When they truly seem to just not care...


Although there have been many similar instances throughout difficult child's life with different issues, it is truly unbelievable how much she just seems to just NOT CARE about rules or consequences.

We are in the process of getting her further evaluated - the psychiatrist we've been working with has referred us to a pediatric neurology clinic in a teaching hospital a few hours away. She has added ODD to the ADHD diagnosis, with the notation that her constellation of symptoms are not adding up to something that is clearly diagnosed, that she presents with many symptoms that are like a certain type of disorder that usually occurs as a result of injury or illness without having had any injury or illness.

difficult child is home for Thanksgiving, and one thing that has come to a head is that she was, once again, caught misusing electronics and breaking the rules we have for their use (I wasn't the one who let her use these things because I KNOW exactly what will happen).

This even AFTER both her father and grandmother both had separate talks with her about how, if she would just follow the rules for ANY decent amount of time, that these were privileges that we would actually let her have, but she is just CONSTANTLY finding ways to break them and be sneaky/deceptive about it.

This goes beyond impulse control, which she has none of. Her actions require forethought, planning, and deliberate (attempts to) cover up.

It's like she truly does not care. The not caring is pervasive, applying to many different areas of her life. And that scares the mess out of me. Like I told her grandma, until difficult child finds some inner wellspring of actually giving a damn, there's not much we can do.

What do you do when they truly don't care?


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What do you do when they truly don't care?

Make absolutely certain she does NOT LIVE WITH YOU AGAIN.

Whatever her diagnosis is, she cannot live with you with your younger kids around. I hope this time your husband and his mother will protect you and the younger ones. Your difficult child requires WAY more care then you or anyone can offer her.

Wishing you peace Greenrene, you SO deserve it.


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I know we've asked before... and as this is your step-daughter, you may not know. But... the more I read of what you write, the more it almost sounds like something related to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) or Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) or pre-natal-drug impacts. In which case... she really just does not get it; some of these kids just are unable to get it. Not that it changes needing to protect the rest of the kids, but... wondering if that possibility has been brought up to the specialists?


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There isn't much you can do and that is why so many of us have given up the little fights. Setting limits on stuff doesn't work for them. It just causes anger. Plus she is going to fail so why set her up for failure.

in my humble opinion I would stop fighting those little fights. No one was going to die if she kept playing that electronic device. On the other hand I realize you have younger kids who might also want to play. This is when you tell difficult child she can either play with the sibling or she has to stop playing.

Reality here is that your difficult child isn't normal and probably won't be. You can't treat her like a typical teen because she isn't one. You can set boundaries on things that are dangerous and be firm about them. Setting up the rest of the rules will just be a waste UNLESS you can figure out a way to regiment her day and the rules to model the school. Ie: the rules there and at home are the same. She might have a chance to learn to follow them due to repetition. Keeping her on a routine/ familiar set of rules could really help. She is already living away from home and coming home may be overwhelming her. She may feel you all are expecting her to fit right in when she isn't able to adapt that quickly.


Thanks for your replies.

It wasn't that she was "playing" on the electronic devices that was the problem. We have no problem with her playing games, watching Netflix, etc. difficult child takes it into dangerous territory by accessing social network sites, chat sites, etc. We had a HUGE issue over the summer with her texting a complete stranger who claimed to be Justin Bieber. We don't really know if she really thought it was JB or not, but she found umpteen ways to continue contacting this person (even giving him her address at school), who was extremely vulgar and sexually inappropriate - that's what led to her electronics restrictions. Even after all the talks about internet predators and how to stay safe online, she just either didn't get it, didn't care, or both.

Our rules for her using electronics are simple - no social networks, no texting, no emailing, no chatting. EVERY SINGLE TIME she is given even a CHANCE to use electronics appropriately, she blows it, often on the very same day. This time she was caught using Facebook (under a fake name), Kik, and Skype. She has "friended" numerous obviously fake celebrity profiles on FB and attempts to contact these people. She is a danger to herself, and potentially to us, as she has no clue how to conduct herself appropriately in social media.

As to the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)/Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE)/drugs... I honestly have no idea. I wouldn't be at ALL surprised, but I have no proof. I know that husband at the time was a heavy drug user in the depths of his own difficult child hell, and he obviously wasn't very choosy about his sexual partners. Biomom is a major piece of work, a full-blown, over the top difficult child.

Gotta go, baby wants to nurse...


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Hi from my hotel in Chicago for Thanksgiving.

I think IC and whoever else (forgot...so sorry) mentioned Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)/Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) a has very good possible cause. Bio. mom likely used drugs and drank during her pregnancy. From this comes brain wiring and connection problems that are not the child's fault and can not be cured. They are organic in nature. Not understanding easy things is one symptom.

Attachment disorder is another huge possibility. The heart and soul is torn out of these kids from early deprivation and loving them later on does not eradicate that. It takes often years of attachment/bonding specific therapy. Even then, there is no guarantee and difficult child is kind of old for this sort of therapy and possibly unable to understand it.

But the actual point was made by Recovering Enabler. If she is a threat to your or anybody or anything alive in your home, it would be very risky to allow her to live with you. She needs outside help, which social services can provide. We have to remember that we and our othe loved ones are as precious as our grown childen who are "different." We need to love and care for ourselves and our well behaved loved ones and our innocent pets as much as we care for and would like to help those whom we love who are dangerous to them. If we don't, the consequences are often even more far reaching than trying to get outside services and a new residence for that one damaged love one. Sometimes we even have to allow them homelessness...it is of course a last resort for most.

I wish you luck and hope you can find a solution to this. You can not control her even 1%. Only she can make herself better unless she is truly brain damaged. If so, she needs perhaps assisted living or a group home...where she can be watched all the time. This one could harm your very young ones.

Hugs for your hurting heart.
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