Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by daralex, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    difficult child is on punishment for violating our behaior contract so she is not thrilled with me at the moment . (she lied about where she was going, made me track her down and bring her home, lied, and put a young girl on the phone pretending to be the mother of the girl she was going to stay with! :wow: etc) She came out of her "cave" this eveing to get dinner and informs me that her "friend" Gus is coming to see her next weekend and they have made plans for valentine's day. My difficult child is 13 and the rule is no dating boys more than 2 years older than she is (the rule is in our contract). Gus is 16 - not allowed. How am I supposed to handle this? My gut instinct is to tell her flat out that this violates the rules and she may not see Gus or make plans with him. I know if I do this she will go KABOOM! She will yell, break anything in her room that was not broken from last fit and possibly try to run away. Is there a good/better way to handle this. No matter how it comes out she will blow and I'm putting it off at the moment for fear of the confrontation. Just to add insult to injury she tells me she does not want to move now (obviously not her choice anyway, we need to move to get her into a better school and a place where there is more gainful employment for me and my SO, moving to long islnd in May from SC) and that Gus has a trailer in his backyard that she can stay in!!!!:wow:I immediately inform her as "gently" as I can that this is not going to happen (the trailer thing). She needs to be with her family until the end of 12th garde and hopefully she can be self-sufficient enough to go pay for her own cave someplace else at that time.(if there is a God!)

    So any suggestions as to how I approach this with her? I know she will blow no matter how I approach it and I am avoiding the conflict. Do I tell her now why she is still on punishment or wait until the "date" gets closer?(it's next weekend) I am so dredding this I can't begin to explain!!!!! Oh, and did I forget to mention his 16 year old foster brother drives and that is how she plans on getting around with the young raging ball of hormones!!!!!! This all came of course after her ranting that I don't let her do anything and she has no freedom. We developed the contract because as much freedom as I try to give her (sleepovers, going to concerts, going to under 21 "clubs") it is never enough and I am always seen as the anti-Christ. How do I stop the KABOOM??!!! (or at least make it less painful?):confused:
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I don't know how to help with the specific problem, but when I notice myself avoiding telling difficult child "no", I stop and tell myself that he probably knows it- and that's part of the reason he turns it into a confrontation- to get me to back down. (Now, it's not the same as when he's more "manic" for lack of better word- but sometimes, it's just manipulation.) Anyway, I normally think about it a little, cool myself down over it, then decide to inform him now or wait until the subject comes up again later today or tomorrow, then calmly and nicely, but firmly (not provoking or being defensive), that he will not be allowed to do this. When the yelling or arguing or "why's" or whimpering starts, I just tell him that I have given him my answer. I wouldn't wait until just a day or two ahead of time though, seems like that could end up worse.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, first off I never gave my kids permission to date anyone of any age, except in a large group of boys and girls (supervised) until they turned fifteen. I would amend that contract. in my opinion only (I could be wrong) she's too young to date and I wouldn't allow it at all. It's YOUR house, YOUR rules, YOU can change the contract.
    Secondly, does she have a therapist? If so, you can talk about it in therapy, but I wouldn't back down just because she's going to destroy the house. In fact, I'd tell her that if she breaks anything and gets violent you may have to call the police to take her to a hospital, but I'd tell her away from home so she has time to think about if she wants to "go there."
    If she is completely out of control every time you try to tell her to do something, I would seriously want her hospitalized to see what's going on and if it can be stopped with the right medication and treatment. I personally (in my humble opinion) don't feel she is in any shape to get involved with anyone of the opposite sex. She just isn't stable enough to deal with dating and, again, in my humble opinion only I feel she's way too young and even more immature. Good luck!
  4. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    difficult child has been saying she is "dating" boys for over a year - but it's not dating. They speak on the phone, go out inlarge groups, or see each other at school (which is no more as I homeschool her) I have not yet been confronted about an actual "date" until today. We never really spoke further about the whole dating thing as it never was an issue before (Oh, you know - "all" the girls date boys at my age mom- NOT!) She refuses to talk to a therapist and is not on medications. She doesn't rage often until a conflict comes up. Conflict is always the same - she wants to do something she knows I won't approve of but yells, argues, rages if it doesn't go her way. If I had to really think about it , it probabaly happens about once every two months or so. This is where the contract comes in - so we both know what the rules are and what the consequences/rewards will be.

    I know when I speak to her she is going to lose it as she has her mind set on doing this - Oh, and did I mention - my "little" one stands at 5'11" at the age of 13! (no, not my side of the tree - dead abusive dad was 6'4" and weighed about 400 pounds when he overdosed and died) She has never made a move to harm me - she is not violent unless it is towrds herself. She was cutting herself last year but that stoppped after the last episode when I took her to the hospital at 10pm for fear she would cut again. They looked her over, said she was just crying out for help and let us go as though everything were perfectly normal and I was out of my mind for bringing her to thye hospital in the first place - yeah, that helped!! - not! Howvever, it scared her enough to stop cutting herself (yes I've done body checks to make sure) So here we are and I have to confront the situation at some point before this weekend - just the thought of it exhausts me.
  5. Robinboots

    Robinboots New Member

    Can't speak for the blowing up, because I'm in a real pickle here too. My solution lately has been to NOT ask my son to do anything, even his regular chores, and not to bring up anything that causes conflict. I am maintaining, and hoping some of this therapy/counseling will help. Whatever you do, be sure not to tell her anything unless there is another adult present. Best advice I can give these days.

    by the way, my son lives in a "cave" as well..... :)

    I am not a believer in behavioral contracts - my son, and speaking only for us and no one else, lies, steals, cheats, manipulates, etc. I do not have not ever expected him to abide by a contract - why should I? I consider it a waste of time, and a sure set-up for failure.
  6. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    The behavioral contract is just one more effort to try to have some measures inplace. As I imagine everyone here has tried everything/anything that may work. i don't know that it is for her as much as it is for me. I know what the consequences will be for certain actions instead of handing out consequences off the cuff when something goes wrong. I know the feeling of "backing off", we've tried that too - but she just seems to run further with the rope if nothing is asked of her at all. I am not disagreeing with any methods you or anyone else is trying - I just feel I have to try everything before I feel like giving up. I am in apickle as well as I really don't know what to do or how to handle it - does it ever end? I guess it's back to my bucket of ice cream!!! - at least it won't yell at me ( excepet to say keep eating more!) At this rate I won't fit through the fornt door tomorrow!!!!
  7. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Another vote to change that contract. If it says she can date a boy up to 2 years older than her, I'll guaranty that the age limit will be totally ignored -- she'll lie about the boys' age. Tell her when she starts showing some maturity (and that includes not having temper tantrums when she can't have her way), then you will be more than happy to consider group dates.

    When is she off punishment? Obviously, if she's still grounded next weekend, the issue is moot and she knows it. If she's not, I would wait to see if the boy showed up. If he does, explain to him the house rule that he's just too old for her and she's really not ready for single type dates. He might run when he hears her tantrum at that piece of news.

    My daughter was a rager and destroyer. I simply removed anything not broken and stored it while she was out a friend's house. When she got home, I told her things would be returned when she started showing she could control herself. I also told (before she walked in the door) that if she destroyed the property of anyone else in the house or outside, I would be selling her things to replace that item. She was furious but she walked in, slammed her door, tore her bed apart but destroyed nothing.

    Right now, your daughter is trying to control the house with her tantrums. You need to take back control. Not easy, but doable. She doesn't want to see a therapist? Fine, she doesn't have to. But you don't have to take her places, get her nice things, let her see friends until she not only sees a therapist but cooperates with one. Do let her know she will be free to tell the therapist all the rotten things you do to make her life miserable. This was the deciding factor for my daughter.

    Good luck!
  8. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    We are going to be moving in about 3 months - I guess I put of the therapist thing (making her go even though she swears she won't say anything anyway) because it didn't make sense to have her try to bond with someone just to have that person removed from her life as wee. The contract thing was suggested by my brother who's the head shrink of a school district in NY. But I agree with what you're saying - thanks!!!
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If it were me, I'd be more interested in seeing a Psychiatrist (with the MD) to see if he feels she is mentally ill (she sounds like it and her biological history is bad with father overdosing) and may need medication. I would make cooperating with a psychiatrist and taking medications a condition to her having freedom to do things. Frankly, if she's this out of control now, and it's not stopped and the reason not discovered, in my opinion it's only going to get worse as she gets older. I would worry about substance abuse. My daughter started at twelve (yes, twelve) and it was common at her school. My daughter also was a cutter--that's a red flag that something bad is wrong. Even if she stopped, she is still obviously not a happy kid, and, no, it's not your fault. She probably inherited a lot of her problems, maybe from bio. dad, and I'd want to get some really aggressive help NOW rather than later. I wish I'd, in retrospect, done the same.
    Hugs to you. You sound tired and deserve a break.
  10. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Ditto, meowbunny.

    No way in hades would I allow my 13 year old child - boy or girl - out on a one on one date regardless the age of the other party.

    Really, a 16 year old has no business hanging out with a 13 year old. My son is 16 and my daughter will be 13 next month. The maturity level is sooo different. I wonder if he knows that she's only 13? Just a thought.
  11. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    I'm fully taking in what everyone is saying and very thankful for the advice (Yes, I will get her to a psch asap) Question at hand is, is there any "better" way to confront her about not letting her go as I know this will cause a very large blowout (which I am desperately dredding!)????
  12. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    Large blowouts are part of parenting! There are some you just cannot avoid. However, you can prepare ahead of time for this blowout.

    kt has had some issues over the last couple of weeks over a "boy cheating on her". Now, kt's perceptions are very skewed - however because of her level of reactivity, her anxiety & her immature emotional age we notified our crisis team, our mental health case manager - put them on notice for possible need of crisis management &/or hospitalization. Requested & rec'd an emergency therapist appointment; Integrated Listening Systems (ILS) therapist made an extra in home visit to help kt process, yada, yada, yada,

    dara we've had to utilize each & every service available to help kt grow & heal from past traumas.

    Our answer to dating has always been .......16 period. kt knows we mean it. We will also consider group dates earlier if/when that occurs.

    As kt has hit middle school she has had a major crush/love of one young man; has accused him of cheating on her & he hasn't attended this school since last June. We seem to be in the midst of some type of crisis here - her reality & the true reality don't quite click. School is concerned - oops sorry, stealing your thread.

    Prepare for the blowout. Prepare the consequences for choices difficult child makes. You & SO need to make a united front if he is comfortable with that. Be prepared to pull her cell phone service, computer priviledges - whatever currency is most important to her.

    Also, be prepared to pull in all emergency supports you have on hand.

    This isn't going to be easy.
  13. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    The first question is do you think she can control her rages? If so, then you make the price of a rage too high. If not, then you find what she needs to help her control them and leave consequences out of the picutre.

    Dara, you know your daughter best. Can you think of any way you could stop her from raging when you tell her she can't have her way? My gut says no. So, the thing isn't to plan to avoid a rage but rather plan for a way to make the rage as controlled as possible. Maybe telling her in public would help? I know with mine, she would not rage in front of others, but she would still rage as soon as she got home. The only advantage would be the raging wasn't immediate and, on very rare occasions, it would be a little milder.

    I'd just try to clean out her room before she had the rage -- whether controlled or uncontrolled.

    If controlled, I'd have some very specific consequences in place. (Mine could -- she was once crying, screaming, throwing hysterically; the doorbell rang and she immediately stopped; salesman left, she started right where she had left off -- she was 13.) Let her know exactly what will happen if she destroys any property that is not hers. She destroys hers, no problem -- it is just not replaced.

    If it is uncontrolled, maybe you could get her to help you remove things from her room she values so that they don't get destroyed. In the process, remove other things for her own protection. Do not make it a punitive thing and do leave things where she can access them.

    Mine started to quit raging when the price became too high for her -- no new clothes because she'd destroyed hers. Mattress on the floor because she broke her frame. Underwear, etc. in cardboard boxes because she'd wrecked her dresser. Plywood over her window to save it from destruction. All of her "fun" stuff removed and put in storage, some of it pulled out and sold to pay for my personal stuff being destroyed. It took a good 6 months and escalating behavior at first, but it did finally work. She wanted to have friends over but no way was she going to have them in her room with nothing there, especially since I would let her friends know exactly why it was the way it was.
  14. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    Thanks for the input. I am going to have to let her know before I give her "the news" what the consequences for a rage will be. I wish I had plywood for the windows! She's on the second floor (no bedrooms downstairs!) and last time she raged she started throwing things out her window. She likes the sound of things breaking when she rages - especially glass. I'll have to see if there is anything glass left in her room before I tell her - I think she's already destyroyed everything, but you never know! I don't believe she can control herself. She jsut gets that angry and cannot stop the anger build up until something is broken - almost like a release.Thanks again!!
  15. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Honestly, I can relate to the glass breaking thing. Before I was on lexapro there was nothing better than the sound of breaking glass when I was at my limit. It *was* like you said - a release. I could literally feel the tension leave my body with the sound.

    I don't know how you want to handle it, but I bought some cheap glasses at Big Lots (like a quarter a piece) and that's what I used. Probably not the healthiest way to deal with it, though. I don't feel the need to do that anymore and haven't for many years.

    What about a punching bag or a trampoline she could jump in to get the pent up energy out?

    Just some thoughts....
  16. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    She will run away, break things and blah blah blah - (in parent speak : She will behave like a horses kiester until she gets her way or she will run away) ahhh old habits are so hard to break.

    LET HER BREAK WHAT SHE WANTS - when she's done - hand her a trash bag and tell her SHE is responsible for hauling it to the curb after she's bagged it up.

    If she runs away - CALL THE POLICE - and make a run away report - and DO NOT (other than give the cops information) let yourself chase her down, look her up, call her - LET HER GO.

    If she insists when the police bring her home that she will "Only run again" tell her that is her choice - but usually the second time they run (depending on area) you can file a petition of incorrigibility with your local family court and have her put in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC).

    If she's going to run - she's going to run - you can NOT stop her.

    You CAN enforce your house rules - NO BOYS, and you COULD get in touch with Gus' mom and tell her that your daughter JUST turned 13....and that this is a powder keg - so ask him to stay away.

    Offer an alternative - if Gus wants to come to the house - and meet you and your husband and talk with you before he STAYS at the house while you chaperone or /and supervise - you'll think about it. But if the rule is no boys x amt. of years older = then let it go - and let her go too. It's not as fun on the streets as they think it is. And friends parents will only put up with a kid UNTIL the police show up and tell them either the kid comes out to them to go home OR they will be arrested for aiding and abeting/harboring. It IS a punishable offense.

    ALSO - if she DOES run away - USE the time you have to strip her room of everything and box it up and lock it up - leave her a bed, a blanket and a pillow - if she needs an alarm clock - put it in there - if she breaks it = it will cost her (you decide) to replace it.

    In this contract you wrote - she has found a loophole - (they kill me all the time they spend looking for the wrong thing could be positive time for something great) but I bet there is no clause in your contract about what happens to her if she runs away.....

    Now you have a reason to put it in there - and put in the part about all her worldly possessions will be gone. My son's mouth literally fell on the floor - AND we took his door too. When he came home - he could go to his room and.....well sit.

    Don't be afraid of her - she's certainly got no reason to be fearful of you - you haven't shown her your warrior mom armor. NOW would be a real good time to start.

  17. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Some kids are born with a defiant personality, as was mine, and she acted very much like your daughter at that age. No one could tell her anything, she would do what she wanted to do and if we tried to stop her in any way she raged and destroyed anything in her path. We had the same "dating" issues and we did everything we could to make sure it didn't happen until she was mature enough to handle it. Even with all our vigilance she managed to get together with a neighbor boy who introduced her to drugs and they had sex at the age of 14. We filed unruly charges on her and she was ordered to stay away from this boy. He eventually ended up in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC), only to be pulled out after 6 months by his parents, and continues to this day to be involved in drugs and alcohol and corrupting young women.

    It won't last forever. I know it seems like a lifetime now but the years will pass. Do what you can to keep her safe, even if it means filing charges for unruliness. t some point she will mature. My difficult child did and she tells people now that she was so stupid to do what she did with that boy. We had a lot of different boy issues at age 13, she was attracted to the risky ones. We spent every minute of every day keeping tabs on her and checking to make sure she was where she said she would be. We called parents, drove to where she said she was, dragged her away from parties, threatened to call the police on any boy who violated our rules or kept her whereabouts hidden from us.

    I would not want togo back to thatage for all the tea in china. Good luck.

  18. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Oh, my. She is certainly trying her best to create drama. I don't know why some children/people thrive on drama.

    Change the contract. She doesn't have to like it, but it is YOUR home, YOUR parenting, YOUR stuff, YOUR everything. Write in NO dating until age X (and 16 is a pretty good age, in my opinion). Next time she is out of the house go into her room and put any/everything into boxes/trash bags. Might need 2 colors - I remember using white tall kitchen for stuff we kept and big black bags for the stuff we pitched. I also had a box for things to ask questions about (where did he get it, how did he pay for it, why is my X in his room, etc...)

    She is going to "under 21" clubs at 13 ? This is a really really risky thing. Most people there will NOT be in her age group, they usually cater the the older high school and younger college crowd. NOT NOT NOT 13 yos, no matter what she tells you. I think I would maybe say yes but she has to sit with ME and I will follow her around as she goes anywhere and/or talks to anyone.

    Youare going to have KABOOM. And unfortunately it will probably NOT be the kind that cleans your bathroom. After you clean her room, and empty it totally, then tell her. Send her to her room to tantrum. And get some wood for that window, she will climb out it, if she hasn't already. My older bro did it at 13 from a 2nd story window with no garage or anything under him to break the fall.

    The contract may need something about earning her undamaged items back, say after several weeks or a week or whatever she can get 1 item back.

    The book Love and Logic Parenting and the book Love and Logic Parenting for Teens may help. I strongly recommend them. They really help me keep my cool and get results. The authors do have a book for Special Needs Children, but I forget the title. They also have a website: www.loveandlogic.com . It has some great advice, and the free downloads are worth listening to.

    Hugs, and earplugs for the Kaboom!


    ps. Maybe on of her consequences for her KABOOM is to use the KABOOM products to clean the bathroom? Just a thought.
  19. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Well, it sounds like my son is a carbon copy of your daughter. He rages and destroys to gain control - but he also rages if he is hit with a consequence or piece of news without a lead in. If I am going to change the environment in our house, I have to do it very slowly, and with a lot of "introductory talks", if that makes sense. For instance we went through this cruddy period of time, just a little while back, where he refused to remove his computer from the coffee table in the living room. I laid down the lay, consequences, etc - I did everything the books tell you to - but he was locked so deep into his own opposition, he would not have cared if I set the house on fire, he was going to keep the computer where it was.

    So I switched gears. I started talking to him everyday, for a week, about how the computer was going to be moved. I had his dad talk to him, and others that could influence. I then announced that I was also having the house painted, and of course he would not want the computer in the living room to maybe get paint on it? Right? I just gently chipped away at it, until I had basically wedged the fact into his brain this thing was going to happen. Then, we decided on the day it was to be moved, and his dad came and helped, and it was moved.

    I know that your situation is more serious - but I still would approach it the same way. Slowly and gently.
    "Daughter, you are not going to go with X, you know that. This is just not gonna happen."
    And then leave the subject for a day. If she starts getting upset or arguing just ignore her, because you still have time on your side. Then the next day bring it up again - and this time, in another moment, maybe bring up a story you heard on the news about teen pregnancy, or HIV, or some other teen stat about girls who have ended up where your daughter is wanting to head. Do not connect the dots for her, that you are worried this is where she may end up, just give her neutral info. And finally, when the moment of wanting to go with X arrives, you are prepared to simply reinforce what you have already been telling her for 2 weeks.

    Does that make sense? Sorry it is so long. Just hard to put in a nutshell. Good luck!
  20. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I know this is going to sound nuts, but one day soon after my son's manic reaction to Zoloft, he was raging completely out of control and trashing the house. My husband said firmly, "You may not hurt our house. We need to go outside." On their way outside, I handed husband half a dozen eggs I had just hard-boiled. When husband looked blankly at me, I said, "He can smash them on the driveway." My son smashed those eggs to bits on our driveway and got some of his anger out. Sometimes you have to find an acceptable and creative way for raging kids to express their anger. Nuts maybe, but the hard-boiled eggs worked for us.