need to share

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by compassion, Nov 27, 2008.

  1. compassion

    compassion Member

    Yesterday I was out shopping with difficult child, 15. She is day 10 no drugs or alcohol (as far as I know) and hasn't run away or stolen since then. She was pretty rough around the edges. Of course grocery shopping the day before T-Day is very stressful anyway. I am relaly on edge. Sad, greiving-first holidy since it has been this way. It is so hard for her to do anything she does not want to do. I insisted she help me with shopping. I did let her drive some. She is like buy me this , buy me that and I got her a few things. When I lost it though was when we were checking out at the last strore and I asked her to swipe the card for me. She nodded her head no. I exploded as she has stolen thousands from us (crdeit card)and when I asked her to help it was that attitude of I can do whatevetr I want. She is also not obeying the limit about not contacting inappropriate people (drug users/alcholhol users) and too old for her. I just needed to share this.
    Today we are taking her to a meeting at the local AA club and there is a T-Day dinner. I have been coolkng all day at home. I am going to have her help and exercise. Thanks for being here.
    Sallie-warrior mom, 55
    Cory, 18 ADHD never medicated doing great
    Cara, difficult child 15 Bipolar, conduct disorder, substance abuser, Abilify 15; Lactimal 75
    Bill, difficult child 33 no contact since summer, 2006
    Greg-60 husband, taking more of a role
  2. 627666

    627666 New Member

    I am so sorry to hear about your day with your daughter! It sounds like you have been through alot for sure. You are a warrior indeed. Try to enjoy your day and focus on your blessings. You are doing all you can for her and your other children, it seems, and you are only human. I am sure one day your daughter will realize all you have done for her. There is always hope, right?

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Try to have a good Thanksgiving anyways. I went thought the drug abuse with my daughter, and it's not fun, but you are doing everything you can for her. My daughter was on parole a few times, although never sent away. Nobody really knew how much she used as far as drugs--not until she quit and told me everything. Yes, there is hope. My daughter, hardcore user from 12-19 quit on her own a nd is now au naturale and a great young adult at 24.
    Keep doing what you're doing. All you can do, at her age, is try to get her to comply and offer her help and you are doing both.
  4. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    Happy thanks givng compassion Mom: When we are taking our teens back in hand
    because they can not handle the respociblity of an adult we have to really think about how we are in this new relationship with them.

    I saw a piece on tv about the 16 year old brain and what parts are still developing.
    And where the growth between 16 and 25 in the brain is...I do not think human beings are so differant now as any other tiime in history. What is available to do, on the other hand, seems to tell all.
    The most challenging thing for me is how to direct their time. And I remember when I was the teen being aware that there is not enough for teenagers to do.
    I did quite a bit all together, but for this generation there is less oppertunity readily availble.
    Clearly you have to do something like what I have been which is tracking what is and with whom the teen is doing what.
    My son tells me that he is older and I have to be ready to give him freedom. I am hoping that in the next months he is going to understand better what I and alot of people who he will be in all types of relationships from work to personal do need much of the same from a possitive person.
    REspect,,responsibility,trutworthyness,courtesy, caring and fairness.
    I hope you hang in and make the day good and full of memory.
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I just looked at your other post as well so what I say here probably goes for both.

    You said in the other thread that you're already using the Baskets, etc. so telling you to read "Explosive Child" sounds like has already happened. It SHOULD work (although doesn't always) but from my own experience, whenever you "lose it" you undermine your previous good progress.

    A big part of the problem is, we still see our teens as children needing a lot of guidance, support and supervision, while they see themselves as highly capable, undervalued, mistreated, overworked and misunderstood.

    The truth is somewhere in the middle.

    Your ultimate aim for your daughter should be to have her happy, productive, independent and living a good, honest and healthy life. Getting there from here sometimes seems impossible. And the more you try to control the direction she is going, the more she tries to kick over the traces and go her own wild way. From her point of view, she's entitled. From your point of view, she's an infant who shouldn't be let of of the zoo without a team of keepers and a tranquiliser gun.

    What has worked for us and what I recommend - change your approach to her, ease back on being the heavy parent and put yourself in the role of flatmate. OK, you can be the flatmate whose name is on the lease, if you like. But when you interact with her, try to treat her as if she is an adult flatmate, rather than a difficult child.

    We've all had times when we had a flatmate (or adult relative) who was being difficult or obtuse. But we talk to them differently, than we do to our children. If you did talk to your mother in law (for example) using the same words and tone you use for your daughter, you might find big problems. It is perhaps time to shift your relationship with your daughter into a different gear.

    That doesn't mean you have to allow her to run wild - far from it. There are common courtesies you need to use when interacting with others sharing the living space. Some draw up rosters - you would need her more cooperative for this. You will need to make some changes more slowly, I suspect a chores roster wouldn't work just yet.

    But use opportunities as they arise - when she "wants" something, she needs to justify it unless it's her money she's spending. Similarly, when YOU want something, YOU have to be able to justify it unless it's your money you're spending (as distinct form household money). A fine distinction, I know.

    Other courtesies - the most important one is to let one another know where you will be and when you will be home. This goes for EVERYONE in the household, including you. And there is a very practical reason - whoever is cooking dinner needs to know how many mouths to feed and what time to put it on the table. There is also the aspect of teamwork and mutual cooperation. If one of you is going shopping, maybe the other might have some dry-cleaning to pick up. When we help one another, it builds bonds. It might be a simple task to buy an extra bottle of lemonade when you go shopping, simply because daughter has asked you to get an extra bottle because she has a friend coming over. In return, next time she pops out to buy a bottle of lemonade she mighty be able to get a loaf of bread while she's there, thereby saving you a double trip.
    It takes time to build up this level of thoughtfulness after the typical teen habits of total selfishness; but it needs patience to get it there, not anger and annoyance (no matter how tempting). It CAN get there, it can take years. But you can get levels of cooperation developing in the meantime.

    So we have a house rule - we let one another know. For example, today I got a phone call from mother in law (who lives nearby). She had gone out on the bus with her bus fare in her pocket, but left everything else at home - wallet, credit cards, cash, medication, walking stick. I had intended to stay home but realised mother in law needed rescuing. So I told difficult child 3, "I have to go out to get grandma. I'll probably be a few hours because I'll do the grocery shopping while I'm out. I'll have my mobile phone; call me if you need me."
    I also rang husband to let him know my movements. husband reminded me that we've been trying to buy a big tin of olive oil, could I try to get some?

    So I met up with mother in law who was roughly where I expected her to be, because she had already told me her movements. She didn't have to wait around for me, I didn't have to wait around for her. We talked - what tasks did she still need to do? Together we planned the various things we needed to do so we got as much done without having to backtrack or double up. "While you're in this store I'll go to the shop next door, we'll meet back here."

    I got home to see difficult child 3 working on his schoolwork. I was within the time he had expected to see me. He finished his work then said he planned to go out. He asked my advice - "I can see it's going to rain - should I perhaps stay closer to home?"
    I told him, "It's almost summer, any rain will be warm. Just stay on the paths and don't go so far, so you can get back home quickly when the storm blows up."
    I had to go back to the local shops and told difficult child 3 where I was going and how long I would be. I was almost back when he sent a text message to my phone - "I'm going out to the cliffs now. I've left the back door unlocked for you. I'll be back at 6 pm."

    Meanwhile I've spoken to husband to let him know I invited mother in law to dinner. husband said, "Don't rush dinner, I'm going to be late leaving work. I'll be home about 8 pm."

    The kids grew up seeing this rule applying to everybody in the house regardless of age.

    Another tactic to try - when your child complains about the food not being what he/she wants, engage them into taking a turn at organising dinner. If you planned to cook something nourishing but inexpensive, then what gets cooked instead still has to fit those parameters. You can't replace spaghetti bolognese for 6 with salmon steaks for one. It takes thought, organisation, budgeting and capability. But the rule is - put up or shut up. If you want the right to complain about the meals then you have to be prepared to do something about it. That goes for anything - put up or shut up. If you want something changed, do it yourself. So if the child wants something tastier, she has to take charge of it herself. If she wants to cook a roast chicken instead of your spag bol, it needs to not break the budget, she needs to do the work to get it ready on time and she needs to make sure it all happens. Preferably, she needs to cook it herself but she CAN ask for help (after all, you ask her for help).

    Washing - we have a rule, if the washing isn't in the laundry, it won't get done. Alternatively, the kids can do their own washing if I've missed doing it. But some practical rules - if something needs special attention, i will talk the kids through it (ie a spray of vinegar on sweat smells or stains; a pre-wash soak if it's REALLY bad; a rub of soap on grimy collars or grease stains) but the time to do these things is when the clothing is put in the laundry. It goes without saying that all pockets should be emptied by the wearer when the clothing is put in the laundry. I don't expect them to do their own mending but I DO expect to be asked to do it, or to show them how to do it, BEFORE the clothing is washed (because that makes rips and tears much worse).

    Always keep in mind when you are talking to her, treat her like a flatmate. It can change how she behaves with you, especially if you can keep this up.

    Living under the one roof is increasingly needing to be cooperative and mutually supportive, the older the child gets. And as with a lot of stuff in "Explosive Child", the parent has to make the first move and set the example. Parent to parent, as much as parent to child. The same rules should apply to all householders, especially if your child seems at all Aspie. They really demand absolute fairness in everything, even when it really doesn't seem fair to us.

    If your child is difficult about this, point out that you are doing this to prepare her for living independently. If she treats a flatmate with disrespect she can find herself suddenly homeless. But if she learns how to cook gourmet meals on a shoestring budget, to remove stains and mend clothes in a spare five minutes, to keep a neat bathroom and tidy bedroom, then she will be in great demand as a flatmate and will find her life as an independent adult to be much more successful.

    She'd better get some practice in now!