How do I convince difficult child she needs to want to get better

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by StressedM0mma, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. StressedM0mma

    StressedM0mma Active Member

    I am so stressed and frustrated right now. How do I get my difficult child to see that she needs to change some of her behaviors in order to get better. I am about ready to just throw in the towel at this point. I have tried and tried.
    One of our major issues is that she does not have good sleep hygiene. She likes to stay up very late at night. And she does not see how this reflects in her depression and other problems. I have a feeling that she was up until 3 or later in the morning. And, she will not acknowledge that this is a problem. Then she wants to sleep all day. And then we are back to the I am too tired to go to school. The psychiatrist has her taking Melatonin but difficult child hated it because it makes her wake up at 2 am wide awake. So she has taken it once, and is refusing to take it. Yes, I can force her to take it, but then when she wake up at 2 am she will have a massive fit that will wake the entire house. Screaming crying kicking things. An all out 2 yr old temper tantrum.
    How in the world do you help someone that cannot or will not be honest about part of the problem? She likes being up late at night. I think she thinks it makes her "cool" or something. I am just so angry with her right now. I feel like we are trying so much to help her and she is doing very little or nothing at all to help.
    psychiatrist did say she would prescribe something to help with sleep at her next visit if the Melatonin didn't work. But, unless it is a horse sedative, difficult child will take it, and just fight to stay awake through it. Which causes more problems. Because then she is super tired in the morning. This is such a no win situation.
  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    That is the million dollar question:

    How does one help a person who is not vested in their own best interests?

    I don't know. For a easy child - a small taste of success usually does the trick. Once they see the rewards from their is usually enough to propel them to succeed.

    But a difficult child? I wish I knew...

    Sorry, hon. (((hugs)))
  3. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    I think that if one of us had the answer to that question, all of us would have different lives to some extent.

    It's hard enough to get an adult to undertand that they need to want to get better. To get a stubborn child, who still has alot of growing and maturing to do, it's even harder. We're struggling with this, too. therapist is trying to get difficult child to understand that most of the time it is his actions that create a problem and that he has to want to change those actions in order to make things better. He just refuses to see it.

    What does difficult child do when she is up until all hours of the morning? Is she texting her friends? Playing video games? My suggestion is that if she is up doing something it needs to be removed from her room at night. Make a rule. No texting from 10:00 pm until 7:am and take the phone from her. If it's video games, take the controllers. Maybe if she feels like she has nothing to do she might get bored and sleep.
  4. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Bunny has a good idea there. It could be NO ELECTRONICS after (whatever time YOU go to bed). Take the cords to everything and cell phones and put them under you pillow or somewhere locked so she can't get them. That includes tv's, radios, ipods, etc. Might be worth a shot. Who knows, it might even work.
  5. pepperidge

    pepperidge New Member

    good idea on electronics. It would be nice if the partial program would see that she got some physical exercise. Is she drinking any caffeine?

    You can't make them want to get better. It took about two months of healthy living in a wilderness program for my son to want something more for himself than the holes he was digging.
  6. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I can imagine that a big part of the problem, from what you said, she may have a roaring fit over a rule change like that... but having been there done that, sometimes you have to just put on that armour as we say here...and prepare for it... even warn easy child maybe. Because that is a huge health concern and I tell Q sometimes that I am a good mom and as a good mom, I need to make this rule for you to help things get better. It is my JOB. And I will tell you right now you can go ahead and throw a fit, but it will do you no good. He still usually throws a fit but after day one it is less and usually for us by day three it is the new norm. But it really stinks getting to that point.

    Would she believe written literature on how sleep affects health? In her therapy program if you can ask her counselors how to help her understand this it might help. I would not worry so much that on day two of her therapy program she is not breaking long standing patterns. It will take a while for sure.

    I have to say I hate melatonin for myself too. Just hated it. No amount of breaking the tab mad me not sleep drunk in the morning. Ambien worked great, but I only used it maybe 15 times in my life. Eventually threw them out.

    What worked amazingly for me? A progressive relaxation sleep tape. There was actually an introduction at the beginning of the tape, "this tape is for...made by ..." and eventually I would not even make it through that part of the tape without falling asleep. I definately should do that again. Now that I live in a town home complex I leave my TV on which I know is not good.

    Bottom line, even with Q I tell him I am doing my best to help you be successful but you have to make good choices. How do we get our kids to do that? As the others have said, none of us would probably be here if anyone really knew the answer to that one... sigh.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I don't remember the history, but is this child using drugs? I have no idea if that is why she is staying up. She may ALSO have a sleep disorder, such as insomnia. I have two kids who really have trouble getting to is not intentional, both are adults now. But they CAN'T sleep well and are tired a lot. One is on medications for depression and that just makes the fatigue worse.

    My oldest daughter (the one who still has trouble sleeping) used drugs in high school and she would usually get high late at night when we were sleeping, then she'd have to take downers to get her to sleep at all and she'd sleep all day.

    There are reasons somebody may not be able to sleep beyond willful disobedience.

    On how can you make her want to help herself...sadly, in my opinion you really can't. they have to want to get better and try hard. However...I'd look into seeing if she has a sleep disorder. They are common. sure she is not using drugs.
  8. zaftigmama

    zaftigmama New Member

    Sleep is the barometer of mood. That's what my psychiatrist says.

    She needs a good psychiatrist/therapist team who can work on her. Depressed people are notoriously bad sleepers--take time for yourself and take care of yourself. Most of this she can't help.
  9. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member


    maybe this will help explain some of what you see--teenagers have different circadian rhythms then we adults do. its really not that unusual for a teen to be a night owl and not want to get out of bed in the morning...
  10. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    we keep the wireless modem in our room and disconnect it at night when we go to sleep. So far, our girls are good sleepers... but our exchange student got in to a habit of skyping and facebooking all hours of the night (her country is exactly 12 hours different than ours). She can do that on weekends... but not on school nights. After a couple days of it, she would get worn out and get a sore throat, and miss a day of school. Some times limits are good - whether for difficult child's - easy child's -or DFES! KSM
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Good sleep hygene includes... NO computer/technology activity within two hours of planned bedtime. For EVERYBODY. (well, except me, right?)

    Really. Something about the kind of light that computer screens throw off, plus the kind of mental stimulation that goes on...

    And at our house? NO techology in the bedroom. Bedroom is for sleeping and sleep-related activites, and other private matters (like changing clothes). End Of Discussion.