These are difficult kids...

Hi Mark,

Thanks for your reply re things worsening again at home. As far as can tell we are doing about 95% of the things you suggest but I will concede we do miss a thing here and there on reflection. M___ gave her some money ($1) the other day because they had gone down to the sea with friends and were jumping off the local pier which was a bit high. The other dad said to his kids that if they were brave and jumped off, he would give them some money so then A___ wanted some and M___ gave in (she did jump off). I got a bit cross but he said she'd earned it-I disagreed because I thought what she was doing was not actually work.

I am saying no to EVERY request for a material item or privilege and (as you suggest) telling her how she can earn the item whereas M___ I feel is not taking it all to the "nth" degree and she is trying to take hold of the reins again. After a particularly bad week of disrespect and aggravation, I suspended her allowance but have re-instated it as the behavior has improved. She is still not too enthusiastic about chores but is doing some here and there.

I must admit my poker face is perhaps a little strained after a long day and she is possibly seeing how much I can take...I guess I didn't realise that even a tiny slip-up here and there would herald a big relapse... These are difficult kids.

With regard to your ADHD inquiry about A___, I have not had her formally assessed, it was just a feeling I had about her because she is inattentive, hyperactive and immature. I was hoping to avoid medication and try behavior modification in the first instance and your website and e-book appealed to me for these reasons. I listen to your cds in the car a lot and will get back on the computer if we can't get back on track. Thanks for your time!



Hi L.,

You are indeed a good student and a good parent -- and I appreciate as well as honor that. If I haven't told you before, parents like you give me the inspiration to continue in this line of work.

I have a feeling that you never get too far off track with these parenting strategies. I also have a hunch that you are back on full course now.

And yes ...the intense child brings a whole new meaning to the term "parenting difficulties."

Stay in touch,


My Out-of-Control Teen

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