Serious help needed!18 yr old, now what?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by insanemomoffour, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. insanemomoffour

    insanemomoffour New Member

    I am sooooo tired of being a mother to my 18yo. I know by the time you are done reading this you will think I am a horrible person. But I am sitting her crying and don't know what to do. The most obvious would be to just tell him to leave. 1. he has no where to go 2. it will turn into a loud possible violent scene 3. will traumatize the other 3 children in the house further that the last 10 yrs have and 4. give me time, i know there is more.

    My 18 yr old is diagnosis with ADHD/ODD and one psychiatric once said Bipolar. Sometimes when I feel a little leve headed I feel that maybe one side of his brain doesn't fire to the other. He doesn't "get the point", he doesn't see the cause/effect. I have a 2 story house. His room is on the upstrairs level, then there is the main level and a finished basement. The kids are allowed to sleep in the basement during summer, sleep overs and weekends. This child still pees in the bed. I have had him checked out by a multiple doctors and all say it is not a medical issue.

    Husband swears it is laziness. For a long time, I argued this point. Aprox a month ago, we noticed urine around the sump pump drain in the basement which is in the exercise room. Addressed this and of course he didn't do it. Last week my husband noticed that the lid to the water softener tank where the salt is suppose to be (haven't been able to afford salt for it so it has not been in use) is repeatedly off. Husband said it smells like urine. One morning I went in the basement and the lid was off again. And so I said( to all 3 of my boys) I don't know who is peeing in the tank but it is nasty. He quickly said no one is peeing in it, he dumped some juice in it. That is not possible. No juice. So then I explained how that circulates through the house. Oh didn't know that! Ugh!!!!

    He had bought a air pistol(b.b.gun) 2 wks ago. He knows they are not allowed because of horrible accident that happened to me when a child. Lied, showed it to his siblings, shot it with his siblings present....all while lying to his parents about it. He was then confronted and told not allowed and that it had to go or he did. "well, it's not going anywhere". It then was handed over to my husband. Then not even a week later, he bought another one and even took his 10 yo brother with him. He did have a job until 2 wks ago, when he got fired. That gun got returned to the store. So, he disobeyed, disrespected, lied and also influenced his younger brother(whom worships the ground he walks on). What i don't know is how to handle this with out it going all wrong.

    Police at my house has been a horrible issue in years past. My other children have seen husband and son fight, knives pulled from 18 yo. The kids I am sure may suffer from PTSD at some point. I just want to avoid as much as possible.

    please help!
  2. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Nope, not a horrible mom at all. Just one who is worn out. Join the club. ;)

    I would suggest you post over in the Parent Emeritus section as well - those parents have been thru it and will probably also be able to give you some good advice.

    I wish I had some advice for you - when mine hit 18, he was still in a Residential Treatment Center (RTC). Funding got cut and he had no where to go. After a lot of hemming and hawing on our part (and more tears than I can tell you), husband and I finally were able to tell difficult child that he could not move back home on a permanent basis. I think it was the hardest thing we've ever done, truly. We said he could come for 2 months max, get a job, save $$, and move out to his own place. He refused because it wasn't long enough (nothing would have been long enough). So he's stumbling along on his own. Did get some help from the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) in terms of finding a place to live. Gets most his meals at shelters. It's ugly and heartbreaking but... like you, we have other children in the house who have already endured more than they should have had to because of difficult child's behaviors.

    He's not abiding by your rules. Personally, I'd set a moving date. October 1 - he has to leave. Where he goes is *his* choice - get a job, save $$, get an apartment/room/SRO/whatever. Or... don't get a job and figure it out the harder way. If you can get husband to deal with it while you take the other kids away for the day, or vice-versa, that might protect them if it gets ugly.

    You might also need to check with local police department about the legality of kicking him out. We would have had to actually evict him (had he come home and then refused to leave), even though he would not have been paying rent. Sheriff, court order, the whole 9 yards. You need to make sure you do it the right way.

    You might check to see what services are available for him. Case management, job support, shelters, etc. I did get the phone numbers for those types of agencies together for my kid, but of course he refused to utilize them. Can drag a mule to water but can't make him drink. I still have the numbers - but he will have to make the calls.

    It sounds cold and cruel, but he's 18, an "adult", and it's time for him to get on with- the business of living his life. For us, I just could *not* see going back to the way it was (violence, opposition at every step of the way, cops and ambulances and hospitals) and as awful as it was to say "it stops now", we finally had to.

    A gentle hug to you.
  3. insanemomoffour

    insanemomoffour New Member

    thanks for your time. I appreciate it!
  4. MyFriendKita

    MyFriendKita Member

    I've been told that ADHD/ODD is often really bipolar disorder that has been misdiagnosed (which is what happened with my son). You say one doctor diagnosis your son with bipolar disorder, and I see from your signature that you have bipolar disorder as well (which makes it more likely that your son does, indeed, have the disorder). If your son does have it but isn't on medications for it, I don't think you'll get very far in trying to force him to change his behavior. The good news is that the right medications can make a world of difference. I had to force my son to see a doctor and get medication. If he had not complied, there was no way we could have lived with him. In his case, I own the car he drives, so the deal was no medications, no car. It was rocky for a few months, but he has calmed down considerably. And no one will think you're a bad parent--during the worst times with my son, I wished he hadn't even been born. Now I truly do think he's a blessing (and after going through his teen years, I never thought I would say that!).
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2009
  5. insanemomoffour

    insanemomoffour New Member

    I appreciate the encouraging words. It actually makes me sick to feel this way about my own child. I know that putting him out at this point would make things worse. I don't think he is stable as a normal 18yr old. Getting him to take his medications is another thing. we went to see his psychiatric, he actually wanted to go and the only medication he wants to try is the concerta, not the wellbutrin. The dr did mention to me (after difficult child) left the room that we may want to visit the idea of abilify at some point but still wouldn't say "bipolar". This is draining....
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It sounds like you have had a really hard time with him. So many of our kids are really hard to love, even harder to like. You are not a bad mom, you are a fed up and angry one. I would be too.

    Now is the time you MUST focus on the other kids. THEY deserve a home that is not a war zone and they deserve to NOT be held hostage to this man. Your son PEED in the waater softener tank that all of the water in the house goes through. He knew it. No way he didn't. Just no way. It pretty much is like the kids fixed bowls of cheerios and he peed in them. Even if you were not using the system it still is a major act of vandalism (at the least).

    Call the police and see if you need to give him 30 days notice of eviction. If he does get that then type it up and print it. Tape it to the door of his room and take photos of that so you have proof. That is what the Sheriff does.

    Then boot him out. Let him figure it out. You have other children who need your time and attention and protection from him.

    My last straw, the one that made me think it is time to pull the plug, was when he bought a SECOND gun. They are both weapons. Even "just" bb guns can kill, take out an eye, or cause major injury. He is a clear danger to your other kids.

    Get the list of the local dept of human services so he can go see about housing and food assistance. Maybe they have transitional services he is eligible for.

    Just please please please save your other kids from him. I knew itis so hard,, but it is and must be the highest priority. He will hurt someone if he hasn't already done so. Chances are that after he is out for good you will learn heartbreaking things he has done to the other kids.

    I am so sorry.
  7. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I like and concur with what the others have said. Surely, you should not blame yourself for these things. You might take any and all opportunities to express your love and concern for your son.

    However, please be assured that you have every right to expect peace and safety within your home.

    Is your 18 yo seeing a mental health professional currently? Is he taking medication? Perhaps he needs to be seeing both a psychiatrist for medications and a therapist. (by the way, Abilify was a very helpful medication for our daughter. It upset her stomach the first few days and she had to take it with Pepto Bismal. After that, she was fine. For her, a helpful medication).

    Does he get fired from jobs a lot? How quickly can he get another job? Even part time work? Does he have any interest in taking classes?

    You might explore his interests and help him with these things.

    I think I would tell him that at 18, he is a young adult and in order for him to stay in your home he has to show respect and he has to be productive. This means following certain rules and either working or going to school.

    If he has Bipolar disorder, perhaps you might ask that he only works part time or go to school part time. However, each one of us, should be productive. Additionally, if he is productive, it will make him feel better about himself and he wont have time to be destructive.

    Perhaps you and your husband should privately discuss this and then sit your son down and explain changes you would like to see take place.

    If he can not abide by house rules and can not be productive, I would seriously explore what social services are avialable in your community, ask your son to make arrangements to live somewhere else and hand him a list of places that might be able to help him.
    Lasted edited by : Aug 14, 2009
  8. insanemomoffour

    insanemomoffour New Member

    well folks, thanks for the advice. Unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to place any of it in motion. Before he left tonight we had words. Something as simple as lying about where he put his towel after getting out of the pool. Then he was cussing/fussing about he couldn't find his hair gel and that he swears he can't have anything in the bathroom without someone taking his stuff. I then said that he didn't even want to go there. He asked what? I said as much as he goes in other people's stuff and just takes it for example taking his father's clothes (down to underwear) in front of his friend but not about the underwear. He then flipped out that I called him out in front of his friend. Then he left cussing and fussing again. A couple hours pass and he texts me to see if this other friend of his can spend the night. I first said no. That went back and forth for a while. Finally, I said if he wants to come home and clean his room (since it too smells like urine) that they can sleep in there. Then it just got uglier. I finally told him that if things were so bad here he could come get his things and leave. He did show up aprox 30 mins later with his friend. He took the xbox360, some clothes and a blanket. The xbox is the families and that became a struggle. I just finally said take it, if that is all it will take for him to leave. Go. Now, comes the part where we gave him a car for graduation. However, it came with a 90 day grace period, pending he follow certain rules. Of course some of those even have been broken. He took off with the car, I told him that I would report it stolen. He said I wouldn't. I want to give him a chance to get his **** together. His father wants to go upside his head. After I slammed the door (once I got tired of hearing I don't do nothing for him and I am worthless and I have been no type of mother to him since he was born....), he started bashing the door. Breaking the door frame... ugh!!! He left.

    medications? Stopped taking them a once school got out. He is suppose to attend orientation tomorrow for the community college. We will see if he goes. I was suppose to go with but of course I am worthless so I will not be attending.

    Just in case you are wondering. husband is at work. He works 7 days on, 7 days off. So after talking him down, I said I think we should stand by my word and say good bye and good luck. If the car and game system is soooooo important to him, he can have them. Not worth the added ****. Neither worth much. Besides, he made need somewhere to sleep.

    ok, it seems as if I am together. But my heart is breaking!
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Hang in there. You're not a bad person at all.

    However... I do think you've got into the habit of saying no, ten giving way because it's easier. And he knows this and so continues to nagm, whine and push your buttons until he gets what he wants. This is NOT doing anybody any favours (including yourself) even in the medium term. Certainly not in the long term.

    Taking the family X-Box? Not on, not at all. Besides, where is he going to plug it in? He needs to be focussed on getting shelter, getting food, getting some security. It rarely comes with a power point especially if he's not paying that power bill. If he's playing games (wherever he's got to) then he's not getting his life together.

    If he gets unpleasant about taking thr X-Box (or any other situation) you call the police on him, ask them to supervise his departure with only his own possessions.

    Someone said, "I've been told that ADHD/ODD is often really bipolar disorder that has been misdiagnosed (which is what happened with my son)" ... Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) is another diagnosis often mislabelled as ADHD/ODD. So there can be a number of possibilities. It needs to be pinned down, but the older a patient is, the harder it is to really define the diagnosis. We all adapt to how we have to cope. It's not necessarily being sneaky about things, it's just how we learn to adapt. And the more a kid adapts to their own different way of functioning, the harder it is to really assess it.

    You need to get harder, not softer. By that I mean, you need to stick to your principles and not bend. But tat doesn't mean you don't have anything to do with him - not at all. He needs support, but he can still have that support even if he lives away from home. But if he is to stay in the home, he has to follow ground rules. You need to have these ground rules written down, laminated and pinned up somewhere highly visible. ALL household members live by these rules. They are standard household rules that he will need if he is ever to share accommodation with anyone anywhere.

    1) Tell people where you are going and when you will be hoe, especially if you will be here/not here for a meal.

    2) Pull your weight and take your turn at chores.

    3) Your own space is your own problem unless it becomes a household health issue/vermin problem. Then you have to clean it up.

    4) Communal space is to be respected and not fouled. If you have an accident, you clean it up.

    5) Show the same respect to other householders, that you require from them. Always.

    You might need to make the rules more specific. Such as teaching each kid how to use the washing machine and making sure they all take a turn helping to do the washing. Ditto with cooking, shopping, cleaning. A kid who fouls the floor has to learn how to clean it up. And not just mopping it, it has to be cleaned up so it is sanitised and smells removed.

    He could have sensory issues re the bedwetting. At his age, a kid like tat would get aggressive and deceitful about it, using bravado to cover up embarrassment and low self-esteem over it. I can't imagine friends will continue to happily give him couch room if he wets the couch every night!

    Another rule we insisted on for difficult child 1 when he finished school - he had to either do a course, or do a job, either paid employment or volunteer work. His choice. I helped him find a course and to find a job. But nobody stays if they're not productive.

    ANy damage done has to be fixed. By him.
    difficult child 3 slammed a door at grandma's house and the force of the slam broke a small window. So husband made difficult child 3 work beside him to fix it. Again, not in any sense of punishment, but consequences. The window was broken, it's not grandma's fault so she shouldn't have to do without her window. difficult child 3 broke the window even though he didn't mean to, so difficult child 3 has to work to fix it. But he hasn't the skills - so zDaddy will help. difficult child 3 had to measure the space, write it all down, help Daddy saw a piece of wood to fit in (or help pay for a piece of glass) then help put it in place. It went way beyond punishment but it was still consequences. However, difficult child 3 felt a sense of pride in the finished job, although I know every time he looks at it he remembers, "Don't slam doors in a temper!" We oonly replaced the glass with a sheet of timber, so it still doens't look as good as it used to. But at least it's keepnig the draught out and the place is secure again.

    You have to be firm and consistent, or you will find the younger kids following their brother's example as they get older.

    And you don't want that!

  10. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I'm so very sorry.

    A couple of things that might not make a lot of sense at the moment....

    Try not to go into the mode too often or too quickly that "this is not worth the effort."

    Of course, with your husband gone for 7 days (are these really long hours or far away?) you might not have good support for long periods of time, making things really rough. There could be times that you will have to out of self preservation.

    Try your best to detach emotionally. There is a good book called Boundaries...the author's last name is Cloud. Detachment is vital.

    We all need to parent with control and limits (boundaries). We can show our children that we care for them as human beings unconditionally. However, as hard as this is to bare, love is a verb. It requires action. This goes for everyone...even children. It is not unconditional. Children get much more leeway from their parents. It is a gift. However, it does have its limits.

    Your child is in control of his choices no matter what he feels. He should not let his life be controlled by out of control emotions.

    Likewise, you can control your emotions. Sure, this feels crummy. You can detach.

    Set up a that really should have been there in the first place. Especially now at age 18, the boundary must be there.

    Your son is 18....he is out of control. He needs to feel the consequences to his inappropriate behaviors. Let him feel them. You might help him here and there, especially if he makes an appropriate request, but that's about it. Additionally, it seems like a very good idea to help him with medical needs.

    You can do your best not to sympathize for him. You might empathize that he has these problems...that is all. Understand that he is in a bad place psychologically. Offer him medical care. But still lay down the rules.

    If he has bipolar illness (and it certainly sounds like he might), this is a permanet situation. He will have to get very use to seeing a physician regularly, seeing a therapist often and using his own techniques to monitoring his emotions. This requires effort/action. He might as well start now. Additionally, you might as well NOT be in the cross fire...get out of this cross fire asap...refuse to be in it.

    Please do your best to enjoy your husband and other children in the house, You deserve personally to feel happiness despite this difficult situation with your son and the rest of your family deserves it too.
    Lasted edited by : Aug 15, 2009
  11. insanemomoffour

    insanemomoffour New Member

    thanks everyone way the replies!

    husband works a local job but it is overnight except weekends where he is gone from Friday until Monday am. He works in a group home. This is for 7 days straight.
    difficult child did send a text message shortly after the blow up saying he was sorry but he had to get out he can't adjust and once again how i change when dad is gone. I stay on him to clean up after himself and hold him accountable for his countless lies. It seems as if he just defaults to lies, over simple stupid things.
  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I'm wondering if you and husband are just not enough on the same page. It would be very difficult for you to be, of course, given the work situation. When you're on your own trying to hold things together, you try to clamp down hard. Then husband comes back in and tries to resolve things and play peacemaker and make you soften up or lighten up a bit - it would be confusing for the kids. But I suspect difficult child, forall his complaining about it, has been using it too, to get round you.

    If it's at all possible, difficult child might be better off living away from home now. You can still be a support for him (as much as he lets you) but maybe this way he will learn (fast) how to get on with other people; that it's not jusy you making demands on him, but anybody he lives with will be hard on him. harder than you, most likely.

    Sometimes our kids have to leave home before they can really learn, or appreciate us.

  13. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Welcome. I have not experienced your exact problems...just a couple of them spread out among the various kids. My gut tells me that he is not appropriately diagnosed and medicated. on the other hand my gut tells me that he is not going to accept a diagnosis and take medication either. Bummer.

    Over the many years I have been part of this cyber family a number of members have had very similar problems. Many have changed the locks on the doors once their difficult child has opted to leave. Many have notified the difficult child in writing that he/she is no longer welcome to share the family home.
    Many have put together contracts that had to be signed and adhered to before the difficult child could have an option to return home.

    I'm sorry it is so difficult for you. Getting on the same page (sometimes writing it helps) with you husband is really important. Explaining to the siblings that difficult child has to be on his own for awhile etc. etc. "can" help make them feel secure at home and not like traitors to their big brother. Sadly, you and husband have to agree on consequences for now and the future or it just won't work. The younger children do deserve to live without fear and trauma.

    I don't envy you but like the rest of our cyber family I will be hear to listen to you any time you need to vent. We do help each other. Hugs. DDD
  14. insanemomoffour

    insanemomoffour New Member

    Usually husband and I are reversed, that is once husband is fed up enough. Then 4th of July hits. I stay in the battle from the beginning to end, hold him accountable and stay on him until a chore is finished because difficult child gets side railed easily. For example, leaving the lawn mower sitting in the middle of the back yard to jump in the car and leave to go "hang". I think that our plan is to say this is not his home anymore. husband and I have tossed up the idea to talk to a couple of people to see if difficult child can stay with them for a while, but then I think if he is grown, he can make those accomadations hiself. He can take the car, even though our name is still on it, he is on our insurance and cell phone bill. My thought is give him 30 days to get a job and establish things and then cut it off. I will put the block on the cell phone though so that he can't go over the minutes as I know he will. Then if he requests to move back, IF we even consider it, it will be under strick restrictions for example medications, rules and chores. period!
  15. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I would put that block on the cell phone asap.
    You might want to find out what your legal responsibilities are if your difficult child gets into a serious car accident.
    If there is some communication going on, perhaps you can work out certain compromises if he is able to find a job with-i thirty you have mentioned.
    This sounds really, really tough...I'm very sorry.
  16. insanemomoffour

    insanemomoffour New Member

    he at least went to his college orientation this morning. husband text him to see what time it was and he texted back he was there now. I was suppose to go with but I didn't want to send a mixed message that all was ok. If he needs help with it, once he chills out I will help, from a distance. You can't bite the hand that feeds you.
  17. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Hi Mom of 4,

    Not Mom of 3 most times and this one kid that yo-yo's in and out of your life - Mom of 4. But it sure seems like Mom of 3 & a yo-yo doesn't it? At this point you are really at a crossroads and so is your #1 son. At 18 physically and about what maybe a 15/16 yo. mentally at best? It does break your heart to see him not have the behaviors of other 18 year olds around him. That's tough. What I'm going to say to you further is going to be tougher....(hands rhino skin coat)

    You said this has been going on since he was roughly eight years old? In that time there are other children coming into the home. Three others in the last ten years. While it's not fair to #1 son to say "You have to go." How fair is it to the other three that don't have a choice on where they could go? They absolutely have a right to live in a safe, non-chaotic environment, and so do you, and so does your husband. I am not telling you to tell your son to get out. I did not put MY son out in the streets without a place to go and I couldn't tell anyone else to do that either, but what I am going to suggest to you is that you hear it from a professional. I think it would be a great idea to find a family therapist and YOU go. Not you and the #1 son - he's not interested. Not you and the other 3 kids. Maybe you and the husband...if he's so inclined. But at least you. You came here looking for help, guidance, understanding - and hey - we're supportive, and goodness knows by now I'm sure we could get degrees, but we're not professionals. If you have less than no money - call mental health and tell them you are a family in severe crisis, trying to avoid police involvement and need IMMEDIATE appointment and beg to be seen. If that doesn't work call around and tell family therapists the same thing and if you have medicaid ask them if they will take that or if you have insurance - or if you don't have either - BEG them to see you for free.

    The next thing I would probably do is file for Social Security Disability for your son. If he has a mental health background of being seen by psychiatrists, or doctors and has had a diagnosis - you have a shot of getting him disability. Do it now while he's still interested in attending school. Do it now while he has a history of problems, run ins with the law and history of loosing jobs. You can file on line. If he gets it? Good - that's some money and it opens some doors to other housing he could afford. IT's not the Ritz - but it's not the I-95 underpass either.

    Do you have written house rules? Are they posted or just understood? Do you have written consequences? You're the boss- you can amend and change, add or delete any time. You can also have written rules and chore charts. If the tank to the hard water softener lid comes off - Duct tape the thing shut. If the drain in the basement is getting peed in? Cover the drain with some light colored fabric and find out from a local plumber if you can buy some kind of drain cover or filter that would show the pee.

    If you intend on allowing your son back in the house at this point? FAMILY MEETING with YOU, husband and #1 son....WRITE OUT THE RULES, WRITE OUT THE CONSEQUENCES...and post them---without exception. IF this rule is broken - THIS WILL questions - YOU ARE NOT A BOY - YOU ARE A YOUNG MAN. THIS IS OUR HOME - you live in it. OUR RULES are to be followed or you are out - This can include going with you to family therapy, earning money around the house, being more responsible taking out the trash, raking leaves...washing your specific.

    If you intend on allowing him back in the house ONLY because you feel sorry for him and have no intentions of doing anything other than living like you've been living because you have no energy to do anything but continue like it's been going - because he texted you and says "I'm sorry" then just re-read what you wrote to us and repeat when you son cycles again or doesn't get his way or the next time ask him to do something in YOUR home, and continue repeating. If nothing changes....nothing changes.

    If you intend on allowing him back in the house but don't want him to stay, and it's on HIS terms? Then do like SLSH suggested - and give him a time limit - October 1st move out date....if he doesn't show any signs of moving - get boxes on 9-30-09 and pack his junk for him, set it on the lawn on 10-1-09, change the locks and write a note that says I love you---but. Then let him deal with it and do not let him back in. The more "chances" you give him the LESS you are helping him in this situation.

    I'm sorry there really aren't many more answers than this. When we were going through this and who knows - any day we still could - our son is 19 on Tuesday...I kept thinking if there was just a place like an entire TOWN for kids like ours....but unless you count prisons - there really isn't so we have to push them and it hurts - and it isn't easy and we've already had to endure so many heart breaks from unnormal lives with them - that it really just does NOT seem fair....but when we do have a seemingly normal moment - WOW do we appreciate it more than most huh?

    Hang in there - Keep us updated...:angel3:
  18. insanemomoffour

    insanemomoffour New Member

    actually he had previously ssi-disability but the first 6 months of the past 8 were great! So then it came time for his psychiatric testing(which showed no problems) and then renew ssi in the adult realm, that I thought hmmmm? maybe he is finally getting it together and didn't continue. I actually have the questionaire in my office to fill out that now seeing the cycling again I will decide to fill out. I didn't want to continue the ssi because I knew he would blow the money. But now I think it would be a support tool for him to move on and I am sure he could then qualify for some low income housing or something like that.

    I am washing all the wet/peed on blankets that he has hidden in his room and then I think I will wash his dirty laundry and pack it up for him. I won't pack up his belongings quite yet. He can make arrangements to come and get those.

    Thanks again everybody!! It is so nice talking with people who know somewhat what I am going through and the heartbreak also. Tough love has always been something I prepared for. So now it is time to use it.

    I will be back later to update.
  19. compassion

    compassion Member

    Hi, in my experince, my difficult child has very similar behavior, espeically when manic. She has bipolar disorder. I have gotton much support and education on CABF (Child and adolscent bipolar foundation) I would read as much as you can on biploar,esically the mainc stages. In my experince, resoning, tough love DO NOT work in mainic stage.
    Antipyscoic (abilify( and mood stabilizer (lactimal) has helped some but she stil lcyles a lot.
    It is very positve that he went to the ocmmunity college. IN my expeirnce, like you stated, these youg peopel are very far behind developmentally, I beleive in guicance, supports, firness, but realistic expectations.
    The antisocial behvior, I have experienced that a lto with my difficult child. It is ten times worse wihen she is unstable. The adherence to medications has been essential.
    Seeing a board cetified child/adolscent pychiatrist with lots of experince with bipolar was important.
    I focus on what I call "proscoial" involebemnt". Currently it is gettign her to a diversion program (outpatient) Aug. 24.
    The boudnaries, etc. etc. are all my experince with the bipoar adolsacent,espeiclaly when unstable. Expeectations like leeting us know wheare you are, donot work, in my experience. We make consistaent contact daily, focus on medication adherence and food.
    It is bvitla to be realistic. Take care of you, do something for you daily.
    In my experience, there is ressitance to treatment by the young person. It has been helpful for me and my husband to see psycologist,family therapist, behavior analsyt (we have 5hours per week currently) to help and support US. It is essential to find someone that somewhat underatands this as a brain disease and not simply a discipline problemm or rebellion. Compassion
  20. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We set up a sepcial bank account with difficult child 1's cooperation. When difficult child 3 is 16 and qualifies for disability payments we will do the same thing with him. It required difficult child 1's cooperation but he knew he's not great with managing his own money. He's actually learned a lot from this process.

    What we did - we noted what day the payments went to hisaccount. For a whilewe would ask him to hand over his card for three days around tat date. Then we would give his card back to him. Over those days, several tings happened in sequences.

    1) the money went into his account in full.
    2) A couple od days elapsed to make sure it was all processed and the bank paperwork was all in place.
    3) Most of it was siphoned out to an investment account. The investment account was set up in difficult child 1's name but with three signatories, difficult child 1 and any other to sign. It was an account which paid out higher interest mothly into the account but not if there was anywithdrawal in that month and there had to be at least one deposit. Since we had fortnightly deposits and lirttle chance of withdrawal for difficult child 1, te account built up fast.

    When we handed his card back to him, he knew that any money he could access using his card, was fair game. That was his allowance for the fortnight. He often spent too much and had nothing left for the rest of the fortnight, but he did learn.

    We set tis up with difficult child 1's cooperation, though. We asked him how much per fortnight he thought he would need, to indulge his interests and go out with friends. We discussed it, made sure he was realistic. Then we set the limits accordingly.

    A few months before his wedding we put daughter in law on the signatory list. When difficult child 3 had his nasty car accident (he was unhurt mostly, so was the other driver, but he was uninsured and it was looking like bankruptcy) they had to get at the money in his investment account quickly, so he and daughter in law were organising it. It had been getting whittled away anyway because they simply weren't earning enough to live on. I beleive daughter in law has put a small amount of it aside to pay for a replacement car for difficult child 1 which he is still entitled to do even if he does have to declare bankruptcy after all.

    The thing is - we talked about it, we set it up as a team. difficult child 1 was never able to come back to us and say, "You made me lock away too much of my income." Because HE set the amount. But coping with the neceesary paperwork - he couldn't do it without our help.

    But now, he can handle paperwork. he can organise things. he's had to learn how, and we realise that he began learning way back when he was still at home. We just never realised it.

    Your son's bedwetting may be a sensory thing. But while he's awake during the day and not using a toilet, that is selfishness. Yes, I've lived with a small boy who was scared to use toilets away from the home, but at home it was familiar and he used the toilet. He also had accidents in his sleep, or sometimes got caught up in a game and forgot, but to actually do it in the wrong place knowingly? Not on. That's wilfulness.

    I agree with Star about duct tape and blocking things up, because if you can make it difficult enough, then it will be less trouble to do the right thing. Doing the wrong thing shouldn't be too easy.

    On the subject of letting people know where you are, or at least whether you will be home for dinner - we insist on that for every person under the roof. Me, husband, any kid, any kid's friend, any house guest. It's a household courtesy thing. We've always had easy compliance. Perhaps when the kids see that we do it too, they relax and don't see it as us tracking their movements. But it is most important tat te parents start to do this first.
    Example: difficult child 3 is playing computer games in front of the TV. I say to him, "I'm just going down to the shops to get some milk. I'll be back in half an hour."
    Now let's say down at the shops I run into a friendand she says, "Let's go have coffee."
    After about half an hour especially if it looks like I'm going to be at least another half hour or maybe more, I will call home and let difficult child 3 know that my plans have changed a little.

    There is a flip side to this. difficult child 3 then might say (or call independently) to say, "Have you left the shops yet? Because I just used the last slice of bread, could you get more while you are there?"

    That is another household rule for us - when you use the last of something, or with most things when you open a new packet of something, it immediately goes on the shopping list. So I buy corn chips to make nachos, but if difficult child 3 scoffs them then there's none left for nachos. So when difficult child 3 eats them (which he does) I find his scrawl on the shopping list "corn chips".
    A smaller kid who can't reach the shopping list has to ask someone else to write it for them.

    If you ever had to share accommodation, then try to think back to the house rules you had, and develop something like tihs. If you have mid-teen or adult children, they are likely to need this training. They are also likely to resent being treated as children (as they see it) which is why the rules must also apply to the parents. To EVERYBODY. That is when you are more likely to get compliance.

    Hang in there.