Someone please help.............

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by crystal2, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. crystal2

    crystal2 New Member

    I am new to the thread. I will tell you a little about what is going on.
    My 12yo daughter has been diagnosed with ODD, Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED), MOOD disorder (possible bipolar). Her major problems started about a year and a half ago, after regular contact with her biological dad started. Her grades have dropped, she has problems with authority, very few friends, and the worst of all is her rages. When she goes into a rage, there is no calming her down, she gets physical (hits, she once threw windex in my husband's face). There are really no words to describe her rages. It seems like no once understands. My husband has spanked her, where she will physically fight him, and she has reported this to CPS, her biodad, her counselor as "he hits her".
    I allowed her to be admitted to a psychiatric facility last week. Her dad is not trying to get sole custody based on abuse by my husband, unfounded. CPS has cleared us of abuse but now we have an intensive in home therapy program starting. She has been on abilify since october, which was just increased.
    Everyday since she was released, she has had a rage. She refuses to mind me at all, threatens to call the cops, tries to run away, and any interaction with her is her attempting to start a fight. I realize my husband is a trigger for her. I just dont know how to help her, do I leave my husband? I also have another daughter and step son who is getting neglected because of her. We walk around of eggshells trying to avoid conflict.
    Does she need new medicine? How do I prove in court she isnt being abused?
    I would greatly appreciate any advice.
  2. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member


    Have you ever videotaped these rages? sometimes it helps to have this documented for a variety of reasons including future uses. I would for sure get a few of them on tape.

    Your husband has to remove himself from any disciplinary actions when it comes to his stepchildren. I know it does not feel right, but it is what works best with these kids and step parents.
  3. in my humble opinion a 12 year old girl should not be spanked by a father let alone a step father. She has gotten too old for this to be effective, if it ever was.
  4. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip


    First question... Is there any history of bipolar, etc. in her biological history? This can be (and often is) passed down. When was she diagnosis'd?

    Is she your only child with ex, or is your other daughter visiting him, also? Why did regular contact with bio stop, and when? How long have you been married to your husband? (Many of us have all this stuff in our signatures... To make it a bit easier to remember what's what and who's who.)

    This sent a chill down my spine when I read it. There seems to be a connection that you have made with this. Was it immediate? What are visits like (supervised/unsupervised, a few hours/overnights, etc.)? And... why sudden regular contact?

    I'm not quite clear on the statement "Her dad is not trying to get sole custody based on abuse by my husband, unfounded." - is this "now trying"? because if it is? He's going to have a heckuva time, explaining why he wasn't in her life for so long.
  5. crystal2

    crystal2 New Member

    Sorry, I should have given more info. Her bio dad moved 600 miles away when she was an infant and had very little contact with her until 2005. His contact has increased since. She claims that she wants to live with him, but we didnt have these types of problems before. I meant to say, he is now trying to get sole custody.
    My husband and I have been married for 6 years so he is really the only father figure my daughter has known. When he has spanked her (a total of 5 times maybe), its been really in self defense because she was hitting him or kicking him or her sister. Its like she blames him for her dad not being here. Granted the spanking was not effective and maybe she is a little too old for that. But what do you do when they hit you? If you try to restrain them, that can leave bruises and you cant allow them to hit you. But, he has stepped back from all discipline with her and I have made arrangements where they dont have to be alone, to protect my husband from false allegations. We are not currently using any forms of physical discipline any more. We are just at a loss on how to make things better and to help her. I also told her biodad that a custody battle is really the last thing my daughter needs at the moment.

    I appreciate the responses, I will work on my signature.
  6. crystal2

    crystal2 New Member

    I have video taped them, but no one seems interested in viewing them.
  7. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Around here, 12-13 is the "magic age" when the police usually determine the child knows what they are doing.

    If she is hurting people? This is not acceptable. If CPS has been involved, you may have no choice but to call the police an report an unruly child, or request transport. This is when you may need those videos. Preferably fresh ones. You have two other children that are in danger.

    In the meantime, have an officer show you an appropriate restraining hold. My husband was trained in police academy, and the police we've had to call have never - not once - had a problem with this. Of course, it was clear that she was raging. I've seen her fight with a cop - it wasn't pretty. the hold he had her in was exactly like what husband did.

    If she's had some visits with him since 2005, and regular only since 2009, this could seriously be messing with her sense of security (or things could be worse... I don't want to frighten you, but sudden onset, to me, equals trauma). I know counseling isn't easy, but I highly recommend it. And since you've talked to CPS? Ask them for help. This doesn't mean you will get it, but it will be on record that you've asked.

    As for biodad and custody. What she needs is not necessarily what he is thinking about. In my case - I am the stepmom - and my kids' biomom and my husband had shared parenting, with her having the kids the majority of the time. The kids were abused, plain and simple. husband has full legal custody now, due to what happened to Onyxx and Jett's little half sister (biomom's) passing away and Onyxx being molested by BM's boyfriend (now husband). So in our case, we've always had raging issues (even when Onyxx was little, according to husband). However, my sweet little stepdaughter really began acting out about the same time BM started dating the creep, which was about a year after lil' sis died. Biomom has been positively horrible to husband - and since Onyxx figured this out, to Onyxx too. No wonder the girl has issues.

    What I'm trying to say is... Her biodad and you have issues, and I hope he is adult enough to leave them behind when dealing with his daughter. It doesn't always happen that way.

  8. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Hello and welcome, crystal!

    I can relate to the battles between your husband and your daughter...been there done that, and even though it's gotten a lot better, there are still moments. Even though your husband is the only real father figure she knows, she could have her bio-dad high up on a pedestal, convincing herself that her dad is totally wonderful, and her life would just be perfect if she could live with him (or if you weren't married to your husband). Is there any reason she she couldn't spend the summer with him? That might cure her of the "Daddy's perfect" thing she might have going on. When Miss KT made similar noises, I agreed, but with stipulations. She HAD TO stay for the entire school switching mid-year because she got ticked off. No more cell phone, unless her father got her one. There were more, but I can't remember now. She decided to stay home.
  9. 2ODD

    2ODD New Member

    When kids are enraged, it is difficult to deal with. The first important thing that you need to do us make sure that the other kids are in a safe place. Remove the audience. Make sure you husband is in another room but within ear shot.

    Stay calm. Calmness is very important. When you engage in battle, they have you where they want you. If you can't stay calm, you need to walk away. Remember, your home can be repaired but you only get one chance to raise your child.

    Try to redirect her. I try to use humor but that doesn't always work. Find something to divert her attention if you can.

    Give her a safe spot. Someplace that she is allowed to go to calm herself down. Of course, she may not always go there. Sometimes it just doesn't feel right. My sons spot is in his room but sometimes he wants to go to my room. How do I get him there? I hold his hands above his head so that he can't injure me and calmly say, you are going to your safe place until you calm down. DO NOT cone out until I tell you to. Yes, he screams and throws his bed around but that can be repaired.

    Once he has calmed down and sufficient time has passed, sometimes its even the next day, I calmly revisit the situation. We talk about better ways that it could be handled. I give him options. We talk about what he was feeling. Then break it down so that he can recognize what's happening to him and what he is feeling step by step. I provide the feeling words for him because sometimes kids can't come up with them themselves.

    So what happens the next time a rage happens? You calmly remove everyone from the room. You calmly remind her of what steps you talked about and you calmly remove her to her safe spot.

    This us not going to work the first time. It's going to be met with resistance but keep doing it. It may take 100 tries before it works.

    Now, should she get away with bring distructive? No. Yes, there are consequences for actions. She won't agree with them but it gas to be approached when you are both calm. If she gets mad, so be it. Walk away, revisit later. Once you have made it clear what the consequences are, make sure that you follow through. There is no waiverring. Consistency is going to help you. Yup. She's going to argue, rant and rave about how unfair it is. Do not give in. They love weakness.

    Most importantly is positive reinforcement. It's hard. Every little thing that she does right, you have to thank her, tell her how good she was, whatever it takes. When my son remembers to use manners, I thank him for using good manners. When he makes a good choice, I tell him how proud I am of him for that choice.

    Schedule is another issue. It's important that they have a schedule. Let your daughter have input in her schedule. It gives her some power over her own life. It also makes it easier for her to know what's coming next. Give reminders to her 15 minutes before, 10 minutes before, 5 minutes before it's time to move to something else and tell her how great it was that she did it. Offer a small reward like 5 extra minutes of video games or something.

    I don't know if this gas helped you or not. It's what has worked for me.

    There is an underlying reason for her spinning out of control since her biological father has returned. Her life probably seems out of control to her. Confusion with the entrance of the man that is her real father. The desire to get to know him better which she needs to push you away to do. The need to be "protected" by the man that was supposed to be doing it all along and so she needs to create a circumstance to force that to occur. I don't have the answer. These are just speculations.

    Take care. You are in my thoughts. I know what you are going through.

    Prayers to you,
  10. crystal2

    crystal2 New Member

    I appreciate the response. I have tried the "safe place" in the past but I will continue to try it. She normally refuses to do anything I tell her, especially when she is in a rage.
    Something else I have a difficult time with, is to know what to contribute to her condition and what to normal behavior and try to punish accordingly. I dont like to punish over things she doesnt have control over. This whole thing is so confusing.
  11. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Take a look and see what triggers her behavior... A word, a gesture, an action, being told no??? Might help. MIGHT.
  12. 2ODD

    2ODD New Member

    Have you read Setting the Limits; Your Defiant Child; or The Explosive Child? They are all worth a read. If siblings are involved, I also recommend Sibling Abuse. Good books and another good place to start.

    Are you aware of her triggers? Does she have one main one or is it one layering on top of another?

    In our house, it's my husband but there have been rare ocurrences of a kid saying something mean at school layered on top with the gym teacher criticizing a free throw shot followed up by a kid making fun of something that he likes then coming home and supper isn't what he wanted. Layering like that can cause the explosions too. Unfortunately, we can't be there 24 hours a day to see what things are going on so that we can be prepared when they cone home. It's also unfortunate that there's a lot of things that kids just don't tell us and keep bottled up inside that are released in rages.

    When teachers at school notice that something is bothering him or there's been a tiff, they call me. I advise them on how to proceed and then I have an idea of what I will be faced with when he comes home.

    We also need to take the emphasis off of punnishment and turn it toward reward. Don't think material. Think positive attention. Kids do really want to please parents it just that they don't always know how or, sometimes we forget to acknowledge the successes.

    Yes, sometimes we have to use consequences. Sometimes we luck out and they get to be natural consequences. You punch a wall, you break your knuckle. Hard lesson to learn but nothing more needs to be said. Other times, we have to step up to the plate. You break the window, you pay restitution.

    A lot of what we say and how they react is in the words that we choose. Consequences instead of punnishment. It has a less negative sound. Think of more positive sounding words and add them to your vocabulary.

    Hope that this helps a little.