Do we have to take him back?

Hi Mark,

Well, just to catch you up...M got out of the JJS on 1/3 and is in the intensive probation program. His PO has seen him 2x @ school and 1 home visit. He is supposed to go back to work and pay for the program ($90). He has called his manager (with MUCH arm twisting) but so far has not gone back. He has been to court last Thursday for his chewing tobacco possession and had a $55 fine imposed (Has yet to work this off also). He was re-instated on the wrestling team, and the DAY he found out he was back on he was a totally changed person. He was happy, interacting, talking about new semester classes/teachers, working out, etc. He has his first meet on Thursday and did excellent. We really thought he turned the corner. He has had his ADHD rx increased (new Dx 12/06), and the psychiatrist (and his counselor and the JSS counselor) all think he has depression and want him on antidepressants also. He thus far is not agreeable to taking them.

Friday I get a call from the Asst. Coach (who wasn't @ practice--home sick) that M was accused of putting marijuana in another teammates locker. He wants M to call to further discuss what happened. M was not home at the time--his first time out (his choice) with another wrestler to grab some dinner as they "Made weight" and were celebrating. He was home in an hour. I knew the other boy and was very happy that M finally was leaving the house. M has not had many phone calls and only 1 friend stop by Thursday (he is a boy husband and I disapprove of). He came over @ 10pm after this meet to show M his new car. He was in the driveway for only 5 minutes and he came in. M goes nowhere and no one over. He has had $45 in his wallet since he came home (Christmas money). I checked Friday after dinner and he had $30+ left. Point being he had very little opportunity to get the pot, unless from school and for free.

M did admit to "finding" a bag on the floor in the locker room and put it in the closest open locker. His story is that 1. he did not want anyone to get in trouble if the coaches saw it and 2. he would get blamed for it if they did see it because of his JJS hx.

Coach says the boy turned it into the Captain when he opened his locker, others around said M put it there, and still others are claiming M was taking it around saying "Do you want to buy a bag?" and acting as if he were holding a joint. He is OFF the team until further notice. I immediately called his PO and left a message. I am OK if M is really responsible but 2+2 just isn't adding up. M does admit the above but that's it. He has been dx with impulsive behavior. Since the incident he is back 180 degrees. He is sullen, alone, NO interaction, lack of desire/motivation for school (although going), bad attitude, etc.

He is not one to champion his own cause either (has never been good talking with adults). Just from our (husband and myself) observation of him these past few weeks, we can't believe he had more to do with the situation than he is admitting to. We will not however push the issue/"go to bat" for him because we are not sure and have learned about natural consequences (ie he should never have touched it in the first place). He is risking being suspended, violating probation, going back to JJS or being placed, etc. if he did what is being said. Up until now (less than 1 month) he has done nothing wrong. We don't know if the others are mad that he's back, has taken someones spot on the team, if they are covering for themselves, etc. So far, we have not heard from his PO, the school, etc. If he is found not responsible, he MAY be back on the team, but weigh in's are tomorrow so we would like to know ASAP what is to happen.

Mark, what does your experience and gut tell you? Also, I am finding it difficult to say something positive every day, and how do you do "something fun" when they don't want to engage?

Also, M turns 17 very soon and we hear this is a "gray age". What do you know about our responsibility as parents legally if he should leave again, not follow rules etc. Do we have to take him back? The only privileges he has left are PS2, I-pod, and PSP (TV in room but shares bedroom). Can't take much else away. We live in Michigan. To be honest, I would feel so much better if he could stay on probation until he is 18.

Thanks for your insight, I will keep you updated.



Hi J.,

I haven’t forgot about you. I’ve had a lot of emails to respond to, and I take them in the order they are received.

Re: what does your experience and gut tell you?

This is the season for you to LET GO. I would simply allow probation to take care of the discipline side of things. He will (eventually) receive a series of “natural consequences” since he has to answer to his PO.

Re: I am finding it difficult to say something positive every day, and how do you do "something fun" when they don't want to engage?

I’m sure it is difficult, but you should say something positive everyday anyway. If you can’t think of anything positive, make something up; feed him a line of bullshit. If you don’t “feel” like your comment is genuine or that your heart is in it - fake it! I’m sure he’s doing something right each day. He’s obviously very gifted in many ways.

As far as “fun” goes, this could be something as simple as popping a bag of popcorn in the microwave and the two of you stand there in the kitchen and eat it over some superficial conversation (e.g., “Whose going to win the Super Bowl …By how many points?”). You don’t have to go to great lengths here.

Re: What do you know about our responsibility as parents legally if he should leave again, not follow rules etc. Do we have to take him back?

You’re on the hook until he turns 18. Begin – now – to prepare for his launch (i.e., he needs to be thinking about where he’s going to live, what he’s going to do to pay bills, etc.). This conversation should begin today.

Mark Hutten, M.A.

Click here for more help ==> Online Parent Support

When Children Seem Unaffected by Discipline

We adopted 3 siblings in March 2006. They are 2 twins boys 4 yrs. old and their sister 5 yrs. old. They are very bright, smart and intelligent kids and make us very happy. We haven't experience any educational problems with them. They go to daycare and have learned numbers and letters, shapes and colors at the same rate as the other kids in their school. I purchased and have read your e-book "My out of control child" and have found it very useful. You explain to me in your e-mail the behavioral problems that adopted children usually have because of the unknown medical history of their birth parents. I have tried your techniques and procedures explained in your book, but our daughter is still giving her teachers a lot of trouble at school to the point that they don't know what else to do.

When she is with us, she controls herself or at least follows directions, but we have to be with our eyes or her at all times. We praise them (4:1), caught them doing good, and I have a ticket system but nothing seem to work. At school she is always answering back, bossing around, disrupting class and for the last 2 weeks at nap time at school, she starts calling her friends names out loud to the point that they have to pull her out of the class because she doesn't let them rest. Some people tell me to ignore this and let the school deal with the behavior at school. But I just can’t seem to let that go. She knows they tell me about it every time she is been send to the office or put in time out and them talk about it like she is proud of what she have done. I feel that if I don't do anything about it she might think that it is O.K. to misbehave at school. I sit her at home to write numbers and letters and I have taken her toys, TV time and she has not come to family gatherings. Nothing works, she just doesn't seem to care about anything.

Please, guide me. Help me out and tell me what should I do. I'm very worried. In Sept. she should be going to public school and she might have a lot of trouble if I cant teach her good behavior from negative behavior.

Click here for my response...

Body Piercing and Peer Pressure

Hi Mark, the last time I spoke with you was on the 20th of November last year (titled "Desperate"). At that stage my son had left home and I was frustrated. Your words were of great comfort to me and I must admit at my lowest points, I referred back to that email for strength. Thank you for that.

During my sons three and a half months of living away from home, I have practiced your techniques whenever he was around. My son has now decided to come back home and live under our rules. I am excited about this and a little apprehensive. What I would like to know is how to slowly and inconspicuously get him away from the bad crowd he is now involved with. I do not want to scare him off as soon as he gets home and I know that I have to tread very lightly. The other area of concern is the body piercing which neither I nor my husband can stand. Should I just continue the "POKER FACE" and let him find his way or should I set the rules immediately?

To date, your course has been the only sensible approach to my children and I value your words immensely. Thank you once again! With great appreciation. Sincerely, S.

Click here for my response...

Dealing With Running Away

Hi Mark, My 16-year old granddaughter (who lives with her father) runs away from home fairly regularly ...usually 3-4 days at a time. And we never know where she stays during these stints. What can her father do to prevent this? What should he do if she does take off again? It's starting to become a real problem. And I worry about her safety. Thanks, A.

Click here for my answer...

What do I do with this?


Well I started Phase 1 and set the boundaries of curfew and homework requirements. All was going fine, to my surprise. Now the weekend, and Nicole wanted a friend to stay over. I thought well she has been home on time all week and has cleaned her room and done her homework, so alright. Saturday, she decides to go out with her boyfriend. She calls me at 11:50 pm to see if she can stay the night at his house. I said absolutely not! She is to come home by curfew. Well she still is not home and it is now 9:30 am. What do I do with this? 3 days grounded? What? Please help.


Hi D.,

Assuming she has returned home by now, issue the least restrictive consequence first (e.g., grounded for one evening with no phone privileges). If she refuses to accept the least restrictive consequence, then withhold all privileges and ground her for 3 days.

Most importantly, however, issue the following warning and be prepared to back-up your words with action: “If you choose to violate curfew and spend the night at your boyfriend’s again, you will choose the consequence. The police will be called, and I will file a run away charge with juvenile probation.”

Tough love,


Online Parent Support

Condom Use?


What are your views on teens having sex with condoms? I'm not sure where to go with this one as my 17-year-old daughter is wanting to have sex with her 18-year-old boyfriend (and probably already is) but does not want to go on birth control.

Thanks in advance,



Hi J.,

I'd like to share some data with you rather than give my personal opinion on the matter. One of our goals at Online Parent Support is ongoing research. Our recent project tried a number of recruitment strategies with varying degrees of success. Fliers were distributed by project staff in a few high schools and at a weekly summer street fair in downtown Indianapolis that attracts large numbers of teens, and by community agencies to their clients. The street fair recruiting, community service agency referrals, and focus group participant referrals (snowball method) were quite successful.

In the summer of 2007, the OPS HIV Prevention Studies Group conducted:

·10 individual interviews with parents
·21 focus groups with 166 teen participants of mixed ethnicity, segmented by age gender and sexual orientation
·30 individual interviews with teens
·3 parent focus groups, consisting of 22 parents

Our focus group research found that ethnically diverse teens had common interests and attitudes:

·Although youth knew where to get condoms and had tried them, few kept them handy.
·One consequence of unplanned sex was that condoms weren’t talked about and often weren’t used.
·Sex often “just happened.”
·Sexual activity and the opposite sex were very important.
·Youth cited drug and alcohol use as another reason for unplanned sex and not using condoms.
·Youth knew a lot about HIV but perceived little risk.

Our research offered much information on how teens viewed and used condoms:

·Although many in the target audience had already tried condoms, and may have used them sometimes, the audience saw many barriers to consistent use (such as a bad condom experience, the status of their relationship, other birth-control methods).

·The formative research, consistent with national data, suggested that incorrect condom use was an issue: complaints of leakage and slippage suggested that condoms were not being used correctly.

·Like the national literature, local research indicated that youth were not likely to use a condom with a steady partner, as a sign of trust or love. Yet the formative research showed that local teens considered a partner as “steady” after a short period of time and without clear risk assessment.

·Local research indicated that youth had unplanned sex for many reasons: sex with friends, denial of a possibility of having sex, or the influence of drugs or alcohol. In these instances, local research and national data suggested that youth were not likely to use condoms.

Research participants mentioned several benefits to condom use – benefits that were consistent with national research and program experience:

· A way to follow peer norms, which say that they should use condoms
· Ability to act on distrust of a partner
· Ability to attain future goals
· Feeling in control
· Feeling self-respect
· HIV prevention
· Pregnancy prevention
· STI prevention
· Worrying less

In addition to the focus group/interview research, staff compiled all the information they had collected from secondary sources into an “environmental profile” that included local, regional, and statewide data relevant to the target audience, such as:

· Demographic and lifestyle data
· Drug and juvenile justice data
· Health statistics (such as HIV testing, STI, birth, and abortion rates)
· School enrollment rates

The research report also included condom sales data for the city and listings of local youth development and youth-serving programs.


Online Parent Support

Am I delusional or insane for even considering this?

A new member of Online Parent Support writes:

"I've found your website out of sheer desperation (bet you've heard that a time or two). I'm the step parent of an 18 year old boy who has been diagnosed in the past six months as being bipolar. He is abusing alcohol (no drugs as far as I can tell) and most days he has no respect for authority of any kind. Curfews are non existent and he can't hold a job. He was recently kicked out of a private catholic school ...and attempted suicide in October by overdosing on his meds.

The dilemma, number one he lives with his mom ...and she is demanding that his father and I ...take him. He is taking his meds, but not going to the weekly counseling that was recommended. His mother doesn't enforce any rules because she is afraid of him (he's been known to knock holes in the walls with baseball bats but has never injured anyone). Number two, his father travels out of state most of the time and I would be the primary person responsible for him if he were to come live with us.

...Am I delusional or insane for even considering this? Is moving something that would send him off the deep end completely? I will tell you that his relationship with his father is strong and his father is the calming factor in his life, something he readily acknowledges."

Ground Him FROM His Room?!

Hi Mark! I just downloaded your book and plan on start reading it this afternoon. I do have a couple of questions. I have a 14 year old son. He is ADHD. I guess he is really just a typical teenager-back talk, not doing what he is told, slacking on his homework, etc. He isn't "out-of-control" in the sense of drugs, alcohol, etc. His father died as a result of a car accident right before he turned three. I remarried two years later. My husband treats and loves him as if he was his own. We have a daughter who is six. There is a lot of jealous there (mostly from our son). We try to treat them equally but, it doesn't seem to matter what we do. Also, I honestly don't know what kind of punishment to give him if he does misbehave. During the school year he doesn't have t.v. or video games during the week and he isn't too social so I really feel that there isn't anything to "take away" from him or ground him from doing. Do you have any suggestions? He has a tendency to either stay in his room or stay in the den away from us. I really want this to change. 

I am really thinking that if he wants to watch t.v. or a movie that he needs to watch what the family is watching. He doesn't watch anything really violent or play violent video games but I think he is picking up stuff off shows that are supposed to be "PG-14" but is probably still to old for him to watch. And, one last thing, we have a cat. I probably never should have gotten her. I had to put my other cat to sleep last year and within 2 months I was yearning for another cat. I thought that she would be something that the kids and I would enjoy and like having in the house. He pesters her to death. He doesn't physically hurt her but he constantly picks her up, hugs on her, lifts her in the air, etc. We have talked until we are blue in the face. The poor thing goes and hides in her litterbox to get away. I have gone so far as to contact the people that I got her from so they can take her back. I feel guilty because I don't want to give her back but we cannot continue to yell and scream and he not stop bothering her. We have a golden retriever also but he is big enough to get away and lets him know to stop. Well, any suggestions that you may have will be greatly appreciated. I look forward to reading your book and am in hopes that out of all the things that I have read and tried that this will be the answer. Thanks so much! J. `


Hi J.,

The best thing to do at this point would be to digest most of the material in the eBook. Many of your immediate questions will be answered there. In the meantime, in those cases where the only thing a child enjoys is hiding in his bedroom, a very effective consequence is to ground the child FROM his room. Look at his room as just another privilege that can be taken away whenever he needs a consequence. 

(As a footnote, he really should have one hour of T.V. and/or video game privileges through the week -- as long as it can be monitored by an adult.) 

Re: the cat. I think the best course of action would be to give the cat up for adoption. Your son knows he can push your buttons when it comes to mistreating it – and he will continue to do so as long as the cat is in the home. 


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

Let him suffer the consequences...?

I read the comments about children not doing well in school. The understanding I get from that is not to push and nag them to do homework. Let them suffer the consequences. So does that mean that if he has a test to study for, or an assignment due that I should let him do whatever he wants and other than the schoolwork? He would rather sit in front of the game cube and play all night long if I let him. Do I take the gamecube away from him for 3 days? Could you please reply back to me by e-mail. Thanks. G. 


Hi G., If poor academic performance is an ongoing source of parent-child conflict - AND if your son has a history of poor academic performance, then you will do well to follow the advice in the eBook. Should you let him do whatever he wants? No. Set aside a 1-hour block of time (e.g., 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM five days a week) for him to do homework. He can choose to do homework, or he can choose to NOT be able to play his Game Cube. Let him decide. If he chooses NOT to do homework for that hour, he does NOT have access to Game Cube or any other toy – but, after one hour, he can play again. School/homework is your son’s job. The more you take responsibility for it, the less responsibility he will take. 


Elite Family Specialists CIC

Dear Mark,

Many thanks for all the information you have sent to me this has been extremely helpful to both my colleague and myself as we have recently set up our own company dealing with early intervention.

This is a relatively new concept in the U.K. and we have found your perspective on this matter to be more advanced and if you have any more information you feel would be of relevance to ourselves we would appreciate your input.

We look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

Best Regards,

for Elite Family Specialists CIC

Dee Bracken
Tel. 0191 516 0167 Mob. 07721619818

My ODD Child

Hi N.,

Please look for these arrows below: ====>

On Jan 9, 2008 2:28 PM, N. wrote:

Good afternoon,

I purchased your e-book last night, and as I am reading it, it seems to be more appropriate for teens. (I just started looking thru).

===> There are some age-specific parenting strategies, but as long as your child is living in your home, 98% of the techniques will apply regardless of age.

2 yrs ago our dream of becoming parents became true through adoption when we were match up with 3 adorable siblings. Our daughter is 5yrs and her twin brothers are 4. We are blessed, they are adorable children, but we are having behavioral problems with our daughter. She seems to be able to control herself when we are at home or when ever I'm around (I 'm very firm with them and one way or another she seem to listen to me) but the minute I leave her side she becomes in a little devil. At school she is driving everyone crazy. And the worst is that the twins are starting to pick up some of her bad behavior.

She lies, and lies and even when we confront her with the true, she will not give in admitting the truth, answers back, don't follow orders, disrupt the class and is very "bossy". I don't know what to do any more because she doesn't mind or care for time outs, or taking privileges out from her; playing time, movie time, tv time or toys away.

===> She may not care when things are taken away, but she enjoys having her things returned. Follow the method in the eBook for this.

We are taking her to therapy once a week and here she was diagnosed with ODD but that doesn't seem to be helping at all.

===> Therapy will be a waste of your time and money. It is just another "traditional" parenting strategy that has little or no effect with ODD kids. Stick with the strategies in the eBook.

We have been following 1-2-3- Magic, but it doesn't work with her behavior. I find my self getting very angry, disappointed and hopeless.

====> Be sure to read (and listen to the audio files) in the Anger Management Chapter (online version).

I want to enjoy time with her and not feel that she is manipulating us. Unfortunately we don't have any past medical or family history of our children. Please help me out !!!!! And guide me to what direction I should follow?

====> Normal, healthy mothers - even the very young ones - rarely give up their children for adoption. Over 90% of adopted children come from very young mothers who, too often, also have a drug/alcohol addiction of some kind. In addition, many of these mothers who gave their child up for adoption have significant mental health issues ( e.g., ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, etc.). So it's a fairly safe assumption that your adopted daughter will also have some mental health issues - as well as have a genetic predisposition to drug addiction.

It will be terribly important for your daughter's teacher to educate herself about how to relate (and influence) a child with ODD. If she doesn't take the time to adopt some different teacher-student interactions with your daughter, the problems will continue.


Online Parent Support

Daughter Refuses To Attend School Regularly

Mark: I need help. We (my ex-wife and myself) cannot get our daughter to go to school. When she lived with me she missed nearly all of her freshmen year. She is a sophomore at Anderson High School. She has missed most of this year. She claims that she is sick all the time. However, it seems funny to me that she is never sick on the weekends nor was she sick during Christmas vacation. It is apparent to me that she just doesn't want to go to school. She has been to the Anderson Center. We have went to court where the Judge awarded my ex-wife temporary physical custody of my daughter. Now that she lives with her, my ex has the same issues that I had with our daughter. She just will not go to school on a regular basis. Please advise what can we do to resolve this issue. All I want is for my daughter to be in school to get her education. Sincerely, T.


Hi T.,

Going to school usually is an exciting, enjoyable event for children. For some it brings intense fear or panic. Parents should be concerned if their child regularly complains about feeling sick or asks to stay home from school with minor physical complaints. Not wanting to go to school may occur at anytime, but is most common in children 5-7 and 11-14, times when children are dealing with the new challenges of elementary and middle school. 
These children may suffer from a paralyzing fear of leaving the safety of their parents and home. The child's panic and refusal to go to school is very difficult for parents to cope with, but these fears and behavior can be treated successfully, with professional help.

School refusal is:
  • equally common among boys and girls and is most likely to occur between age 5 to 11
  • highest when schools reopen after summer
  • defined as the behavior of resisting or refusing to attend a specific class or to stay in school for an entire day
  • may be accompanied by one or more of the following behaviors: complaints about stomach pain, headache, or nausea before or during school; crying before and during school; frequent visits to the school nurse; temper tantrums; specific fears; anxiety or sadness

School "refusers" tend to:
  • feel that others see them in a negative way
  • become unduly self-conscious and avoid social situations in which they fear others may criticize them or make fun of them behind their back
  • have negative and troublesome relationships with their peers
  • get teased by mischievous children or harassed by a bully
  • be reluctant to go to school because of an appearance and self-esteem problem, or social "image" problem prompted by a school rumor or being let down by a friend
  • be depressed and experience significant difficulty in getting up and getting out of bed in the morning.

Refusal to go to school often begins following a period at home in which the child has become closer to the parent, such as a summer vacation, a holiday break, or a brief illness. It also may follow a stressful occurrence, such as the death of a pet or relative, a change in schools, or a move to a new neighborhood.

Children with an unreasonable fear of school may:
  • feel unsafe staying in a room by themselves
  • display clinging behavior
  • display excessive worry and fear about parents or about harm to themselves
  • shadow the mother or father around the house
  • have difficulty going to sleep
  • have nightmares
  • have exaggerated, unrealistic fears of animals, monster, burglars
  • fear being alone in the dark
  • have severe tantrums when forced to go to school

School refusers otherwise tend to be compliant, well-behaved, and academically smart kids. Unlike truants, they stay home only with their parents' knowledge. Generally, they have a close relationship with one or both parents. Overall, they are good kids. So the question arises why does a child who wants to comply with the parents' wishes and be good, drive them nuts in the morning when it's time to get ready for school?

Children refuse to go to school for a reason, and we parents should determine what that reason is.

Such symptoms and behaviors are common among children with separation anxiety disorder. The potential long-term effects (anxiety and panic disorder as an adult) are serious for a child who has persistent separation anxiety and does not receive professional assistance. The child may also develop serious educational or social problems if their fears and anxiety keep them away from school and friends for an extended period of time.

When fears persist the parents and child should consult with a qualified mental health professional, who will work with them to develop a plan to immediately return the child to school and other activities. Refusal to go to school in the older child or adolescent is generally a more serious illness, and often requires more intensive treatment.

Excessive fears and panic about leaving home/parents and going to school can be successfully treated.

For children who refuse to go to school in order to avoid a difficult social encounter, teach them effective social behaviors such as, learning to say "no" assertively, seeking help from adults, and making new friends. Seek help from school authorities if there is a genuine concern for the safety of your child.

Don't make staying home more rewarding than going to school. Eliminate or reduce all incentives for staying home. On the contrary, attach rewards and incentives to going to school and staying there throughout the school hours.

Having investigated the possible causes and offered your support as a parent, you may have to "push" your child out to school. You may have to learn to ignore the tantrums, complaints, and the pleading to "let me stay home just for today."

Children who are clinically depressed or who suffer from an anxiety disorder need professional help. Some medications cause sluggishness and may make it difficult for a child to be alert and active in morning. In such event, consult your doctor.


==> Join Online Parent Support

She moved out...

Dear Mark,

Well, my daughter turned 18 and she did move out with her boyfriend and his mother. I heard she did not go to school today. I am wondering what responsibility do I have with her still in school? Maybe this is the wrong question to ask, but I am trying to make sense of this.

I want you know that I did say they could date, but she would still have to obey our guidelines in our home. She didn't think she could do this, so she wanted out. Thank you, M.


Hi M.,

I think it's good that she's out - that's o.k. for everybody. She doesn't have to attend school at her age - it's optional. She'll eventually realize she needs to at least get a GED. She won't want to work at McDonald's her whole life.

Look at her as more like an adult friend now (rather than your "pain-in-the-ass" daughter).


Online Parent Support

Insecure Attachment in 14-Year-old Adopted Daughter

Hi L., Please look for my comments where you see these arrows: =======>

Dear Mark, I'm writing again about my adopted girl now 14 years old. As you know we have been having problems with her since she was around 10. We have been through the whole counseling routine, where she manipulates and all, but now are involved in a so called family counseling service and for the most part I think they have been very good at not letting her call the shots and call her on things they see, instead of everything being the parents fault. I not saying we haven't made mistakes, the main one being as parents we do disagree on some of the accepted behaviors. 

 Since we cannot agree on how to discipline even when we agree on the rules, this has left her open to manipulate one of us, usually my husband. She basically knows what I will accept and since I have tried to remove the emotion from my statements and have tried to put the ball in her court as far as relationship goes, she has been better with me, but then sets her sights on my husband. He can't do what I do, he states he just has to be himself and if he cares about someone he can't pretend he doesn't when they are making mistakes or hurting his feelings. I get this too but that doesn't help her. 

 ============> Keep in mind that a weaker plan supported by both parents is much better than a stronger plan supported by only one. 

Her latest psychological evaluation states her diagnosis as insecure attachment. Different from RAD I'm told but very difficult to find information on. 

 ===========> “Insecure attachment” is a “problem with relationships” – it takes two people (e.g., child and parent). “RAD” is a disorder within the child. The purpose of labeling a parent-child relationship “insecure” is not to blame parents who love and intend the best for their children, but may be products themselves of insecure attachment, trauma or depression. Separation can also be a factor that contributes to insecure attachment. Insecure attachment and the developmental disruptions they can cause are often passed from one generation to the next unless steps are taken to repair what has been damaged. And it sounds like you are helping with “repair.” 

 She is very bright and is a good student who likes school and did excel at athletics until recently when she seems to exhibit very little interest into things she used to at least do and enjoy. She seems perfectly happy to spend as much time at home being non-compliant and lie in front of the TV. 

 ===========> Watching TV doesn’t involve “relationship” – thus it is a “self-soothing” behavior for her to engage in. (She could be out doing worse things.) 

My instincts tell me to not get involved with the sports situation as long as school is going well, and we have the other issues at home to deal with and let the natural consequences occur with sports but my husband feels she is wasting so much talent and ability and this could only help her in her future. My question is how far should we go to encourage her in sports and should she earn it and could you please check on some information for me of her new diagnosis.  

 ==========> Go with your instinct. I think you have bigger fish to fry than worrying about sports. Encourage? Yes. Insist? No. If she decides to pursue sports, the “practice” that comes with any sport will be how she earns it.  

Mark Hutten, M.A.

 ==> JOIN Online Parent Support

How do I get my over-achieving daughter to slow down?

"I have taken the quiz and surprisingly found that I was a severely over indulgent parent. This angers me because I didn't think...