowd, drug abuse, theft, and legal problems are just some of the behaviors that parents of defiant teens will have to learn to control.
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