OK Warrior Moms - I Need to Devise a Plan...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DaisyFace, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    As you know, after a big blow-up the other night, difficult child is staying at a friend's house for a few days to "cool off".

    Friend's Mom was willing to take difficult child in temporarily, and she is highly confident that in just a short day or two, difficult child will no longer be angry and be ready to ask forgiveness and come home. (Obviously, friend's Mom does not know difficult child very well. LOL!)

    Meanwhile, Friend's Mom has unwittingly set a bad precendent. She has told difficult child that any time things get bad at home, she is welcome to come stay for a few days. IOW - any time difficult child does not want to follow our rules, she can run off to friend's house and everything will be hunky-dory. Friend's Mom thinks she is doing a wonderful service and "saving" difficult child from going off and doing something she'll regret.

    difficult child came over yesterday to get a couple of things and BOY was she COCKY! Rude to me...all kinds of attitude...and on her way back out the door she told me "Bye! See you whenever..."

    So....we are not...shall we say..."eager" to get her home.

    Legally, we cannot lock her out...

    But I'll be d*mned if i'm gonna have this cocky "anytime-I-don't-like-what-you-say-I'll-just-go-to-friend's-house" teen terrorizing this household.

    So -

    What can I do ?

    I'm thinking along the lines of stripping the bedroom and creating a big list of expectations.

    What do you think?

    Thanks for any suggestions...
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Friend's Mom is going to learn fast isn't she!? LOL I like the idea of stripping the room and making a list. It would serve a dual purpose, teaching difficult child there are consequences for her actions (leaving) and get some peace and quiet because when difficult child sees what you've done, she'll never come home! Gotta love it. It just might work. I have tried explaining to my difficult child how much worse things "could" be when he complains about how his life sucks and I don't let him do anything and I don't love him because I won't buy him X or let him do Y.
  3. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    IMVHO, let her learn whatever she will learn from this experience. Do nothing. She will learn more on her own as she goes through the process. Sure, there will be consequences of her attitude towards you. You will desire to spend less time with her and maybe not include her in on some things that she might enjoy.

    Let her go to friend's moms as she needs to. It takes a village, right? Let them be a part of your village. It may or may not help. It has not been tried yet, right? We never know what might help. Even a few conversations with this mom or watching how her friend interfaces with her mom....you never know!

    I know not many will agree with this, but I seriously got the most results when I did not react and let her learn on her own. For real.
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I tend to agree with Wend. Taking "action" will trigger a "reaction" and it's very doubtful that there would be any positive lesson learned from that. on the other hand....I haven't faced that exact situation so my thoughts are just that...thoughts, not recommendations. DDD
  5. seriously

    seriously New Member


    I didn't go back and read about the blow up so I may be totally off base but am inclined to agree with Wend and DDD. Take it FWIW.

    Despite the cockiness, difficult child is taking appropriate action to remove herself from a volatile situation where there is likely to be further severe confrontation and conflict.

    One could choose to see this as a positive step on her part. She has chosen voluntarily (I assume) to disengage rather than continue to fight with you. If she can become physical with you during fights and she has withdrawn before/instead of getting combative then that could be a really big change in her behavior that you don't want to discourage at this point. Yes, in the long run you want her to learn to handle conflict directly and more appropriately using words rather than actions. But this may be a place to start.

    And presumably the other mom expects her own kid to behave appropriately (words) and will model this for difficult child. Again, it's a place to start. And who knows - maybe difficult child will do better there because she is away from what has become a triggering environment. I have often thought that there were good reasons people in the past fostered their teens out to people who lived several hundred miles away, preferably on a farm.

    We have worked hard to teach our difficult child 2 to disengage rather than continue the conflict - even if that takes the form of his withdrawing to the yard or taking a long walk or running out of the room without an explanation. We are still working on getting him to verbalize "I need a break and I'm taking a walk" or whatever. But the basic act of withdrawing before he explodes is what we really wanted to see him be able to do.

    Your difficult child thinks she has put one over on you by withdrawing to friend's house. That is the reason she is cocky and disrespectful when she shows up.

    You, being a grown up and not a difficult child, understand that the issues that caused the conflict have not gone away and that, in fact, she has not put one over on you but rather is doing something to take care of herself that should not be discouraged.

    I think when she comes home for something and talks disrespectfully that you should do your best to ignore the attitude and not react to her. If this will be hard for you to do then minimize the exchanges - don't speak one word more than you have to, leave her notes on her bed if you need to communicate with her, switch hit with husband, whatever.
  6. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I think I may not have made myself clear:

    We LOVE that she is at a friend's house. In fact, we love it so much - we prefer that she STAY.

    The problem, from our point of view - is that difficult child figures she has every right to be here and can treat us as much like garbage as she wants....and if we try to draw a boundary - she will just leave...perhaps in another violent scene.

    So we are wondering, what we can do to "encourage" her to stay at friend's house...

    since we do not, realistically, expect any major change of heart from difficult child.
  7. Peace Please

    Peace Please New Member

    I guess I would be asking myself some questions about the long-term results in this situation. It does depend on the difficult child and what's best for them. Let me say that in the case of our difficult child, it wouldn't be a good idea for him to be able to run to someone else every time he's angry or upset with us. He would never be home. That does sound attractive some days, but is that the best thing for him? We have a specific schedule and rules at home, and the place Little would go has NO rules or structure (probably why he always wants to go there LOL). We have found that no structure or rules, where it's more fun for Little, makes things worse. He NEEDS structure to alleviate his anxiety. Just one day in an unstructured environment brings on a week of rude comments and more tantrums. We wouldn't continue to do this if it wasn't working. It's working slowly, but it's working.

    I guess the questions I would ask myself are:
    1. Is this the best option for your daughter? Will she learn anything on her own, or is she just trying to escape the rules of home?
    2. How long will she be welcome at friend's house? Is this a good long-term option for letting her cool down? If she gets used to this arrangement, and it's suddenly taken away from her, how would she react? Would it make things worse at your home in the long-run?

    When it comes to stripping her room and making a list of expectations, I would definitely do that. in my opinion, if she doesn't respect the rules of the house, she doesn't deserve to have luxuries, just the basics. She should have to earn the luxuries back over time by following the list of expectations, and hopefully learn something in the process. It may sound cold, but that's my opinion. I refuse to allow a child to take over in my home
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    I haven't faced this one as a parent, but I've been the difficult child in the position. Slightly different circumstances.........I was 12 and Mom, well to this day I don't know what crawled up her fanny that day, but she was either having a psychotic break or major p*ssed at someone (thinking the first one really) and moment I walked in from school she kicked me out. I walked the 3 miles downtown to find grandma.....who lived with my aunt Janet at the time.......Aunt became incensed, went home with her. Aunt did not call mom. Grandma did not call mom. Mom finally wised up and figured out where I must've gone and did the calling.

    Now being a difficult child......... She called I refused to speak to her. (aunt backed me up) Sister called, I refused to speak to her too. (knew mom put her up to it.) This went on for much of that summer.......actually most of it. I only caved because my Mom was driving my sis insane and she begged me to please come home.

    Now I say this for a reason. Aunt's rules were very similar to my mom's, and grandma's rules were actually stricter than both. But I was used to that. And even as a difficult child I was smart enough not to cross my grandma ever. lol BUT honestly? If it weren't for my sis............and mom truly was driving her nuts.........I would have never gone back.

    That It Takes A Village...........is bull hocky. Ok, it's bull hocky in this society. In the culture from where it comes and in similar ones it works great. Because everyone is pretty much on the same page.

    You've no clue that this mom is on the same page as you. You've no clue what her rules are or that she will enforce them, especially on a child not hers. It sounds like her intentions are good at least. (many arent't) But what she's doing is both undermining your authority and undermining your parenting.

    I can't tell you what to do. I don't know difficult child that well. But I'll tell you what I'd do if it were me.

    I'd invite that Mom over for coffee and have a big sit down with her. And I would find a way to put this shoe onto HER foot and see just how well those same good intentions would feel to her.

    Next, I'd locate difficult child, dig my fingernails into her earlobe, and drag her fanny all the way home that way. Then there would be huge consequences to adjust some major teen attitude. I've found cleaning toilets is a very good option. Now I know why the army does it. So does mopping with a toothbrush........as does cinderella duty..........ending the social life for a period of time.....cell, computer, land line phone, leaving the house ect. Depends on the child what works best.

    The reason I said I'd have a sit down woman to woman, mom to mom meeting with kindly friend's mom? Is so she doesn't butt in a 2nd time. A couple of hours to cool off.......with maybe her explaining a mom's side of things.....ok. Days where it's like a vacation? NO.

    I'd do the You can come here to cool off thing. They got like 2 hrs tops. Parent knew where they were. I was 9 times out of 10 more strict that at home parent was. End of those 2 hrs they got send home. During those 2 hrs I listened to their side.........and gave them a parents view of the situation and why. Then they were sent home. Parent was told they were on their way. I can't tell you how many endless times I did this for Nichole's friends. I also knew those parents and kids very well.

    That is a It's Take's a Village, sort of thing. Not stay here and enjoy a mini vacation cause you just had a huge blow out with your mom.

    When arguments get out of control it's good to have a place to go to cool off before you do/say something you regret later. But if you and other mom are not on the same page about it down the line? It's not going to happen that way. difficult child is going to get mini vacations every time she blows her top.......going to see other mom as a place she can go when she doesn't like what you have to say.......and your authority as a parent just got tanked. If other mom gets tired of the drama......difficult child will find another parent to take her place, and the next one may be way worse than this one.

    My difficult children needed to cool off, they did it in their rooms. I left them alone to think, vent, whatever. Once they were calm again........we'd talk, not yell, talk. If teen attitude needed adjusted first, then that would come first, then we'd talk.

    A tough spot. But biggest problem is that if difficult child knows she has somewhere to escape to........what you say/do is not going to have the same meaning to her anymore.

  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I think I'd let natural consequences play this one. If you think you're the one that will suffer the most, just remember how the woman is going to feel when difficult child pops over unannounced and b***y every time she doesn't get her way with you and stays some undetermined amount of time. My guess is that it will get old with that woman pretty darn quick. Use it as respite and enjoy it while it lasts.
  10. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    See if you can make it for a specific amount of time. Maybe 2 months, pay them child support and tell her she can call when she would like to visit, but she would be a guest and would be required to be respecful.
  11. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I agree with bits and pieces from others...

    Enjoy the respite...

    IF you have the energy, strip her room... Otherwise? Just go in and take back your stuff.

    I would talk to L's mom, too. Sometimes... People who aren't in the situation are just naive.
  12. keista

    keista New Member

    I don't think friend's mom set a bad precedent, but she certainly doesn't know what she's gotten herself into. Does difficult child EVER like the rules at your house? She might calm down and come home for a night, but knowing she's got and "easy" out now, she will probably be gone more than home, untill friend's mom decides it's not working for her.

    I think it's a great idea. Only leave the necessities, and maybe stuff she bought herself, or got as gifts from others. I think this is definitely a project for you and Ms Ally this today. Wonder what she's gonna think about all this?

    This reminded me very much of a situation I had with a 15 y/o that was staying with me for a while. (his mom, my friend, was in prison, and we agreed to take him in to keep him out of the system. He was NOT a difficult child - well, maybe a cultural one 'around the edges' - and we agreed t take him to offer him a view of more "stable" family life.) Anyway, I don't even remember what the real issue was but, it was 'normal' teenage stuff, and he screwed something up royally, so I grounded him for two weeks. Of course he wasn't happy at all, and discussion led to argument, and argument led to him deciding to just walk out and go to a friend's. He was grounded, so if he left, he was doubly in trouble and husband told him not to come back. Well, friend's mom was totally OK with it, and we talked and worked out a plan. (so much more to the story but totally not relevant here). Needless to say, about 3 days later, I got a call from this boy. He wanted to go to a theme park with friends. He had asked friend's mom for permission to go. She wasn't comfortable granting that permission because her kid wasn't going, and this was a "pretty big deal" and she had no legal power/responsibility for him, s she made him call me. That was one of the few times that I thought REALLY fast 'on my feet'. I told him that I had grounded him for two weeks, and if he actually had the nerve to ask my permission to go, the answer was NO, because as far as I was concerned, he was still grounded, even though he was not living in my house. YAY me! Friends' mom thought it was brilliant! Again, this boy was not a true difficult child.

    Anyway, on further reflection, I would reach out to difficult child's friend's mom, and thank her for 'helping' out difficult child, and while I don't think you have to give her any gory details, express legitimate concerns, and keep lines of communication open. The bad side of this is if difficult child if filling her with lies, and she is a "good" mom, difficult child may no longer be welcome there.
  13. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I only scanned the other answers so maybe this has been said already. I would let her come and go as needed. When she was home, I would expect her to follow the rules. If putting her dishes away or whatever causes her to need a cool off period, let her go and the other mom see it. I would think eventually, the other mom would notice that difficult child is always mad over common requests.

    I wouldn't strip her room because I would want the other mom to see that my rules were reasonable and difficult child was the problem. If difficult child goes over there and says she has nothing but a mattress on the floor, what will the other mom think?

    We know difficult child might deserve this, but to a parent of a typical kid, it might seem that you are the unreasonable one. I don't think that would help the situation at all. Plus, it will only inflame difficult child more and probably won't make her want to come home and follow the rules.

    My daughter has been the unreasonable one in the past and I could see her running off in a defiant huff if she ever lets herself spiral down like that. I would be grateful if she had a place to go that she was safe.

    Eventually, she will realize she can't always go storming off from a situation she doesn't like. It might be next month when the other mom has enough of her or it might be when she has an unpleasant boss some day.

    I agree the best lessons come from letting them see what happens rather than me imposing something on them. It might seem like she is getting off easy but it is unlikely it will really turn out that way, in my opinion.
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I sort of have two opinions. One is that you should do everything possible to keep difficult child gone. She clearly is NOT healthy to have around your son, or in your home. Offer the other mom custody. Make it clear that if she wants your kid, she takes her for good. Not for minivacations, for good. No back and forth. You live in one home. Period. If you are well behaved you get to go on sleepovers for one or maybe two nights on non-school nights. If you aren't? You do not go anywhere and you have a ton of chores.

    Make sure that home rules are clearly posted, they include LOTS of chores, only wearing clothing mom likes, not shopping with those who are not family because you shoplift (if that is one of her habits), whatever. Make home very uninviting. I remember we gave a lady who lived in NY this advice because there parents MUST provide a home if a child under the idiotic age of 21 chooses to live with them. they have to provide a roof, food, etc... but can make any rules they want. Make those rules tough and enforce them. So the kid in MY was able to move out from age 16 to 21, but couldn't get food stamps or other support. If they needed that support they had to go home to parents, who legally had to provide it. But with the strict rules, few kids chose to stay (put in place because the difficult child behavior was abusing the family and out of control, of course, not just to drive a kid out if the kids was a easy child).

    Keep the rules that are in place that difficult child hates. Strip the room so she does not WANT to come back. Not of everything, just everything that isn't hers, that you didn't buy her and you think/know she stole from someone/somewhere. Take out luxury items like ipods, tv, computer, whatever. Get rid of things that are dirty and collect dust - she moved out so she does NOT have the right to store her junk there.

    Or, force her to come home, let the mom know she is a runaway when she goes there and you will call the police and go and drag her home. Mom will then likely sympathize mroe with difficult child and let her come there more. Or mom will not want legal trouble and will kick her out.

    Think about it, but I would NOT make easy rules just to get this mom to think you are reasonable. You know how far difficult child will push you if you give her a smidge of an inch, so make sure the rules will keep her in line if she comes home.

    If the ohter mom wants to pay her way, have her live with them, then as long as she isn't allowing difficult child to do things like drugs, stay out all night, whatever, do what you can to encourage this mom to keep her and to encourage difficult child to not come home. THere is no benefit to the family to have her at home, is there? Make SURE that when difficult child goes to this house that she knows she MUST call before she comes over (keep the door locked - if they come and say why did you ;lock her out, tell the cops that difficult child told you she was moving out and not coming back because she didn't like the rules. You cannot lock her in her room, or the house, and she terrorizes everyone.

    Whatever happens, I would NOT allow the disney mini vaca when she is upset with something at your place. She can come home, or she can be gone, but she cannot do both. If she wants to be gone, and this other person wants her, sign over custody. Give a note taht says that this lady can take her to the doctor, sign school stuff, do whatever with her and that this woman now has custody of difficult child. Then let her terrorize the other house. Soon enough, if they have to have her all the time, not just for a day or five here and there, they won't want her. Esp when she drops her honeymoon act and does to them what she does to you. The dirty clothes/no underwear changes would gross out the parents of most of my kids' friends.
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Just wondering, what does Ms. Ally think of this? Her advice? Maybe she should go visit difficult child at this other house and let them know how bad the problems really are.
  16. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    Call me old fashioned but I have had too many women feel they could do a better job raising my sons. I'm with Susie. I also would report her as a runaway each and every time she pulls this koi. Start a long paper trail. There are consequences for her actions. If she harms the other woman will you be legally responsible for damages?

    Maybe this will get her into foster care.
  17. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    My knee-jerk reaction is go have guardianship papers drawn up so friend's mom can now be responsible for difficult child's actions and whereabouts. If she wants to "save" difficult child, let her have allllllll the enjoyment that comes with it.
  18. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I think in the not too distant future L's mom will see difficult child's true colors and this will become moot.
  19. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Let natural consequences play out. I know you don't want her to come back, but you do need to not make home too deliberately unattractive or you give her ammunition to use against you in false accusations. "See? I TOLD you my mother was mean! She stripped my room!"

    If there is stuff of yours or anybody else's that she nicked, take it back. I would treat her room as I would any child who left home under pleasant circumstances (say, to go to college). The room is there for when the child comes back home for a visit perhaps. It also has to become a spare room at some point, but I think it is still a bit too soon. Remember the circumstances where she left - she got literally tossed out the door. So her coming and going now, and giving you attitude - ignore it or refuse to accept it, but don't react to it. The world will do your job for you very soon.

    This other mother is about to learn, fast, why difficult child is a problem for you. If she does not learn fast, it will be because for whatever reason, difficult child is able to behave better for her. And that also would be good for difficult child, even if for a while at least, it makes you look like the ogre difficult child claims you to be. If difficult child is still honeymooning at her friend's place, then she is demonstrating an ability and awareness of the social rules required. The question is - can she keep it up? What happens if she fails to keep it up?

    If YOU do the right things, the appropriate things and even the generous things (within reason, don't let yourself look like a doormat) then whatever difficult child says about you will be seen to be a lie. But if you strip out her room to the level of a jail cell, she will complain about you and get away with it.

    In summary - if miracles are happening and difficult child is able to behave in this other home - good. Let them take over from here and enjoy the tranquility. But I'm sceptical of this miracle, and feel it's just a honeymoon that won't last. In which case, all you have to do is put your feet up while you wait.

    That is when you strip her room - when she wants to come back. That is when you give her the rules and make them as strict as you want them to be - when she has worn out her welcome elsewhere. Not before. in my opinion.

  20. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Call the Mother at "The other house" and see what it would take for her to TAKE HER PERMANENTLY. I'm serious. There are provisions that can be make through YAPS, GCOC, and she can get PAID to do this as a foster parent. No I'm not joking in the least.

    You can't change and strip her room. Much as you would like to? THIS is a little miracle in itself and something that you need to take up with Caseworker. This proves that things are going down hill fast, BUT improve for HER and improve for YOUR house when she is not there. So their little ridiculous plan of trying to do "reunification" is for squat at this time. The kid is happier when she is out of the home. Period. So something needs to be made permanent. And IF they aren't going to work it out so that the Mother down the road can become a legal foster parent or guardian? Then --------They need to find placement for her because YOUR therapist NOTICES that EVERYONE in YOUR house is Rested, peaceful, joyous, happy, well adjusted, and non-chaotic without her there. (understand where I'm going with this line of thinking?) She's happy YOU are happy. Something needs to happen because the kid is DOING what she should be doing - and she's NOT under your roof. (what ISssssssssssss the key here?)

    yeah - I'm thinking group home, Residential Treatment Center (RTC), foster care........and you all need a HUGE break from each other NOW. Which is what GCOC was supposed to give you in the first place and couldn't get their act together. Now? The kid has gone and done it herself, and it's working miracles. I would say as long as she's staying there (other house) and is not getting into any trouble? I would DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT - and present my argument to someone able to place her outside of your home. Because they are going to want to know WHAT is the WHY that she can exist OUT of your home FINE ----and not IN your home. What is the KEY ?

    As far as her staying gone? Swear to you - I'd ask the other Mother to lunch, have a Mother to Mother talk and beg her to keep her all Summer. I'd tell her flat out what's going on - (not all the details) just - we can't get along and she does great at your house - can we pony up some cash and how would you feel about her staying there this summer? Yes, I'm serious. I dunno - what do you think? Is it worth $50 a week for your sanity?