easy child is driving me crazy

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Wiped Out, Apr 21, 2008.

  1. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    easy child is not doing homework and she is lying to us. Her last report card came home and she had a 3 Cs and 3 Bs. Now, if difficult child came home with a report card like that I would be doing a happy dance. easy child is capable of much more. The three Cs came with comments about how she needs to complete her homework (which, of course, she says is being completed).

    We came up with a plan that her teachers need to sign a form each week saying whether or not her homework has been completed. If it wasn't or she doesn't get the form signed then no phone calls or computer.

    Even though I'm against paying for grades I offered her money to bring up her gpa-sort of a carrot to hang out there.

    Friday was the first trial. She didn't take the form to school. When I asked for her cell phone she told me she decided to leave it in her locker because she didn't want me to take it. This, of course, was said rudely.

    Saturday night a friend called sobbing and easy child asked if she could talk to her since this friends dad had called her a piece of Sh**. I said yes and even let her use the computer for a bit to talk to her.

    Last night she again asked if she could use the computer to talk to her for about 20 minutes. I should have said no but said o.k. thinking this
    girl might need a friend.

    Then easy child got off and went to her room. I just had a weird feeling she really had her cell and was talking to her. Yep, she was.

    I was so frustrated with her for all the lying she had done. She even told husband later she had late work and that was why she didn't take the form. The late homework is an ongoing problem.

    This morning difficult child wanted some waffles. easy child tried to claim them as her own even though I told her they were for both. I went upstairs to get ready and the next thing I know difficult child is sobbing because easy child pushed him hard into the kennel. He had called her a B. Not o.k. but neither is the violence.

    Fast forward to tonight. She is still grounded from the phone. husband, difficult child, and I get back from our walk and she is on the phone! She tried to say the other girl called her but I checked caller ID and she hadn't.

    We have been trying to give easy child plenty of attention. She doesn't want to do anything except talk with her friends (which I get is typical teen except she doesn't want to do anything else-no activities, doesn't want to do homework).

    Honestly, I don't know if she is just going through a really rough typical teen period or is this more difficult child behavior?

    I'm sorry this is so long, I'm just going crazy between her and difficult child!
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I know sometimes I say things are not to be done as a consequence, then extenuating circumstances intervene and I give in. What this tells the kids is that they can play me.

    What has REALLY helped is to read and follow Parenting with Love and Logic (they even have a book for parents of teens!). You can check it out on www.loveandlogic.com . It works really well with Jess and thank you, and even difficult child knows certain things will NOT get "exceptions" or whatever from ME. His grandparents are another story, as is his dad.

    But when difficult child lived here it was love and logic all the way. It was the ONLY parenting method that husband really could grasp and follow through.

    I also told the kids that I was making a consequence, then going back on it. So after this talk, if I said it, I HAD to do it. No more "take backs" . It cut down on the bargaining.

    I really think your easy child is pushing you. Does she know you can just stop paying for the phone? It may cost $200 or whatever, but it might keep her from going behind your back.

    I personally would search the child's room, removing whatever I felt was not supposed to be there, esp phones.

    Also, we ONLY have cordless phones, and when phone use is taken away, I lock up the phones. Or the base can be disconnected if the child has taken the phone and hidden it.

    Is easy child in counselling? Is this a big grade change? It may be something you have to seek professional help for. Sometimes parenting stinks, doesn't it?
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Sharon, I'm sorry things are going south with easy child, too. No one ever told us this parenting stuff would be so challenging.

    When things are rough with my kids, I always deal with the medications/therapy piece first. Has easy child had a medication check recently? Is the therapist up to date on what's going on so she can deal with the issues at hand?

    Next I try to figure out why the problem (in this case, homework) is occurring. Is the homework too hard? Is easy child disorganized about not bringing home appropriate books and/or other materials? Does she have a difficult time sitting still to do it? Is her schedule so full that she can't fit homework in?

    Then I try to come up with a logical way to solve the problem without making it too difficult for the child or me as the parent. My son, too, struggles with getting homework done, and we have had a bit of success recently with a combination of having him go to assigned study halls during his free periods and having him work with a tutor (really an older high school student) a couple of afternoons a week. My son needs a tutor not to teach him the material but rather to keep him on track and working for a sustained period of time. It might be something to think about with your easy child.

    This is all my long way of saying that I'm not sure taking away phone and computer privileges will necessarily get her to buy into doing her homework. I think that support rather than punitive consequences might get you the result you're looking for without creating a lot of hard feelings on easy child's part.

    Instead of involving easy child in collecting data on her own failings (which may cause her to lie so she doesn't get into trouble), can you email the teachers every Friday and ask whether easy child has completed all her homework? This method might be just as easy for the teachers and more reliable than leaving it to easy child.

    I hope tomorrow is a better day. Hang in there.
  4. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thanks Ladies for the good ideas-they are much appreciated.

    Susie-I've read Love & Logic and really like it. I probably need to revisit it. Usually I don't give in but I really thought maybe easy child's friend was in crisis. I shouldn't, however, let her use it on Sunday. easy child is in counseling. It is a big grade change since first quarter but not something new this year from other years. I think you are right she is pushing me. She fights us on everything.

    Sw-We are upping her Adderall as soon as the prescription gets here in the mail. Last year when she was on a higher dose she was doing better but then she wanted it lowered and the doctor went along with it. I think she may be depressed and the Fluoxetene may not be at a high enough dose. She doesn't agree and I don't think pediatrician will try her on higher dose unless she wants it. We do have an appointment with the pediatrician next week. We have tried getting to the root of this with easy child. She goes to a program twice a week where she can get free tutoring. She refuses to use her study hall for anything but a social hour. I don't think the work is too hard because the teachers tell us how she is the best discussion person they have. I do think she tends to have a hard time getting her ideas down on paper. It can take her an hour to get out a paragraph. She writes well but it takes her time. husband and I have tried to get her to hurry up the process. I'm not sure if she can. Everything she does takes her a longer time even washing dishes or putting dishes away from the dishwasher. We have tried to help her but she doesn't want help or says she doesn't and just ends up yelling and screaming at us. I think she does get easily distracted. That was why she came to us last year and told us she thought she had ADD. Her attitude is nasty right now which I guess is typical teen but she is pushing buttons on everyone lately including difficult child.
  5. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi Sharon,

    Is she a freshman in high school? We had a lot of the same problems with easy child her seocnd semester of high school. Of course we also had the bad friends and drug use which I hope you don't ever have to deal with. We called a meetign between her school counselor and her teachers and her and I to discuss her falling grades and incomplete assignments. That way I was able to get the school's cooperation in signing her agenda everyday to notify me of any missing assignments.

    What if you take away her cell phone but allow access to the home phone until she brings her grades up? Are her friends good kids? Is she still hanging with them or has she gotten new friends recently?

  6. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Ms. Wiped Out,

    Deja Vu! We went through this with Copper. She had a 504, never really qualified for an IEP, but she had to have her teachers sign off on her homework. Between her "forgetting" the sign off sheet, and the highschool teachers being "too busy" to be bothered, she really got lost in the shuffle. She, too, did very well in school, but homework took her forever. And overall she was a pretty good kid, easy child, typical teen (until age 16 but that is another story and has no bearing on this).

    It was a long hard road. We fought that school tooth and nail. Now, when I say we, bear in mind I mean my mother and me. My mother has warrior gear from the first era of warrior gear. She was relentless, and she got that school to allow Copper to turn in work 6 months late due to an error on their part.

    The other part of it, of course, is that because Copper was "not such a bad kid", we were willing to be a lot more flexible with her consequences. And she, being a typical teen, got very smart and figured ways around it. Now, my mom may have warrior gear from the first pressing, but she is very naive. And that is where I came in. I knew what she was up to, and we nipped that in the bud as well.

    Anyways, when I first read the title of your thread, I wondered, "hm, maybe easy child feels like she is not getting enough attention?" After reading the thread, I don' think that is the case. It is a lot of typical teen stuff, but you do want to address it, and from all directions: medication, love and logic, and making sure the school holds up their end of the bargain.

    Ad if you don't have enough to do. Hugs to you, my friend.
  7. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    Can we say kt??????? Sounds so very similar.

    Having said that, I agree with smallworld - get the medications & other therapeutic pieces checked out. In the meantime, you still have to live under the same roof. easy child still needs to follow the rules & make good choices.

    I'm a big believer in Love & Logic - especially for adopted children. It gives them a sense of responsibility & it also helps with their sense of self.

    kt knows that if she uses her cell phone when it's not allowed, she loses that phone for a period of time. Period. It doesn't matter why she is using it - it's not kt's job to make her friends feel better. It's kt's job to follow the rules. The same goes for being caught in a lie or not doing homework, chores, etc. Cell phone time & computer time are 2 very big incentives for kt.

    I can't say what is going on with easy child. I would guess it's the typical teen thing magnified, along with the stress of having a "PITA" little difficult child brother, her beginning the individuation process & trepidation in the process; heck - where does she fit into this world? Top it off with medication tweaks that may be needed & you have ....... heck you have kt on your hands.:rofl: OMG, I pity you.

    Sweetie, you'll find out what easy child needs with-o losing your mind - difficult child has already done that for you. :bigsmile: I don't mean to sound like this isn't a problem but all of a sudden I have a case of the giggles. Please forgive me.

    Our children are all incredibly twisted - it's a master plot to drive adoptive parents off the edge & it's working. :stopglass:OMG - it's a plot. All these agencies targeted us - they saw us coming.:itching::highvoltage::stalker:
  8. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Wiped out, I always find that I get really stressed when easy child gets a little difficult child(which he does and should every few months or so) I can't wrap my head around having to walk on eggshells or being a cop with another child. It just stinks. Unfortunately it's the hand dealt to me and I have to parent easy child differently than difficult child and both jobs are hard.
    When to be tough, when to be nurturing, what to read to make you an effective parent to difficult child and easy child? Lots of possibilities.
    Sounds like you have had some good suggestions. Good luck.
  9. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Nancy-We actually did meet with her counselor and teachers in January or February over this very issue. We all brainstormed ways to help her-she agreed on some ideas but didn't follow through. When one of the teachers asked her how she felt about the late assignments and them piling up. She answered honestly that she knew she should feel bad but doesn't. Unfortunately, I don't know her friends because she lives so far from them she mostly just spends time on the phone with them. I do worry about something she said yesterday about two of her friends having been expelled from school last year for bringing drugs to school. When I asked why she hung with them at school she said because they are her friends. Yet today when difficult child was joking about drugs (truly joking) she became very upset and said it wasn't funny.

    BBK-Thanks for sharing about Copper. Thanks for the ideas and the hugs.

    Linda-Thanks for the good ideas and for making me laugh-seriously I was laughing out loud when I read this!

    Fran-It is tough to feel like you have to walk on eggshells around two kids! You are right that both jobs are hard. Thanks for the good wishes!