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Out-of-Control Teen's Mom Needs Your Help

By January 25, 2008

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One mom asks: "I am a parent of two teenage daughters. One is soon to be 17, the other 15. The stress is overwhelming. My biggest concern is my 15 yr. old. She skips school, goes in late, leaves after 3rd or 4th period, has failed three years in a row, is working on her 4th year of failure, won't keep her room clean, smokes, may do drugs(pot), is disrespectful towards teachers and parents, and the list goes on.

Please help me to know my choices. Can I get the police involved? Do I send her to live somewhere else? I can't get her to agree to counseling. Some days I'm just too tired to keep fighting her. What are my options?"

Denise's thoughts: "Your options would be to start checking in your local area. What is the school offering? Can you meet with a truancy officer and see what help they can provide? Set up a meeting with Children and Youth Services in your local county. Be sure to ask where they feel you could get more help.

After speaking to all of these people, you should have many options available. Please let us know how it goes."

Asking the Community: Has your teen ever been out of control? What did you do for him/her? Let's not focus on how this teen got here, let's focus on how you would help to get her out of it. Are the resources in your local area available? The school here would be able to provide us with one-on-one help for the truancy and would tell us about other services. Would your teen's school be able to do this? Offer your advice as a comment.

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Comments
January 25, 2008 at 8:45 am
(1) Kelly says:

I’m sorry for this turmoil. I have a 17 yr old son and 16 yr old daughter. My son is such a straight arrow, but my daughter keeps me on my toes for sure. Whenever she strays too far out of line I feel like there’s something she’s asking of me and I give her more attention/tlc. I take her to lunch or just for a drive and try to open a conversation, any conversation, to see what’s on her mind and heart. I tell her how important she is to me and what I want for her: strength, happiness, a happy future doing what she loves and that I want her to have higher expectations for herself. It usually works, even if only by degrees. It shows her how much I care and how much it hurts me when she is disrespectful to me or authority and most especially to herself.

January 25, 2008 at 9:07 am
(2) Fran says:

My daughter started getting out of control when she was 15 as well. Lots of reasons for it. When she started doing bad in school, I got the school involved. One day out of desperation I called the head of the guidance dept and spoke to him. That started the ball rolling to get her some help. I remember even after just talking to the guidance director I felt better. I had a sense of hope. You can’t do this alone, you have to get help and talk to someone. Start with the school.
These days my daughter is 17. She is still challenging but things are better than they were!

January 25, 2008 at 9:29 am
(3) Linda says:

Our 16 yr. old son is involved with the county system. He has been since he was 13. After he done some property damage to a neighbor’s house, the police were called. I asked them how to get help. Unfortunately, we were able to get the services he needed when the police suggested we keep calling the police for any infraction he committed. He has a social worker, is in an emotional behavior program at school and on an Intensive Supervision Program through the county. We were able to get respite by having him go to a foster home periodically on the weekends. We have a 30 day evaluation program court ordered next week.
His psychiatrist has diagnosed him with various diagnosis, ADHD, ODD, depression, anxiety, sensory issues. He sees his behavior going toward anti-social behavior. He feels that because of the intense involvement with the various services, this has kept him from committing more serious crimes, auto theft, robbery. He will probably always need these services to be successful in the community.

April 17, 2011 at 8:41 am
(4) Shirley says:

I am raising grands and my life is hell. My grandson is in the same boat as your son, has been in and out of placement since he was 5 he now is 18 and I fear that if he cannot control his anger he will end up in jail.In 1009 had him seen at Kennedy Kreiger in Maryland and found out he has afs which causes his behavior and he is mr.. All kids have problems adhd odd explosive behavior. The 15 year old girl is now acting up it is coming to the point where I now feel it is time for mom to step up. Waiting for help from Pine brook for her as soon as they find a therapist for her, mean while life is hell.

January 25, 2008 at 9:54 am
(5) Jackie says:

Contact your local mental health agency to find out about counseling for yourself and parenting classes. The counseling will help you relieve your stress and frustrations and the parenting classes will give you insight on how to react and respond to your daughter’s behavior.
jackie

January 25, 2008 at 10:04 am
(6) em says:

my daughter is 16 (and a half) and wow does this all sound familiar!! shortly after she turned 15 (entering 10th grade – which was her first year in high school) she started doing the same things… skipping school, smoking and smoking pot. she went from an a/b student who loved learning to failing several classes, barely passing the 10th grade. she also started going in her room and locking the door. we have always been an open family, so all this was very upsetting for me. my son, who now is 19 never acted out this way. but every child is different, and boys are certainly different than girls.

what did i do? i snooped in her journal, and discovered so many things that were causing her pain. i found out that she was cutting herself. she felt lonely because all her friends had someone close (boy.girlfriend) and she didnt. i found out about the smoking and drug use, and the skipping school. doing these things with others, it helped her to fit in. so i talked to the school counselor who recommended an outside counselor who charged on a sliding scale. i scheduled an appointment right away and then went to the school and got her when classes let out. we drove to the counselor and when i told her what was going on… she thanked me.

she went to counseling several times with a young in-touch counselor, and started to feel better. then, i sent her away on an internship at an interfaith sanctuary in the woods, where she worked on the farm for the summer. when it came time to start school again, she actually asked if she could stay living in the country, and be home schooled (pennsylvania has internet home school). she said she was afraid if she went back to school in the city, she might go back to her old ways. there, she felt in control of herself and of her future.

another thing i did was have a good long talk with her, as if she wasnt my daughter. sometimes as parents, we find it difficult to really relate, because what they are going through may be exactly what we went through as teens, but are embarassed to admit. we feel as adults we shouldnt show our weaknesses to our children, we should be the strong ones, to set a good example. by sharing my teenage experiences with my daughter – no matter how embarassing or bad they were, enlightened her to realize that if i could turn out okay, then she had a hope ::smiles:: i believe that when our children are teens, it is important to find a way to relate to them – not be their best friend (that never works), but show them that you too are human, and all humans have weaknesses.

was it hard to “give up” my daughter? oh heck ya! but she is back to being an a/b student… her english teacher says she is her favorite student… and she is realizing how life works.

good luck with your children. being a parent is indeed the hardest job! but remember… children are a message we send to a furture we will not see. so teach them well!

July 10, 2011 at 6:50 pm
(7) Lisa says:

Where was the place you sent your daughter I live in MD I NEED HELP with my teenage daughter. Been to counseling nothing helps. Please e-mail info to LDJEN1959@AOL.COM IN SUBJECT put OUT OF CONTROL.
Thank you so much

January 25, 2008 at 10:08 am
(8) April says:

I WAS this out of control teen. She IS calling out for help she just doesn’t know it yet. I refused counseling too at that age. However my parents made me go. I was told that if I didn’t want to go to juvenile hall then I would sit in that counseling session fro an hour once a week. My parents sat outside the door so I couldn’t leave. During my session I NEVER spoke to the counselor. That was my payback to my parents. I did however get something out of it. Every time I was there I felt life crying because someone was there for me and only me. Unfortunately the counselor said she wouldn’t see me anymore because I wasn’t talking, and she was so close to getting me to talk. It was one more person who gave up on me and it hurt.

I would send her to counseling and ask the counselor to stick it out. It will make a world of difference in the long run, but don’t expect anything to happen for a while. Also take your daughter some where with the two of you. She needs her mom and she doesn’t know how to say it. Trust me on this one. She will hate the trip with you. She will complain the entire time but it WILL mean the world to her.

January 25, 2008 at 10:29 am
(9) dlp says:

Honey: Was there again last night with my 171/2 year old daughter. She told me she could not shut the basement door as the humidity was causing difficulty and that she was letting the cat in…I saw foot prints up the stairs in the snow and questioned them. Of which she told me they were not hers! Minutes later I had a flash light in my face and it was the local police saying they had followed the footprints back to this door and a neighbour had called from another street where she had met up with 2 creeps (her friends as she says) saying hi to them in their car. Ah Yep..
Well the long and short…this has been in the making for years with her. Lying, and Sneaking around. Her problem is not drugs or alcohol (Thank God..had her tested and retested), doesn’t smoke..sex we don’t think so but who knows. Does not skip school but has tried to but our school is on the mark..and called at her first time to forge my signature (won’t do that again for sure)..her problem is male low self esteem and suffers after finally being diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
What did I do…from the start..had police intervention when the wars broke out between her and I (to protect myself in case something did happen and I was seen as an unfit mother which I am not)…second she has spent time in a Mental Health facility (couple of days to be evaluated in case it was just not teen rebellion but more serious)..and third she has been in front of the judge for unruly (this was before she was diagnosed)..on probation and in the county juvenile detention center when she went over the top and threw a coffee pot on the floor in MY HOME and put the garbage can on the floor.

Consequences and sticking to them is the key and not being swayed by a pretty face or tears from your child (my problem)…
The next is get YOU in Councelling..the stress since she hit High School has taken its toll on the family, my health, our financials with our biz and the reputation in the community – we live in small town Ohio.

For Her – you have to put down your foot – get a Psychiatrist involved, Councellors..there are many services out there that go on sliding scale as we found out. And med programs galore.

My advise…DO NOT WAIT..for her or for you…the older they get, the bigger they get physically, well all I can tell you is get can get much worse.

And to close – Everyone was involved – Guidance Councellors, Teachers, Principal, V.P., Social Worker and Outside Councellors – we had a network..also tbe police had our permission to stop here 24/7 if they saw she was somewhere unattended with us..like mid day with friends..weekends included. We made it real tight..and we knew and spoke with parents of closest friends..met them…compared notes, layed down expectations, guidelines that everyone adhered to. No sleepovers, no teen cars, parents drove and spot checks even at the malls etc.

We still have bumps in the road like last night but rare now..and she is an A/B student — one year to college. And trust me, I do spot checks at all hours of the night to her room..she never knows when I lurk.

It is awful but she knows…the door is open at 18 and baby IT IS COLD OUT THERE~!

January 25, 2008 at 10:36 am
(10) Maria says:

PRAY PRAY PRAY. That is my best advice to you. I have four children, 14 1/2, 13, 10 and 8. When I am having “discipline” problems, or something is wrong that I feel I’m losing control over, or I’m overwhelmed and don’t know where to turn, I PRAY for my kids, I PRAY for guidence from God. Any particular problems, I pray for that particular thing. I’ve also played Christian music (mainly younger childrens, cause I have some of those CD’S) in their rooms while they are at school all day…
Good luck and God Bless…

September 20, 2011 at 7:46 am
(11) islandgirl says:

Amen! That’s what I do “Pray”. My daughter is also fifteen and boy! I didn’t know it was going to be this tough. There’s a saying, where I come from. “The way you treat your mom, your daughter or daughters will do the same”. But I know for sure that’s dead wrong!. When I was growing up, I never once raised my voice at my mom or even dare give her a bad look. I was afraid I would get slapped in the face. Now it’s harder because when we descipline our children, they mistaken it for child abuse. And when we try the other way and let them go, they call it child neglect. I’m confused!

All I do is pray to God for guidance, patience, and strength to keep up with my daughter.

Maria, I have four children as well. My eldest is my daughter which is a teenager 15, my first son is 12, second son 9, and my baby girl is 7. I honestly think that boys are easier to handle than girls.

January 25, 2008 at 10:43 am
(12) dlp says:

One thing I want to add…

Do not be afraid or feel the guilt I went through years of feeling.

If you love her and I mean really love your baby as I did…you are doing her a huge dissatisfaction if you don’t help HER REAL HERSELF IN!

This is not about you as it was not about me..it is about her, her safety, and getting her on the right path to her future.

I don’t want to see my baby..be a single mom…or worse find her in the worse way possible – an adult record, with some shmoo..or worse case scenario.

But as I learned (the hard way)..you have to call in “THE TEAM”..to help you help her. You can’t bake a cake with just flour…sweetie.

The worry kills you…takes years off your life..I am going on 50 this year..but I am strong..and she knows..I will not longer back down and let her ruin her life period…because some day Mom will be in heaven…and as I told her…you may not understand now..but someday you will..and you will look up in the sky (as I do for my own mother) and whisper..Thanks Mom for caring..I love you.

Wishing you well. Be Strong. Be Determined Darling

January 25, 2008 at 1:02 pm
(13) Leshia says:

I agree with the mom who told you to pray. None of us were meant to get thru this world alone and it is crucial to realize that and turn to the One who created us for guidance. I have a teenage son who is sometimes rebellious and can have a bit of an attitude but is overall a great kid. He makes good grades and is very loving and kind. I started at an early age teaching God’s principles. Every night before he goes to bed I go in and read a very short devotional with him (there are so many wonderful books out there and some only take 1-2 minutes to read, I would be more than happy to mail you one if I could get your address, please feel free to email me at tyler8@setel.com) and pray with him. I always thank God out loud and pray that He will bless my son, protect him and keep him safe and that He will let him see how precious he is in God’s eyes. I’ve always asked my son if he knows anyone that would need praying for and we will pray about anything he requests. This was very awkward at first but has become so easy. I pray that I have taught him to always know where to turn to in any situation in life because someday he may feel he is alone but I want him to know that as long as he has God in his life, he is never alone and he will always have Him to turn to for anything. I have always made it a point to spend time with my son, I lost a child and it really makes you appreciate your family more. You only have a few years left and your child will be gone. Once she is gone you can’t go back and re-parent her. These next few years will be crucial so make her top priority. When you wake her up every morning do it with smiles and hugs and kisses. I get on my knees every morning beside of my son’s bed before I wake him and pray over him. I beg God to protect him and keep him safe and to guide his decisions throughout the day and that His will be done in his life, to do whatever it takes to help make his soul right with Him. Do not bring up her mistakes. We, as adults, do not like for anyone to throw our mistakes in our face so let’s not do that to our children. Let’s be like our Father who says he forgets it and remembers it no more! Encourage her and lavishly praise her at every opportunity. Put her in the limelight every chance you get, especially in front of others. She probably feels like a hopeless failure at this point and will need lots of love and patience to come out of the pit she is in. It is said that it takes 20 positive statements to undo the damage of 1 negative statement so try to create situations where she can succeed. Join a youth group that focuses on benevolent acts. Our youth group visits the nursing home and shut-ins on a regular basis and we do things for community workers to show appreciation. If she can focus on others who do not have life as easy as she does maybe she will appreciate her family more. Keep her busy with good things. Schedule a family night at least once a week or every other week and play games or watch movies together. It may be difficult at first but I promise you it will become a very enjoyable experience. My sister-in-law has had to raise 3 kids on her own, they are all teenagers and she has had to struggle but has done a tremendous job. Her oldest son is in college now and her daughter is a senior in high school this year and they always had a game night and to this day her kids tell her that they look forward to that time more than any other. Relationships are hard work but are more important than anything else we can be spending our time on, especially our relationship with God and our family. You are a precious mom and I will lift you up in prayer and hope that you will pray, pray, pray too! God Bless!

January 25, 2008 at 1:03 pm
(14) Virginia says:

I am sorry to hear that your 15 yr old is causing so much grieve. First, take a deep breath and breath. Now remember you have to pick your battles. Is the cleaning her room as important as the drug issue? Or failing school? Or being disrespectful?

You also have to choose one issue and work on that. The biggest one right now is the drug problem. Are you sure she has a drug problem? Have you spoken to her about your concerns on this? The failing school, disrespect, and lack of motivation would follow the drug use patterns but you don’t want to just point the finger at your daughter and loose her for ever. I would not call law enforcement or child services. I would first find out if she is doing drugs and if so put her into rehab and a youth program that will help with the drug use. How well do you know her friends? Make it a point to get to know them better along with their families. This way you are involved more with her direct support system. Contacting law enforcement will only push her away more. Speak to your daughter doctor they can direct you to programs that can help. They can even do drug testing (depending on your local laws).

You should also seek counseling for your self, this way you have a place to vent and relieve this pressure this type of behavior puts on you.

Best of luck.

January 25, 2008 at 2:31 pm
(15) Ruth says:

Dear out-of-control
i can imagine how it feels. my daughter is 17 and hasnt arrived to that point yet, but she does things which are exasperating.

your daughter needs professional help, you cannot do it on your own. you have to start off with the school guidance unit and they can guide you from there. they need to be discreet and do it as if it s their initiative or it wouldnt work otherwise. it s like crutching on a straw so they have need to be extra careful. it ll take time, but with the right approach, things will change.

i wouldnt lock your daughter away till i m advised to. if she s taking pot, then she ll be referred and followed. good luck, you re in my heart.

ruth

January 25, 2008 at 2:34 pm
(16) Maxy says:

Hi I just wanted to say I’m sorry and I am there now with my 16 year old son. However, there are some things you can do depending on the state you live in . I am in CT and there is something called Youth in Crisis which is a Non Judical Program for kids out of control. Ask your child’s school counselor there is also another program which might be benefical because she is under the age of 15. Good Luck

April 28, 2011 at 12:22 pm
(17) Christina says:

I know you left this comment a long time ago but I have a neice who is out of control to say the least. she runs away, lies, is always fighting, disrespectful, having sex with boys, breaks things, and basicly does whatever she wants. She has been to metal health facilities been involved inthe reach program is now involved with a worker. I dont know what to do with her..her mother is at wits end..and we are a low income family we need help. I would like to have her put in a placement or boot camp or something…any infomation would be helpful..
Thanks

June 14, 2011 at 12:35 am
(18) reyna says:

I’m going through the exact same thins with my gauther as you Christina please let me now if you found any help that work THANK YOU

January 25, 2008 at 2:53 pm
(19) Misty says:

I had a similar problem with my step son who was 15 when I married his dad….it turned out that he was 1) having problems dealing with the fact that his birth mother had abandoned him at early age, 2) had been molested by a friend, and 3) was ADHD but had been misdiganosed as Bipolar. If you think she is doing drugs chances are she is…they have drug kits at your local Walgreens that you can get to test her…and yes she is going to wig out calling you all sources of names but stay firm. Something is wrong if it is beyond normal teen rebelling and if it is causing problems in the home then something has to be done. You can not wait for your teen to decide to go to treatment or not…you are the parent if you see a problem you have to act by going to family therapy. Your teen may not talk but if you get a good therapist then she will be forced into talking about what is wrong. I would not get the state involved unless it is the last resource as once you do then there are all sorts of problem with that..they are over worked as it is. The reason why most of the problems are happening with kids is that society has given the children the power to control the situation calling the shots when they are not equipt to know what is happening or what is the best action to handle it. Kids beg for barriers and it is up to the parent to take back the power and set the barriers of proper behavior. In my case it took many times in juvey, halfway houses, boys homes, being sent to live with a brother, being told that his behavior was not acceptable then kicked out at 18 and finally 2 stays at adult jail before my step son finally realized that we were correct in what we did. He is now working, has apartment and is going into the army. We have one more at home who is 14 and he has started to do things but we enforce strict rules with stiff consequences…we use tough love alot. Yes we have many fights about these rules but we stay firm so that our son knows that he is not the one in control and that we love him.
That is what I have had luck with…it is not easy being a parent in this age but I have done this for all 3 of my sons and 2 of them have thanked me for being so tough and strict on them so that it didn’t get worst then it did.

January 25, 2008 at 10:33 pm
(20) Lisa says:

Bless you. I know somewhat how you feel. I have a 14 year old son and a 12 year old son. One has high functioning autism and the other has add and bipolar issues.
I would not go to the school councelor.The school has tried to rail road my family into getting a school psychiatrist. They will make a note on her permanant record that colleges and others will look at and you will not be able to get any thing off of that record. I believe health care should be seperate from school. I have tried it both ways and I can give you an example of how unfair the school system can be.
My son was always teased and still is by other students..Pulling his jacket over his head while walking down the hall, knocking his books out of his hands. on and on..My son grabbed one student in a headlock..I was called at work and told he was choking another student. My son had ISS and almost had a police report made….Last week another student did the same thing to him…the principal ask my son what the punishment should be…He said.”Nothing I guess if he is not going to beat me up anymore”. SO NOTHING WAS DONE By the PRincipal.
I do however feel that you should get family counceling. If she had a physical illness you would not wait for her to agree to go to a dr. So do not feel guilty..Just take her. If she needs in patient treatment, that is fine. There are lots of teens in treatment facilities. Usually for 4-7 days and up to 14 days..There others can observe them and they have strict rules. My son was at a facility for two weeks getting his medications straightend out. He was so grateful for everyone and everything when he came home. I remember getting so angry and was so hurt and felt like such a failure as a Mother. But, I always loved him and sometimes it has to be tough love…May God Bless you and Your Family..

January 25, 2008 at 11:15 pm
(21) dlp says:

The school records as far as my experience here in Ohio are not open for colleges to see with regard to children who have had to go to counselling as the colleges would be empty if that was a detriment. Ask your guidance department..that is what I did.
For us, and we have a very high needs teen as I wrote above, I leaned on the support of the school especially a V.P. that was my eyes and ears as I could not be there. The guidance dept kept a close eye for missing classes and the teachers did their absolute best to support those days when her lows were really low. Many children now think of suicide as a way out unfortunately when things get too big. The school system and what goes on there between the hours, including observing if they are socially isolated or involved with the wrong group can offer the first red flags when us as extremely busy parents/workers are oblivious to it.

I found them to be supportive not only to her, encouraging her to go talk with someone in counselling when those bad days hit and her regular therapist could not get her in til the following week but also soothing to us. They were on it helping her get through her bad days.

Just food for thought.

January 25, 2008 at 11:57 pm
(22) Nora says:

First of all I want to say that I admire and agree with the comments Leshia said. She has the right idea about prayer and if more people were like her, so much would be better in the world.

Now my comments to the mother. Don’t forget to breath. Take deep and slow breaths when you feel stressed. This can help calm a person down.

If your daughter has failed so many years in school, I don’t think the school is the place to turn to. If you live in an isolated rural/small town area, then many of the help agencies are also not an option. What can you do? I would sit my daughter down and tell her she WILL make an effort to change on her own, and by that I mean for starters, in the very least stay in school all day so you do not have to wonder where she is. Now I know she will hate this idea because she is no doubt the oldest one in her class and is probably outcast. When she is home after school, some attempt at getting adequate homework will have to be made by her so she can be prepared for and get through the next day of school. If she makes an effort with school with attendance and homework, then rewards can come into play. These rewards would be family time doing something together like a trip out to a store, movie rental, special meal, etc. Take baby steps. No threats of sending her away to reform school or jail. As far as the smoking – cigarettes or pot- she can’t smoke at school and won’t be allowed to at home. She must be told that if she wants to start being treated not as a child but as a young adult, she will have to earn that privilege. Tell her you are having a hard time loving her but still do love her. Tell her she will be expected to let you know how her day at school is going and you will be looking at grades. If she needs help with homework you will do what you can with the help of teachers/libray/internet/homework help lines/whatever she needs to better understand the assignments. Tell her there is no way you are going to give up on her and you expect her to make an effort to make things better for herself and her family. If all the above fails then what? That is a tough question. If she was my daughter I would then look at getting her into a live-in residential treatment home for troubled teens. But only as a last resort. I don’t think it would get that far because I think your daughter will understand that things are expected of her and rewards will come her way if she makes an effort to straighten up. Never give up completely. You only have her for a short time before she will legally be able to be out on her own, and probably lost to you forever if she doesn’t improve. I wish you the best of luck. And please read and reread what Leshia wrote. That part I could not have added any better on my own.

January 26, 2008 at 12:37 pm
(23) Reynee Gonzales says:

Don’t send her away she’ll see it as abandonment. and it could work against you. shes screaming for help as a parent its our job to help help her find out what she needs help with. I speak from her shoes, 20 years ago that was me I was sent away to this day I have problems with what my mom did. Now I’m a mom of 2 adults and 1 eight year old, happy and working everyday to make it work between myself and my children. Its a job we as parents should work at even if it seems like we’re not getting anywhere, one day it will pay off. I promise I’m proof, me and my kids. God Bless you and your family. Good Luck

January 26, 2008 at 1:44 pm
(24) Debbie says:

Please get her into counseling. I never would have imagined the cause of my daughters problems…she had been sexually abused by my brother-in-law and my brother. Pay attention to the symptoms she is displaying…and PRAY!

January 26, 2008 at 4:40 pm
(25) Leigh says:

I agree with seeking counseling. My teen hated it but, we did find out that he has ADD which explained the failing grades. With the help of therapy for both of us, prayer and a new school which focuses on helping kids with special needs, he’s gone from straight fails to a 3.1 GPA! He is of course now a little older than his grade level peers but, he’s talking about college and his future something he never did prior to his diagnoses. Hope things work out for you.

January 28, 2008 at 3:45 am
(26) Rachel says:

I have a 15 year old son that stress me out pretty bad too. I completly feel your pain. I took my son to Behavior Health and put him into an Intencive Adolesent Behavior Program. he went to group counseling 4 days a week for 2 hours a day and I went to a parents group once a week. It was like gaining 2 extra parents, it was wonderful. My son had no choice because if he didn’t go then they would step in and could arrest him. Although he never did get arrested, he did change his ways. I have a completly new child and new parenting skills to help keep it that way. I honestly believe they saved his life, and our family. It was a very intence program but when they are that out of control you need something intence. These kids will be 18 soon and are clearly not ready for the world, it is so scary to think of what can happen to them out there when haven’t got the life skills to handle it. Good Luck!

January 28, 2008 at 3:58 am
(27) Rachel says:

Ok, I was reading some of the other comments that you were getting and had to send you one more. From experience, you have already talked to her… you have already prayed… You have to make her acountable for her actions,teens only hear, WAWAWAWAA it goes in one ear and out the other. You have to get help and parenting classes to teach you how to make her acountable, to teach you how to be consistant with her. To teach you these things and to help get her back inline where she needs to be. Like I said, she has failed 3 times and is ready to do it again, she is ready for something intence. She will be upset with you at first but in the long run she will thank you for doing what you have to do, my son did.

January 28, 2008 at 2:27 pm
(28) Cheryl says:

The teen years are a time of developing identity and sexual awareness, so self-esteem and personal safety (especially for girls) are high risk factors. I have 2 older sons, 20 (almost 21) and 23. The now 20 yr old had a very difficult teen life. He got in trouble with the law a lot, starting at 14. He was in juvenile hall about 4 times (in 3 different facilities). The workers there always loved my son because he has a beautiful personality; they gave him advice based on the obvious fact that he didn’t seem to belong there in the first place. But he did get beat up once by a police officer; broken teeth, scar on his chin. One thing I always did was to remind him of who he was, that he was loved, smart enough to make better choices next time, basically letting him know that I knew he was better than that. (His conscience was obvious enough that I didn’t have any reason to question whether or not he had forgotten the difference between right and wrong.) Now, at 20.75 his self-esteem has largely returned, he is able to laugh at his past perils, and he has more than picked up where he left off.
These problems began several months after he went to live with his father, who failed to be present, leaving our son to run the streets. Every time he got in trouble the judge would release him to me, but my son had already become accustomed to too much freedom at too young of an age and would eventually go back to his dad’s and get in trouble again. (This happened about 4 times.)
Being present for your kids is probably the most important thing ever. “Active love” is the only love that works. The trouble eventually woke up his dad, by the way, but it took a lot; too much in my opinion. At first my ex judged him, a lot, then he slowly began to realize that these problems were not going to be solved by being careless and judgmental.
Whew! I’m glad that’s all over. I regularly remind my son how much he’s loved both because it’s true and because he needs extra doses to continue to heal. He’s doing fine.
By the way, I would NOT recommend using the law against your child – a lot of bad things have happened to a lot of kids in juvenile hall, and in the process with direct contact with some police officers. What’s more is that being imprisoned can significantly and very negatively imprint the mind, reducing self-esteem to nil. Try a local teen shelter if you feel that desperate. (Male teens, notoriously, will NOT respond to professional talk therapy.) You would be wasting valuable time. If I had a teen in trouble again the first thing I would do is start working, really hard, on that self-esteem and identity. There are many ways to give your child reason to feel worthy, good, functional, industrial, etc. Your tireless efforts will pay off. If you have to deal with a bad parent, like I did, never grow tired of protecting your child from neglect; never tolerate it.

January 28, 2008 at 8:09 pm
(29) Debbie says:

I read your story, and it is soooo familiar. I have an 17 year old son, who was cutting classes and school and just recently quit school, which the principal said they can do without the parent’s permission. I know he has been smoking pot and have asked him to get treatment, but he feels there is nothing wrong with it- WRONG! My husband is a recovering alcoholic/prescription drug addict of 2 years and I know better. Also, I have a 14 year old son who has been in 4 different alternative schools in the past year, with truancy issues, defiancy and anger issues. My oldest doesn’t live with us, he stays with a friend of his and recently got a job. He doesn’t talk to me. I’ve had a hard time in getting both of them to counseling and they refuse to go to church. I recently got a home-based counseling service to come to the home, my oldest still will not attend. Children and Youth is involved because of truancy issues with my 14 year old. Because he is held accountable, he knows if he continues to miss school, he will end up in juvenile detention. BELIEVE ME, I don’t want any of this to happen, but I don’t know what to do anymore! I’m as frustrated as you. Church does help with my sanity. Sometimes, you just feel like giving up. I don’t have any answers. I’m looking for some myself. Wishing you the best!! Debbie from PA

January 29, 2008 at 12:06 pm
(30) Nelle says:

Wow. I have two teenage sons. The oldest is 17. He will be 18 in March. He has anxiety issues and has missed a lot of school. He is on an IEP. He should be a junior right now but he does not have enough credits. He is failing. My other son is 14 and will be 15 in April. He use to be a great student, going to school every day. Now that he is a freshman in high school, he has started skipping school. I stress the importance of attending school and the importance of getting an education to both of them. I even brought them to talk to the police chief about the importance of attending school. This did not help. I am divorced from my first husband and he is not much help. My new husband has never had to deal with children and does not know how to handle this situation other than telling me to have the boys live with their father. I cannot do give them up to their father. I have taken their privileges away but this does not always work. Other people feel it is my fault that the boys misbehave. I have tried getting them into activities and I started this from an early age. They would try activities for a while and then give up. I had them in 4H and a summer day camp for years. I had them in boy scouts and they would go to Boy Scout camp every year. They did t-ball, little league, peewee football, karate, and one even did a short race. I tried to keep them active. At this point, I am not sure where to go from here. Believe me; I have had doctor appointments, psychologist and psychiatrist appointments, and school meetings concerning these issues so it is not as if I have not been trying to help these boys. Therefore, I am at my wits end as to what to do.

February 4, 2008 at 3:32 am
(31) Lynn says:

My daughter’s not yet 14. She’s brilliant, creative — and a horrific student. She truly doesn’t care about school. She failed two out of five academic classes last term (9th grade) and is still failing. When she doesn’t like a teacher, she refuses to do the work. When she likes the teacher, she does only the work she feels like doing, and never uses her maximum efforts. She never keeps a planner and either does not know or doesn’t care about what she’s supposed to do. She’s always missing or late with her work. Her teachers – and we, as her parents – has been frustrated about thisever since she was in 1st grade. She’s had tutors, counselling, she gets all the acting & voice lessons she wants – you name it. We’ve tried playing “good cop bad cop”, being nurturing, “tough love” – nothing works. Rewards, punishments, long talks that last hours, short talks – nothing works.

Academics are just a piece of the problem. She had oral sex when she was still 12 (and may still be doing it, we don’t know), she smokes pot (frequency uknown), she sleeps late & never makes the school bus in the a.m., she stays up until the middle of the night, she wears heavy eye make up, she listens to heavy and sexually explicit indie rock while supposedly doing her homework (really IM’ing her friends), she has older friends whom I don’t know and she doesn’t tell me their last names, she changes her internet passwords (yes we’ve removed and returned those privileges too), she text messages sex talk with unknown boys (also taken & removed from her), she uses foul language and is very crass, she dresses in very odd clothing and prides herself on being different (so she says, anyway…), and she recently tried to arrange a sexual tryst with an unknown (to us)boy. She’s been grounded, she’s been given freedom – nothing works. We’ve had these kinds of issues with her for years. We’ve consistently discussed morality and spirituality with her -nothing works. If it sounds like we’ve treated her transgressions inconsistently, we haven’t. It’s that we try something for months, even a year, and then when that fails, we move onto another tactic. We’ve spoken and met with her current and past counselors many times – nothing works. When we think she’s under control and we start to trust her again, we find out she’s failing classes, sneaking around with boys, getting high and lying to us. She often shuts herself in her room but sometimes she enjoys watching movies, going to shows or just talking, especially with me. She’s told all her counselors how she feels so close to me. (Of course she tells her friends how evil I am, and she tells me that she thinks I’m trying to keep her from her friends and ruin her social life.) I am truly fed up with her after so many years of so much of the same nonsense. I am tired of devoting so much time, energy, effort and most of all, love on such a pointless mission, paying so much money to professionals and to her performing arts teachers to try to keep her happy with what she says she loves the most (music & theatre; and BTW, I don’t sign her up for any programs or lessons she doesn’t ask for), that I’m at the point where I told her that I’m through with all this and that I will no longer subsidize herconduct. I told her that if sahe wants to fail, fine. I told her that I’ll stop getting her any more music or acting lessons, I’ll cut off her internet and phone privileges again. I told her that all I’ll do now is buy her food, pay for her doctors, basic things. I told her that she has to take responsibility for her actions. She has always been so sweet and loving – even now. I told her that if she really were so sweet & loving, she’s consider the effects of her behavior on not just herself but also on her parents, and her younger sister (who is ashamed of her). we’ve had her tested by a psychiatrist; her evaluations say that it’s basically teenage angst with some oppositional stuff thron in., But it’s been YEARS now of this! There’s nowhere else for me to go. Things seem to be getting better with her fr a few weeks and then everything hits the fan. What else can I do? I’ve tried everything and now I’m just exhausted and fed up.

February 24, 2008 at 12:06 am
(32) Linda says:

I really feel for you. I have a daughter just like this. I made myself sick over this. I tried all of these suggestions and all I got was blame from the county that I wasn’t doing my job. She is 17. If she gets in trouble under my control, I’m in trouble. The county won’t help you either if you make too much money.

May 27, 2008 at 4:59 pm
(33) Charmaine says:

I have an 18 year old out of control teenager who does everything from skip school, lying to you blatantly in your face, having sex, won’t clean her room, and on top of that she gives you that look when you talk to her that makes you just want to kill her. I am a single parent and she has been living with her grandmother for about a year now and she is about ready to kick her out. Is there some sort of program that I can get her into? I am very, very, very short on cash so I need something that is free. We live in Brooklyn New York. I am at my witts ends and also have a 3 year old. Please someone help me before I loose my mind.

Thanks,

May 28, 2008 at 6:18 pm
(34) sheli says:

It is so nice to hear I am not alone, my 16 year old is out of control, i dont sleep anymore for fear the phone will ring and he will be in jail or dead. there are times where I know he hates what has become of his life, but then the phone rings and he is off again. he sells pot instead of working at McDonalds, truancy problems and no respect for my rules. My biggest ? is what to you do, I took away the cell phone, x-box, i have to work and I have to sleep. When I look on line for help I feel I’m again being manipulated, so many people trying to make money promising to fix my child. I’m scared, tired and lost. Any suggestions?

June 5, 2008 at 7:30 pm
(35) Valleri says:

Lynn, it sounded like you were describing my 14 year old daughter to a T. Everything you said was her MO. Ironically, she ran away this morning and I was so at my wits end, I said goodbye and have a good life. Realistically, we are going to try and get her in a juvenille facility or a 72 hour hold at the hospital when they find her. My husband and I have recently bought a house in Sounth Caroline and will be moving from Calif. to South Caroline in two months. If we don’t have some sort of resolution by then, I don’t know what will happen. Please pray for me.

July 16, 2008 at 12:54 pm
(36) lisa says:

my 15 year old ran away last night. she is bi-polar and has been cutting and burning herself. I have her in couselling and she has been in and out of a mental health facility. I have to go today to do the thing ihave dreaded and file an out of control order on her. she is not on drugs because i have had her tested several times. I had to change her school to an alternative school last year. She is extremely gifted but has no desire to do anything productive. I wish i knew what to do as i worry every day and every night. my family keeps saying to smack her and take away all of her privledges. I have stripped her priviledges but have not hit her as i do not believe in hitting a teenager. the police told me that filing this order is the only thing left for me to do as she will be on a probation of sorts and will have to adhere to the rules or be put in juvenile detention. any suggestions?

July 25, 2008 at 12:59 am
(37) barbie says:

SO, everyone has very interesting perspectives and ideas on how to handle your difficulties with your kid. I am 25 yrs old, childless but no stranger to children of all ages. I have learned, no pun intended, that children usually act how they learn. I have an ex girlfriend that has 6 kids and they were all so very dear to my heart. I love them all soooo much, but one thing i did notice was that mom sometimes made things ok, and then the next time.. the same thing that was ok before is no longer ok now. It makes things very confusing for the kid because it is pretty much a hit and miss. Will i get in trouble or will i get a slap on the wrist? Stickin with a game plan WORKS. Being persistant on what is ok and what is not and the consequences. I was looking for help for my friend that has a 15 yr old daughter turning 16 in october that is not coming home for 2 days in a row, went from straight a’s with an occasional b to c’s and d’s all in just one year… of course she is in high school now, her friends changed or stayed the same and are learning new things, she is finding that it is not cool to be a “geek” in high school as it was to get those grades in middle school, now she is playin with the big kids. She might be 15 but she is my friend.. almost like a daughter to me because her mom is also an ex and has been in my life for nearly 6 years now. I know when i was growing up, i just wanted to sometimes not be treated like a kid, but i understood i was! I liked to have adult friends because that not only made me feel like they cared, but i was also mature enough for them to want to be around me. So i have learned that having “adult” conversations, with stipulations of course, can make a teen feel like you dont look at them merely as a “child” anymore, but almost an adult, but know their limits. Teens needs friends that are older to feel accepted in the times before them, and that does help. SOmetimes growing up and having bad things happen to you affects who you grow up to be mentally, but with a little reassurance and guidance and some friendly advice and shoulders, they tend to feel a sense of comfort from someone that they would look to as someone that would “protect” them.. adults always have money, adults always know the answers to everything.. etc.. that is what they think, just when it takes away from their fun.. of course they are going to be upset but when it takes away from their frun with reason and of concern from a “friend” ( mother and father duties aside ) they will be more apt to listen and learn.. not by screaming and yellin.. although, if that does not work because not all kids are the same.. church, counseling, family time, and yes the “law” sometimes does need to be involved when everything else fails.. you might feel bad but you will feel better when they learn now before they are regretting not learning when they are behind bars. I know this was a lot to say, and i hope it all made sense.. Everyone goes through it unless you have a saint for a child.. and many of us have also gone through it ourselves as teens and we know why we were the way we were. Everyone is different and has different reasons.. you just have to find the approach that is right.. if your teen is comfortable with you, then they will be comfortable with a lot of other things in their life with you as well. you wrote this in january .. i hope things are going better for you.. if not, i hope things do :) have a wonderful day.. God Bless!

October 3, 2008 at 6:28 pm
(38) patty says:

there is no help! thats how I feel. 3 adopted children, the oldest with the greatest problems. Suspensions from school for the minorest of infractions. the School system says its up to the parents to parent. I take away everything and it doesn’t seem to matter. He’s 15 and now has run away for the 4th time the police pick him up and bring him back home. I have called children’s services and his adoption caseworker just told me there was nothing they could do to help, I have adopted him and it is my responsibility. I asked about the program for adoptive parents that are having difficulty and was told that wasn’t available to me. I just called the police again and they found him after 23 hrs at the local teenage drug hang out. He even told the cop he wasn’t staying here and would run away again. I contacted the youth detention center. Until he commits a crime, by the way posession of pot is not worthy of detention it has to be paraphinalia and or cocaine. What is left, I’m at my wits end. I looked into military school and the like and I can’t afford them. He’s gone again and I can’t continue to subject his brother and sister to the fighting and fear anylonger. I have called all of thier councelors and nothing.

March 4, 2011 at 1:45 pm
(39) Kathy says:

I hear you Patty!! I adopted my daughter also. She is now 16 and out of control!! I have every service agency involved but they are no help!! I feel so alone in this. By the way her biological mother founf her through MY space and has been feeding her a bunch of crap. My life with her is a complete mess. I just want to give up and let her go live with her bio mom.

November 2, 2008 at 8:39 pm
(40) stressed says:

Patty

I feel you. I also have an adopted child that is out of control. My daughter is 15 I have been dealing with her behavior for almost 5 years now, lying,stealing,failing grades and now running away. I filed for a childen in need of supervision order through Juvenile Court and they have assigned her a probation officer who visits her 4 times a week. It has changed nothing. She is continuing to skip school and has run away again. She is in counseling but doesnt fully participate. I have tried tutoring, and private school to a tune of ove $30k in two years.

I have asked for assistance with residential services and I am getting know support with Social Svcs or mental health.

I am also in a helpless state.

November 4, 2008 at 1:18 pm
(41) Robyn says:

Are there any affordable “boot camp” type of programs out there? Or any that will work with you on payments?

I am to the point where I hate my kid. My own child who I’m suppose to love unconditionally. I just want peace in this house and I want him gone. Isn’t this terrible? I feel guilty but he has driven me to this point.

December 9, 2008 at 1:44 am
(42) John says:

Miss I have 4 ideas for you… first off my girlfriend has a 15, 12, and 5 year old kids mff in order. Idea #1 is a truancy officer, we have used them many-a-time and nothing is more intimidating than a TO coming ot the house with county cops. #2 is remove all electronics from the kids room, turn off the circuit breaker to his room, disown him… tewll him that if he misswes the bus he’ll have to call a cab to get to school (addendum NEVER CALL YOUR CHILD IN TO SCHOOL NO MATTER WHAT) he can take his meals in his room alone, work outside in the yard for rent or find a foster home that will take him, 3rd is a 2×4 enuf said, and 4th is make him a ward of the state, f* with him, let him hit you then send him to juvie for 6 months… that’ll (well that’ll = the other inmates will) beat the resistance right out of him/her… many a time have we been going somewhere when my girlfriends 5 year old daughter acts up. We drive to the nearest police station and tell her that she can stay with them till we get back unless she behaves. For boys, a drive by and quick park into the lot of your nearest juvenile hall usually does the trick…

You are their parent not their slaves. They need to repect you NO MATTER WHAT and if they do not then they need to learn the consiquesces. I was 18 in highschool and if i didn;t get out of bed to get to school my dad would have dragged me out in my shhets and thrown me into the year… that is GOOD PARENTING – i was not his boss, he was not my slave, i did what i did because thats what needed to get done. ALSO DON’t BE AFRAID TO LET YOUR CHILD FAIL… especially if they are in 7th grade and above. THEY CAN REASON. If they don’t want to do their homework FINE let them fail… see how cool they feel being held back… “Yeah this is my 6th senior year… i am so cool!” STOP CODDELING YOUR KIDS LIKE I DO MY F***ING DOGS

December 9, 2008 at 1:49 am
(43) JP says:

A swift kick in the ass and a year on the street will mellow any ‘RAGE’ in your teen.

December 28, 2008 at 10:28 am
(44) Audra says:

I am sorry to hear of the troubles you’ve had with your girls, but it sure is good to know I am not the only one with unruly teens! I kicked my 14 and 17(now 18) yr. old(s) out for being rude and disrespectful, the 16 yr. old is on her way out for skipping school and disappearing for days at a time! I have contacted the school and the police, but because she is 16 they say they cannot make her go to school! WHAT?! I say shell out some tough love! Do not buy them anything, make them ask for food or put locks on the fridge–give them the bare necessities! No phone calls, no company and they shouldn’t even think about going anywhere-start buying their things at the second hand store! Teach them who is boss! Good luck mom!

Audra

April 17, 2011 at 8:52 am
(45) Shirley says:

Here in Pa you will children and youth in youf face for as one person said kick in ass and put them out at 15. As far as phone and grounded means nothing to her continues to do what she wants. Trying to get her placed in a teen housing program.

January 8, 2009 at 12:17 pm
(46) shelly says:

Well I have 4 boys…16,14,13,11 I am about to pull my hair out… the hormones that have invaded my home is overwelming…Girls,Girls, Girls is all I ever hear and them wanting to go to parties at all hours of the night and wanting to go Fridays and Saturdays is beginning to be a battle that I am fighting alllll the time…I have had to put my foot down several times and say “hey look I don’t know who you think you are at school, but here I’m Queen bee and I am letting you know that this is our house,not mine ours and if you have any respect at all for me and your father you will start acting like gentlemen and start bevaing the way I raised you” they have chores,homework,and all in sports,so they have other things to keep them occupied but I tell you it’s crazy…just let them know you are still in charge and that the home phone,the cell,the car,and your wallet will be unavailable if they don’t get their act together…sometimes threats don’t work but they will start to realize it when thet are left with none of those…it comes a time when they are so mad at you that you feel bad,but don’t give in, that’s what they expect for you to feel bad and then the cycle continues…stay strong and remember we were once kids and I rememeber my mom saying “I can’t wait til you have kids of your own,they are going to do the same as you and then you’ll realize what it was like” gosh I must of been a really bad girl…

January 22, 2009 at 1:16 pm
(47) THERESA says:

I HAVE A 17 YEAR OLD STEP SON,WHO IS FAR OUT OF CONTROL. HE HAS RECENTLY MOVED TO ST. LOUIS WITH HIS MOM, HAS NOW DROPED OUT OF SCHOOL AND IS ON GOD KNOWS WHAT KIND OF DRUGS,CARRING GUNS,AND RECENTLY CHARGED WITH AUTO THEFT.
HIS MOM HAS GIVEN UP ON HIM AND HE’S OFFICIALLY HOMELESS UNTIL MY HUSBAND AND I GO AND PICK HIM UP. MY HUSBAND AND I ARE OPEN FOR IDEAS. PRAY FOR US AND WE SHALL DO THE SAME.

January 31, 2009 at 12:14 pm
(48) Kim says:

I have a little brother that is totally out-of-control. He was adopted by my Mom and Dad when they were TOO OLD to adopt. My Dad died when he was 5-yrs.old. He was already on the road to trouble, but losing our Dad really put things into a tail-spin.

My Mother tried everything she could. Did not spare any expense in getting him counceling, and medicines. He was diagnosed with AD/HD. His out-of-control behavior continued to esculate. Most of his school years were held in BIC class. This is where the other out-of-control kids go in public school when they don’t want to expose them to the normal kids.

Just before my brother turned 10-yrs.old my husband and I removed him from my Mom’s home. This was after arriving at her house unexpectly and finding my Mom in bed sick and my brother running the SHOW…… The house was a PIG STY. I can’t describe what we found.

As time went on I found more and more of what he had done. Just to mention one thing; he took raw eggs and throw them at at least (2) walls of every room in the house. Ruining the paneling. It took (3) of us all day long to clean the place up. It was soooooooo nasty!!! She had mice, rats, roaches!!! And no wonder! He was opening can goods and throwing them in behind boxes. He was taking his plates from dinner/breakfast/lunch and throwing them with food on them under the couch.

He was taking full advantage of her weakness, illness and age.

We have already raised our children (successfully I might add). And have NO desire to raise more kids. But we could not allow him to continue doing this to her.

We kept him for 1yr.5mos. until in the last few month things began going from worse to worser. Now almost 12-yrs.old and much stronger. After he drew back to hit me the 3rd. time I refused to keep him. My husband returned him to my Mom’s house.

I have told my Mom that I will assist her in trying to get him into some academy. But if they won’t take him, or if he gets out-of-control like he has in the past that we are calling CPS.

He has been with her 2-weeks and already he is staying up all night (my Mom obviously sleeps like a log)getting into stuff. I inspected his bedroom only to find food, opened can goods, dirty dishes, and soda cans thrown in every place he could find to hide them. Not to mention piles and piles of clothes hidden everywhere so that he did not have to fold or hang them up.

I was furious – to say the least. I also found out that he has already drew back to hit her (2) times in the last 2-weeks. And has been very disrespectful to her. She is soon to be 76 yrs. old.

I just do not know what to do!! I can not stand by and watch him take advantage of my Mother. And I just KNOW that he will eventually hurt her.

I refuse to take responsibility of him. I have always told both my Mom and Dad that I did NOT want to raise any more children. They were fools to adopt him, especially at their AGE.

I’m very stressed over this situation. I just don’t know what more I can do. My husband and I are starting to argue because he is tired of hearing about the kid and what he is doing to my Mom.

I have to help my Mom get him into some place. I don’t want to see him become awarded to the State. But I can’t seem to find any source that she can afford that is willing to help us in the short run. The place I’m trying to get him into could take months/years to get into. What do we do in the meantime?? If he has done all this in just 2-weeks what will it be like in 2-months? And right now my Mom is finally healthier than she has been since my Dad’s death.

I have made him an appointment for another physco evaluation. He will no doubt need to make various visits. This is a repeat of her previous attempts for 2-yrs straight, which did not help him. They put him on meds that did not help. He still continued to do the same things.

While we had him I never gave him any meds. I do not believe in drugs for kids behavior. He controlled himself very well without meds. I had to take him out of public school and homeschool him, but his grades went from failing grades to A&B’s in both 5th and now 6th grade. I have agreed to homeschool him until he finishes 6th grade.

I’m not sure why he changed. He started getting out of control with us after we moved my Mom across the street from us, so that I could take care of her. I don’t know if his strong desire to live with her is what made him begin to retaliate against us or if he just did not want to live by our rules any longer. For whatever the reason, we were NOT going to accept his disrespect and constant breaking of rules.

Is there anything that ANYONE can suggest for us to do? For his sake and my elderly Mom’s sake he needs to be in a different home. He needs 24-hour supervision. And we need to get something done soon – before he gets worse!! He is even starting to play with matches!! I’m so afraid he is going to burn down the house.

April 18, 2009 at 2:43 pm
(49) Ella Williams says:

First of all I am sorry you have to go through this with someone you created. I am glad technology is created, you can put your children on fins programs, that is a program that monitor children drug addition, school atendance, curfews, you will need to go to juvenelle courts tell the court what you want fill out papers. I put my son on fins it work out very good of course I took my son out of program I felt sorry for him now I wish I’ll kept him in fims program because he is out of control talks by to me steal from us we have locks on our bedroom doors I fill like we are in prison in our home, he’s on probation for having weed in his pocket in school he will be 18 years old on 23rd of April that would have been a happy day for his little brother and myself because then I was going to tell him he don’t have to runaway anymore I would open all doors for him to leave. My son knows he is on probation he come in at 10:00pm don’t ranaway those are his conditions. He is stealing from me and his little brother punch holes in walls if he don’t get his way I have call his probation officer she told me she can’t help me raise my child.

April 18, 2009 at 7:32 pm
(50) asween16 says:

I am having the same issue. I have a 16 year old girl who has been difficult for a few years now. My wife and I are at our wits end. It has put a big stress on our marriage. We have tried counseling and she stopped going. She has threatened to leave, hurt herself, hurt others. If she runs away I am going to invoke CHINS. Child in need of services.

I firmly believe Texting/IM/Internet/”The Family Channel” contribute to the level of rage that is shown. When I was young we would get mad and go off to our rooms to sulk. But now they go off and get into a mob scene with texting/cell phone contact with other kids who justify their outrageous and illogical actions.

I have my daughters computer bugged so I have a pretty good idea of what she is doing. I am really worried about her hurting herself. She is strong willed I don’t know what she wants/needs. If she is crying out for help I have no idea what it is she is missing.

Today she was at the peak of out of control. I have taken away all the contact to the outside world. It is going to be a long night as I am sure she will try to run away.

I am not sure the prayers can fix this.

April 20, 2009 at 1:33 pm
(51) Rhonda says:

I’m glad that I found this blog I feel very alone in my fight with my 14 year old son too and while I’m married he isn’t my son’s birth father and isn’t always as supportive as I need him to be. I have a 7 year old daughter as well and she is sweet as can be and all of this affects her too.

I had my son when I was 16 and I raised him alone with my Mom’s help (alot of her help) She passed away when he was 11 and it really affected him, she was his father, mother, grandma his everything. I have been there for him and feel like I show him love but he seems to be looking for love in older girls.

He is 14 and he is dating a 17 year old girl, her style is punk and now so is his. She is in the 9th grade and has said the only reason she goes to school is to hang with her friends and now he says the same thing. I’m worried that they are having sex but they tell me they aren’t. She plays alot of mind games with him and his best friend and she like to see them fight over her.

My son has bruises and scratches all over his chest and arms and neck from her and he says they play fight but I don’t like it. I’m afraid she is being too physical with him, she also seems controlling “acting like a parent” when he and I disagree she tells him to stop etc..

He doesn’t do drugs or drink, I’ve given him home tests, but he is so disrespectful to me and my husband and daughter and he won’t follow our rules etc… i’m fed up too

April 21, 2009 at 8:39 pm
(52) nick says:

This may sound harsh, but send her through your version of boot camp. search her possessions, make sure her behavior is in check, and if she gives you or anyone any lip, come down on her. Take her stuff away, limit her activities/responsebilities, limit where she can go and what friends she can see. But do what you want

May 13, 2009 at 7:38 pm
(53) Kayla says:

I’m sorry, But I am a teenager and I know what shes doing, she wants to look tough. So YOU have to be tough.

You have to give her tough love.
She does it to try and defy you to make herself feel higher, she wants to have a higher self esteem by feeling like she has the power of lowering yours and everyone else’s.

YOU have to lower hers, it sounds horrible. But telling her over and over again that what she does makes her look and sound like an idiot and that she could have so much more that that might do it, but you cant just give in after you start.

If she beggs you and beggs you for somehting you know she cant have or do, you have to stick to it and make sure she knows shes not getting her way no matter what…
You have to break her to make her..

Also try the older sibling, have her try and talk to her about it. She is 17 and the 15 year old must look up to her, even if she doesn’t show it, best of luck.

My advice doesn’t so great, but I know it would work on me for sure.
It did.

June 19, 2009 at 9:36 am
(54) odd says:

Make sure that you give effective consequences for their behavior. To not give into their temper tantrums and demands. Set a good example for your children and do not join into every argument that you are invited to. Talk to your schools guidance counselor for help.

August 25, 2009 at 10:56 pm
(55) amanda rivera says:

good luck i have been searching for a year for an affordable way to save my young brothers life. and i say save his life because he is totally out of control. drugs, school, disrespect. it seems the only way anyone cares about preventative maintenance for these young adults is if you have money. and lots of it ! the only option is camps and they run no less than 30,000 dollars!

September 19, 2009 at 4:59 pm
(56) Samantha Anderson says:

I am sorry to say that you may need drastic measures. First seek conseling. second unfortunately you may have to start treating like a child. For example tell her if she doesn’t call about being late then for every minute she is there is a strong consequance at fifteen the strongest is possibly not getting a drivers license it is harsh but sometimes it works. Don’t play into a comparison of your mother hood. You are not here friend you are her mother. She may say she hates you but as time goes on she regret those words. Also maybe the school is not helping her. My child was starting down the same direction after consuling I found that the school she was is was the problem. Since I am now homeschooling her she is more open and is challenged more. good luck and I hope things work out.

September 30, 2009 at 4:24 am
(57) Mom's challenge says:

I’m sitting here wondering where the heck is my 16 year old daughter. She does not come home when told to come home and again she went out tonight without permission. She has failed high school and has been in the mental health facility. She does not listen to me, she calls me names, totally rude, skips schools, is defiant to authorities even the police. She damaged my car and hits me when I try to discipline her. She stole over 600 dollars last week from me and I’m at my wit’s end. The police don’t want to do anything.

October 8, 2009 at 11:22 am
(58) jessica says:

my son is 13 hes giving me grief hes in trouble with the police hes on bail has 3 charges of theft against himwe wave social workers councilors pshiciatrists youth justice team and the school he wont stay in school he climbs out the window hes out all hrs of the night i have 4 younger girls that see what he does he lies steals hes defiant and he wont listern or talk to anyone im going out of my mind trying to find answers he also smokes canabis i cant do no more for him

October 21, 2009 at 2:27 am
(59) Lisa says:

I have an OUT-OF-CONTROL 16 YEAR OLD THAT I AM A CARETAKER FOR. SHE IS MY SISTER. OUR MOM PASSED AWAY AND HER DAD IS, LIKE, MENTALLY DISTURBED AND NOT IN PICTURE. SHE SMOKES POT, SMOKES CRACK, HAS PEOPLE LIVING IN OUR HOUSE. SHE IS DISREPECTFUL, HER FRIENDS ARE DISREPECTFUL, SHE SLEEPS IN UNTIL
3 P.M. AND SKIPS SCHOOL. SHE IS PHYSICALLY BIGGER THAN ME, AND I’M 35. SHE HOUNDS ME FOR MONEY DAILY, WHICH I CAVE IN BECAUSE I’M SO TIRED OF FIGHTING. I FIND CRACK PIPES WITH METH INSIDE ALL OVER THE HOUSE. MY NEIGHBORS ARE COMPLAINING THAT THEY FIND METH PIPES. HER FRIENDS NEVER LEAVE, SO THEN I HAVE TO CALL THE COPS. I REALLY HATE THIS LIFE. IT IS REALLY UNBEARABLE LIVING WITH AN OUT OF CONTROL TEEN. SHE HAS NO RESPECT FOR ANYBODY. I REALLY DO A LOT OF HER EVERY DAY. I WORK, PROVIDE FOOD, EVERYTHING. THIS IS AFFECTING MY WORK AS I CANNOT EVEN CONCETRATE AT HOME KNOWING THAT SHE IS GOING TO BE COMING DOWN FROM A METH BINGE AND START ATTACKING ME FOR MONEY. THE POLICE HAVE BEEN INVOLVED. I AM AT MY WITTS END. THIS IS JUST ME VENTING.

November 3, 2009 at 11:20 am
(60) De Etta Johnson says:

I have a out of control teenage, she had a lot of problems when she got to high school, she was skipping class and smoking weed and being every disrespectful toward her teacher and administrator, they put her out off that school, I put her in her home school a military school (Forestville Military Acamady) she was doing wonderfully, making great grades doing what she had to do to get herself together but she has a drug problem, today (Nov 3,2009) she went to school high of off weed, now they are talking exposure from (Maryland school all together.)

November 5, 2009 at 3:47 pm
(61) Jennifer says:

I was an out of control teen. I think the biggest reason was because I felt alone. The only group that accepted me were the “stoners” so I became one of them. If you can somehow remove your daughter from those influences and place her around people that she can look up to and want to be like that are good influences, then you have a chance of breaking these patterns. I think these people should be close to her age and she should be able to watch how they interact with their parents. Also (when the mood is light) asking her opinion about why other kids are out of control (making no mention of her behavior) may help her reflect on her own situation.

November 9, 2009 at 10:53 pm
(62) Teen out of control says:

My daughter is 14 now and I start to lose control of her. She is just not responding to anything i ask her to do.

November 12, 2009 at 7:08 am
(63) Out of control teen says:

We need to improve communication and spend time with the teenagers so that we’ll be able to gain their trust and learn more about their thinking. Teens like to have attention, and they want to be heard and respected. As parents, we should give them praise when it is due.

November 19, 2009 at 2:15 pm
(64) Jessica says:

I have a 13 year old daughter who is sexually active and is skipping school, has been left back once and I think she is aiming for another. She’s disrespectful and likes to talk to older men online. My biggest worry is that she may be meeting up with strangers and that one day something happens to her. I work two jobs to make meets end and I find myself stressed out all the time and fighting with my daughter on the every day basis. I live in springfield, MA and there are not alot of supportive programs here to help these teenagers. I’ve been to counseling and that got me no where. She is doing community service three times a week for a fight she had. Can some one please help, I’m running out of options and I don’t want to loose my daughter. Desperate MOM.

December 10, 2009 at 10:55 pm
(65) CUB LEWI8S says:

i have a 19 yr old daughter that is out of control .she lives down stairs an i am putting her on the campus jan cause i cant stand to have her here anymore. i raised them alone another daughter who is 16. I dont know what to do she is having sex with 5 guys that i know off and parties im at my wits end , her appartment down stairs is discussting

December 12, 2009 at 7:04 pm
(66) theresa says:

My son is 20years old and the roller coaster continues. Your daughters story is his,mine and so many families who face the challenge of finding the right resource and path hoping they will “get it”. Unfortunatly in our country those resources are limited and juvinile system is one of correctional not therapeutic. They use various degrees of incarceration with limited untrained staff to work with these kids. States do not want to invest in the prevention of teen pregnancy,violence,crime or suicide. The schools Dr.Phil recommend by the “Aspen Foundation” are outrag and even families that can afford do not send secondary to their unproven track records (the kid is a kid and returns to his enviroment). You have two choices based on her behavior which you must evaluate regarding law enforcement: Is she engaging in reckless behaviors that will lead to her arrest? Do you have private health insurance? If so you can have her evaluated at a private mental health facility you must express your concerns about her behaviors. You can also speak with the school regarding alternative programs (most high schools have alternative programs/schools allowing the child to catch up. They are based on positive reinforcement, smaller class size and they earn the right to return to school) She can attend a night school or obtain a GED (night schools are excellent they also offer career paths). Good luck I do not know where you live some states are better then others on resources do not let her exhaust you and if you what your doing is not working you have to try another approach.

January 7, 2010 at 9:33 pm
(67) CJ says:

I work with children and I am so sadden by all of these horrible stories. I started researching because I am trying to assist a family that has an unruly, and out-of-control teenage daughter. She is basically spoiled and has had her way for so many years now she is stepped it up a notch. The family does have money and plenty of resources but nothing has worked. I can’t help her if she does not participate and I have told the parents tough love is appropriate in this situation but they are not use to it and it is a foreign language and a image thing to them. Well let me say Mom is on board but Dad is not. He feeds into their daughter

January 11, 2010 at 8:55 pm
(68) Anne says:

I have the same problem my daughter is 15 years old she goes in late everyday.She is failing 9th grade again .Does not do homework is not focusing on workat all.does not care. All she cares about is her computer and phone. One thing is no drugs or hanging out on the street corners.She is home all the time or with her boyfriend. I just cannot control her any longer. Her language is bad and it is all about me.She hates me and hits me. I am working with the school but not much is happening. And I am with SPOA they handle problem children to help them get counseling every county should have one.But it is a slow process. I want her remove from my home to get some help.I live in Hell each day. her dad was like that and I am living the nightmare again.

January 11, 2010 at 9:50 pm
(69) marcella says:

we have a 17 year old daughter who says she don’t want to live here,she will runagain,this time she won’t call or let us know anything,said if she can’t get a job she will strip,she said she would hurt me and her dad if she had to,I know she drinks,and smokes pot,I really think something is mentaly wrong with her where can Igo for help for her,we live in Spring lake park mn,PLEASE HELP

January 17, 2010 at 10:14 am
(70) Kathy says:

I’m finding programs that cost tuns of money but no help for a single parent with a teen out of control. She is in conselling ,She doesn’t do drugs but refuses to go to school, stays up at night using the computer , lit paper in her room on Christmas eve and burnt a hole in the carpet and lied to me when I said I smelled smoke ,she is mean to the cats and bullies the neighbor kids, The advice I received was to follow through. set up rules and enforce them how am I to enforce something when I’m asleep . any way I’m crying my eyes out and at a loss.So ? What to do I do not know

January 18, 2010 at 3:34 pm
(71) Terri says:

I am the mother of an 18 year old daughter. I have raised her alone since my husband passed away 13 years ago. She was 4 when it happened. The last couple of years, she has been on a downward spiral. Her grades are great and she is very involved with theater and drama club which keeps her busy, but she doesnt like herself at all. Her relationships with boys have been horrible, they have always broken up with her.. she feels she isnt good enough for anyone and doesnt deserve to live. She has recently starting cutting herself, yelling and cursing and hitting me, all because her current boyfriend who is 3 years younger than her is not paying any attention to her. She isnt doing drugs or drinking she is just acting out horribly toward me. Anytime I try and talk to her she screams at me that I hate her and want her dead. She tells me i am the cause of her wanting to commit suicide, that I am making things worse because I dont want her seeing the boyfriend who is hurting her emotionally. I have given this child every thing she ever wanted. She never did without, and now I am getting the backlash of trying to make her happy all these years… yes i overcompensated for her losing her dad at a young age, but I never turned my back on her, I just tried to get her to understand what she needs to do to make herself feel liked or loved. She refuses to do it… I am lost on what to do. She is already to go to college but is scared that she wont succeed and that her life sucks and she doesnt want to live anymore. She doesnt know why she cuts herself not why she hates herself so much. She wont tell me. When I try and talk to her she just shuts me down with that everyone hates her and wants her dead. I just cant get through to her. She is in counseling and we are going to a medical doctor to see if she may need meds to help her cope. She has a really bad temper, anger issues are really bad and her self esteem is in the cellar. She is really a beautiful girl with a lot of potential but she just feels out of control right now and I dont know where else to turn

February 1, 2010 at 8:17 pm
(72) Amanda says:

I have a 14 yr old step son. He is generally a good boy. He does have some Women issues, because of his mother. Has lived with me for 1 yr. I have tryed to show love as well as respect since he has been here. I know he loves me but when he gets upset. He not only is disrspectable to me but can be very mean. He never appolizies to me. Although when i get upset from his onryness I do. He is now in trouble with youth services, and he lies to the councelor. Advice much appreciated.

March 4, 2010 at 4:58 pm
(73) monique arvizu says:

this might seem strange but i am a fourteen year old girl and my life has been in and out foster homes. for about two or three years i raised my two younger sibilings, while my parents were doing their own things. i have a sister and we are very close in age, i have tried to guide her onto the “right path” we have recently went back with our mother and i help my mother with the girls as much as i can but my sister is always so rude and disrespesctful she has a horrible temper. we soon found out that she was seeing an 18 year old whom abused her verbally and now she is always moody and angry. she has started to become very agressive and angry. she is affecting my younger sister so much my young sister is terrified of her. i feel that our home and family has become very disfunctional and it’s hard to live with her. we have finally put an end to this boyfreind but that didint seem to help she became very depressed and goes and seeks attention from other OLDER men, no matter how much attention she gets from all of us her behavior wont stop. she has recently left the home without permission and has been out at all hours of the night my mother is soo stressed and not only her but everyone living with her, she has a counsler and i doesent seem to be working. i want to know how to help her from being so unhappy.

March 31, 2010 at 6:13 am
(74) mary sant says:

Well we always thought we had the perfect little family, a wonderful 25yr old married son, an engaged 24yr old daughter, and young 17yr old jessica. Everything was great till jessica met an influencial 17yr old girl in high school. she has many body piercings and is always in trouble and now our jessica thinks this is cool. last week she talked our daughter into skipping school and i got a call from the school principal to tell me she was not at school. they are always at parties and she sleeps over at her friends house so we dont find out what time she gets home. my husband is very soft on her, he thinks it is a better approach, she doesnt listen to me, now she is not even talking to us, just ignoring us. we had such a loving relationship and now since this girl has befriended her she has turned her back on us. we are so sad about this situation, it is her final year of school and she needs our support, but she rejects us. i sometimes just want to give up, but everyone tells us this is common teenage behavior. i have had much pain from back surgery, but this pain in the heart is not helping. please pray for us.

June 13, 2010 at 3:49 pm
(75) beyond help says:

I have read all these comments and it seems to me no one has the answer. I too have 3 boys, 13, 14 and 17. Unfortunately I can honestly say my 17 year old is not even really my son any longer. His junior year in high school he got into drugs the wrong crowd, etc. My first knowledge of this was his second report card he went from 3.6 to failing every class, then was arrested for prescription narcotics, then started stealing our vehicles, then was arrested around 8 times on numerous things from violence in our house, drugs, cigarettes, stealing car, drug running, stealing money from a neighbor, the list goes on. the courts put him in detention for about a week and then probation for a year. In that year he constantly rec’d more tickets for underage drinking, driving off from a gas station without paying, cigarettes, drugs, you name it..and the courts did nothing even when we pleaded for help. He will be 18 in 8 weeks, yes sadly enough I am counting. Recently he stole our car from a dealership while it was being fixed by smoozing the service guy and damaged it, he then had a party were my sons medications, medals, jewlery and numerous things were damaged, at this point I cry myself to sleep every night when I do sleep, my husband just walks around perpetually angry and my other two boys are scared of him. He is physically and verbally abusive, he takes absolutely no repsonsibility and no remorse. We have already told him if things don’t change we want him out the day he turns 18. Yet he continues to do horrible things over and over and over. The guilt a parent feels is horrible, but as a family we have done everything including in patient drug rehab, therapy outpatient rehab, couselors you name it. Problem is if someone won’t admit they have problems you can’t help them, unfortunately I think my son will be in jail or dead within the year and basically I have nothing I can do about it. We were always close and talking doesn’t help anymore he gets physical with me now. He definitely does some kind of drug besides pot and alcohol we just aren’t sure what. Sadly my son is lost to us and am just learning to accept that having now been in therapy myself. I have been told there comes a point as a parent were our children must make their own choices and decisions and live with them. Mine will probably be forever gone to me, but he knows I love him as I still tell him even when he is screaming at me and threatening the rest of the house. We raised him in private schools, this type of behavior is and does happen to anyone from any and all walks of life. Yes I pray and will always do so, but there is a path we all take and decisions we all make, my son just made all the wrong ones and will pay I am scared to say probably the highest price there is and thats his life.

September 3, 2010 at 10:47 pm
(76) Karen Brown says:

wow what you said echoed our life .I am very afraid of my sons.We had anice life but we never dreamed things could get so off track my home is a stressful place I dare not speak. Our sons run the show now.Our eldest has took everything financially and emotionaly, his young brother now acts out with anger and has physically and verbally attacked me. He is also on probation thats a joke to most teens.I have been dragged into the court system a most shaming place for me to go,They dont care how all their actions affect us as people.Drinking and driving is the eldests latest adventure.To be honest I will be so happy when they leave for good. Our life is a mess.

September 13, 2010 at 1:20 pm
(77) Dilia says:

Reading every ones story is a mirror image of mine. I have 4 boys and 1 girl, ages 22, 16, 12, 8, & 5 (MFMMM) My 16 year old (girl) is the one who is out of control, she has been defiant and rebellious since she turned 11 years old, and has gotten worse as she gets older. She is direspectful, lies, sneaks, fights, she is rude and has no remorse. She has hit me where I ended up in the hospital with a broken nose, and she has spent a week end in juvey. This was the last straw with her, I sent her to go live with her dad and paternal grandmother, which I believe things have gotten worse, Her dad is hardly present, and the grandmother says we need to be more patient with her and understand her. She runs the street and has alot of freedom. At 16, she has gone into clubs and I suspect she is drinking, she hangs around a bad crowd, her BFF is a bad influence. I have provided couseling, got Social services involved,school involved, nothing has helped!..I also am afraid something bad is going to happen to her. She doesn’t live with me but I am aware of most of the things she is doing to ruin her life and I have told her father and he seems to say “ok, thanks for the update, I’ll speak to her” I donot know what to do anymore…please also pray for my family, thanks

November 18, 2010 at 12:50 pm
(78) Elizabeth says:

I have a teenage boy, 14yrs. Two years ago I was concerned about his behaviour. I was also worried about his self esteem. Which is why he was acting out. I brought him to see a child physcologist. He had a number of sessions with my son on a one on one. He also talked to my husband and myself. I think this approach really worked. My soon is still a teenager but he knows there is nothing wrong with him and he always has me to talk to even if we do not agree.

Anything is worth a shot. We are young once and we should have fond memories not angry ones. Best of luck.

March 23, 2011 at 12:35 am
(79) Lucy says:

Well I guess this is what NOBODY tells us when we sign up to be parents, and this is what NOBODY talks about and I understand why. My son is not yet 14 and while he hasnt been left back- i think he is going to really make it happen this year. He works when he wants to and when he doesnt feel like it- he just DOESNT. He’s been kicked out by three different schools in less than 3 and a half years. I think part of the problem is that as parents we are busy- we have LIVES, we are trying to work in order to provide but they dont care – if nobody’s looking, they are going to do whatever they want. My son ONLY does homework if I do it with him- so i end up spending HOURS every night doing SS, Math and a bunch of things he should be OK to do alone since i have been at work all day and go to school myself. I think this is his way of telling me “if you care then show up and we will do it together – if you dont care then I will make you care by failing”. I honestly think its subconcious. Anyway, this isnt about me so let me cut to the chase- i think they are ALL like this at this age, and no one wants to admit it.

March 23, 2011 at 12:38 am
(80) Lucy says:

They are confused, they feel awkward (did any of us feel so fabulous at 13?) and unless they have an abundance of self esteem its going to be a super rough ride until they sort it out. So what can we do… chose our battles (after reading a few posts I decided that I’d overlook my son’s messy room and focus on his inability to do HW). I tried to do a reward thing where “for every homework you complete you are entitled to 30mins of playstation time (i.e. if you dont have any HW- oh, he never has HW acccording to him- then you dont get to play). Another I read here (and oddly enough learned in business school of all places) is LET THEM FAIL. If they get left back one year (God I am so dreading that he is finally going to get left back this time) its not going to KILL THEM. Let them learn. My son got 100% on a test the other day – the ONLY PASSING GRADE I have seen in months and of all the reasons to pass- he tells me he did it because his friends called him stupid and he knew he wasnt. Kids are a strange thing I tell you. YOU MUST HAVE PATIENCE, understand you are NOT alone- i consider myself a role model – i have a great career, am in one of the country’s best business schools – and FAILING MISERABLY as a (single) mother. But i know now that EVERYONE (or at least a vast majority of ppl) deal with the same crap. People with lots of $$$ send their kids to rehab or “boarding schools” and try to keep it quiet, lest their wealthy neighbors find out about it, but its all bs.

March 23, 2011 at 12:40 am
(81) Lucy (still) says:

I was an AWFUL teenager and I will tell you what saved me. First of all, GOD- i could have been dead many times and its through the grace of god that someone i wasnt killed, raped or somehow OD’d on drugs at 16. I also had my son at 18 which really turned my life around. But what saved me was the following. Despite my RIDICULOUSLY STUPID decisions- my mother and father reasoned with me constantly and never said things to destroy my self esteem. At the time i viewed them as suckers- i felt like they were incapable of enforcing anything (which in many ways they were), but they let me make my mistakes (they didnt find out about the truancy until it was too late and they never learned about the drugs), but they let me make my mistakes and even when i failed they always offered a SOLUTION. It was a “solution oriented” approach. I.e. – yes you SCREWED up- you can fix it. and when i came to my senses (many years later) this approach stayed with me. Failure is not fatal- but failure to change might be. Be firm, be angry but when you are stripping your child of priviledges and at your wits end – remember to end the fight with “YOU CAN FIX THIS IF YOU WANT BECAUSE I KNOW YOU ARE A SMART PERSON MAKING POOR CHOICES AND I PUNISH YOU BECAUSE I CARE- IF I DIDNT CARE I WOULDNT FIGHT AS THERE WOULD BE NOTHING IN IT FOR ME”. It may not fix things immediately but in the long run you may save them years of therapy and at least mitigate the damage to their self esteem- children act this way when they dont have good self esteem (why else would they -even unknowingly- try to intently to destroy their lives).

March 23, 2011 at 12:41 am
(82) Lucy (last one!) says:

Remind your children that the MINUTE they want to improve you can help and can put the past behind. I look at it this way- life is a bumpy road and your child is going to CONTINUE to fall off it, hard and frequently, our job as parents is to TRY to put them back on… each and every time they fall off. No one told us it would be this way, but it is. And for God’s sake (forgive my sarcasm) go out and do something for yourself on occassion and pretend you dont have any worries, you are human too. Unhappy mom will never result in happy home. Best of luck, i am praying for you.

April 13, 2011 at 10:45 pm
(83) G says:

My 16 year old daughter started getting out of control at 13
, about 6 months after we left her father who she really did not have much of a relationship other than going to the gym and playng backetball or swiming.
She had to be forced to start visiting him and finally i had to pay $600 to his attorney because she would refused to go.
Now that i put her in jail for taking my car and being caught for the second time, she ran to him, who said i should not have put her in jail as i warned her before she was caught the 2nd time, he gave her a new cell phone after i took it, tried to get her out of jail, put her back on the basketball team even though she failed two classes. She saying in jail two nights because she ran away after being confronted about her behavior and now she has been with her father for the last almost 4 months, he wants her with him but he is only fueling the fire and speaking negative to her about me. I do not want her back in my home until she is truly ready to own up to her behaviors and then be prepared to face them but at the same time. I miss my sweet girl but i have so much peace now that she is with her father with the exception that he has sided with her about being put in jjail for taking the car and getting caught again and now telling her that she cannot trust me and i am just being selfish.

April 15, 2011 at 2:31 am
(84) Rhonda (hurting mom) says:

My 16 year old son Tyler. Raised him with good influences. Until the age of 10 yrs I thought he had angel wings. After his 10th b-day he just got more and more rude by them moment. I spoiled him because he was good, then because I wanted him to be good again. My husband & I are at wits end & there seems to be no place to turn. He has always been an A & B’s student. Just had a real bad attitude and very disrespectful up to this point. Never just let him walk over me. However the fact that both my husband & I have high tempers we tend to take things further than we should when we do get mad. There was fight point when a fight left my husband with a gash in his eye. He seemed to feel bad because he hurt his dad. We’ve noticed more changes in him this last year. The beginning of the school year he was turning in his A’s & B’s still. A month after school started he had been suspended for fighting. However he pushed the kid away from him because he remembered the rule about not fighting. Grades had already started to fall off but still nothing real extreme. Then in a 1 week period notified by several teachers that he had 10 pages missing & including his warm body at school. Christmas day is his birthday & all he could talk about for months was getting his drivers license for his b-day. We got suckered in & got the license for him. Got worse by the day, he has wrecked out truck, came home high on pot, is hanging out with kids with real bad habits. I don’t want to give up on him but will not support him until he is in his 20′s. I love him and that will never change. A friend just lost her teenager to a shooting after breaking and entering, I worry more now than ever about my son and his safety. I certainly feel your pain but please don’t give up on them they still do need us. My adult son thanks us on a regular basis for all we done for him. It wasn’t always that way with him. I hurt for each of you & will keep you in my prayers.

April 27, 2011 at 1:28 am
(85) Julie says:

I have a 12, almost 13 year old son who is making my life a living hell too. He is my only child & I am a single mom, but I can’t take the screaming & disrespectful attitude every day. He is on meds for ADD, but his anger is out of control. He has thrown a cell phone at me; doesn’t want to go to bed or get up for school. And when I try to discipline him, he screams how much he hates me, hates this house & wants out. We were going to a good place with day treatment available, but my ex lost his job & the insurance, so now we are back to square one. I don’t want to give up & turn him over to the state, since his father has never visited him; but I can’t take much more myself. I’m disabled & my mother has Alzheimer’s. How much can one person take?

May 20, 2011 at 3:34 pm
(86) Lee says:

Julie…I’m also a single mama to a 12 yr old son who will be 13 next month. I can say that in the last yr its as if I have another child. Before this school yr his biggest problem in school was being talkative now he is rude, obnoxious, surly towards his peers and he continues to hang with the wrong crowd. It seems at least twice a wk I’m getting an e-mail from the the disciplinary expert at the school or one of his teachers. I admit I’ve dropped the ball on consequences when I see improvement so I get a little lax and ease up but after today that’s it! I’m fed up. He is not allowed to use his cellphone, computer (except for school wk and I will be watching him) and he is not allowed to go outside until the school year ends. I’ve warned him that if he leaves and tries to run away I will be calling the police on him.

May 17, 2011 at 11:18 am
(87) Jen says:

I have a 16 year old son. This past Friday I had him baker-acted. He went out of contorl. He punched my husband (his step father) after leaving therapy. He blames him and I for his hurt, anger, aggressivness and depression. I have done everything… school… Therapy… Psychcs. He has been diagnosed with severe Depression and PTSD. Which stems from things that he was exposed to from his father. His anger is out of control. He wants to hurt my husband and others. I will never support any of those actions. He tells me that putting him in the hospital traumatized him even more. That I am evil that I am no longer a good mom. I know that one day in a very long time he will understand why I did what I did and why I will continue doing so. But right now its a battle a struggle that is taking the best out of both my husband and I. All I can do is pray.

May 18, 2011 at 9:28 am
(88) lisha says:

My heart goes out to everyone on the site. I never imagine my son would take me through the troubles he has was alwasy a good kid. however he is now 16 and has ran away three time he has stolen things out of the house. we try talking and pushning him nothing work he gets worse. he stated he feels his farther do notlove him because they they didnt spend a lot of time together because he was always working. My son has stated he feels like hurting and even killing his dad. I put him in counseling a few weeks ago. I had no idea he was feeling this way, i feel like aloser because I didnt see any signs of his angry. we have change the locks the only way out is with a key we take his shoes away when we have to go some where because he will run, the alram is set every night and we now sleep with a lock on the door. I know this is also hurting my 9yr old daughter. I want to help him but don’t know how and now I feel like I want to send him away but cannot afford to. I’m heart broken and angry.

May 19, 2011 at 12:06 pm
(89) lisha says:

Do anyone no of any inexspenisve camps in nnj, ny,pa they I may be able to send my 16yr old son to over the summer?

May 19, 2011 at 12:01 pm
(90) lisha says:

Last night was another tense night in the home. I pryaed God help my son express what ever the angry he is feeling in a non viloent way and to heal my family and remove the strife from the home. I also ask that god give me the endurance and strenght to deal with whatever comes my way. If my son shall run away again All I can do is ask the lord to protect him. Then when he ready to send him home he be made over and come home with a new heart and mind. he has another counseling session on 5-23-11 hoping the counselor can reach him. I’m sending him to NY with his grandparents becuase we just need a few days of peace, and I no onger feel guiilty for that.

May 19, 2011 at 12:08 pm
(91) lisha says:

anyone no of any summer camps I can send my 16yr old to over the summer in NY,PA, NJ, CT area

July 18, 2011 at 10:57 am
(92) Janet says:

Please help . . . I need advice – I have a 17 year old son and 15 year old son and 20 year old daughter – my sons are driving me insane – quite literally if feels. My 17 year old used to be in sports and laugh all the time. He got kicked off the team for an intentional foul (twice) and sports are no longer an option. AFter the 2nd incident he started to escalate out of control. He is now smoking pot, skipping school, and worse robbing others. He confessed to robbing our friends but the police have yet to do anything. There are more robberies I know that but have no solid proof. I have had police involved only to be told that he is my responsibility (WI) my 15 year old is following in his footsteps because in my opinion he is afraid of brother. My daughter moved home for the summer and is absolutely miserable – because they threaten her. What do I do?

July 26, 2011 at 10:38 pm
(93) Neil says:

For all parents on this post. Every state has a department of mental health that serves families with children in crisis and all counties have some kind of rapid response service that will send a social worker to your home to intervene and establish services for your troubled teen. If your teen is diagnosed with any personality disorder you can be eligible for state medical benefits which can pay for inpatient/outpatient care, residential treatment, partial day hospitalization and so on. All counties also offer free psychological screenings that can also be a starting place for getting services. ALSO – you MUST find our where your local Families Anonymous meets familiesanonymous.org – You will find a support group of families in your town/area that have the exact same situation as you and they can help you find answers.

February 7, 2012 at 11:41 am
(94) Kathy says:

Try the Parent Project. Talk to your school counselors, Vice Principals etc if there is not one offered in your area. It is a life changing course. I wish I had it 3 years ago when all our problems started. Its a free parenting course for out of control teens. It has helped me everywhere in my parenting!

February 18, 2012 at 5:37 am
(95) ciara says:

plz help my 14 year old son is out of control he talks to us like dirt he smokes has been drinking has been using grass and canibas i think hes using solvants but everything is our fault we have tryed talking to him grounding him taking his phone and other things of him but the minute he gets them back and is allowed out he does the same thing again his baby brother died 3 years ago of cotdeath and we got him counsiling but we feel that we cant keep using this as an excuse as we have 3 other boys 1 older than him and they dont get on this way we know hes in with a bad crowd and we have tryed keeping him away from them but when we go out looking for him he is back with them we are at our wits end plz any suggestions or things that we can do or try would be gratefully accepted thank you

March 11, 2012 at 10:12 am
(96) Teresa says:

I wish you the best of luck. I am going through the same thing right now with my 13 year old son. He has always been a abc student and in the last 6 months he has failed every class. his father moved out of town 6 months ago. It has been a huge trial for my son and i. We were fighting arguing, he was saying how i didnt care, he was smoking pot. Being hatefull to everyone, disrespectful to his teachers. I would get upset and yell at him at first. It’s hard not to when they are acting out, not to yell and be angry with them. My brother and my older son (22) came to me and said duh stop and look and listen, he is rebelling. MY son said he is lost. He is hurting right now. I stopped and said YES he is. We are still going through it but my advise is. DONT YELL, DONT FIGHT, DONT ARGUE. Your child needs you right now more than anything, they are reaching out to you. Pray for them. Talk with them, Love them more, take them and spend more time with them. Show them you are there for them. Let them know you dearly love them, but some of the things they are doing is only hurting them. Show them how they are looking in front of other people, but talk it dont play the blame game as they will back away. They will come to you on their terms you cannott force them. Get with the school and do a weekly agenda, get all the enails of the teachers i did and we emailed daily, weekly, every other day, anytime there was a problem with my son. I let my son know i wasnt doing it behind his back. I even had teachers email me agendas for homework that would be due weekly and if there was a report say due on thursday i would know in advance and we would work on it together. It got to a point where he actually felt good when he turned it in and come tell me mom there were kids who didnt even turn it in, he felt good. I said see that is great now that you are doing it, it feels good huh? Yes he said. MOMS, DADS, Just be patient, pray, love them. DO NOT GIVE UP ON THEM. Take them to Christian youth councelors. It is younger people who talk to them, then they dont feel its just another adult against them. Start going to church weekly, i promise it will help them, they will like it. Try it. Dont give up. GOOD LUCK GOD BLESS YOU. :)

March 11, 2012 at 10:23 am
(97) Teresa says:

To number 95 about your 14 year old son. Do not giveup on him. Possibly if these kids are going to the same school change his school. Take him to another, honestly it will help. Take him to church. There is a velocity youth group at our church, we go to calvary chapel, it is a non denominational. They have classes for youths by age. my son goes to the middle/high school group, they are around a bunch of other teens. Please do it. It will help. Do not fight with him. And how do you know he is not hurting still. He probably is. He is not like your other kids, they are all different. Dont judge him. Since you have more kids, do one on one with him away from the other kids. Do days with just hin, it can be done, dont say I dont have tine, you do!!!! He needs it before you lose him conpletely. Trust me these steps will work. Expecially the church, make sure the church has the youth group if not find another church that will, it is your responsibility it is!! Take care of your baby who may be lost right now and may feel no one cares so he has reached to his friends and is trying to fit in and feel cared about. Trust me. good luck

May 13, 2012 at 6:12 pm
(98) sharon says:

Hi i have read a lot of comments and realise i’m not on my own.my son is 1 soon to be 17 and he is aking life a total misery… he is stealing cars family members cars.. i dont know what to do any more i have tried my best and im not going to give up.. he needs help but i really dont know where to start

September 14, 2012 at 12:12 pm
(99) Elizabeth says:

My son is almost 17 and a total terror to family and friends, I have asked the county for help, only to have them give him a slap on the hand and sent back home to do it all over again, I have expressed to them that he is completely out of control, and does not care what anyone says, he laughs in our faces. He has stolen quite a bit from me and my family and his friends, he is also smoking synthetic Marijuana called K-2, Parents be aware of this as it causes brain deficiency as well as death it makes them do crazy things. I have even told his probation officer what he is doing and still here i sit without any help. Spite the fact that he is Bi-Polar and has mood disorders, meds do not help. I asked for a court ordered residential program and still nothing but I am the one who is still at fault for his actions. Is there anything in hamilton ohio that i can get help for my child. I am at my breaking point and I love him so much, but he is going to be the death of me. he has broken into my bedroom stolen my money, stolen jewelry, stole my carpet cleaner Yeah how bout that. and still tthe courts blame me!!!!!!!!!

November 6, 2012 at 7:31 am
(100) Bree says:

PLEASE look this up: “The Center for Success and Independence” in Houston Texas!! If your child is older than 17, DBT – dialectical behavioral therapy! And most definitely prayer! I have a different child – one I always wanted!!! There is hope! My situation mirrors sooooo many of the previous comments, so I’ll spare the details! Just know there is proven help, and we can gain a healthy relationship with our children!

December 13, 2012 at 9:08 am
(101) Donna Moore says:

My daughter is 15 and had a baby 2 months ago and she shows no responsibillity. im about to the end of my rope I have tried every way possible to teach this child to be a mother and she acts like she dont care about anyone but herself and her friends i give her money to be able to buy her baby girl christmas and she gave it to one of her friends , I just really think she needs to wake up and relize she is a mother now its not about her anymore.How do i get help to wake her up because i cant keep going on like this ,like i told her i would love nothing more than to raise this baby but then what will she learn,I also told her she cant leave my house with this baby until she graduates high school because i want to no she will be taken care of.So im asking for help

January 2, 2013 at 1:08 am
(102) sharon says:

I have a daughter who turns 17 next week. She has always been a great kid til she meet the boy she is seeing. She quit school and has threaten to run away if i dont let her see him. I have had to literally chase her up the road many times and have to agree to them seeing each other for her to even come home. I have no one to even talk to about this. Her dad is no help he says he has given up ugh. Im scared to death of losing her

January 13, 2013 at 2:15 am
(103) Judy says:

Mine are 12 (bipolar) and 14 (depression). I filed a FINS (families in need of services) on them. They are taken to court, drug tested, sent to the appropriate facility( child behavioral hospital) for 7-10 days, where they receive counseling, medication if needed, placed on probation and the cops can pick them up if they so much as back talk you. They help with financial aide to get the resources you need. It’s been a God send. My children are soo much better now.

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