Advice Please - Teenager that will not help themself

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by lnavmiller, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. lnavmiller

    lnavmiller New Member

    I have a teenager that has been diagnosed with ODD, Bipolar, ADHD. She has been to psychiatrists, counselors and has spent time in a behavioral health center. I am struggling with how to get her to take school seriously. She seems addicted to talking and attention. She thrives on talking on the phone within class and on social networking sites. She is never on time to class and is failing everything. Her teachers are irritated with her behavior and are requesting she be removed from their class. She has already failed 4 classes from 9th grade and now she is failing 6 of her 7 classes. Always an excuse and always the teachers fault. Saying no or taking things away triggers manic episodes that are getting harder to deal with. Her defiant behavior is out of control. I have a 7 year old that is starting to mimic her behavior.

    I am a single parent with no support system. Father is out of the picture and no extended family to lean on. Please help. I just want my daughter to realize how important her education is before it's too late. Any advice would be appreciated as I feel like I am alone in this.
  2. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Hugs, and it sounds like she is determined to do what she wants. What kind of professional diagnosed her? Does she take any medications?

    If she cannot use her phone appropriately, take it away. Disconnect the service if you cannot get it away from her. If she wants to have her phone, make her earn it back.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome. You're not alone anymore, not here.

    Does your daughter have an IEP? If not, I really think she needs to have one. She should certainly qualify if she is failing all her classes and has so many diagnosis.
  4. keista

    keista New Member

    Welcome to the board!

    My first question is: Who the heck is she talking to during school hours? Shouldn't all her friends also be in school?
    Does the school have a phone policy? If they don't, they should. Our phone policy is district wide, and states that phone use is absolutely NOT permitted during school hours. If there is no policy, I'd be taking her phone, or figuring out how to have the service restricted during school hours. This is a bit trickier to do if she has a job and is actually paying for her own phone, but I didn't get the sense that this is the case.

    Is she on medication? Is she taking it like she should? Does she have an IEP? If not, why not?

    The only suggestion I can make is to start preparing her for what will happen when she turns 18. In my house, kids will either be working full time or going to school full time, or a combination. Otherwise, they are out of the house! Simple. Anything else that pops up (drugs, alcohol, sex, whatever) will be dealt with when it happens. What's important to you? What will you expect from her as an adult? Start laying that groundwork in her mind NOW. Those expectation will be easier for her to reach if she works harder at school. Most teens (even 'normal' ones) don't see past the next big party. Start prepping her for 18, and she may pause to think. At least that way she won't be able to say that you didn't warn her.

    Welcome again. :notalone:
  5. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Just wanted to say welcome.
  6. Zardo

    Zardo Member

    Many issues here and VERY hard to handle - I know, I have been there. Number one - hang in there and don't give up. Previous posters are correct - if she cannot follow YOUR rules with the phone, then she cannot have it. Start with turning the service off during school hours. This will not fix the problem as I assure you the real issue is not the phone, it's her attitude toward school and probably any responsiblities in general (again, I have been there - no judegment). It still sends a message - your home, your money, your rules.

    We had the good fortune of being able to send our con to Wilderness and then boarding school. It was along road, and may still be, but right now, he is working hard at school communicating appropriately at home. It's a complete 360. If you cannot or don't want to take those steps -

    1 - If you child is not within the Special Education program yet, work to get her tested , identified and set up an IEP where there will be more supports at school. You have to formally request psychoeducational testing in writing (e-mail)

    2 - Start a discussion with them about alternate placements for your daughter for a period of time. There are schools out there, day, boarding and therapeutic that specialize in helping kids like your daughter and my son "re-connect" with school. We acted privately, but there are families that get all sorts of interventions through working with their towns. Normally the best way to get this far is by working with an educational consultant. Even if you don't want to go that route, talking about it may push the school to work harder for her as they won't want to spend the money.

    3 - Have a wary eye for substance use. I have found that most of the kids that were act this way are caught up with substances and even using them at school or very pre-occupied with communicating suring school about how to get it or the next plan to do it.

    4 - there is a great book that will help you understand the problem - "To Change a Mind" by John McKinnen will help you understand your daughter's problem and what you can do to help her.


    You are in for a battle, but she can be reached. I found the best methods included consequesnces that I did not give. For example, you didn't do your work, you must stay after school to do it and may not leave unti lit's done - "academic detention" My school was very open to any suggestions I had. In the end, nothing worked until he was removed from that scholl though and put into a therapeutic environment with daily group therapy with other teens. The positive peer cultture finally convinced him to change.
  7. beachbeanb

    beachbeanb New Member

    I am in the same boat....and have been here for quite a while with a slow leak that is getting bigger by the moment. I have just returned from visiting a TBS that I am considering for my son....not ready to pull the trigger yet but close. We have done, I am afraid to say, maybe too much in an effort to get him to pass high school. Right now we are spending about $1000 per month for tutors to help him get thru online HS classes. He is failing the only real class he is taking at school. Ugh. Like I said - we may have to admit that we made this monster....he really has such a false sense of success because he has been accomodated so much. And still refuses to do what we and his teachers ask of him.

    So - know you are not alone. I am anxious to see what other parents have to say....I think Zardo is dead on with her advice.