Don't know what to

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Wiped Out, Jul 6, 2009.

  1. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    do and I need suggestions. easy child called us about an hour ago telling us her feelings were very hurt. It boils down to her feeling like everyone there (adults) are against her. They're not, she has broken some rules and there has been some miscommunication on both sides.

    We then hung up and called one of the lead people and set up a meeting for tomorrow morning at 7:45. We call back to let her know and she wanted us to stay on the phone with her because her counselor was coming to her room. She wanted us to hear what they were saying. The counselor had a stern but not yelling or disrespectful voice. easy child felt she was being disrespected (that sense of entitlement) and started yelling and apparently swearing at the counselor (husband heard that part). She couldn't hear either husband or me yelling to get her attention to get her to stop.

    Then the counselor left and easy child was sobbing (hysterically) saying she wants to come home tonight! We told her our take on the conversation she had with her counselor but she just couldn't stop sobbing. I told her I was going to hang up and call her back after I spoke with her counselor. She didn't want me to hang up but I had no choice.

    After I spoke with the counselor (told her we didn't support easy child's rudeness and at the same time were worried about her emotional safety-she isn't one to be sobbing like this, in fact I've never heard her like this) I called her back. She was sobbing that I broke my promise and didn't call right back. I told her I did as soon as I hung up with her counselor. She was still sobbing, husband and I have been passing the phone back and forth.

    Right now two counselors are with her. We don't want her to run away from her problems but to talk them out. The counselor agreed. She was sobbing hysterically that she doesn't want to spend on more night there. It was really hard listening to her but she shares a great deal of ownership in these problems.

    What would you do? Have her ride it out, even though she is hysterical? We told her that we loved her and would be there in the morning. The counselors are going to call us after they talk to her, I just hope they can calm her down. I don't know what to do, part of me wants to go pick her up. I do think if she comes home there needs to be some serious consequences put into place-Sorry I'm rambling but I'm very worried and upset right now.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2009
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ugh. This is a no win situation. She really needs to figure out that she can deal with this on her own because it will give her a tremendous shot of self esteem. On the other hand, she may blame you to no end because you didnt rush in and save her from the big bad wolf.

    I so feel for you. I have no clue what I would do. Sigh.
  3. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Your post made sense but I think I'm missing something on my own. I'm getting that easy child isn't at home (obviously) but I don't know where she is or why.
  4. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Janet-Thanks, it does feel like a no win situation.

    Mstang-She is at a scholarship program on the campus in our city. If she follows through with the program and gets accepted to the university (she isn't doing well academically right now but not from lack of smarts more lack of trying) they will pay her tuition for 5 years (huge as this is a Big 10 school). Every summer during their high school years they go to campus. Three weeks the first two years and 6 weeks the last year. Right now she is on her second summer so only 1 week left for her to go.
  5. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Ah.....that makes much more sense to me now. I saw in your signature that she's on medications....are you sure she's been taking them? If she's not, is this behavior a possible result of that?

    Since she's in town, is there anyway you could go observe her without her knowledge and see if you can figure out what's going on?

    If nothing is really wrong and she just doesn't want to finish (although the sobbing would have me concerned too), I would make her tough it out. She signed up, she needs to follow through.

    But...if you think there is something going on....I guess I would try to investigate or find out more before doing anything.
  6. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Teenagers are very in the moment. What seems like the end of the world this second, may very well be nothing in 5 minutes.

    I would let the counselors talk to her and see how it goes.
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I vote for visiting her for a couple of hours to let her vent, cry, whatever, but that she stays. We all know that if she can stick this out, she will thank you someday. But I don't know her personally so you have to use your mommy gut on this. She is going to be challenged with decisions and situations in this program that are above the typical teen expectations, it sounds like. Maybe if you can help her look at it like it's a challenge to prove she can make it, it might help.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2009
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Gosh since so much is riding on this, I would really see if you could go and just talk to her for a little while. Try to point out the impact this would have on her future. I realize even normal teens cant see past the nose on their faces but maybe she can be soothed a bit.
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I agree with Heather. Teens are wrapped up in the moment. What seems to her unbearable right now may be laughable in the morning.

    I understand easy child is upset, obviously very upset. I understand where she is and what it means. My easy child did the same thing.

    What I don't know is the cause of this upset. I'm sure an incident had to take place to trigger it.

    I'd make my decision based on the cause of all of this emotional turmoil. But I personally would be hesitant to rescue her. Unless the cause was a threat to her personal well being.

    I know with easy child part of this opportunity was to give the kids a taste of college life so they don't go into culture shock later.

    I'm wondering if the cause behind this isn't another student.

    It would be a shame for her to throw away a golden opportunity when she is so close to the end.

    I'd make sure I got all my facts straight from all sides before coming up with a decision.

  10. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Her reaction is very over the top.
    Even her response to you not calling immediately was way over the top.
    Her emotional response to every person seems way to magnified.

    I think giving her verbal support and asking her what she could do to help the situation may get her to think about things. If easy child had been the counselor how would she have handled it. I do not believe I would pick her up tonight. Let her sleep on it and see how things are tomorrow.
    On the other hand if she seems dangerously impulsive, she should not be alone through the night.

    Her thinking and response is definitely out there. Hugs.
  11. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thanks everyone. I do know she has been getting her medications daily because a nurse gives them out.

    Maybe I can explain better. Her first week there she got into trouble by leaving campus with a boy (who wasn't in the program) and not even telling anyone. Then she lied about it. She ended up with consequences.

    She also ended up missing some classes, according to her she over slept, don't know the whole story. This morning her counselor called her and asked why she hadn't shown up for her morning meeting. easy child said she thought that was just a one time meeting. The counselor said she didn't believe easy child. easy child felt she was being disrespected and yelled at by the counselor. She also had gotten yelled at by the nurse today and she didn't understand why.

    She said that she feels since she screwed up no one is giving her any chances and she is trying to be honest. With easy child it's so hard to tell. She gets such an attitude and is disrespectful and doesn't even believe that she is.

    I did talk to the counselor again, they got easy child calmed down enough to go to her night class. The counselor said they will call us after check in to let us know how she is doing.

    She has brought so much of this on herself. We really don't want to rescue her, she doesn't enjoy the program much especially since her best friend got kicked out due to his grades.

    I'm hoping when we go into tomorrow she will be calm enough to stick things out. I do feel bad for her, it's hard to listen to her sobbing like that. Argh-the drama of teens.
  12. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Fran-You snuck in while I was typing, you are right-her response is way over the top and that is why we're so concerned. We tried to do exactly what you suggested, asked her how she could help the situation, she just wanted us to come and get her. I'm glad we didn't as hard as it was. We'll wait now to get the call after check in tonight. Since they got her to class with her friend I"m feeling better about her emotional state.
  13. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Well after reading that part, it sounds to me that she either has gotten a nasty typical teen attitude in general, or something is going on with her- and not just one issue at this place. Has she seemed out of character at home under other circumstances? Are there any signs that things are out of kelter with her besides a nasty typical teen attitude?
  14. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Without knowing your daughter, here are my thoughts:

    She messed up and has been facing consequences. And she's having to face consequences around others - embarrassing. She may feel bad about messing up and disappointing people. Or she may feel like she is "marked" and is going to get in trouble for everything. Her reaction seems over the top, but she keeps fueling it with her behavior.

    I remember being a depressed teen and feeling like I had dug myself in a hole and wanted my mom to come rescue me. I remember sobbing hysterically and begging. My mom didn't rescue me, but she did encourage me to work through it. She had a way of doing that - a way of encouraging me so that I believed I could do it and calming me down, too. And I did work through it.

    I could be way off base. But, those are my thoughts.
  15. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Since you explained it better, and I've got a better idea of what's going on..........

    I wouldn't rescue her.

    I sometimes think one of the hardest lessons for teens to learn is how their attitude/behavior effects others. But it is a vital lesson for them to get before venturing out into the real world.

    It seems her immaturity is rearing it's ugly head. (aren't teens so much fun?)

    She got caught sneaking off with a boy. (raging hormones, gotta love em) Huge embarrassment coupled with conscequences. She gets defensive and out comes the attitude......which of course only makes everything worse.

    When you talk to her again, I'd try talking her thru how she could've handled the situation better, the whole situation, not just what happened before the phone call. Then tell her that you have faith in her ability to make things right and make this work for her.

    But I wouldn't rescue.

  16. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    One thing I wouldn't do is harp on the initial cause - her sneaking off and facing the consequences. That is, not while she's still at camp.

    I would explain that, yes, X happened. You can't undo it. But, you can move forward.

    Again, I'm just going from my own experiences. No one, *no one*, could ever be harder on me than I am on myself. So, repeatedly hearing about it just made me feel even worse and made it seem like it was insurmountable.
  17. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I like writting and making my kids write. So, I would ask easy child to take a tablet and start writing. She can write however she wants to describe what is going on. To give her some examples, "How did you feel when this opportunity came about?" "What was the 1st day like?" "What are things that you do not like about this experience?" "What would make it easier?" "What are the good things about this program?"

    In the morning, she can reread and choose to share that with you or not. However, have her make a list of the items she wants to discuss with staff.

    My kids think EVERYONE yells at them. They have the best teachers with so much patience and thinking out of the box attitude to teach yet once they say one thing to my kids, "Mom, that teacher is mean. She yelled at me." I was in the room, I heard. The teacher was firm but in no way disrespectful or yelling. If my kid doesn't like what he hears, then he automatically thinks the teacher doesn't like him. Ugh!

    And nurses can look so disrespectful to kids. They can be intimidating and have an attitude of "listen to what I say and do it, no discussion." It is hard for many adults to set that mind frame aside and feel that the nurse is really a good person looking out for their well being. How many times have you left a doctor's office saying, "I don't like that nurse or doctor" based on that type of attitude? I think they are taught in school to have the confidence in their decisions and not allow anyone to 2nd guess it so they need to be strong in what they say. This can sound like "yelling" or scolding to kids. And again, the nurse can give her input in the nicest of ways and the kid does not take it as given but thinks they are being bullied. We all know that teenagers though tough as they behave are really very overly sensitive to anything said to them - especially in the medical field.

    You have to follow your mommy instincts on how far gone she has gotten with the sobbing. If it is totally unlike her then maybe go get her. Still have her do the journaling - It will give her a way to vent.

    No matter what, definately address her response to the staff there. She has to know that yelling is not going to find an answer. If she is feeling disrespected or trapped, there are ways to address that in an appropriate manner.

    Temper this with the knowledge that once she fell too deep, she was unable to control her emotions. She is blindly pushing everyone away. Let her know (once she gets her emotions under control again) that she must work on keeping control and not letting herself go so far down. No judging, just teaching.
  18. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I agree with heather. If you rescue her it will end up sending a message that she can't handle things and will fuel her to create situations that result in consequences and then seh will expect to be rescued from the consequences again.

    If you can get her to tough it out, it will be better in the long run, and not just because she will get 5 years of tuition out of it. She probably doesn't realize how much money that is, it might help if you got an estimation of how much tuition costs each year. When she is calm, show her that number and make her KNOW how many hours she would have to work at a minimum wage job to earn that much.

    But wait until she is calm.

    right now, it does sound as if something is very wrong. It could just be the typical teen attitude (where do they GET that entitlement) that is over the top. Why does she expect respect when she doesn't give it? Maybe at home you need to mirror her behavior, act toward her the way she acts toward you, so she will maybe get the idea that if SHE behaves a certain way, people will respond that way to her. If she can get that now it will be a major help later in life.

    do what you can to encourage her to stay. Make her tough out the consequences. Let her know that you expect her to deal with them, and you will NOT keep her from feeling the consequences of her actions. She is very close to being an adult. She NEEDS to learn NOW that she must face the consequences of ehr actions. Otherwise the next 10 years are going to be VERY hard on all of you.

    Good luck, and stand strong. Encourage her to tough it out, tell her you KNOW she can do it.
  19. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I just thought about something that may be going on especially in light of her absence from the program early on. She is 15 years old. If she is anything like my Diva, she was thinking that this program would give her freedoms she does not have at home. She doesn't like that there are rules and that she is actually there to accomplish something. She is finding that she can not handle her make believe freedoms from home. People are not going to let her just run as she wants and set the schedule for the day and decide which meetings she goes to or not. This is not a chance to be living a life of her dreams away from home.

    When my Diva turned 16, she just shone with the attitude of "I am 16. I can now do whatever I want whenever I want". It was not a pretty birthday as I told her that 16 does NOT give her total freedom to come and go as she wanted to. I think she would have behaved just like your easy child if she was in that situation. So assure this was her opportunity to show how grown up she was by going where she wants when she wants.

    Now that she knows she does not get these freedoms, she doesn't want to be there. If that is the case, I am with others in the vote that it is o.k. to have her spend the night and face the meeting in the morning. She needs to be encouraged to keep her posture and be calm during that meeting.

    I do hope that this is just a typical teen drama show and nothing too serious outside of that is going on. She will be o.k. tonight (I am sure staff will keep a close eye on her) and you can re-evaluation tomorrow. It's a wonder what a good night's sleep will do - I hope she sleeps well.

    I know how hard this is for you - I tend to be a rescuer myself and it is hard not to be if you are not sure what is going on.
  20. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thank you everyone for the good suggestions. The counselor called after check in last night to let us know that easy child had indeed calmed down.

    We went to meet with her and the director this morning. It seemed to go really well which is good because this is the person who will be the director of the program at her high school this Fall.

    We were very proud of how easy child handled herself this morning. She said what she had to say and said it respectfully and seemed to be listening. She mentioned that although she felt the consequences were fair she felt how they were handed out wasn't (she felt everyone was ganging up on her).

    We (husband, director, and I) all spoke with how she is getting older she needs to start taking more responsibility and even when she doesn't want to do something that is required it isn't always a choice (nothing we haven't told her before but she seemed to really be listening-we'll see).

    We told her that although it may feel people are ganging up on her it's actually people are caring about her. The counselor last night told her the same thing, that if they didn't care she would already be out of the program. She seemed to accept that.

    Before we left we made sure she was clear on her consequences for the rest of the week at the program.

    Throughout the entire meeting we tried to focus on her accepting responsibility for things and also let her know we loved her and are proud of her but that we can't rescue her from her choices.

    Before we left she gave husband and me a hug (even told me I was so huggable) and told us she loved us. So I think it went well, now we'll see if she can follow through. We know we have many conversations ahead of us. Hoping we can keep her more in the easy child than difficult child category but at this point time will tell.

    Your ideas and support mean so much to me, thanks for being there!