EGFS as an alternative to filing unruly charges.


Well-Known Member
And if you did, did any good come of it?

We are considering doing that soon and I would like to hear what some of your experiences are.



New Member
Oh Nancy - I am so sorry. I thought things were going better.

Sorry - have been out of touch.

I guess the one thing that I wonder is ... who does this help? So many times people say 'lay charges' ... but if the kiddo has no respect for authority, then it probably does nothing to help them. But it does make you feel as if you are doing SOMETHING, not just sitting back.

So - is there anything to gain? More services? If there is, I would not hesitate. Can you see any benefit to her ... fear, hating it, humiliation by having to go to court? If so, then go for it ... it's just that if it's not going to do anything for J, then ... why bother with the hassle?

What does the Dr. K therapist say?



(lol - would dad represent her?????)


Well-Known Member
That's a good question addie, and one we asked ourselves. The police say it is a good sign that she is afraid of them. She would not come home last night while they were in our drive. They say that means she is still afraid of authority. They also said she would go into the diversion program and the police officer in charge would scare her and he has had good success. Sher would be on probation and have to do community service but the next time she acted out she would go to jail. That's the part that scares me. If it works fine but if it doesn't we have started down a slippery slope.

LOL about dad defending her. Do you have any idea how hard it is for him to even consider doing this since he's always an advocate for those in trouble?

My son's teacher did press charges aginst our Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) adopted son for assault & it did nothing, as he has no fear or respect for Police. ( they were involved with BM- long story).

This last time he stole $$$$$$ from me. It wasn't the amt-- it was the broken trust- yet again? Yes, we had that option of pressing charges but I gave my son 2 choices.

1-- we press charges & he will go to court.
2- NOT going out for Basketball!

He chose #2!!---- this is going to be REALLY hard on him as this was one of his recent goals but ( he knows) having a PO isn't anything. ( he already had one at age 10.

Pray that you find the "right balance"--- you don't want to ruin the Attachment, but you don't want to appear weak?

Good Luck!!!!


New Member
Nancy, it is surely a heartbreaking decision. I can only tell you that for my difficult child, it would have confirmed for him that I actually hated him as he believed. I had called the Sheriff on him when he refused to go to school, and this was after I had taken him to the ER the night before as he was afraid that "I was going to kill him in his sleep". I knew he had gone over the edge, but he denied this to the ER physician and they did nothing to help me or him. So I was at such a level of frustration... the Sheriff came, and difficult child complied and allowed Sheriff to take him to school. But I heard about it for 2 weeks, how what kind of a mother would call the police on her OWN SON. You have to weigh it out, what would you gain, what would you lose. It's tough. This chaos led to difficult child getting the diagnosis and treatment he needed as I had the bargaining chip of either me pressing charges or him agreeing to see the psychologist. I don't know where you are in your battle... for me I think it would have destroyed our relationship, for nothing. Now had there been real criminal activity, yes, I would have had him charged. And if refused treatment even now, he knows, I will file unruly charges on him. This is a terrible position to be in, I hope things don't come to that for you. Take care.


I talked to various people about doing it for mine and decided against it. In my former state there were no additional services that it would have put into place.

Looking at your reply I'll add another experience.... the further mine gets in the "system" the less fear he has of it. eg at one time he was afraid of getting kicked out of my house and now he has no fear of that at all. He was afraid to be left in the hospital, now not at all. Was afraid to be charged with something, afraid to be before a judge, etc, etc. So since mine is still afraid of going to jail I'm using that but I know that once the bluff is called and he goes to juvie it will no longer be a viable threat. So I would offer caution at making each step unless you absolutely have to. She may be scared of the police now.. but it could be the fear of the unknown and once she crosses that threshold you have to move deeper into places you don't want to go.

With mine I think it's also a great deal of "grandiose thinking" once he gets over the threshold. Once he sees what it's really like he becomes convinced that he can handle it. So you might want to consider how much grandiose thinking yours does or doesn't do.


Well-Known Member
Shelly and OTE, thank you so much for your experiences and advice. I needed to hear that.



Active Member
While we didn't file charges of disorderly conduct, we did file theft charges (age 15)as well as reporting him as an endangered runaway (age 16). This was very hard for husband and I to do. However, in the end our son has now decided that he is going to follow the general rules of society and wants nothing to do with old friends. I want to emphasize though that this was not due to something we did, but rather his wish to change. It is difficult to do and certainly I don't endorse it for the truly mentally ill. However, our son has no thought process disorder at all - he was just very willful and at one point, quite depressed about his life. I truly wish you well. THe teen years are enough to make us all turn gray!


New Member
We did. It helped in some ways. It didn't help in other ways. When we did it, our son's behavior was getting out of control, and we thought that by involving the legal system, we would bring him back under control. We figured if he wouldn't listen to us, he would listen to the court, or he would be locked up. He got locked up twice. He would've gotten locked up a third time, except his p.o. gave him a break. If he had stayed on probation, I'm convinced he would've kept getting locked up for various probation violations, because he hasn't seemed to be able to learn from his mistakes. I've always said that he has to get a third degree burn before he knows not to touch the stove, and as soon as it heals, he forgets the lesson. Sometimes he forgets even sooner than that. The others raised some really good points, and I guess that's what it boils down to--what do you want to accomplish by doing it, and do you think your daughter will respond in the way you hope she will. I know for our son, it made absolutely no difference in his behavior and attitude. It didn't make him any more willing to follow rules--it just gave him more rules to break.


Active Member
Nancy, are you still in therapy with your daughter and the Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) specialist?

What does this doctor think? I thought she was making so much progress?



Well-Known Member
Hi Nancy,
My 20 year old who used to use drugs was a horror while she was using them. While we didnt file charges against her for her behavior, we did call 911 one day when she pulled a knife on herself. They took her to a hospital that dropped the ball and didn't give her a drug test because she told them she had stopped using. (Gee, now lets believe a teen with a history...) Anyways, at least here, it didn't do any any good. She was taken away in handcuffs, which broke my heart even though....., and the two week stay at a hospital was useless. Other than that, she was on parole twice (whichout our doing a thing---she got caught redhanded with drugs by the cops) and that didn't work. She just did a better job of acting like everything was ok. Then, at 18, we found drugs in her room and told her she had to leave. We have two minor kids and, frankly, the cops could say WE used the drugs, plus she was doing nothing to help herself. She went to live with our very straight arrow son, whom she worships, and every demand he made, she followed. Go figger. Now s he has been clean three years, is the manager of Beauty Salon (she went to school) and told me, just the other day (and this REALLY SOMETHING coming from her, "You know, Mom, I see other people with their families and I realize how lucky I am to have such a loving, caring family. You guys are great." I was in tears. This all evolved on her own though. She wanted to change very badly, had the chance to move with her brother and far away from bad influences, and now she yells, in her truck driver language way, at any teens she finds out uses drugs. She didnt' listen to us. We were not responsible for the change.She didn't care about the cops. The cops didn't help her. I think it kind of has to come from the kid. Of course, if she is being dangerous, she needs some sort of help and has to be taken out of the house. It was quite a ride with this child from age 12-18. I don't think she told us the truth in all those years. She could look me in the eyes and lie to me. And she had been SUCH a sweet child before that---unreal. I feel for what you are going through and you try what you want to try and do what you have to do. Tough Love did work here, although we waited until she was 18. She was lucky she had this brother. We were still going to make her leave because it wasn't getting better. I hope this post offered you hope though. At 17, I thought my child was headed for a life behind bars, and I'm not exaggerating. You're Mom and you know what's best. Sending you lots of hugs and prayers. You will survive your child. I did (with some extra gray hair that I blame on her!) Take care.


New Member
I did press charges against my granddaughter over 1 year ago as her behavior had escalated to the point of an attempted assault against me. It was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to do.

She spent 1 week in juvenile detention before her court date as I could not allow her back in the house. During that time I found an appropriate Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and right after her court appearance, she was escorted to the Residential Treatment Center (RTC).

I did not want her to remain in the juvenile justice system in my city. The only way to "save" her was for me to take out a hefty loan for the Residential Treatment Center (RTC).

For months she raged against staff and me with great venom and hatred. Then she broke and had an awakening and began to work on her program. The therapist there is excellent...mother of adopted girls herself. Now "my girl" is a Team Leader at the Residential Treatment Center (RTC), has written her home contract and is preapring to return to the real world.

Our relationship is mended, she has written and verbally apologized for all her misdeeds in the past, and she is kind hearted and respectful now...still a teen, make no mistake, but healthy and happy with herself.

I know Residential Treatment Center (RTC) is not for everyone, but in my case, it was the only chance left for "my girl" to have a future as a productive citizen.

I feel for you right now and I know the pain you feel.


New Member
Nancy -

I have no useful experience to offer you, just a hand of friendship and caring. I am so sorry to hear that J is still having such a hard time. I know that whatever decision you and husband make, it will be the right one for your family.



New Member
I can't offer any experience at the moment as I just did file charge on my difficult child last Tueday night. He has really fought the system alot more than even I expected and we are having a hard time at home dealing with the situation now.... Just wanted to offer a "hug" and let you know that you are NOT alone in having to make decisions like these...



I am so sorry you are in a situation where you would be considering this. I had hoped that the Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) therapist would provide something to J. that others haven't.

Penta wrote the reply I was going to write so I will second it. The juvenile justice system is full of very bad role models. difficult child's are uncanny about picking up the worst from what they see in my opinion so I would avoid at all costs.

The best decision we ever made was to get MrNo to an egbs YOUNG--he was the youngest in his peer group as an entering freshman, which at first worried me but as everyone's life story unfolded, I was very glad. Many in his peer group had been "through the mill" and were more cynical for it.

The egbs we chose would not accept students out of involuntary transport so most in MrNo's peer group had been transported to wilderness programs first before they would accompany their parents voluntarily to egbs. We just told him to get in the van and we went. A year later, if he had been alive, this would not have been possible.

Specifically related to the problems you face: MANY of the kids in MrNo's peer group were either adopted or had parents who had been through exceptionally traumatic divorces. All the adoptees had been adopted as infants and some even had "successful" adopted sibs--as did ours. Something was wrong--from the get-go as in your situation--and the egbs addressed it head on. We had a minor glitch in that MrNo's major problem wasn't adoption per se but rather being "different" in so many ways he felt he fit nowhere. The staff handled that subtle difference quite well I thought and got him to address internal issues he had been avoiding for years. Adoption is always part of the story but not as important as many other issues such as a very high achieving sister, being so musical but having that undervalued in school, not liking sports, some strong Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) trends, low self-esteem and most important of all, helplessness to believe that anything positive could happen to him. I can understand his perspective at the time--he seems biochemically predisposed to depression from a young age and had just washed out of 2 high schools in 6 weeks. But his helplessness was profound and so was his desire to die that we couldn't keep him safely at home but more importantly, I wanted a postive intervention while he ws young enough for it to matter. (I think I was also uncounsciously aware that many of his sister's acqauintances who had had minor problems in middle school were seriously out of contol by jr. year so I felt real time pressure to DO SOMETHING POSITIVE. I had conflict with husband that we had not exhausted all local options but even 3 times a week therapy wasn't maintaining--so husband finally saw the light.)

It was very hard to send a 14 year old away from home for over a year. Some people (therapists) told us that it would not be good to send an adopted child "away" anywhere for any reason because it would confirm his worst fears that our love wasn't REAL. I am very glad we didn't listen to this advice and the egbs was well prepared to deal with this escape from the adopted and non-adopted when it was used as an excuse.

I think MrNo is doing so well now because he got to egbs BEFORE he had drug problems, contacts with the law (other than really trivial curfew stuff), and hadn't been assaulted in a jj facility (a common experience.) Residential placement that is directed at emotional growth, not punishment, is the best chance certain types of difficult child's have in my opinion. The main drawback is the cost. However, we concluded that saving for college was not important for MrNo if he wasn't going to live to see his 15 b'day. I know our kids are different and we dealt with major depression that J. doesn't experience but I think that "acting in early adolescence" rather than waiting is very important.

I thought you had found success with the Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) therapist and that your timing was very good for the intevention. However, if you are experiencing control issues serious enough to consider a MINS petition with an 8th grader, you, as the mother of a high school senior, KNOW what happens in h.s. to kids who are out of control.

I hope by sharing what we didn't do gives you useful information.

I wish you well--I remember how tough 8th grade was--although I often block it out. However, when I can bear to think of it, it is amazing to look at MrNo now and realize that only 3 years, 3 months has passed since he went to egbs. It was the best thing I did as a mother hands down.



New Member
Just a second on Martie's girl is the daughter of my adopted daughter and besides she is of a different race than me...therefore she had those issues as well as inherited behavioral disorders from 2 bios who both had a disorder of some kind...who knows what.

Anyway, I feel much like Martie. If I hadn't sent my girl away to the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) at 14 1/2, she or maybe I, might not be alive today. Her Residential Treatment Center (RTC) as well, has been able to help her work through all her issues and disorders with a very holistic approach. The therapist, as I said knows the issues of adopted girls and my girl likes her very much. She had never bonded with a therapist before.

This Residential Treatment Center (RTC) has very strict guidelines for behavior and consequences as well...but they also put much emphasis on each girl's strengths. They do equine therapy also which is fascinating to me.

This girl of mine was probably the most defiant and resistant child ever to enter this particular Residential Treatment Center (RTC) and it took a very long time for her to let down the walls she had built up, let her anger go, and begin to look at who she really is as a person.

I can't say enough about the past year for her. It is truly a miracle to see such change and I know for sure it wouldn't have happened in the juvenile justice system.

Yes, I will be paying for years on my loan, but this is her college...if she decides to go to college, she will get scholarships and Pell grants
because as Martie said...she may not have lived to be 18.

Take care with your decision. I know the anguish you feel.


Well-Known Member
Martie and Penta,

What EGBS/Residential Treatment Center (RTC) did you send your difficult children to.

Thank you so much for your perspective. Martie I believe my difficult child's situation closely matches yours. And I have the same fears about her getting in the sytem.



Active Member

My situation with my son was very different from the situation you and husband find yourselves in with J. However, like Martie and Penta - I too felt that if we didn't do something immediately, my son wouldn't make it.

If you can do something, take any action, before J finds herself in the situation my son ended up in - with drugs and the law - I highly recommend it. I know you've always feared that's where J might end up, and I too was hoping that the attachment specialist would be able to help her.

Not sure what the best course of action or treatment is, but it certainly sounds as if Martie and Penta, as well as many others, had great success with EGBSs, and is certainly worth looking into. I know the fear has been not wanting her to feel abandoned, but if her behavior is escalating, perhaps it's time to look into other options.

Gentle hugs to you. I know this has been tearing you apart.


Former desparate mom
Nancy, our situations are very different but from what I observed, waiting until they are 16 or so is too late for Residential Treatment Center (RTC) or egbs to make a big impact.
The earlier they are in their teens the more effective they seem to be.

I can imagine how painful the thought of filing this petition would be for your husband and you.

I have no advice but our experience is similar to Martie and Penta in regards to our son wasn't the only one that an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) had seen like mine and wasn't the worst.
It was the single biggest factor in stopping his downward spiral.


Active Member

I sure don't have any advice for you but I am sending you many hugs. I know your heart must be hurting and I'm sorry. I know whatever decision you make will be for the best for your difficult child.