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Topic : Setting Boundaries

Number of Replies: 344
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Created on : Thursday, June 30, 2005, 01:21:13 pm
Author : dataimport
It's important to set healthy boundaries for and with your teen. Share your strategies.

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March 10, 2007, 5:02 am CST

Good for you!

Quote From: nightnurse93

 Hi all, first let me say thank you for all of your words of encouragement.  Last time I wrote, I hadn't seen my daughter in 2 months.  I was sure that all was lost and that she was headed down a path of destruction that she would never steer clear of.  Fortunately, I must have been doing something right, because she came home.  It was slow at first, a day here and a day there, but we began building our relationship back.  I maintained a calm attitude with her and stood my ground, telling her that if I didn't love her, I wouldn't care about her grades and her bad behavior, etc etc etc.  She came to my house for Thanksgiving to stay the long weekend, and just before she was to go back to her Dad's she just up and refused to go.  Said she'd run away from there if I made her go back.  It took three days of me constantly talking and listening before she finally came clean.  She had been doing drugs, smoking, drinking and having sex with her boyfriend, all with stepmom's approval and support.  She was ashamed of the fact that her grades were in the toilet and afraid that she wouldn't be able to graduate with her class.  All of her girlfriends had dropped her, and she was miserable.  She told me that she wanted to be a good kid again, and felt that she couldn't do it in the environment at her father's house.  I talked it over with my husband and my parents, and we talked with her.  Together we decided to get an attorney and go back to court for full custody.  I'm not saying that she's now a completely reformed angel, there have definitely been rough spots.  From Thanksgiving until the first of February, the child didn't go anywhere unless accompanied by myself, my husband, or my parents.  Her grades have taken a turn for the better, and a drastic improvement was seen by her teachers in the first WEEK.  I selectively began to allow her friends to come to the house to visit, and kept my habit of speaking to their parents regarding any and all plans, despite her protests that she would look like a "loser" if I did that.  The girl that had been her best friend since the 4th grade was finally allowed to come around again, and I had a long talk with her mother to let her know the situation.  My daughter now accepts the fact that our family has dinner together every evening, and she accepts the fact that she is expected to participate in family functions.  I am beginning to see her "come back" somewhat, and I am relieved.  I have my first meeting with her guardian ad litem this evening, and I'm a bit anxious about it, but can't help but feel that we will prevail because we truly have her best interests at heart.  I want to be a parent to her, not her best buddy.  We still have rough spots from time to time, but I know that consistancy is the key, as well as making her feel validated when she comes to me with concerns.  Again, thanks to all who commented and kept telling me not to give up.  Keep us in your prayers, it's not over yet!

Good for you!  I did the same thing but unfortunately my children's father is a Narcissist. 

My husband and I had my older daughter living with us and he lured her back with a car and expensive gifts. Don't even ask about my younger daughter.

Keep up the good work!  Stay strong with your boundries.

 

Free

 
March 10, 2007, 10:19 pm CST

16 yr old, runs to neighbor

I am a 46 yr old single mom, never married. My daughter is 16 and has been diagnosed Bipolar by five different docs.

 

The latest problem is when I grounded her two weeks ago for taking, and not returning, my stuff, and for lying about skipping school. When she was 12-14 she ran away a lot, but because we live in a small town, the police would just "talk" to her or take her to the Sonic. The detention facility is half hour away so the police never wanted to drive her there. Woth the help of MHMR I was finally able to get her in a facility that was great. But because she is so very manipulating (she is also ver intellegent) she was able to play their game and get out in four moths. When she came home she was taking her meds regularly and everything was great! (like a normal mother daughter relationship). She got around my family and my 18 yr old neive convinced her she didn't need meds and that it was all me.

 

Anway...

This time she went to her friends house. Her friend has one of those mothers who thinks because her children behave that it must be the moms fault if the kid runs away. To make things worse, I have not spoke to my mother in over 15 years because she is a horrible human being. While my daughter was at her friends house she called my mother, and now my mother is sending her a ATM card and buying her a cell phone. (my daughter has previously broke 1 and lost two cell phone so I won't buy her another)

 

How can I set boundaries, rules and stand by them when there are so many around to undermine me?

I wanted ot be a good mom so bad that I went to parenting classes when she was little. I quit work and worked as a Nanny so that I could raise her and be her mom. Everthing was great until about age 11.

I don't know how I can stop my mother from sending her things. I don't know how I can make this mom not let my daughter stay there, and when my daughter does come back, what do I do to make her follow the few rules I have and not steel my things?

 

Also, I don't have the kind of home her friend has. My daughter believes it's my fault that I won't buy her a car or other things. Even if I was wealthy, I would not buy her a car.

 

PLEASE help!!! I am on the edge and loosing hope. Five years of discouragement and then having my mother back in my life is more that I can take.

 
March 12, 2007, 9:39 pm CDT

Stepdaughter issues

I hope this is the right board.  I'm at a loss with what to do with this situation.

 

My bf and I've been together for just over 2 years.  His oldest daughter was 16 when we got together and 18 when we moved in together.  She has always been 'daddys little girl' and he has spoiled her rotten.   (His youngest daughter is 14 and we get along great).   He and their mom split when the older was 4 and she is a MASTER manipulator.  Because of the animosity between he and their mom, she has successfully played them off each other for 14 years (tell dad that mom is so mean so he spoils her more...tells mom that dad is mean, etc).

 

Ok, so we had waited for about the time she left for college till we moved in together (including 2 of my 3 kids, ages 17 and 18).   I knew she had some issues with me because she felt I took her dad away from her and took her position in the family so I would always try to play low-key when she seemed to need time with her dad, etc.

 

Unfortunately she is way out of control and I had to open his eyes to her lies and how bad she was getting.  Basically, I burst his bubble.   We keep our money separate and this is one of the very good reasons why.   She overuses her bank account and he pays the NSF and overages to the tune of about $5,000 in 4 months.   Uses his gas card to buy gas for her bf.   Almost failed her first quarter of college.   Lies non-stop.  Steals - including stealing from my daughter's room.   Two car accidents (and after totalling her mustang, he bought her a new mustang) and she just got her 4th ticket today.  Her license is about to be suspended.  No job.   I could go on and on....

 

Yet - he has no consequences for her.  He 'talks' to her, she gives him 'lip service' but then does whatever she wants.   He acknowledged tonight that he knows she tries to tear our relationship apart but 'it isn't working and it won't work'.  But yet he never tells her flat out to stop her crap.   I feel like he never stands up for me (she and I don't  have much direct contact).    He also admitted that if  he told her that he/I were going to get married that she would hit the roof.   I asked him why we never talk about getting married and he said its cause he's not ready to start thinking about it...but I think its because he knows she won't stand for it.

 

I get along with the ex but feel like I'm in the middle of a game that started 14 years ago.   All 4 of them, bf, older daughter, younger daughter, mom, pull me into their 'side'.

 

My bf says he is working on it...but I've given up hope that he will change and unless  he changes his parenting, the daughter won't change.  She  has no reason too, she can do whatever she wants and daddy will clean up her mess.

 

What are the chances that it will get better?   what can I do?  I have no control over anyone but myself in this situation....    Is it worth the pain?

 
March 13, 2007, 10:41 am CDT

Step mother with no respect

Hi I hope that I can get some help with this, my husband and I have been together almost 7 years, married 3. We have a 2 year old and he has a 16yeasr old daughter and a 14 year old son from a previous marraige. We agreed to let the 16 year old daughter come and live with us the summer of her sophmore year almost 2 years ago, at first everything was good, she followed the rules and helped out around the house and with her new sister she dotes on her. Well about 6 months ago that all went down hill very fast, she dates a boy that we do not approve of and revolves everything she does around him.... she has no respect for me or her father. We just busted her liying to us for that last 2 months about wher she was spending her nights on the weekend if we would let her go to a friends. She has flat out told me that she has no respect for me, and doesnt even like me. I told her to pack her stuff and go.... I refuse to raise my 2 year old around someone who has no respect and no responsabilities. She is rude to family members, and doesnt thin she should have to do anything that she doesnt want to do. I am only 28 years old and I keep telling myself that things will get better and that I was not a perfect angel when I was that age, but I can not live with the attitude and disrespect any more it has come to me leaving for 5 days at a time just to get away from her. Her father is to concerned with her being mad at him or threatning to go to her mothers to punish her and I mean really punish her, 4 days of grounding for 2 months of liying to me is absurd. He has now started liying to me when it comes to her because he doesnt want to hear me complain about the way he treats her. She is only 16 where are the rules and the disciplin, and sence when is it so terrable to slap a snotty teenager in the mouth?
 
March 21, 2007, 10:03 pm CDT

I hear you!

Quote From: mrothschadl

Hi I hope that I can get some help with this, my husband and I have been together almost 7 years, married 3. We have a 2 year old and he has a 16yeasr old daughter and a 14 year old son from a previous marraige. We agreed to let the 16 year old daughter come and live with us the summer of her sophmore year almost 2 years ago, at first everything was good, she followed the rules and helped out around the house and with her new sister she dotes on her. Well about 6 months ago that all went down hill very fast, she dates a boy that we do not approve of and revolves everything she does around him.... she has no respect for me or her father. We just busted her liying to us for that last 2 months about wher she was spending her nights on the weekend if we would let her go to a friends. She has flat out told me that she has no respect for me, and doesnt even like me. I told her to pack her stuff and go.... I refuse to raise my 2 year old around someone who has no respect and no responsabilities. She is rude to family members, and doesnt thin she should have to do anything that she doesnt want to do. I am only 28 years old and I keep telling myself that things will get better and that I was not a perfect angel when I was that age, but I can not live with the attitude and disrespect any more it has come to me leaving for 5 days at a time just to get away from her. Her father is to concerned with her being mad at him or threatning to go to her mothers to punish her and I mean really punish her, 4 days of grounding for 2 months of liying to me is absurd. He has now started liying to me when it comes to her because he doesnt want to hear me complain about the way he treats her. She is only 16 where are the rules and the disciplin, and sence when is it so terrable to slap a snotty teenager in the mouth?
I have a 16 yr old step-son who is getting into trouble at school.  He was suspended just today for getting caught spitting in one of his teachers cups of coffee. 

My husband took the day off and brought him home and sent him to his room.  He normally has internet in his room but my hubby disconnected it.  The boy was told that he was being sent to his room until his dad cooled off.  He could come out for dinner, drinks of water, and bathroom breaks.  Beyond that he is to be grounded from going out, the internet, the x-box, and the phone for a period of two weeks. 

He wouldn't stay in his room and was coming out of it about every 5 minutes, stomping through the house, slamming doors and cupboards and then stomping back to his room.  After several hours of this, my husband finally told him that he would be losing something (tv, computer, and then clothes) from his room everytime he left it without permission until it was all gone.  If he continued to be defiant (not compliant, screaming, and slamming things) after all his stuff had been taken away, he would be shown the door. 

He quieted down until 10 pm until he was told to turn out the light and go to sleep.  He got very angry when my husband caught him still up 10 minutes later at which point my husband took his tv out of his room.  When the light remained on my husband went into the bedroom and asked him what part of lights out he didn't get and yelled and got into his face.  After my husband returned to the living room my step-son came downstairs and with finger-pointing said "dont you ever get in my face again."  Dad said go to bed, son said no, dad took computer from room and said go to bed, son said no, dad suggested to son that he might pull the boys arms off and beat him with them at which point I stepped in and suggested that the boy sleep somewhere else for the night before things got really out of hand (meaning his moms or our version of a child protective services group home). 

What I said to my husband later and which relates to your wanting your step to be slapped in the mouth is that although I might have really enjoyed seeing him rip the arms off the boy and beat him with them, already the kid feels no shame or remorse for his actions and instead feels victimized by us and violence however deserving would only make him feel a super-victim and would defeat the purpose.  My question is what do you do when you have taken everything away?  Is it appropriate to kick the boy out for non-compliance and defiance?

ps. the boy went to bed finally and wasn't kicked out
 
April 1, 2007, 1:08 am CDT

2 x teenagers that talk back???

Hi I am getting very annoyed and angry, not to mention feeling helpless.

I have 1 x 18 year old son, 1x 16 year old daughter. between the 2 of them I feel totally redundant.  I dont feel that I have any respect in my own home. I ask one thing usually to stop the lanquage ( the F word excetera).  I just dont see the need for its use constantly. when I go crook at them they just say get over it or you didnt tell him to stop it why do you always pick on me says my 16 yo.

I have constant arguements about helping me around the house. My son thinks because he is at work all day he shouldnt have to do anything. dosn't seem to matter when I work though or have been busy all day.  all I ask him to do is clean his dirty room.  My daughter does help when she is in the mood.

My problem is I suffer from chronic depression, and dont feel I have the strength to argue without getting upset.   

What can I do to get some dicipline and respect in my house I really do think  i deserve it .

 

thanks leanne

 
April 7, 2007, 8:41 am CDT

I need help for my son

My son has had a baseball in his hand since he was 6 years old.  He has always been an all star player and we have invested thousands of dollars in his goal to be a Major League Player.  However a couple of years ago he started failing his classes.  We threated to pull him out of Select Baseball if he didn't start passing his classes. Last summer we required him to get a job to help pay for his insurance and gas. He is a junior this year and at the begining of the school year he failed another class.  He blamed it on work and wanted to quit his job to concentrate on school.  We know the drill so we told him he could not quit his job.  Meanwhile, I put my foot down (against his father and step father) and pulled him out of Select Baseball.  He ended up quitting his job and swore he would pull up his grades.  He also told us he felt "ripped off" because we bought him a crappy car and all of his friends parents have bought them new or nice used cars, they don't have to pay for insurance or help with gas.  They just get to be kids and have fun.  (We don't agree with that type of parenting)  That quarter he failed two classes. 

Since he has gotten his license in August, he has recieved 4 speeding tickets (1 which he kept from us) , rear ended an off duty police officer, and two weeks ago put his car in a ditch while trying to pass another car.  We told him until he could prove he was mature enough to drive and act responsible, he was not allowed to drive his car and only allowed to drive our truck to baseball practice and back.  Yesterday he called me at work to tell me someone had taken a baseball bat "or something" to his car.  I asked him repeatedly if he had taken it out to which his reply was "No, I don't know what happend, now you are blaming me?"

When I got home after work, he was at baseball practice.  The dents on his car a baseball bat couldn't do.  There was damage underneath the car, the plastic on the mirror was broken and grass/brush inbedded up into it.  I found evidence of mud and dirt which was washed off his car.  I looked at our truck and there was mud and dirt inside, but the outside had been washed also.

When he got home I asked him to tell me what happend.  He strongly denied taking out his car or anything to do with any accident.  After several hours he finally told me that he and his friends met on the military reservation and were messing around in there cars.  Driving fast then turning, sliding... he ran into brush-went 4 wheeling with his car.  Once he wrecked his car, he came home and got our truck and took that out 4 wheeling.  Now he is made because I act like a "CSI" investigator and don't trust him.  He says he is only being a kid and just wants to have fun and it's no big deal.

I am pretty strict with him, curfew is 11:00 unless it's special, the tickets he has gotten I have told him he has to try to do communtiy service to work off, he doesn't get to go to parties.

Previously we had given him a cash card for gas only.  However it had to be taken away because he has taken it upon himself to purchase what he wants...food for him and his friends, baseball gloves (he was only supposed to buy a helment and it ended up costing us $ 150), jewley for himself, items for his car... before we finally pulled it from him.

He appreciates nothing we do for him or anything he has, nor does he have ANY self control.  I need some help!  He is spiralling out of control and I am afraid if we don't get some counseling or something, he is going to go off on the deep end.

 
April 13, 2007, 11:59 am CDT

boundaries with ex's

I am a little confused at my husband.  He is very adament that I do not have a relationship with his ex.  In my relationship with my ex and his new wife, it is wonderful.  We discuss things and stay involved with what our children are doing and if a problem comes up we are able to discuss it in a mature open way.  I would not trade that for anything.  We keep it based on the children only and no personal information.  I don't understand why he has a problem with it and why it makes him so angry.  He says that I am not supporting him because his ex hurt him and lies about everything.  Can someone give me some insight on this and why I have had to apologize to him and tell him it would't happen again when I feel it is such a blessing to have the relationship that I do with my children's new step-mother.
 
May 3, 2007, 7:33 pm CDT

Teenagers

Quote From: littlepuss1

Hi I am getting very annoyed and angry, not to mention feeling helpless.

I have 1 x 18 year old son, 1x 16 year old daughter. between the 2 of them I feel totally redundant.  I dont feel that I have any respect in my own home. I ask one thing usually to stop the lanquage ( the F word excetera).  I just dont see the need for its use constantly. when I go crook at them they just say get over it or you didnt tell him to stop it why do you always pick on me says my 16 yo.

I have constant arguements about helping me around the house. My son thinks because he is at work all day he shouldnt have to do anything. dosn't seem to matter when I work though or have been busy all day.  all I ask him to do is clean his dirty room.  My daughter does help when she is in the mood.

My problem is I suffer from chronic depression, and dont feel I have the strength to argue without getting upset.   

What can I do to get some dicipline and respect in my house I really do think  i deserve it .

 

thanks leanne

Hi Leanne,

 

I'm new to this board but noticed that no one had replied to your post yet so...

 

I have three teenagers and a ten year old ("Calgon take me away!"  :-)  ) and I also struggle with circumstances you described. Therefore, I did some research and found some info that may help both of us.

 

Read this article:

http://drphil.com/articles/article/141/   Also, you may find the following advice helpful from http://drphil.com/articles/article/305 :
  • You won't get what you want by being a totalitarian dictator. Communication and mutual participation are the keys.

  • Kids needs to be able to predict with 100 percent accuracy what the consequences of their actions will be. Jay recalls that when he had a go-cart, it was made clear that if he was caught driving it without a helmet, it'd be sold immediately. Knowing that consequence gave him a choice, and he chose to wear the helmet.

  • Take the time to discuss the reasoning behind a decision. Just saying "no" isn't always sufficient, and certainly doesn't make the teen's desire go away. Teens can learn how to reason things through if you give them a lead to follow.

  • The greatest things you can give your son or daughter are your ear and your voice. When Jay asked teens across the country what they wanted most from their parents, the number one answer was to have their parents more involved in their lives. They don't want to be interrogated — just talked to!
  •  

    I hope this helps you. 

     

    Hang in there,

    Sally

     
     
    May 18, 2007, 3:25 pm CDT

    What is going on?

     I have a problem with my 15 year old.  I have been divorced from her father for 8 years.  I am now remarried for the last 5 years.  My 15 year met a man of the age of 22 and began talking with him.  After telling her that she was not to talk to him or see him, she moved out while I was at work.  Now she will not return even though I have custody of her.  Her father has talked  her into staying there because will allow her to date this man.  He picks her up for school, goes to her father's home and grandmother's home to visit her.  Now it is going to Court since he is not abiding by court order.  I know when she is made to come home she will be very mad.  What should I do? My heart tells me that she is a minor and it isn't right to be with  a 22 year old.  I explained to her when she is 18 years old she can make that  choice.  I am very much in need of some advice.  I have talked to several other parents and they are going  through the same thing.  To make things worst, he does not like my husband because he agrees with me.
     
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