Not quite sure what to do..

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by tryingtohelp, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. tryingtohelp

    tryingtohelp New Member

    I currently have my friend's 15 year old daughter living with me, it's only been 2 weeks. She's staying with me because she has been lying, stealing - anything from school snacks to large amounts of money, abusing privileges, exhibiting violent behavior(minor daily hitting/poking/pinching etc. sometimes just irritating sometimes still painful, up to major violent outbursts where she will punch her mother in the face or shove her violently etc) not doing what she's asked, demanding privileges without even following basic house rules, general manipulation - eg. crying if she's pulled up on lying(I'm talking about 100% certain she is lying and she's crying because you don't believe her) or not doing a job correctly etc. not doing school work, trying to start fights with people at school, being racists towards others and then saying they hate her because THEY'RE racist, blaming others for her behavior, nothing is her fault if she steals money it's because she didn't get given what she wanted, the violence is because someone is in her way or because it's funny and it's the victim's fault for not just finding it funny .. The lying is everyone else's fault because they don't believe her when she lies or sometimes when she tells the truth she lies multiple times each day, sometimes for normal things like just trying to avoid punishment for something she's done wrong, but there's other things she just makes things up seemingly for no reason. Her not doing her school work is everyone else's fault because she tries to start a fight then because she storms off to her room she can't possibly do her homework because someone made her angry(either by arguing with her or for not arguing with her)

    Anyway I'm sure you get the idea. She actually asked to come and stay with me, her mother agreed to her coming here and said well then when you're ready to stop lying and stealing you can come back. I went for strict in the beginning - not many privileges, but I didn't really have a plan in place, when she stole(within a couple of days) and lied(about the stealing) I decided to put a plan in place.. I removed a privilege which I'd left in the room which she's staying, I wrote out the plan.. Lying, stealing or abusing privileges loses her a privilege and resets her reward times. After 1 week she gets back anything that was removed. 2 weeks she gets an additional privilege of being able to do jobs for 1 hour blocks of supervised internet time(she enjoys chatting to her friends on MSN, making up stories to put on My Space about the antics she gets up to, creating new facebook after facebook because she's been told she's not to have certain people on it.)

    Results have varied, she's made it to the 1 week mark, but she's started lying (saying she didn't say or do things) then when proof is produced saying I don't remember saying/doing whatever. She said at some point that her mother and I "rub it in" when she lies(we do this by pointing out how we know she's lying about something). She is an intelligent girl but her logic is just so flawed.

    She's started at a new school because she wanted so badly to get out of her current school because of the trouble she's caused herself there, so her mother and I discussed it with their family therapist and she said make her do all the work for it and if you're ok with her going she can go to a new school. So she's put in so much effort to go to this school and it's not working out as she planned. She wont say so, but she's lying about how she's made more than 20 friends on her first day and had other people following her around and the hottest guy in school is walking her to all her classes and his name is coincidentally the same as the guy who she spent NYE with. The name's not all that common, she doesn't know we're aware of the story she made up about NYE for her My Space. Her other friends all have the names of other people she's recently been friends with or she just doesn't remember them. Obviously I wouldn't punish her for making up stories about having friends because it'll just be her feeling inadequate or that she's made the wrong choice in going to this school and she doesn't like to be wrong.

    She was genuinely trying, but now she's really trying my patience. IF she keeps up her attitude and lying and then lying about lying I will not be allowing her to get to the stage where she gets internet time but what do I do? Also if she lies or steals after she gets to the internet time point it becomes the privilege she loses for a week.

    Her behaviors are irritating, but the main problem is she wont be able to get away with behaving like this when she's an adult, the family therapist thinks she has Conduct Disorder, but the trouble is, she goes to therapists(not to mention DOCs and the police) and tells them she's beaten and never gets anything and is not fed. For a start, I've lived with them for about 2 years before and her mother never raised a hand to her let alone full on beating her as she was telling people, never gets anything? She has so many gadgets and gizmos she could be entertained for a week without doing anything twice, she's slightly overweight, so she is not unfed. But also as I say I lived with them and I know she is not abused or neglected. She(the child) has gotten DOCs involved multiple times, but then says she made it up eventually, or they do their investigations and can CLEARLY see for themselves.

    Woah this is long, I was hoping maybe I could get some advice on what to do when she's narrowly avoiding punishment by saying she forgot she'd said or done it, not lied about whether or not she'd said/done it. When she's not saying she doesn't remember or if she doesn't think it will cut it, she says she was joking when clearly it's not a joke. Not to mention any other advice on managing behaviors is welcomed. She does make me question myself quite severely(am I being too harsh punishing her for something I'd said I would? Maybe she didn't mean it.) We're about the same size(except I'm fatter) so not giving in to her demands is easy enough as she doesn't *really* intimidate me.

    I keep forgetting things, she's run away for approx a week on 3 occasions, we're in a fairly remote area now so she can't really do that now, if she does she wont get far anyway(she wont go anywhere if she doesn't have a nice warm bed and a hot dinner waiting for her). Also she's not allowed mobile phones because she's lost/had stolen 3 when she was told not to take them to school and did. Her friends who she was moved about 1700kms from were mostly drug users and/or shoplifters, when she ran away the police were pulling her friend's numbers from their system. Her 10 year old brother doesn't have any of these problems, hers started when she was about 5.

    I'm happy to take care of her while her mother gets a well deserved rest, but I don't really know how exactly to tackle her behaviors.
  2. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    Your child sounds a lot like many of our children...and it sounds like you need some professional help. You said that she has been seeing a therapist--does she have a diagnosis of anything? Is she taking any medications?

    If your well-intentioned discipline is not working, please don't feel bad. It probably just means that you need to try something different. There is a wonderful book that you will see recommended here many times over--it is "The Explosive Child" by Ross Green. He offers some wonderful advice for handling these children...and an extensive list of chores/punishments/rewards is not what he advocates for dealing with difficult kids.

    Welcome to the group!

  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there.
    Is this child seeing a Psychiatrist (with the MD?) Does she have a diagnosis other than conduct disorder (which in my opinion isn't very useful)? Is she on any medication?
    Welcome to the board! ;)
  4. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    ps--when you have a moment...create a "signature" that tells us a little about your family. (age, gender, diagnosis, etc) It helps us remember who is who when you write a new post...and helps us offer age-appropriate advice.
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Tryingtohelp,
    It's great you are helping out like this. It gives her mother a break, and it gives your daughter an additional reinforcement that no matter where she is, her behavior will not be tolerated.

    I love the way you underplay her effect on you, saying "She's trying my patience," and "her behavior is irritating." You must be really good at detachment!

    Do not second guess your own discipline. Stick to your guns. If you say you are going to take away something, take it away. If you say you are going to reward her, then reward her. With all the "noise" that's going on in her head, she needs consistency.

    Seems like she needs intensive psychiatric therapy and some medications, too.
    You are in very good company here.

    Oh, by the way, with-a diagnosis of conduct disorder, it seems like she would have other issues ... maybe bipolar or something? Is she adopted?
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Welcome aboard. You sound like a AAAA friend! :D

    Has the teen ever had a full neuropsychological evaluation to identify her problems? If she has developed this pattern over a ten year period it is only to be expected that the teen years would multiply the issues. Those are rough years for most kids...and parents and friends.

    Have you all ever considered a therapeutic residendial facility? Good ones are evidently difficult to find and they cost a mint but she sounds like she needs help pronto to attempt changes. At home behavior modification can be helpful but honestly at this stage in her life I really wonder if even the perfect home environment could change things around significantly.

    I'm glad you found us. As you will see we have differing opinions but all the CD family members offer their best support. Welcome. DDD
  7. compassion

    compassion Member

    This girl sounds so-oooo much like my dauhther who has a conduct disorder, is bipopolr and abuses subatances. She does th same stuff and then when she is in new situaitons quickly gets into the same pickle. I am in process of putting my duahgter in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) becasue she simply does not have the interanl control to stop her reckless behavior. Compassion