Difficulties with teen. Tired of therapy/parenting buzz words.

Hi everyone,

It's been quite a while (I'll fix my signature after this post, so ignore it if it conflicts with info here). I posted about my son years ago. While he's still very much my in-your-face difficult child, my teen is my current focus.

First, about the buzz words- Every program, book, or article I've ever read talks about how punishing doesn't work, but instead there should be consequences, then they sometimes go on to list consequences that ARE punishments. They all talk about boundaries and limits and rules, but rarely expand on that.

But nothing is ever specific. What do I *DO* when the teen lies? What do I do when she doesn't complete her school work (she's home schooled, so no letting the teacher handle it!)? How do I enforce our rules?

Even though she does not have a conduct disorder, I thought you guys could help the most. She does have asperger's (I know, not a specific diagnosis anymore), and is too intelligent for her current maturity.

We do not have very much screen time. Certainly not enough to use it as a reward/punishment/consequence. daughter only has music on her iPod. She uses the computer for science and math, and that's in front of me on 2 specific websites.

She doesn't have many friends, and I'm limiting the time she can see the people she calls friends because they treat her like crap and as a group are ridiculously inappropriate (someone thought it would be a good idea to dare a boy to grope her in front of her little brother (he's 10)!).

This friend limiting has me in a catch-22; She can't go out until her lessons and chores are done, but I'm not up her butt too much about getting it done, but then she's not motivated to get stuff done.

When I've set up weekly things to do, she procrastinates through her morning, doesn't get her stuff done, and we still go to the activity. We go because the activities wouldn't exist if too many people left them! One of them is just a weekly meet up with others homeschoolers, and I feel it isn't right to abandon them. Sometimes only 1 other family comes, so it's not fair to those 2 kids.

On the flip side, when I've stopped most weekly activities, she still farts around. This limits what I can do and it limits what my son can do. In a way, both kids are starting to rule the house.

I've been nice. I've sat her down and explained how I was disappointed that she chose to ignore x responsibilities and all that crap, but she doesn't give a hoot.

She antagonizes her brother until he snaps then cries victim and hides in her room.

I'm working on an all encompassing short list of rules. My first thought was just to hang a sign that says "Don't be an :censored2:" since that really covers every possible thing. But I thought my son's therapists wouldn't be too thrilled with it. Lol.

I also want to create a punishment/consequence wheel for times when natural or logical doesn't fit. Like the lying. She not only hadn't finished her lessons or chores, she lied about having completed them (I wasn't home). I addressed the lessons and chores by telling her she had to do them, and thankfully telling her to do something is still possible, but I had no idea how to address the lying. I ignored it to see what she would say, but her response sucked even more. She said she just wanted to go to the library (computer), but knew she couldn't until she finished everything, and knew I wouldn't be home for a while.

She also refuses to follow our schedule which sets our entire day wrong and I end up letting my son get away with things because I can't do the next thing.

I have set up various reward charts with short and long term goals. She's earned a short reward, but then doesn't care. She wants in the moment. Give me netflix first and then I'l do my work. I'll say do your work by noon tomorrow and you can have it. At noon, she comes to me with unfinished work and expects the reward. Then has a mini-tantrum.

None of this is her fault. Ive created the monster. But I don't know how to change the monster. It's me alone with the 2 kids.


Well-Known Member
Since she isn't in school, is she receiving any services for her autistic spectrum disorder? The problems Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids and adults face often has nothing to do with academics, but they ARE wired differently and organization, moving on alone, making any good friends at all, and social and good conversational skills tend to be very limited. If they aren't, it likely is a misdiagnosis.

How is she getting any help? Are you planning for her adulthood? You can't expect a neurological atypically wired child or adult to function in our world with some supports and help. It rarely happens that they can do it without services and downright teaching of the social skills and communication skills, even if they have great vocabularies. They ARE different and what works for a neurologically typical kid won't work for one on the spectrum and may cause frustration and shutting down.

I'm not a big fan of homeschool differently wired children without trying public school until it becomes unbearable first because the free interventions come from the school and she will need interventions. My son's interventions started before age 3 and he's really doing well for what was expected of him. He is 21, living alone, working part-time, and mostly doing things on his own. He does not have much of a temper and is extremely pleasant and has made friends. Still...he is different. I feel he is different in a good way, but he is no way like most twenty one year old young man. His interests are different and he is very young in the things he likes to do, although he has a normal IQ.
Thank you for the reply!

We do not have support around here for higher functioning kids. When she was in public school, she was much worse. Not only were the behaviors worse, she was gaining nothing academically but had A's and B's. While she doesn't do a stellar job on her lessons at home, she is actually learning new and challenging materials.

In school she does not qualify for ANYTHING.

You're right, I have forgotten about her Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).


Well-Known Member
Welcome back!

I want to preface my comments by first saying that I have not had to deal with younger difficult kids; I am usually on the PE board about my adult step-son.

However, I did have a friend in the homeschool community that had adopted several older kids, all of whom had difficulties.

Anyway, I remember her saying that lying was a problem with her kids and she dealt with it by trying to never put them in a position where they had the option of lying. Like, instead of asking if they did their homework, she might say 'let me see your homework'.

I believe they had a time-out area for anyone who started to throw a tantrum, more of a 'get control of yourself' area, not really a punishment.

Anyway, I know you will get better advise from members who are in the trenches themselves. I just wanted to throw that out there.


Well-Known Member
Is there any way you can switch from standard homeschool, to on-line school? The advantage is that there IS a teacher, someone who independently does the marking, has expectations, etc. If she doesn't do the work... she fails the class. You need a teacher who is willing to chart the progress and call her out on a weekly basis - not waiting for reporting periods (too long a gap for kids on the spectrum)

I would NOT limit activities as a consequence. There is no logical link between the two, and the lack of logical link makes it totally ineffective especially for someone on the spectrum. In some ways, maybe she needs more or different activities. Things that will improve her knowledge and her social skills at the same time.


Well-Known Member
My daughter is still being tested for Asbergers/Sensory and Anxiety, ... but does not antagonize her brother. Her brother antagonizes her, as he is ADHD, Sleep Issues, ODD, probably Bipolar (still being tested also) etc. Daughter is home schooled with Keystone but lacks the motivation and I think its overall hard for her, but still better then school. Like Somewhere mentioned schools are a good help most times, Apple is correct for support groups, but my daughter still couldn't handle it even at a specialized school. Daughter/Son had a neuroeval and he suggested a trade for them, nothing like regular college because the work and understanding that goes into it is complicated for them ( I believe thats why he said that need to re-read it)

In her head maybe shes ok with herself and knows we do not feel the same, and feels the need to lie, or she doesnt understand something going on, or doesnt see the point. Not saying lying is good, we need to break them of that. My daughter rarely lies but has about schoolwork, showers.. As many pointed out to me, she may not be able to or see the point of schoolwork or chores( my daughter says she didnt make the mess so shes not cleaning it)

I have not been perfect and gave in to my kids, changed rules because something wasnt working. Try the most important rules first, schoolwork, health, dinner time, being respectful. Helping out will come and see what they are willing do before you just assign them chores or other things. If its to much of an issues, just give choices in pairs, one or the other, keep solid with it. Thats what Ill be doing again!

I also agree not to take away to much time with their friends, they need them to blow of steam, and I don't know about your daughter but mine is hard to get in the right" mind frame" to go out and shop with us let alone with her friends. I just told my kids that my/our way to live better here may need some fixes along the way, but when we find it, we will keep it.

I wish you luck, and try to talk to them on their level or making a family night of little ways to get get them to talk is helping me a little more again. Im sure you do. ( I always did that but, takes time and practice not to overdue it with the talking!!) Im still looking for answers and ways to improve things. Hang in there!