Possible ODD in my 16 year old. Wher to start?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Jonsandi, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. Jonsandi

    Jonsandi New Member

    Hi I am a newbie, and found purely by chance your forum whilst trauling the net for help with my daughter's behaviour.

    Since very early on (around 7) she has been a most complex charactar, and she has becoming more and more defiant at home, although she does ok at school, and is never flagged up as belligerant or defiant at school. she has complex friendship groups both whilst at Primary school and now at senior (high school). She likes to see herself as a councellor to her friends and attracts some troubled friends via Tumbler and facebook she talks at length to on Skype. At home, she shows no warmth, care or nurturing towards any of us, she isloates herself, and claims that she shouldn't have any responsibility at home. She doesn't think she should do chores or even clean her own room. More worryingly, she is unable to agree on food we offer her, she oftens feeds herself with rubbish, activily turning her nose up at every offer of food we can come up with..up to 7 options at one time. she swears, has tantrums and enjoys putting my wife down at every possible opportunity. she denies she has a problem, and will not go to concelling or therapy. We are really at our witts end..help!
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Wow...I am sorry she's treating you this way. You're being such a good dad by trying to find ways to help her. For the food, I'd say keep ALL "junk" food locked up tight or don't buy any. If she doesn't DO anything around the house she shouldn't be given any money or access to anything that costs money, ie cell phone, computer, television, movies, fees for activities, ANYTHING. I have just had to teach my 13 year olds this lesson. Those things cost money so if you can't take care of your responsibilities, you don't get to have the privileges. I had to remind them that the law only requires me to provide access to food (nowhere does it say this includes junk food), adequate shelter, and health care. Nowhere does it say I have to wash laundry that isn't where it should be or pay the fee to play soccer or go to Boy Scouts or even to pay for cable, internet, and cellular service. Those are all privileges that have to be earned. If she insists on doing nothing, she gets nothing. That's how I have been dealing with the "typical teen" stuff. Showing respect to others int he house also falls under the responsibilities. Nowhere does it say I have to let her go out with her friends. Unsupervised time has to be earned as well.

    Are there any other issues that make you think there might be more than just typical teen behavior? You mentioned that she's been a "complex character" since she was around 7. Can you explain more of what you've been seeing since way back then? Could she be using drugs of ANY kind. If this shift in personality towards you is new, it could be drugs but not necessarily. I ask because it is common.

    Welcome to our little corner of the world. Others will be along but week-ends around here tend to be a little slower. Check back often. You can also try reading through the archives and see if anything there sounds helpful to you.
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Welcome aboard. You have found a wonderful site with caring people. Is she an only child? Do you all have any rules that have been successful with her? Questions, questions..lol. I'm wondering if she is displaying typcial teen angst. I have raised a bunch of teens over many years and it is a bit tricky as each one is different. The fact that she is doing well in school is wonderful. If there have been no major recent changes then likely substance abuse is not an issue. Those two factors are reason for celebration.

    Many of us have found that we need to sift through teen behavior and focus on the issues of importance. Reading your post it sounds like she is being unpleasant at home and is trying to pull your chain by not eating meals with you. How obnoxious is her behavior? What, other than mealtime, is she using as a power play?

    Parental tolerance varies alot. Likely others will post soon with their imput which may be entirely different than mine. What works for one family may not work for another..and finding the balance in your home is the goal. In our home, for example, I always prepared dinner and tried to avoid meals that I knew some of the kids hated. If they didn't want to share our meal it was no big deal. They could fix (and clean up, by the way) what they preferred to eat or they could just sit at the table and eat nothing. Sharing the time was mandated. What they ate was up to them. We had no arguments about that. Regarding keeping their rooms I had to chill with later teens as it was a losing battle.
    Again, for me, it was easier to lower my expectations and simply say "if your room is not clean keep your door closed" and then "if your room becomes vulgar you will be required to clean it up with or without my help". None of my teens ever wanted a parent going through their stuff so it rarely got completely out of hand. LOL

    In slang this method is referred to as "choosing your baskets". You put your foot down on really important issues, try to compromise on medium issues and ignore the issues that are not of major relevance. Alot of times teens are seeking out conflict as they seek their self identity and try to rope the parents into negative responses. Perhaps it is time to do a basket sort. Welcome again. We're glad you found us and hope to be of help. DDD
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi there! Sorry you had to search us out but isn't it great to find people who get it??

    She sounds like she has quite an attitude going on but DDD had some good questions, if she has always been like this, there could be some underlying things that are relatively subtle but maybe not addressed fully. Any chance you can have what the equivalent here (usa) is called a neuropsychological evaluation. It is not a regular psychiatric (the medical doctor) or psychologist evaluation... it is a specialty of psychology where they do extra training in how the brain is connected to behaviors. While she is still legally in your authority (is she? not sure of your age laws) you can maybe force it... bye bye computer, and thus skype etc... if she does not comply.

    Have you ever read the book "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene? That may be helpful to you... as DDD talked about it helps sort thru priorities and explains why many traditional parenting approaches do not work well for some kids... and it gives ideas to work on them so it is not that anyone is saying this is OK! Just that as parents, we got a differently wired kid who needs a type of parenting that most of us have not been raised with.

    For those things that are privileges, I agree with TeDo, at our kids' ages it really does need to be clear to them that these things are not givens. It is going to be a rude awakening to them if they think they can just demand a variety of foods where ever they go without it being a true restaurant. I am all for a kid having input into menus when they are being planned... but to refuse what someone offers or prepares... well she will not go hungry... At our house we always allow a Peanut Butter Jelly option which HE must make if he doesn't like what I offer. It makes for no fights. There is no way he is going to mess up our meal plans because we are not that well off! We never say they can just go without food at all but we sure as heck can say they can choose that option or have the only plan B meal that is available (at your house could be PBJ or she can make macaroni and cheese .... those cheap little frozen kinds or whatever is easy and at least holds her over till the next real meal. Not your problem.

    Well, just wanted to say hi... It is not an easy road having a child who acts in such a rude way. Sorry for your struggles. It will be nice to get to know you, Dee