Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by neednewtechnique, Sep 22, 2007.

  1. neednewtechnique

    neednewtechnique New Member

    Our 13 year old, who is currently grounded, was able to earn herself a night of "freedom" by keeping up with good behavior, doing a few extra chores around the house, and completing an extra-special project that I asked her to take on. So, she has a friend, we will call her E. E has had a few traumatic experiences in her life as well as my difficult child has. Today was the anniversary of E's dad dying some years ago, and she had asked to spend the day with my difficult child so that she didn't have to be alone. They were going to hang out together during the day, and then E was to come and spend the night at our house with difficult child. Since I had to work today, E and difficult child were told that they would be allowed to go around town and do what they wanted, as long as they checked in every 2 hours until we got home. Well, when we got home, difficult child checked in as she was supposed to, and then I told her to come back again in a couple more hours, because it was about 2 hours until dark. This way they would not be running around in the dark, and if we decided they could stay out longer, we would know for sure what time they should come back. So, two hours later, I get a phone call to check in instead of a visit. This worried me a bit, but I shook it off, because at least we talked and I knew she was okay. Unfortunately, this is where all the problems began. She said they stopped by her boyfriends house (we will call him B), and they wanted to know if they could stay out until 10. I told her that if she was going to be out that late, that she would NOT be able to go running around town, so I told her that it was okay as long as she stayed at his house, and if she left, she had to call first so we could talk about what her new plans would be. So, about 30 minutes later, I got another call, they ran into another friend and she wanted them to come to her house for the night. This other girl is always in serious trouble and is known for having wild drinking and sex parties at her house, unsupervised by any adults, so myself and E's mom both said NO WAY. So, when I asked if she was still at B's house, she said yes. But then called me back again to tell me that she was mistaken, that it wasn't the same girl I was thinking of, it was another girl. (I knew this was a lie, so I still told her no, and that if she came up with other plans, she needed to call me before she left B's house).

    I had a bad feeling about what was going on, so I decided to hop in my little car and drive to B's house. When I got there, not only was difficult child and E not there, but B wasn't even there. So, very angry now, I call her on her cell and ask her where she is. She INSISTS that she is at B's house, and I tell her I KNOW she isn't there, and ask again where she is. She starts to get angry and curses at me, screaming that she IS at B's house. Then I say that I was just AT B's house and I KNOW she isn't there, and ask again where she is. Then she says that she JUST got there (I was still parked in front of his house), and I again tell her that I know she isn't there because B isn't even there, and ask again where she is. She tells me she doesn't know (great huh?) and after fighting over the phone with her for almost 10 minutes, I finally get an address for the house she has gone to. Then I tell her to stay there, and wait outside for me, I will come to get her. Then she gets upset swearing that they want to just walk home, and I tell her no, I am coming to get her.

    When they get in the car, I tell her that I am going back to our house, E will go up to difficult child's room, get her things and I am taking her home (she didn't do anything wrong, she had no idea what difficult child was told to do, and she ISN'T the one who lied to me!) and that difficult child is to stay in her room and not come out until I get back.

    Well, by the time I return, I have managed to straighten out all the details of the girls' adventure, and have discovered several ISSUES of the night. #1, when she called and said she was at B's house and wanted to stay until 10, she had already been at B's house and was told that he was not allowed to have visitors becasue he is grounded too. So she already knew when she agreed to stay at B's until 10 that she could NOT even be there!! #2, the girl she asked to go stay the night with WAS the one that we we thought it was that she isn't allowed to stay with, and #3, I also found out that wasn't even the place they had PLANNED to spend the night anyway, they were just going to SAY that's where they were and then all the girls planned to go someplace else.

    Here's my dilemma. Since she is already grounded, HOW DOES SHE GET PUNISHED FOR THIS??? I definitely think there should be consequences, as this is NOT the first time this has happened, but getting grounded didn't seem to make an impression last time, or she would not have done it again so quickly. The worst part of it is that, if she had called and said they wanted to be out until 10, but could not go to B's house because he was not allowed visitors, and told me where else they wanted to go instead, it probably would have been okay (except for this one girl who she isn't allowed to go to her house). So why lie about it??? I am done with conventional methods of consequences. There has to be something somewhat extreme that will send a message, and I am fresh out of ideas. I sat down with her and we talked, and I explained to her that I was not trying to be mean or unreasonable, but that it is just very important for me to know where she is in case something happens. She says she gets it, as always, but then the very next time she is let out of the house, it happens again!!!! When we finished talking, I told her that I was going to have to think about what to do about this situation, and that we would talk again tomorrow.

    If anyone has any ideas, PLEASE HELP!!!
  2. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    You might not want my advice.

    If this were my daughter...

    1. Her social life would be over. (at least 3 months)
    a. No phone calls
    b. No visits to or from friends
    c. No computer privileges (pming or chat is social)
    d. If she needed to go to school ect. she'd always have an adult with her.

    2. She would be my literal slave for at least a period of 2 weeks. This means subject to all household chores (even ones I invent) and my every little whim.

    Harsh? Maybe.

    easy child got a month of #1 and a week of #2 combined when I discovered she'd lied to me about being at so and so's then went somewhere else.

    easy child never did it again. Nor did Travis or Nichole even consider it after witnessing her punishment.

    I'm not saying this is what you should do. This is what I would and DID do.

    I can't tolerate a liar or a sneak.

  3. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    This is one of those nightmares I have. I really almost agree with Daisylover on this one. She would be a permanent fixture with me or husband. Hard work and no exceptions.

    Sorry you are going through this.

  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    If she were grounded, why was she out and about? I would have had her home before dark (preferably home all day). She and E could hang out at home and watch movies, or do each other's make-up or whatever, but I wouldn't have let difficult child go out, especially even close to dark. Earning privileges back - it would have been a different privilege.

    Maybe it's because I didn't have normal kids, but I've never allowed a 13 year old to be out after dark unsupervised. At 13, my other kids travelled to school with everyone else but were expected home on time. If they were going to be late (they missed the school ferry, for example) they had to telephone. We had a reverse charge account they could use from any public telephone box (one right next to the ferry wharf). And if I found out they had missed the boat on purpose, they would be punished each time they were late, for the nest month. The crime wasn't deliberately missing the boar, but lying about it.
    easy child took to meeting a friend one day a week at the wharf and would deliberately miss the boat to do so. She got caught because there was a pattern to her lateness - always the same afternoon a week that she missed the boat. So once her punishment was lifted, she would tell me when she was meeting her friend and I was OK with that. But the delay was only another hour, and the other disadvantage for her was, there was no bus home from the later ferry, she had to walk up the hill from the bay.

    You have already given her a habit of a certain amount of freedom, it is very difficult to permanently go backwards from there. If you have a curfew of midnight and suddenly you decide it's to be 10 pm from here on, it's very hard to enforce because there will be resentment.

    However, she has just handed you some really good ammunition - you gave her trust for one day, and she has broken it big time.

    I do think she has had more freedom than she can handle - she simply hasn't been responsiible with it.

    So the punishment now - you could make it a permanent "be home by dark" grounding until further notice. Special dispensation can be applied for but this will require honesty and safe, sound decisions. Failure to comply with the strict rules of special privileges (such as a sleepover or party at someone's house) will result in tighter restrictions including you being less inclined to give special dispensation in the future.
    You could also suggest she could work towards earning a curfew extension - she has to earn it with honesty and good behaviour on those nights when you give special dispensation. And YOU will need to check up on her constantly, to make sure she is telling you the truth.

    If she complains that all her friends will think she is a baby, for being guarded so well - tell her that this is the result of her bad choices. And if her friends do not understand this, then she has to find friends who will, because clearly those friends do not have the standards you require, of the people she is associating with.

    Other special dispensations she can earn are to be allowed to have a friend over, or maybe even two friends. But at 13, I wouldn't be happy with other kids in your home unsupervised.

    And they are my rules for a easy child kid. So you can imagine how much more strict I have been with difficult child kids!

    It has worked for us. And our kids haven't turned into social outcasts - if anything, they have grown up to have more awareness of what is appropriate/inappropriate, because they haven't been part of some of the really stupid things kids get up to when they wander the streets unsupervised when they're too young to make wise choices.

    My kids aren't perfect. They have done stupid things too. But the worst that difficult child 1 ever did was to go dueling in the park with a friend, using replica swords. Neither boy hurt each other but they ran into a pack of young thugs who took exception to the swords. The next day the thugs met up with them again and beat up difficult child 1 and friend. And difficult child 1 didn't tell me because he was too scared of the police getting involved - to have had the replica swords out of the house is a crime here. When I did find out, I pointed out that the fear of this he had been carrying, was his punishment - if he had told me I would have called him an idiot, but I also would have told him he was safe from the police if they didn't actually catch him with the swords out of the house, and if nobody was injured by them.

    difficult child 1 was 20 at the time. A lot more than 13.

    Sorry if I sound harsh about this, but there is a lot more you could restrict and right now she has given you ample cause to. Grab your opportunity and find out about what degree of physical restraint is legal in your state. Because frankly, I wouldn't be above installing a microchip in a kid behaving like this! (we have a system her in Australia where we can, if we choose, monitor our kids online to see where they are, and to also be notified if they go into an area we have defined ourselves as out of bounds - a really good system. It's done through a special mobile phone).

  5. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I was thinking the same thing as Marg.

    She did it again, because she was "grounded". but still able to go out wit her friends. That was not a very serious grounding.

    I agree with Daisy. And this time, Does not matter who for what reason "has to" be with your daughter. Let them find another friend to run around town with. IF you ground her, GROUND HER and mean it. And yes, include some slave labor.

    If you don't nip this in the bud now, while she is 13, you will be SO sorry when she turns 17.
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree with the others.

    Your main problem right now is your age is playing a factor here I think. You arent long out of your teens yourself so it may be a bit harder to come down on here when the age difference isnt all that great. Im sure she throws that up at you.

    Sorry this is going on. Its the pits.
  7. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Extend the grounding time and include no phone or computer (I would not go so far as removing TV in this case as you will end up the miserable one, a prisoner in your own home - at least in my experience).

    No exceptions.

    No matter what.

    She can cry, hate you, scream, etc. When she crosses the line of your sanity tell her she is about to get double the time for grounding.

    Remember not to take anything she says personally. You are not her friend and you do not care if she hates you. If it keeps her safe and alive, you will happily be her enemy.
  8. blb

    blb New Member

    I'm really liking Daisy's response, perhaps enough so to print it out in case I need to use it in a few years :smile:
  9. ck1

    ck1 New Member

    I agree with the others that she should be very close to you with no cell of easy child for a while. But, when she is allowed out again, I would not allow her to just wonder around with no plans. Plans need to be made and approved of before she leaves the house.

    You should have her write these plans down: where she's going to be, with who, and until what time, so that there is no room for miscommunication. Everything is very clear.

    Also, if she's going to be at a friends house, ask for the house number of the friend. Call the house before she goes to confirm parents are there. Also, when she calls to check in, have her call from the house phone so that you can see on the caller id that she really is where she says she is.

    If/when she complains about this, I would explain that HER actions made this necessary. These are natural consequences for not being honest with you about where she is and with who.
  10. Indianamomof4

    Indianamomof4 New Member

    I just want to add that I am so scared for my kids to grow up :frown: I know I too will be dealing with this stuff and it's scary to even think about.

    I agree with most everyone here. It's so hard to be so harsh when you love someone uncondionally, but it was her choice. That needs to be told to her over and over again. You are simply reacting to something she decided to do. Plain and simple.
  11. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I'm going to come from a different direction - please don't "boo" me off the board.

    My difficult children have many of the same issues as NNT's difficult child. wm will dig himself in so deep he cannot see daylight. And sees no reason to make good choices - he'll never work himself out of all the grounding, loss of computer/gameboy priviledges, phone, etc, etc, etc.

    When wm lived here & at group home, a family meeting is called when wm is in this deep. We do the same for kt. We give the tweedles time to express their feelings, concerns, etc over what is going on.

    As parents we ask what we can do to help. husband & I tell kt our biggest concern & suggest how we can work on it. kt has input as well. We then write out an agreement.

    Having said that, the slate is wiped clean. All groundings, privilege loss, etc is gone & we give kt a chance to start with a clean slate. (We are having to do this less & less. kt & wm are beginning to trust & at times, want to please us. Know that following the rules will make mom & dad happy & when parents are happy life is much easier.)

    NNT, I have to tell you - it really changes kt's attitude & she's learned to ask for help; she's also taken time to stop & think; especially since she has a friend & wants time daily to play with her. She knows that is a privilege & she can lose it with a rotten attitude & bad choices.

    Again - I know this isn't the popular idea. However, kids with an unstable background are always on survival mode. They have no reason to want to please their parents as parents couldn't be trusted - they were the ones who hurt them. Their ability to trust their primary caregivers is minimal at best.

    Living life in survival mode is constant fight or flight. Even in their calmest moments they are hypervigilant & always aware of what is going on around them. This is an exhausting life.

    As for kt, she has the cell phone; we have a plan where I alone can program the numbers she can call & numbers she can receive calls from; I can program text messaging limits (she doesn't have that privilege) & everything else. kt has learned to be responsible with her phone or she'll be down to 3 numbers - home, mom & dad's cell phones. Again, she knows this up front & it keeps her aware of her choices. kt has even come to me to ask me to block a number of a friend who is bothering her. She is trusting this part of my parenting.

    Just wanted to offer you a "new technique" to try.
  12. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I agree with most of what has been suggested. I would, however, make the grounding for less than 3 months. A month tied to an adult seems reasonable to me. And during this month, no visitors for any reason, no phone, no easy child unless for homework with an adult sitting right next to her at all times. Extra chores (mine once scrubbed the bathtub with a toothbrush) and the harder the better.

    I also would never (not just when "grounded") allow a 13 YO, let alone a 13 YO with autism, to just wander around and call in every 2 hours, especially when it is close to dark. It is one thing to be going to the mall for 2 hours, it is another to just go here and there.

    I would be seriously questioning the austistic diagnosis, even high-functioning Aspergers. She seems awfully capable of functioning in her world for a child with autism ... friends, willingness to lie, comfortable with no structure, etc. It may be time for a new evaluation and, probably, a new diagnosis.
  13. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    I'm with TimerLady on this one.

    Further, I think it's easy to over-rely on the cell phone as a connection to our children. Having a child check in by phone really isn't a means of supervision them. Too easy, as you know, for them to lie about where they are and what they are doing. If indeed we do decide to let them wander the town for hours, better they circle around and come home from time to time than just pick up the phone and call. That technique of having to come home to physically check in gets them away from places they aren't suppose to be. Often they won't go back after checking in simply because it's too far to bother or the desire to be there is gone.

    As for letting children wander the town for hours, I think there is a limit as to how many hours that should happen in any one day, especially without checking in physically with you. Your 13 year old exceeded that way before these problems started.
  14. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    I don't have much advice but lots of empathy, having gone through similar stuff with my difficult child 1 when she was that age. My husband and I both worked fulltime and I remember the summer she was 13 and I had no idea even what she was up to all day. I felt helpless and pretty much buried my head in the sand. And for her, taking things away, grounding, all that kind of thing had no impact anyway, she did whatever she wanted or she stayed in bed all day, depressed. There was no way I could win the battles for control because nothing meant as much to her as "winning"--i.e. computer privileges. You would have thought she could not live without the access to the computer. Good bargaining chip, right? Wrong...as soon as it was taken from her she just didn't seem to care anymore. She would not work to get it back.

    On a more encouraging note, she is okay now and I never thought I'd be able to say that. She works, is pleasant to be around, etc. I would never live with her again but she is self sufficient and seems happy and almost normal!

  15. neednewtechnique

    neednewtechnique New Member

    Our difficult child is not autistic. And she is VERY able to function in her world. I guess maybe it is true that my age has a lot to do with it, possibly because it has not been that long ago, and groundings and things like that are still pretty fresh in my mind, and I always remember that after the first couple times of missing out on things I wanted to do, I had learned my lesson, and since I was so active, it usually only took a couple days. So, I decided, a long time ago, before I even HAD children of my own, that if one of them got grounded, they would definitely miss out on the first few adventures to make the point, but then after that, if they had ways of doing some extra special things, that was a GOOD way to show that they WERE trying and would be able to earn themselves some free time. Also, as I mentioned, this was an extra special thing I allowed this time because E is like, her BEST friend and with the difficult day she was going to have, dealing with it being the anniversary of her dad's death, she NEEDED her friends to be there for her.

    As far as being out after dark, we normally will NOT allow her to just be out "walking around town" after dark, which is why she made the agreement that she would STAY at B's until I told her to be home, and that she would call before she left to let me know she was on her way home. This is a little town, and everywhere in town only takes 10 minutes to walk to, so if she called and said she was leaving, I KNEW that it would only take her 10 minutes, so if she was not back in 10 minutes, I would know something was up.

    As for the thought that she has "too much freedom", I really don't think she does. I promise, the normal is that she has to be home by dark, no matter what. But since she called and asked if she could specifically stay at one place, and told me what time she wanted to come home, I figured it would be okay. I also think that we were at a disadvantage having to work all day, because this gave her and E the day to do what they wanted, knowing I would not be around to check up on them (i do have some connections, so there are ways for me to find out what she is up to, even if I am not around) but it is always different when there is accountability, and if she had known all day long that I was sitting at home and could possibly check in on her at any point, things may have not had a chance to spiral out of control before we got home.

    Now what I am dealing with is, yes, she needs to be punished for lying, but more importantly, we need to figure out a system of how to help her earn back our trust. Have any of you ever used a "graduated grounding system"??? lol meaning that for like, 2 weeks they are 100% grounded, no chances to do anything, then after that two weeks, return the phone and the computer and allow her to have friends over here when we are home for a couple more weeks, then allow short trips to friends house for 1-2 hours at at time where I would drop her off and pick her up and speak to their parents, then after a few more weeks, allow her a little longer time to be out and let her walk and I just CALL the parents instead of driving her, etc.

    My question about that is, first of all, has anyone tried this with good resutls/bad results? Second of all, if we do this and stretch things out, how long should they be stretched out for? I was thinking 2 weeks for each "level"...but I don't know how many levels there should be, and how slowly or quickly I should add more priveledges back. Number three, if she DOES mess up and gets caught, do I enforce Zero-Tolerance and make her go all the way back to the beginning, or just back a few "levels" depending on the seriousness of the offense?

    I would love to hear some ideas on this, it kinda came to me in my sleep last night and sounded like it might be a good system to help her earn back trust.
  16. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    I used the parole method. I set a period for grounding but my son got time off for good behavior. It worked for us probably because we had no major behavioral issues until he started on the medications. Once the medications were controlling his behavior, no punishment worked.
  17. neednewtechnique

    neednewtechnique New Member

    See, and that is what we are doing now!!! She is able to get time off for good behavior, but this time, during her "time off" she got into MORE trouble!!!!
  18. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    Too much freedom for too long a time. She wasn't on parole, she was totally free for a day.
  19. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    This isn't time off for good behavior. This is by mutual agreement wiping the slate clean. Setting up guidelines to be followed (rules are the wrong word to use) with consequences (not punishment) for not following the guidelines.

    This is working as a team, if at all possible, to set up guidelines that difficult child can be successful at. Something you know & she knows she can do - giving her a feeling of accomplishment. difficult child can feel & know that she can make good, safe choices.

    The first set of guidelines were so ridiculously easy there was no way either one of them could fail. As they "conquered" those guidelines - other more challenging ones were added.

    Of course, the tweedles came to us at almost 7 years of age. We had a lot of catching up to do. A lot of re-teaching them & giving them many chances to redo that. My children still get 2 redo's before a consequence is given.

    This is thinking outside the box. Your difficult child isn't anywhere close to being in the box (my tweedles aren't either). We've had to be very creative in parenting kt & wm. Our children need to learn basics before we can move onto more sophisticated privileges & such.

    Please don't take this as an insult or a comment on your parenting. I know exactly how frustrated you are right now. It took me almost 2 years to break the "mold", if you will, & start over with less traditional ways of parenting.
  20. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member


    The graduated type of grounding you are talking about is recommended in a book by Buddy Scott called Relief for Hurting Parents: How to fight for the lives of teenagers.

    Here is what he proposes:
    Scott doesn't address things like computer usage but I think I would ban that until the grounding was up. difficult children seem to have a very hard time with handling computer usage responsibly.

    I tried this a couple of times with my difficult child but it didn't work very well. For one thing, she didn't have any trustworthy friends to let come to our house. They were all difficult children like her. Also, she would tend to go right back to the problem behaviors after the 30 days ended.

    My difficult child was older when we tried this, though. It might work for your difficult child since she is still young. It's certainly worth a try.

    Personally, I would go more with daisylover's approach.

    Oh, and one more thing, getting together and making a plan to lie to each set of parents that they will be spending the night at another friends house is very, very common. I didn't believe my difficult child unless I personally talked to the parent at the house she was supposed to be at. As she got older, I made her call me from the house phone at the friend's house that she was staying at instead of calling from her cell phone. The problem was that they would then take off after they called. difficult children are quite ingenious when it comes to making plans to fool parents.