Out of control teens

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by MamaX4, Apr 23, 2013.

  1. MamaX4

    MamaX4 New Member

    I just found this forum on a search and am so desperate for help, or just people to listen. I have two teens, 16 year old girl and 15 year old boy. My biggest issue today is my daughter. She is a junior in high school with a full ride on the line for a sport. She works so hard and does so well, but smartphones have destroyed her focus. Yesterday I had to shut off her service because of at least two classes that have failing grades currently and, as has happened in the past, her reaction is violent. Big hole in a wall, poured a water bottle over my husbands head, threw a brush, another water bottle and her phone at me. When she did, I actually was able to get it and sneak it out and hide it, which made things worse. We ended up having the police over because she would not stop. I have no idea what to do. I am trying desperately to keep her happy and allow e as much freedom as I can, but she takes complete advantage and still doesn't get the work done. I used to spend a lot of time yelling and being much more strict, but that wasn't working. Nothing is working. We cannot afford therapy or psychiatrist. I know that professional help is in need, but we cannot afford it. I can't talk to anyone I know about this because none of them realize how bad things are. Does anyone have any advice? I feel so alone and desperate in this.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I have an athlete daughter too and sports alone won't get her anywhere. And she isn't trying hard if she's failing two classes. I'm surprised they don't suspend her from sports until her grades are up.

    My #1 guess when a teen rolls out of control is drugs, not a nice thing to think about, but I have been there, been shocked, swore my daughter never would and my daughter was. This is my oldest daughter, who is now 28. The violence is very over-the-top not normal for a teenager her age and indicates she is possibly using drugs which are spinning her out of control. If she is not using drugs, then she is mentally ill and, yes, she needs help. You can go to the county mental health center...they have a sliding scale and let many people go for help free of charge. You can go to a church for pastoral counseling, if she is in any way religious and you think that may help. We have very little money too, and always did, but we did find people who would work with us for our daughter. Sadly, she would not cooperate though. At the very least, if your daughter won't either, YOU need therapy, free or not, so that you can cope better. All of us go a little nuts when our kids do.

    I have some questions that will give us a better idea of what is going on. How was she as a baby, infant and child? How is her home life? Did she suffer any hard times or trauma in her very early years? Is she in an intact home with mom and dad? If not, who is there? Any abuse happen to her? Is she biological or adopted? Has she EVER been diagnosed with anything or been put on any medication?

    Round Two: Do you monitor her cell phone and Face Book because if you don't, now is the time. You will not know exactly what kind of things she is into, if you don't snoop. We warrier moms are notorious snoops because we can't help our child if we don't know what is going on. I used to search my daughter's bedroom when she was out and that's where we first found out she smoked pot. For the longest time, we thought that was all she did. We had this "She has no time" and "Not my baby" attitude, which was naive. Now that she is clean, we know that she not only did more than pot and alcohol, but that she had done meth, downers, uppers, and even tried heroine. These kids are great at hiding when they get high...it is often when we are sleeping. They can also look us straight in our eyes when we plead to know what is going on and say, "I can't believe you don't trust me." Do you like your daughter's friends? They are an indication of what she is doing when you're not around. Gads, if she is getting into trouble because of her cell phone or the internet, take those weapons away from her and I don't care how loud she screams.

    Letting up on her won't help her. Perhaps trying to clamp down on her won't either and she may really act abusive toward you for doing it too...it's not pleasant to do that. It may not even work because it didn't work for me, but we felt we had to try and let her know how unacceptable we found her behavior. The money tree stopped once we knew about the pot and cigarettes. She got no money from us for anything after that. If she needed something, we bought it. She did get a job. I feel this helped her from getting worse. I do know she spent some of her job money on drugs, but also had to buy her own clothes etc. We bought healthy food and she ate with us, although she didn't have much of an appetite in her drug days. Coke kills your appetite. j

    No matter what is going on, you have a troubled child and until we know more, we don't know if she was born that way (most kids who get us to come here are) or if she had some very bad experiences or a little bit of both (my daughter had been raped on top of being adopted and born with a sensitive personality that made her an easy dupe for the "bad" kids). She did straighten out on her own after she no longer lived with us and I am very grateful.

    I am really sorry you are having so many problems. They don't have to last forever. God help me though, honey, you need to find a way...any way...to get her help, and you need to snoop around to find out exactly what is going on in her life. She isn't going to tell you.

    Big hugs and let us know more soon!
  3. MamaX4

    MamaX4 New Member

    Thanks so much for the response. She is not on drugs, I'm quite sure as my husband and I both used them in our youth and know what to look for. In fact, I do snoop, we have agreements about phone, Facebook, twitter, etc. and she is known as one that won't tough them.
    As for mental illness, it is there. As a child we got oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder diagnoses. Later on, ADD. She had tried a couple of medications. All of which made her far worse. She actually looked and acted like she was on drugs. We haven't tried any since about 12 years of age. We are in such a bind financially due to her softball, and it is the one thing she really loves and thrives in. Her grades at the last semester were good enough to be able to play in high school, but she already has one class to make up, and right now, she is almost to the point of it being to late to get them up this semester.
    She can do well, and will for periods of time, then all of a sudden she slips again. It is a regular occurrence.
    Our family consists of her two parents, I am her biological mom and my husband is her stepdad. She has three younger siblings, and her 15 year old brother has many of the same or similar issues. I myself suffer from anxiety and depression off and on and ADD. Their biological father was far worse, however. Was alcohol and drug addict that had been diagnosed with ADHD as a child, but I think a stronger diagnosis was in order, only he never sought help as an adult. Was in and out of jail.
    Our home life is pretty typical with four kids. I am a stay at home mom and my husband works. We cannot afford to add my older three to his medical insurance and we pay $200 a visit for my sons psychiatrist. It's already way too much. I've looked into what they can receive with medical and even began the intake process before, but it was terrible. Was going to be a lot of time and weren't likely to see a doctor and the environment was very uncomfortable for them. Seemed to be kids that were much more troubled, or that the troubles were much more obvious and it didn't seem like my kids fit in. I really need strategies or, really I just don't know what anymore. I feel like I've tried everything. She is so excited for college and I am so hopeful that it becomes a reality, but the things occurring have me really concerned. Literally to the point I can't eat today. I'm just sick over wanting to help. Thank you for anything you can suggest.
  4. MamaX4

    MamaX4 New Member

    I also forgot to add that she was never abused, but when se was very young she witnessed me being abused. Toddler age. She hasn't suffered any trauma. She was close to her biological father until age 2, and only saw him once again at age 5, and there's no more contact. She is very attention seeking. With peers, anyway. She is a very beautiful girl and seems to new to be told so by everyone. We compliment her plenty, but I notice her posting things on twitter or Facebook just looking for attention.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    What does s he post and how do you know it's not true?

    Has she ever had an evaluation?
  6. MamaX4

    MamaX4 New Member

    She posts thins such as her life is a wreck and nothing goes right for her. Bad day just got worse. Can't wait to get to college and leave all problems behind. Everything is bad. It's not that I think it's not true. I know she is feeling overwhelmed and I know she needs the attention. I try to give it to her. I just don't know how to help her feel better about herself. She has plenty of friends that she can text or call, but I think she wants everyone to see these. I know she's upset over a guy right now, so it may be him she is trying to get to. I just don't know. Its just lately that te negativity is constant. Usually it's her spending hours taking pictures until she looks right and post them. I know a lot of that is typical, but she seems to Take it to extremes. She was evaluated several years ago.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, the screaming, fighting and hole in the wall and abuse toward you for taking her phone isn't typical. Even my teen who took drugs didn't do that. A typical teen may cry or stomp to her room and slam the door or give you the silent treatment, but pour water over an adults head is over-the-top behavior and not something most teens would do.

    I know little about her beyond that, but that incident was not typical teen reactions.

    From your description, she sounds depressed, at the very least. I don't know what to tell you to do because I always feel it's smarter to get a professional involved when a child is acting out than to try to do it alone. And there IS free help...you don't seem open to it so I'm out of ideas... So I'll let others come along and post to ya :) Good luck!!!
  8. MamaX4

    MamaX4 New Member

    I think it's clear I'll have to figure out how to get help. I'm going to talk to my parents about financial help with it. Thank you.
  9. tammybackagain

    tammybackagain New Member

    one thing that help me when difficult child 1 was a teen was the Mental health agency, they helped and didn't have to pay anything. try calling them first. not sure if you have 211 where your at but if you call them they can direct you to help. you did the right thing calling the police and if she acts violent again ask them to take her to psyc hospital for evaluation. normally 72 hrs
  10. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    What subjects is she failing and are they regularly difficult for her? Could she be struggling with the work and be too proud to ask for help?

    When you take away her phone do you eventually give in to her or follow thru? I know I give in more than I should to avoid all the ugliness.

    Does she have abandonment issues from her dad not being involved? I was kind of similar as a teen.
  11. buddy

    buddy New Member

    You said she had no trauma, but seeing you abused is trauma. She also lost her dad...and given what her did, that must feel very conflicted. Maybe she learned early on to react with violence?

    I'm glad you are here. I've had water poured on me...so have teachers for that matter. Our situation is very different but of agree there are serious issues going on.

    Check her phone...kids use way more than Facebook and twitter because they know parents are monitoring those.

    Have you ever read The Explosive Child by Ross Greene? That may help with both kids...

    Nice to meet you....hope you check in often.
  12. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Noticed this on a re-read of the thread... and it isn't uncommon.
    Somehow, school and/or medical communities understand when you "cannot" do something... you cannot hear, or see, or walk, or whatever. Black and white, on or off.
    But... so many kids actually CAN do a whole lot of things...
    - in ideal situations
    - until they burn out from the effort of working to that level
    - except when tired, hungry, frustrated or something else is out of whack in their day
    - etc.

    Just because they CAN, doesn't mean that when they CANNOT, it's because they "will not" - but that is the assumtion out there. I'm wondering if that is a factor? Is there a pattern to her challenges? Do you keep a journal/log?
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Agree with IC. Also need to throw in that many of our difficult child kids seem to cycle behaviorally. They do ok for a while, but they can't maintain and then they really mess up and devastate us because we thought things had improved forever. In a way, it seems many have mood dysregulation where they do well for a few weeks or even months and then fall apart. This isn't normal either. It needs attention. The effort of maintaining alone may be too much for some difficult children. All depends on what the core issues are...

    Yes, please do keep us posted.
  14. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    She can not handle having a phone as evidenced by her reaction. Do not return it for at least 3 months....with a new list of guidelines when she does get it back.