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

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We have been having a fair amount of difficulty...

Hi T.,

==> I’ve responded to your comments below.

I have just finished reading and listening to the info on this website. I purchased for myself and my ex-husband for help with our 16 year old daughter. She is an excellent student, all county athlete, does not skip school or some of the other things you describe as behavior that parents are trying to change.

We have been having a fair amount of difficulty with her not telling the truth in order to do things she doesn't want to tell us about.

==> Here’s suggestions re: lying:

And we've had several incidents of drinking an excessive amount of alcohol.

==> Here’s suggestions re: teen alcohol drinking:

The most recent incident occurred 1 week ago. She left to "go to her boyfriends house", she checked in as usual around 10pm, asked if she could stay to watch a movie they were just going to start. I allowed her to stay as long as she was home before midnight (her curfew).

==> Hold up. What did she do to earn this privilege?

At 12:15 she still wasn't phone call. I started trying to call her cell phone, boyfriends cell phone, friends cell phone. Finally got one of her friends who said she had just left and should be home any minute. So ...broke curfew, lied about where she was, and although not visually drunk, I could smell alcohol. She admitted to having a vodka drink and having driven her boyfriend home and then herself.

I am guilty of many of the bad parenting techniques that you mentioned. I am particularly guilty in over-indulgence

==> This isn’t about guilt or blaming. Guilt is a potential obstacle to success, because when we as parents feel guilty about or parenting, we tend to try to compensate by becoming too lenient again as a way to alleviate the guilt (i.e., over-indulgence).

...I see now how I need to change that. I give and trust waaaay too much. I have done a pretty good job in trying to "discipline" rather than "punish" and her dad and I (we have been divorced for 10 years) disagree on how to deal with her poor decisions. He wants to come down hard on her and try to control her activities and basically try to "change" her. I fight against that because I know it won't work and could cause more damage than good.

==> You’re right!
==> Effective Disciplinary Techniques for Defiant Teens and Preteens 

My suggested consequences for the latest incident was ...loss of the car (she has had exclusive use of a family car) for 1 month.

==> Too long.

When I told her father about the incident he wanted to go further and add being grounded from friends and boyfriend for the entire month as well ...along with not being able to go to the prom which is even outside of the one month. I strongly disagree with this.

==> So do I.

I was willing to compromise and add the month of being grounded to, as he puts it "make it painful" but wanted to keep the prom out.

==> A month is too long (as you read in the ebook, right?)

He has insisted on not allowing her to go to the prom and because he will have our daughters that weekend, he can control whether she goes or not.

His wife has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and we have been going through some very difficult times between households. The girls were unable to spend any time in their home a few months ago because of the angry and unpredictable environment there. Things have improved somewhat and they are back on a regular schedule. Part of the problems between the households is that the 16 year old seems to get into more trouble (or at least I catch her more often) when she is in my custody. They feel that because I allow her too much freedom, she is making bad choices. They want to take the freedom away so she can't make the bad choices. I completely disagree.

Anyway can kind of see the pattern here. I am pursuing action to get full legal custody of the 16 year old. I believe that this conflict between households and lack of consistency is extremely bad for her and it puts all of us in constant turmoil. We share joint custody right now, which does not give either one of us final decision making authority so we are constantly arguing. Even if I would lose a custody battle and he would get "final say", I believe that would be better for her than this stressful situation that we all live in. In an attempt to avoid the legal battle, I suggested two days ago that her dad and I seek counseling to help us come to common ground in getting our daughters through these challenging teen years. 
We have a 13 year old as well. Even if we could use a counselor as a mediator to break dead locks when we have them. He's "considering" the idea. I have been searching and reading as much as I can on the subject and am more convinced than ever that his method of "control" and punishment are not going to work for our girls ...especially the 16 year old who's personality is much stronger and free willed than the 13 year old.

That’s how I came upon your website. I'm going to share this site with my ex later today and hope that it will be helpful to us. Do you have any other suggestions for me? I've expressed my concern to their dad and have told him my legal plans. He's digging his heals in and refuses to work with me. He says I'm foolish to pursue this "over the prom".

==> Are you in a power struggle with him over this prom thing? Kinda sounds like it.

I see it as a much bigger issue and one that is going to be around for many years. Any suggestions you have for me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for the help you've already provided through this sight.

==> A weaker plan supported by you AND your ex will be much better than a stronger plan supported by only you.

==> Effective Disciplinary Techniques for Defiant Teens and Preteens

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