Teenage Son Admits to Smoking Pot

"What steps should a parent take when her adolescent admits to smoking pot and openly states he will continue to do so because he sees nothing wrong with it?"

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What To Do When Teens Won't Get Up For School


I have been following the programme as best I can for the last 5 weeks and have seen great success. My relationship with my son Thomas has improved immeasurably and that is such an incredible blessing. That improvement has also allowed us to make great progress with the problem areas which we are facing –

• Disrespect and anger
• Hanging out with the wrong group
• Drug abuse
• Failing academically

I feel that the progress is quite fragile and I’m probably worried that it will go backwards. I don’t feel as strong as I did at the start and I don’t know how to get this confidence back. I feel him backing off my authority and not respecting me again. I think he is trying to assert his independence more, maybe because we have made so much progress. I’m just a bit confused. I think I need to focus on finding more things to praise and I have maybe dropped the ball in this area. He has only got until June to finish school and then he is planning to join the army, but that might take until Jan next year. This new focus is good because for the first time ever he is interested in doing something constructive and he is excited and happy about it.

He is going to school but it is such a struggle to get him up and out in the morning. We have not given him a key of the house because of trust issues and therefore he needs to be out before we leave for work. He continually gets up late and it seems he is getting later and later. Going to school creates structure for him and I am worried that he will drop out and we will be left with a 16 year old with no structure in his day. How do I get him up in the morning when I don’t think he cares whether he’s attending school or not? I’m thinking I should be taking away something that he wants until he sorts out the mornings, but I don’t know what. And maybe I’m scared of going through an angry confrontation.

The improvements are fantastic and I just want them to continue.


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Daughter "Waging War" Against Mother's Fiancé

I believe my daughter (who will turn 15 on March 20th) has ODD. Defiant is a word that has always described her, however, she and I have always dealt well together - until this past year. My fiancé moved in last March, and in May, she went to school drunk. So drunk in fact, that she was taken away by the police to the children's hospital for evaluation. She has continued to drink on weekends and every month or so, something occurs. It might be her being brought home by the police, or us calling the police to help as she is violent and acts possessed when she drinks. 

She did spend a week in the mental unit at the children's hospital. She is waging a war to get my fiancé to move out and the two of them are engaging in a war. He employs some pretty consistent methods, and we usually agree, but she has wrecked and stolen some of his things, called him everything under the sun, written notes and put them all over the house telling him to move out...you name it. Now he has no trust for her, nor do they like each other at all. They do not speak a word to each other, be in the same room or car with each other.

I feel that my choice is a very hard one. She is the only thing we really have any conflict over, but I am willing and prepared to say goodbye to what could have been my future with him if it will help her. The thing is, I don't want her to shove him out of the house and know she's got that power. I think he feels helpless and powerless and it makes him angrier.

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

Older Brother Picks On Younger Sibs

We have a 15 1/2 year old son who is defiant… possibly even ODD, although we've not gotten any diagnosis (even though we have seen two different therapists). Just to let you know, he is a straight "A" 10th grade student, in all Honors and AP Classes, who this school year alone, has received 3 "Student of the Month" Awards. We have been implementing your program and I definitely see some very positive results. There is one area where I am really not sure how to respond/act when he does this particular behavior: he will purposely touch/or say something to annoy/bother one of his three brothers, and then he will deny that he just did it, even when I am right there and actually see it. What should I do or say when this happens? He is very bothered when I address this and does not like to have to answer any questions regarding this issue. Do I impose a consequence for this behavior? How do I get him to admit what he has actually done? Because it really bothers his brothers, I cannot just ignore this behavior, it really affects his brothers negatively. I also am wondering, can a child like this actually turn on and off these behaviors at will?? When we did see the therapists, he absolutely refused to talk or admit that anything was wrong. The very few times he did say something, he was very rude and even hateful toward the therapists. If you could give me some advice on the few things I mentioned, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.


Moms and dads have been taught that they must be impartial when sibling-conflict issues arise… but this can be extremely difficult. It's inevitable that moms and dads will feel differently about kids who have different personalities with differing needs, dispositions, and place in the family.

While it may be common for brothers and sisters to fight, it's certainly not pleasant for anyone in the house. And a family can only tolerate a certain amount of conflict. So what should you do when the fighting starts?

Ever since we decided that sibling rivalry is normal, we've had a terrible time figuring out what to do about it. However, here are some do's and don'ts that may be helpful in dampening down sibling rivalry within a family:

• Don't dismiss or suppress your kid's resentment or angry feelings. Contrary to what many people think, anger is not something we should try to avoid at all costs. It's an entirely normal part of being human, and it's certainly normal for siblings to get furious with one another. They need the adults in their lives to assure them moms and dads get angry too, but have learned control - and the angry feelings do not give license to behave in cruel and dangerous ways. This is the time to sit down, acknowledge the anger ("I know you hate David right now but you cannot hit him with a stick") and talk it through.

• Don't make comparisons. ("I don't understand it. When Johnny was her age, he could already tie his shoes.") Each youngster feels he is unique and rightly so-he is unique, and he resents being evaluated only in relation to someone else. Instead of comparison, each youngster in the family should be given his own goals and levels of expectation that relate only to him.

• Don't put too much focus on figuring out which youngster is to blame. It takes two to fight — anyone who is involved is partly responsible.

• Even then, encourage them to resolve the crisis themselves. If you do step in, try to resolve problems with your kids, not for them.

• If you're concerned by the language used or name-calling, it's appropriate to "coach" kids through what they're feeling by using appropriate words. This is different from intervening or stepping in and separating the kids.

• Separate kids until they're calm. Sometimes it's best just to give them space for a little while and not immediately rehash the conflict. Otherwise, the fight can escalate again. If you want to make this a learning experience, wait until the emotions have died down.

• Try to avoid situations that promote guilt in siblings. First we must teach kids that feelings and actions are not synonymous. It may be normal, for example, to want to hit the baby on the head, but moms and dads must stop a youngster from doing it. The guilt that follows doing something mean is a lot worse than the guilt of merely feeling mean. So parental intervention must be quick and decisive.

• Try to set up a "win-win" situation so that each youngster gains something. When they both want the same toy, perhaps there's a game they could play together instead.

• When possible, let brothers and sisters settle their own differences. Sounds good but it can be terribly unfair in practice. Moms and dads have to judge when it is time to step in and mediate, especially in a contest of un-equals in terms of strength and eloquence (no fair hitting below the belt literally or figuratively). Some long-lasting grudges among grown siblings have resulted when their minority rights were not protected.

• Whenever possible, don't get involved. Step in only if there's a danger of physical harm. If you always intervene, you risk creating other problems. The kids may start expecting your help and wait for you to come to the rescue rather than learning to work out the problems on their own. There's also the risk that you — inadvertently — make it appear to one youngster that another is always being "protected," which could foster even more resentment. By the same token, rescued kids may feel that they can get away with more because they're always being "saved" by a parent.

Remember, as kids cope with disputes, they also learn important skills that will serve them for life — like how to value another person's perspective, how to compromise and negotiate, and how to control aggressive impulses.

"My Out of Control Teen" - Review

Discover Secrets of Mark Hutten About Regaining Control Over Strong Willed, Out of Control Teenagers

Mark Hutten has secrets about regaining control over strong-willed, out of control teens. And good thing, he has laid down all of his secrets in his My Out Of Control Teen ebook.

His secrets are basically just about regaining control over strong-willed, out of control teens. His secrets are about the techniques and approaches to use with strong-willed, out of control teens. The techniques and approaches are not like the conventional techniques and approaches that you most likely know and often do not work.

Strong-willed, out of control teens often lose their temper instantly, argue with adults, refuse to comply with rules and requests, blame others for own mistakes, and like to annoy others. And typically, they are resentful, vindictive and spiteful. It's really hard to deal with them. But good thing, because of the techniques and approaches Mark Hutten has in mind, there's a chance to regain control over these strong-willed, out of control teens and eventually turn them to better, controllable teens.

If you are a parent of a strong-willed, out of control teen, you must have something like a guide around. You must have something like My Out Of Control Teen ebook. You need something like a guide that will help you change your strong-willed, out of control teen.

Check out the ebook online today. It's at an affordable price. And the nicest thing, it comes with 100% "better-than-risk-free" money back guarantee. If ever you feel unsatisfied with it, you can have your money back but can still keep it for good.

You and I share common beliefs regarding the importance of informed and strategic parenting skills...

Thanks, Mark,

I am not a parent in the true sense of the word. I work with aboriginal children at a school run by the Bigstone Cree Nation in northern Alberta, Canada. One of my responsibilities is to provide support for parents and teachers who have children/students posing challenging behaviors. Therefore, the more knowledge I can gain and the more strategies we have available for parents and teachers, the better able we are to interact in helpful ways with our students. From watching the introductory video and reading through the preliminary pages, I can already see that you and I share common beliefs regarding the importance of informed and strategic parenting skills and it is very important that these carry over to teacher strategies at school. We’re doing fairly well with our kids at school but need to put a lot more energy into our work with parents. By the way, except for me, the grade 6 and grade 7 teachers, all the rest of the staff are Cree. Huge strides are happening at our school and I am privileged to be a part of it.

Thank you for providing these materials. I know already that they will be very valuable in guiding my work with our families.

Best regards,


Online Parent Support

What To Do When Your Child/Teen Physically Attacks You

Aggression or violence towards moms and dads (or other family members) by their kids or adolescents is more common than most people believe and it is something that is usually not talked about. It can involve abusive language, frightening, threatening or physically hurting a parent (pushing, shoving, kicking, throwing things), hurting pets, damaging furniture and property, or threatening with knives or weapons. Whether it is a one-off incident or ongoing, it must be dealt with.

Kids may be aggressive towards moms and dads for a number of reasons. None of the following reasons excuse violent or aggressive behavior, but they may help moms and dads understand why some kids, especially adolescents do it:
  • Drugs or alcohol, the loss of a job or a broken relationship can all be triggers that lead to violence.
  • They do not know of any other way to solve problems or get what they want (lashing out at someone or something is all they know).
  • They have grown up in a household where they have seen adults (sometimes moms and dads or partners) being angry, and using violence towards them or others (this behavior is seen as normal in their eyes).
  • They have not learned how to control or manage their feelings, especially angry ones and so just act out without using any self discipline.
  • They have not learned to value or respect other people or their property.
  • They may be going through a really difficult time and cannot cope with the stresses in their own lives.
  • They may have a disability and have not been able to learn other ways of behaving.
  • They may have an acute mental illness and be very frightened.
  • They may have used drugs that can trigger an acute psychosis and violent behavior.
  • They see the parent as weak and powerless (it is often the mother), or they think that this is how women can be treated.

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

Most moms and dads whose kids attack them in this way can feel very scared, very powerless, lonely, sometimes embarrassed, ashamed and guilty. They feel they have lost control in the home.

• Although taking a tough stand can be difficult it is very important to do. When a teenager is violent toward a parent, no matter how much she might excuse her behavior ("it was really mum's fault, she pushed me to it") she can never feel all right about it. If she is never made to stop, she will probably repeat the same pattern in other relationships or in the work place. It will continue to cause problems in her life and can even lead to problems with the law unless she is stopped and can learn other ways to deal with her anger.

• Be prepared to make some tough decisions, even though your confidence feels shattered.

• Decide on your 'bottom line'. You need to be very clear and carry out what you have said will happen when he has overstepped this line. This may mean your teenager leaves your home either by agreement or by using the police and/or a restraining order. You may find this very hard to do. Get support from someone who understands.

• If the behavior is out of character for your teenager and has started only recently, think about what else may have happened or changed lately. For example, has anyone new had contact with your family recently or have there been changes in the family or with his friends? Has anything happened in these relationships? Is your teenager depressed? See the topic 'Teenage depression'. Has your teenager been taking drugs?

• If your other kids are being harmed in any way by your teenager, you must do something to protect them.

• Look at the situation from your teenager's point of view, no matter how unreasonable it seems. Think about how your behavior (from his point of view) might be contributing to the situation (even if you don't think it could be).

• Notice what your teenager does well and talk to him about it. Adolescents especially do not need reminders of their failures.

• Remember that whatever has happened in your relationship with your teenager, there is no excuse for violence.

• Spend some time supporting what he likes doing if he will let you, eg watching him play sport or listening to his music.

• Taking a tough stand helps to force your youngster to face his violence - he then has the chance to learn other ways of dealing with anger.

• Think about what happens as a fight brews. What are the warning signs? When these signs are present, make sure you separate from each other (you may have to leave the house). If so, take your younger kids with you so they don't become the victims of violence. Talk about concerns only when you are both calm.

• Think about your favorite image of your teenager. Do you still think of her as she was when she was little? You may need to come to grips with the fact that she is no longer a youngster.

• Think what the fights are most often about. Work out what things you are not prepared to move your position on, what ones you are prepared to give way on and what you can leave for your teenager to sort out.

• You need to take some control in your home. You may not be able to change or stop your teenager's behavior, but you can take a stand for what you are prepared to put up with in your home. This is important especially if there are younger kids who may feel frightened and need your help to feel safe.

Violence towards moms and dads or other family members is unacceptable and is recognized by the police as a crime. It is very difficult to make the decision to call the police and possibly have your youngster charged, but you need to keep yourself and others safe.

• You are likely to feel guilt, anger, sadness and fear.

• You may feel that you are betraying your youngster and that this will put his or her future at risk.

Calling the police can help to calm the situation, support you to regain control and begin to rebuild a respectful relationship with your youngster.

What will happen? The police can help to calm an explosive situation or protect other family members. They will give advice and ask what action you want taken, if any.

What action can they take? If you would like the police to take further action the young person will be taken for a formal interview at the nearest police station. The police can the deal with the young person by:

• Arranging a family conference
• Issuing a formal caution
• Issuing an informal caution
• Proceeding through the Youth Court

If the offense is serious the young person can be arrested and taken into custody.
  • Kids under 10 years cannot be charged, but police can still be called for assistance and advice.
  • If the young person is between 10 and 18 years old, cases are handled within the Juvenile Justice system. The court will decide upon appropriate action if it determined that a crime has occurred. However this information will not be released when a criminal history is requested (eg by an employer).
  • If you do not want to take action, police keep the matter on file and it can be followed up at a later time.
  • Young people over 18 are considered adults and would be dealt with through the Magistrates Court. If convicted this would be recorded as part of a criminal history and will be released if a criminal history is requested. (An employer can only get a criminal history record if the person agrees to this, but not agreeing may affect employment opportunities).

Regardless of the future impact on your youngster it is important to take action to ensure the safety of yourself and other family members - you all have the right to feel safe.

  • Call the police is you or others in your family are at risk.
  • Deal with this problem... it won't go away.
  • Decide on your bottom line, make it known in advance, mean it and carry it out.
  • Find out what works for other people.
  • Look after your self esteem... you may feel you have lost it altogether or it needs repairing.
  • Speak to someone who understands this sort of behavior and who can support you.
  • Take some control.... for the sake of yourself, your teenager and your other kids.
  • You can love your youngster but you do not have to put up with all his behavior.

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

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...