difficult child in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) gets another 2 week freeze

The two week freeze means he can't come home for the next two weekends. This is really a blow for both difficult child and myself. This weekend he was supposed to start his 48 hour visits.
He came home last weekend for the first time in two weeks because he was on another "freeze" for fighting.

He kept telling me how he hated being on a freeze and he never wanted to do this again. Well today he wanted the teachers at school to switch him to another class because he doesn't get along with some kid. The teachers didn't give him the answer he wanted and so he started to demand it. They sent him to the counselors office where he demanded it from the counselors. Obviously the counselors aren't going to be ordered around by a 13 year old having a temper tantrum.
Then he tore up his office referral and when the staff wouldn't give in to his demands he tore up every piece of paper he could get his hands on. They restrained him and sent him to "time out" basically a padded little room where he can't hurt anything. They took pictures and showed me when I got there. It looked like his room when he went into rages at home. The pictures are also a part of his file and the judge can view them when and if he's sent back to court.

difficult child being in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is the best thing for both of us right now. Because it wasn't my home he was destroying and me he was threatening I was able to remain calm and talk to him about his behavior. He still thinks his actions are justified by the fact that "they made him mad" or "they didn't give me what I wanted". Towards the end of our visit he was disrespectful towards me and began to curse. I simply got up and walked away. He followed me saying, "I don't want you to go, I wanna talk aobut this." He basically wanted me to get him out of trouble. I told him very calmly and in a neutral voice that he was not going to get his way and if he still wants to talk to me then I'll stay. He agreed and I added that I would not be disrespected or cursed at during this conversation. Again he agreed and we spoke for about 10 minutes. He didn't say much but it was nice to end it on a better note.

My question for all you veterans of Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is will this get better? Is this typical acting out? He did a lot of the same things at home and I think it helps for him to do it there and receive consequences for it. I gave him consequences at home but I don't have 3 big guys to call for back up when he's raging.


Well-Known Member
The best thing about Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is that HE is the one being consequenced not you. Probably for the first time in his life when he gets in trouble the punishment falls squarely on his shoulders which is where it should be.

I know all my kids life we were expected to "make" him do something. If he got in trouble in school people called us and expected us to be able to move mountains. We were punished more than he was. If we grounded him, it was more trouble for us than him. If we took something away, it caused problems for us too having to listen to him rage or repair the damage.

In Residential Treatment Center (RTC), if he acts out, they put him in solitary and he can deal. I wasnt called in to make him obey. It was him who lost privileges not me. I could still do what I wanted to do. He learned that his actions effected HIM.

This was a lesson we tried to teach for years but it didnt get thru his thick skull. He now understands it and doesnt try to throw things over onto us much anymore...though he will if he thinks he can get away with it.


Well-Known Member
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: wheredidmylittleguygo</div><div class="ubbcode-body">My question for all you veterans of Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is will this get better? Is this typical acting out? He did a lot of the same things at home and I think it helps for him to do it there and receive consequences for it. I gave him consequences at home but I don't have 3 big guys to call for back up when he's raging. </div></div>


I am not a verteran of Residential Treatment Center (RTC) but I can definately answer your question! Will it get better? Depends - depends on how willing your son is to open himself up for treatment. Is this typical acting out? You tell us, isn't this the kind of thing your son did outside Residential Treatment Center (RTC)? He's not going to "change his stripes" too fast. And, you are absolutely right about him going off the honeymoon phase. They need to know the true difficult child, how he responds to pressure and frustration. This is what enables them to help our kids.

While is hurts your mommy heart for him not to be home, especially since he wants to, learning consequences is all part of his learning to deal and live with his dxs.



New Member
<span style="color: #993399">since it seems his behavoirs are pretty status quo so i'm thinking it's good that he won't be home this weekend. he hasn't actually been there all that long so i'm wondering if maybe he shouldn't be coming home quite so soon ~~~ that it takes longer for him to even start to *get it*....never mind start to change his behaviors.

what little dude's mom said about opening himself up to change is so true. they can't force him, you can't force him nor influence him. he's the one with-control....which he needs to reliquish.

stay strong.

kris </span>


member since 1999
Sylvia - I have to agree with- Sharon re: will it get better. Definitely depends. thank you's been in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) 6.5 years now and I *still* get phone calls about how it's staff or peer's fault that he got mad and had a melt down. The good news is that I used to get these calls several times a week; now, it's just a couple of times a month.

I still have a hard time wrapping my head around my kid's thought processes. Where he got the idea that total destruction of property or assaulting staff is acceptable because he's "mad" is beyond me. I'm also clueless as to why he still thinks I'm going to "rescue" him from his consequences. I think it's the optimistic part of the Explosive Child... he's just positive that one of these days he won't get consequences for his behavior and/or that I will ride in on my white horse and save him from his consequences. As if.

It is a relief to have difficult child in a placement where the staff can safely and consistently manage his behaviors. I think you handled it perfectly. Calm, detached, and putting it all back on his shoulders. His choices, his consequences. Bummer.

Sorry he's lost the visits, but hopefully this will start making an impact on him. The quality of his life is entirely up to him. If he chooses to not exert some control over his behaviors and use the tools that I'm sure he's being exposed to at Residential Treatment Center (RTC) to deal with- his anger, his world is going to be very limited.

Hang in there.

timer lady

Queen of Hearts

It's all about choices on difficult children part. He's in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) to learn new skills so he can survive in the "real world".

And the best part, in my humble opinion, you don't have to carry out the consequence to difficult children choices.

I know this hurts; it hurts when our little wonders cannot or will not self regulate. It hurts to know that a visit home isn't incentive enough to stay on track.

Keep it calm, keep it detached.

Help yourself this weekend. Do whatever makes you smile. :flower:

Thank you all for the words of advice and encouragement. difficult child's counselor talked about kids that just go through the motions of the program and the kids who really open up and let it in. You all really helped to make that point with me. There is nothing I can do to "make" him open up. I hope he does open up and really change his life.

Janet, I always felt like when he got in trouble I was in trouble. Except I truly felt like the trouble was worse for me. My boss would be mad at me for leaving work early and unexpectedly. The school would talk to me like I was an idiot. I was totally embarressed and stressed out. This was such a detached thing. He raged, he got consequenced, I went home to a quiet house. Works for me.

Sharon, I never thought about how it helps Residential Treatment Center (RTC) to deal with our kids but you're right. Every treatment isn't for every kid. My difficult child had a big honeymoon phase. I got the feeling that the staff didn't really believe he'd done all the things in the parent report & court papers.

Kris, I hope he's able to give up the control. It seems to be the key to everything. Maybe last night was a *get it* moment. Let's hope this opens the door.

Sue, I know what you mean about difficult child's waiting for the rescue. Unfortunately my difficult child has had a whole life time of me rescuing him and now he really feels betrayed. I think Love & Logic calls that a "helicopter parent". My difficult child's been rescued so many times he's wind blown.

Linda, you're right the best part is that Residential Treatment Center (RTC) gets to dole out the consequences. difficult child doesn't respect my authority one bit. The night he was arrested stemmed from a fight about losing his TV for a week.

I think the best part about yesterday was that I was able to stand up for myself and tell him he cannot treat me like that. I'm talking about when he turned his anger towards me at the end of the visit. I have to admit. I only felt safe doing that because we were at the Residential Treatment Center (RTC). 3 big guys were only a radio call away.


New Member
<span style="color: #993399">sylvia, i'm glad to see you're feeling a bit better about things.

i have a question for you as well as a hypothosis. just how often are you visiting him?? is it often? my thought is this.....by doing frequent visits it gives him a lot of opportunity to suck you into his dysfunction. it can interfere with-him really hearing what the people at Residential Treatment Center (RTC) are saying to him. it sounds like he's using your visits to triangulate you, him & Residential Treatment Center (RTC) staff. maybe less frequent visits & time limited telephone contact. maybe talk to the therapist he works with-about this? sometimes it seems that frequent visits/phone contact interferes rather than aids the process. just some thoughts.

kris </span>
The first 2 or 3 weeks he was in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) I didn't even speak to him. I was so angry at him. It was best for both of us if I didn't speak with him at that time. The Residential Treatment Center (RTC) staff surely thought I was cruel but I think it may have scared difficult child into realizing that I don't have to be a part of his life. I get to make a choice whether or not to interact with him. The same way he makes a choice about how to interact with me. I'm not sure if this was the right or wrong thing to do but I felt toxic towards him and I needed both the space and the break.

The Residential Treatment Center (RTC) place limits his phone calls to 2 or 3 times a week and the calls are only 5 minutes. If he begins to manipulate or threaten I report it to his sw and the calls are then monitored so the staff can address his actions immediately. We haven't had to go that far yet but the option is there should he continue to play these games.

As far as visits go when he's on a freeze like he is now I visit him on Sunday for about an hour. I leave time so we can visit as long as he wants but difficult child usually keeps it short and initiates the end of the visit. When he's not on a freeze he's allowed a 24 hour pass & we split the time with-his dad @ difficult child's request. This weekend should have been his first 48 hour weekend pass. The plan was to spend a day with-me and a day with-dad.

This was the first time Residential Treatment Center (RTC) called me to come up to the facility when he was in trouble. Last time they gave him a freeze and just called to tell me. Do you think that's part of the plan? Are they perhaps getting me involved in the handing out of consequences so that difficult child will conform to me as well as to them? Either way you're right he played it to his interest and really wanted to manipulate the situation.

Thanks for listening.