Your advice is working....I didn't take the bait!!!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by bran155, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    I am trying so hard to do what all of you as well as my sw has advised me to do. I am ignoring my difficult child. She is trying hard to get a reaction out of me. I have been able to ignore it for the past couple of days. Big improvement on my part. As you all know I usually fall right into the madness.

    First of all, she never comes home. She barely even sleeps home anymore. Sad to say but it is much more peaceful and I am enjoying her not being here. Even though I am very nervous about what she is doing and where she has been staying. She came home last night 10 minutes before the door was to be locked, went right to bed and left as soon as she woke up this morning. While she was getting dressed she began trying to reel me in. She kept repeating, "I gotta go, got business to take care of", over and over again, waiting for me to go into mom mode and start the interrogation. Never happened!!! It was very hard for me to ignore her, I was actually biting my lip to keep from opening my mouth!!! She asked me for money, I of course said no and then she said "that's okay I have mad money, I don't need yours" Okay, so why are you asking me for it!!! I didn't say that to her though. She is not used to me not engaging. Before she left she then said again, "I got business to take care of mom", this time she added the word mom, she so badly wanted a response from me. Didn't get one though. Finally, she asked me for money again, again I said no, she then replied again, "I don't need your money, I am gettin my own, I got business in the works". I said "great then go take care of your business and stop asking me for my money" I told her I loved her and to have a good day.

    I am so proud of myself!!!! Although it was hard for me to keep my big mouth shut, it feels really good not to let her bait me. Of course, it is killing me inside, I want to know what the hell this kid is getting herself into. I know at this point there isn't anything I can do about it though. I am so worried about her. I just know I will be getting a call from the police very soon. If she gets arrested, she is so on her own as I absolutely WILL NOT bail her out. She is making these choices on her own so she can deal with the consequences on her own.

    Just wanted to brag about my strength today!!!! lol

    Thank you guys for the advice - it's working. :)
  2. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member


    The only thing I might add is a call to the school to warn them of possible drug dealings from her. I would not be able to live with myself if my difficult child was selling to kids.

    It may be FAR OUT THERE to consider this as a possiblity. But, hey she put the idea out there and the school can handle it from here on out. I would suggest they just keep an eye out on her.

    Great job ignoring her antics. Now on to detachment. Where it does not really 'get' to you.
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Good for you!

    Bran...these are some responses that some of us on the PE forum came up with to keep on hand when (NOT IF!) our difficult child's decided to ambush us or bait us. It might be time for you to memorize a few of them.

    "Well, I'm sure you'll work it out."

    "That sounds like an interesting idea."

    "Good for you, honey!"

    "How are you handling that?"

    "How does he/she feel?"

    "I'll need to talk to your dad/guru/dog about that."

    "I don't have an answer right now. I'll do some research."

    "Sorry, I'm on my way out the door right now and can't talk!"

    "I need some time to think about that. I'll get back to you."

    "That must make you feel good."

    "That must make you feel bad."

    "How does that make you feel?"

    "What's your opinion?"

    "I'm so sorry, honey."
    "I'm sorry to hear that."

    "So, what are you going to do?"

    and one we used quite frequently:
    "You're a smart girl; I'm sure you'll figure something out."
  4. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    Thanks for the encouragement guys!!

    Janet - thanks for the specifics, I printed that page and will keep it close to me at all times so that I am properly armed for all of her ambushes. :)

    And thanks for the chuckle.
  5. maril

    maril New Member

    Good for you/glad to hear of your success!!

    I know all about the struggle to hold my tongue. At times, it is so hard to not engage with my son but I am getting "better at it." I even "coach" my husband to disengage and, surprisingly, he is listening to me (Mr. I'll-do-it-my-way and get in the kid's face [when difficult child is out of control]). Having husband get in on the plan is crucial, as my husband is the one difficult child wants to push to the limit.
  6. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    It is hard to not be a mom, but sometimes it is all we can do. We have to sit back and wait for them to fall. Then, we can be mom again and help them -- not save them, but help them find the resources they need to get on with their lives.

    Your daughter is working hard to push you back to the way she knows and is comfortable with. Sadly, our kids and we get used to the battles, chaos, drama. Some of us (kids and adults) start to need the adrenaline rush that comes from all of the battles. The less we engage, the more they escalate, as I'm pretty sure your daughter will. Soon, you should be getting graphic details exactly what her "business" is (or what she chooses to make up to scare you).

    Think of your responses ahead of time. They could include:

    "I'm sorry you're taking that path. If you want to change, let me know. I'll help as much as I can.

    You do know that is illegal and understand that I won't help you if you're arrested?

    I'm sorry to hear you want to do that. I love you but I will have to report this to the police. You're putting other kids at risk and that's not acceptable."

    Don't discuss her actions or choices. Simply let her know they do have repercussions and what you are willing to help with and what you are not. Try to sound as non-judgmental as possible. When she goes into screaming defensive mode, walk away. Simply state you've said everything you plan to say on the matter and the conversation is over. If possible, leave the house.

    I wouldn't be surprised if you daughter is not into half of what she claims she is. She's still going to school. She's making it in before the doors are locked. She's baiting you, maybe to stop her before she really does those things but I'd guess more to get a rise out of you. I wish there was a way you could find out the truth from the fiction. Not an easy prospect when our kids are so close to (or at) adulthood.

    Good luck and keep up the good work!
  7. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    I'm so glad it's working! You did a great job--bet she was very surprised at your non-response! I think MB gave you excellent advice too. Wow, how I wish I had found this board when my dtr was about 13!
  8. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Wow, she was really pushing the buttons, wasn't she! You did really good. I don't know if it matters whether you call the school about whatever her plan is. They will most likely figure it out.

    I'm sorry for your pain, and proud of how well you did.
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    VERY good! You're right about her trying even harded when she added, "Mom."
    You did a great job. You deserve a big pat on the back.
    Now, repeat your mantra:
    "she is so on her own as I absolutely WILL NOT bail her out. She is making these choices on her own so she can deal with the consequences on her own."
  10. BestICan

    BestICan This community rocks.

    Good for you!!

    I just wanted to add an insight that a therapist once had for me. When you stop reacting, sometimes the other party will ramp up their efforts for a while until they realize you're just not going to participate. This means that you may be in for some escalating comments/baiting from difficult child until she gives up.

    Stay strong!!
  11. Jena

    Jena New Member

    Wow I am so proud of you, such strength you have. I know it's hard for you, I can't imagine. Yet your doing a great job, keep up the good work. Take some you time while your a book???

    Jen :)
  12. Pookybear66

    Pookybear66 New Member

    Great job Bran!! I know it must be tough to think of your daughter as making unsavory choices, but like you and evry1 has siad previously, they are now her choices to make. I can only imagine how strong you must have to be to be able to not react to her. Keep up the good work!! (Let us know what good books you are reading too LOL!)
  13. Lillyth

    Lillyth New Member

    Way to go Bran!!!!

    You should be proud of yourself!!!!
  14. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Way To Go Bran!!!!!!!!!!!!! You did good! Sending prayers of continued strength.
  15. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    Thank you guys for the support. Hopefully I will be able to continue on this road to detachment. I should have done this long ago. I would have saved myself so much grief!! Well, I guess it is a work in progress - huh?

    I really do gain strength from all of you. :)
  16. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Hey, Bran, well done!

    And y'know? You got the most important piece of information of all, out of that exchange. What she told you, loud and clear, is that she has been, and is trying now, to push your buttons as her primary aim. A lot of what you're worrying about MAY be happening but if it is, there's no way she would ever confide in you (few kids would) so there's really no point in asking.

    The best way to find out what is REALLY going on is NOT to ask questions,but to leave silences for her to talk into. THAT is when she is most likely to tongue-trip and tell you more than she intended.

    Meanwhile, remember the wonderful modern proverb about parents' revenge - live long enough to be a problem to your children!

    And you can start now. What do you think is gonigthrough HER head right now? Picture it.

    "My mom is being really weird, I don't know what's up. I said several times that I had business to attend to, I know she's always read that i the past as me doing drug deals - and all she said was, 'that's nice. Have a good day.' What is she up to?"

    So now, bran, if you want to have a little bit of fun, you can begin YOUR mind games. Don't just jump in, think about it carefully and be subtle. What particular conclusion would you like her to jump to? Or do you just want to keep her gently off balance without specifics?

    Things to do:

    Wear perfume and makeup around the house. Pay really careful attention to your appearance.

    Leave a travel brochure lying around but not too much out in the open. Maybe next to the phone, if you have to leave it in the open. Otherwise, have it half under a cushion on the couch.

    A real estate brochure next to the phone is a good one.

    Other things to leave next to the phone (not all at once, only one thing per day, if that often - maybe change things around every week) - armed services recruitment brochures. "Help wanted" ads in the local paper. "Holiday in a gypsy caravan" brochure. "Emigrate to Australia" brochure.

    Or you could REALLY have fun and draft your own "help wanted" brochure allegedly from the local massage parlour. "Older women wanted for dominatrix role. Own whip preferred. Removable dentures pays a bonus. Earn extra $$$ in your spare time when the kids are at school. Discretion assured."

    Then again, maybe just stop at wearing makeup and a little perfume each day.

    You have just begun the turnaround process. Stay strong and find ways to have a little fun. it will help you stiffen your spine and not bite when she's goading you. Because you're quietly goading her at the same time!

  17. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    LMAO!!!!!! Marg, you are good. I laughed out loud while reading your response, so thanks for that. Those are actually good ideas, they would freak her out!!! She actually just got home and tried to bait me once again. She took her money out of her pocket and counted it in front of me, of course so I would ask her where she got it. I didn't. I wanted to, but I fought myself not to. Whatever she is doing, she aint good at it, she only had $9.00.

    Thanks. :)
  18. recovering doormat

    recovering doormat Lapsed CDer

    Just had to put in my two cent's worth of congratulations...I'll bet you blasted her circuits by not getting drawn into the drama.

    Detaching is the hardest thing I've ever done with my kids, but mine are at the point where it is the only thing left to do. And they will ramp up the baiting because it is in their nature to try to get you to "change back" into the caring, involved parent that they have come to rely on.

    I think Marg's suggestions are a hoot too, and there is wisdom in using the energy you are accustomed to applying to your kids for yourself, as in reading a book, getting your hair cut, pamperign yourself in some small way to reinforce that you are still a whole person who is going to have a life after your kids are out the door. I'm just starting to consider that!

    I'm very proud of you because I know how hard it is to change. I hope the pats on the back strengthen your spine. Your posting has helped to remind me of what i need to do in my own house.
  19. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    There are two reasons for pampering yourself by wearing a little make-up and perfume, and taking a bit more trouble than usual with your appearance - first, you feel better about yourself and it shows you are no longer so caught up in worry about your child that you have forgotten your own needs; and second, it HINTS they you've met someone. And even if you're happily married - the hint of suspicion can have a fast sobering effect on your kids. Just be sure to whisper the truth to your partner if you have on, so he won't give the game away! And if you haven't one - you're more likely to find one, than if you're still looking worn and exhausted.

  20. Marg's Man

    Marg's Man Member


    Get your husband in on it too.

    There's two ways you can go at this by either letting her think that you two are breaking up (your sig says you think he's a great guy) or just leaving twon for an unpsecified period of time without her.

    Marg & I love messing with evil kids' heads (and not just our own).

    Marg's Man