Message Boards

Topic : Troubled Teens

Number of Replies: 1351
New Messages This Week: 0
Last Reply On:
Created on : Thursday, June 30, 2005, 01:31:34 pm
Author : dataimport
Is your teen headed down a path of self destruction with drugs, alcohol, eating disorders, self injury, depression, or problems with the law? Share advice and support with other parents of troubled teens.

As of January, 2009, this message board will become "Read Only" and will be closed to further posting. Please join the NEW Dr. Phil Community to continue your discussions, personalize your message board experience, start a blog and meet new friends.

October 28, 2008, 5:47 pm CDT

13, in therapy, more troubled

Quote From: brokenmom3

I am a mom of 3 Beautiful daughters,, ages 13, 10 and 7.  I am having a heck of a time with my 13yr old, with rebellion, anger and disrespect.  She is only 13 and she is very smart, and beautiful, and is headed down a hard path.  She is very much into wearing black makeup, and talking about she don't care what people think about her... She is dressing the way she wants and wears what she wants no matter what anyone says.

She has began self mutulation, (cutting her wrists) and even tho they are only surface cuts.... they are just that CUTS !!  She has been in therapy for a year now, and with no positive outcome.   I am in the process of finding her a different therapist, as I realize it may take several different ones to find the right one.  I have taken her to the MD.. where I was told she may be bi polar, and needs to see a psychiatrist... However I ended up taking her to a local crisis center as she cut herself and was proud of it.. I was very worried that she was suicidal, even tho she says she's not..

After the evaluation, they told me she was not suicidal, but she is trying to find her direction in life... Even if it's not the path I had hoped for...

I am very worried at this point, as she has 2 younger sisters that see everything that is going on, and they are worried as well....

 

Good Ol fashioned butt whoopins don't work.. I have tried it... when she gets in this defiance state.. she is untouchable.... almost invincible....  She was brought up in a christian environment, and even a christian private school... this year when she was put into public school... she seems to be rebelling even worse than before...

Does anyone have any advice for me,, or just someone to talk to that may be going thru the same thing???

At this point.. I'll try ANYTHING....


Thanks for taking the time to read this..

"Broken Desert Mom"

"Good Ol fashioned butt whoopins" are a terrible idea.  Actually, they may have contributed to some of her rebellion, although I doubt they are the cause of it.

 

Counseling with a qualified therapist with whom your daughter makes a "connection" so she benefits is important, as you realize.  Finding another one is the right move for now.  If it is the right therapist, you should see some improvement within a few months.  Some gains might be visible sooner, but halting the current undesirable trend is step one, and I don't think therapists have a magic wand yet.

 

I see the term "bi-polar" a lot, and wouldn't put much weight on that MD's assessment of possibilities.  Actually, I'd bet more on depression, of which cutting is often a sign.

 

There are programs available for 13-year olds that might prove helpful, but I think you need to "exhaust" possibilities around where you live.  At 13, I don't think she should be "dressing the way she wants and wear[ing] what she wants no matter what anyone says", especially as you are her parent and paying for it all.  Talk with her school counselor about school activities or community organizations that would offer positive experiences for her.  I'm a great believer in the power of outdoor programs - hiking, camping etc.- particularly with trained leadership for groups.  In some areas, there are groups or trips for kids facing the same sort of issues you see in your daughter.

 

Some of her rebellion may be "simply" due to her age, but that doesn't excuse everything, and certainly doesn't give her license to do and wear whatever she wants.  Do remain focused on her good attributes as well, and encourage those while you look for positive things elsewhere.

 
October 29, 2008, 12:56 pm CDT

Troubled Teens

Quote From: dadside

"Good Ol fashioned butt whoopins" are a terrible idea.  Actually, they may have contributed to some of her rebellion, although I doubt they are the cause of it.

 

Counseling with a qualified therapist with whom your daughter makes a "connection" so she benefits is important, as you realize.  Finding another one is the right move for now.  If it is the right therapist, you should see some improvement within a few months.  Some gains might be visible sooner, but halting the current undesirable trend is step one, and I don't think therapists have a magic wand yet.

 

I see the term "bi-polar" a lot, and wouldn't put much weight on that MD's assessment of possibilities.  Actually, I'd bet more on depression, of which cutting is often a sign.

 

There are programs available for 13-year olds that might prove helpful, but I think you need to "exhaust" possibilities around where you live.  At 13, I don't think she should be "dressing the way she wants and wear[ing what she wants no matter what anyone says", especially as you are her parent and paying for it all.  Talk with her school counselor about school activities or community organizations that would offer positive experiences for her.  I'm a great believer in the power of outdoor programs - hiking, camping etc.- particularly with trained leadership for groups.  In some areas, there are groups or trips for kids facing the same sort of issues you see in your daughter.

 

Some of her rebellion may be "simply" due to her age, but that doesn't excuse everything, and certainly doesn't give her license to do and wear whatever she wants.  Do remain focused on her good attributes as well, and encourage those while you look for positive things elsewhere.

 

What should I do to try and get her to stop cutting?   Everytime I see her, that is all I can think about... are there any new cuts on her wrist? How deep is she going? How often is she doing it?

She wears these gloves on her hands that go half way up her arm,, and I assume it is to hide the cuts, but she claims it is the "style".... If I really harp on her, she will show me, but I almost have to beg her to show me her wrists! 

When this first came up, I thought my daughter was a "drama queen"  looking for attention.... and I gave her MORE attention... did more things with her, as she was in soccer, but decided she couldn't handle the pressure and quit... she was in volleyball, and again,, she quit that (without me knowing until after the fact).

I think now that she seriously needs help, and she has been going to therapy... however, I am in the process of going toa different one.. until I find the "right" one for her....

But in the mean time,  do you have any ideas of what I can do to encourage her not to cut??  She will NOT talk to me,, she says that is what she has friends for.. she did however tell me she would make a deal with me... she wouldnt' cut for 3 weeks, if after that 3 weeks, I would buy her a new outfit... saying I could check her wrists and anywhere on her body I wanted to make sure there are no NEW cuts.... What is your opinion on that??/

 

Thank you so much for your time !

 

 
October 29, 2008, 7:02 pm CDT

... to stop her cutting

Quote From: brokenmom3

 

What should I do to try and get her to stop cutting?   Everytime I see her, that is all I can think about... are there any new cuts on her wrist? How deep is she going? How often is she doing it?

She wears these gloves on her hands that go half way up her arm,, and I assume it is to hide the cuts, but she claims it is the "style".... If I really harp on her, she will show me, but I almost have to beg her to show me her wrists! 

When this first came up, I thought my daughter was a "drama queen"  looking for attention.... and I gave her MORE attention... did more things with her, as she was in soccer, but decided she couldn't handle the pressure and quit... she was in volleyball, and again,, she quit that (without me knowing until after the fact).

I think now that she seriously needs help, and she has been going to therapy... however, I am in the process of going toa different one.. until I find the "right" one for her....

But in the mean time,  do you have any ideas of what I can do to encourage her not to cut??  She will NOT talk to me,, she says that is what she has friends for.. she did however tell me she would make a deal with me... she wouldnt' cut for 3 weeks, if after that 3 weeks, I would buy her a new outfit... saying I could check her wrists and anywhere on her body I wanted to make sure there are no NEW cuts.... What is your opinion on that??/

 

Thank you so much for your time !

 

I think the "correct" response would be to refuse to bargain something you don't want to do for something physically harmful that you don't want her to do. BUT, without an effective plan to deliver the help she needs - not that you aren't trying to get a good working plan - I'd probably give in and make the deal. I would, however, try to reach some kind of agreement on the kind of outfit, and cost limit, so I didn't go broke buying a Gothic nightmare!

 

I'd also redouble my efforts to find an effective therapist for her, as well as look into any possibly better (for her current needs) school choices. Even if you do a deal, it will only buy a few weeks; it will change nothing.

 

Yes, girls that age want to express their Independence etc. etc. But there are different ways that can be done without making the particular choices she is making. Cutting is often associated with low self esteem and depression. And the last two things may make drug "experimentation" more likely. All this would be consistent with dropping team sports. So, at some point (not today!) you might explore that as well, perhaps to include a drug test.  (Incidentally, if psychotropic medication is called for to help depression, drug usage will really mess things up.)

 

Available local resources vary around the country. Most suburban areas should have enough positive, even therapeutic options available, though some may be harder to identify. Please let me know what you decide.

 
October 30, 2008, 8:29 am CDT

Troubled Teens

Quote From: dadside

I think the "correct" response would be to refuse to bargain something you don't want to do for something physically harmful that you don't want her to do. BUT, without an effective plan to deliver the help she needs - not that you aren't trying to get a good working plan - I'd probably give in and make the deal. I would, however, try to reach some kind of agreement on the kind of outfit, and cost limit, so I didn't go broke buying a Gothic nightmare!

 

I'd also redouble my efforts to find an effective therapist for her, as well as look into any possibly better (for her current needs) school choices. Even if you do a deal, it will only buy a few weeks; it will change nothing.

 

Yes, girls that age want to express their Independence etc. etc. But there are different ways that can be done without making the particular choices she is making. Cutting is often associated with low self esteem and depression. And the last two things may make drug "experimentation" more likely. All this would be consistent with dropping team sports. So, at some point (not today!) you might explore that as well, perhaps to include a drug test.  (Incidentally, if psychotropic medication is called for to help depression, drug usage will really mess things up.)

 

Available local resources vary around the country. Most suburban areas should have enough positive, even therapeutic options available, though some may be harder to identify. Please let me know what you decide.

I will definately let you know how it goes.... She is with her dad Thursday, Friday, Sat.. and returns to me on Sunday after church!  My x husband and I have came to an arrangement that, on Sundays 1 of the 3 girls will stay with him, while the other 2 come to me.... then on Monday, I have all the girls until Wed.... which after school on wed the same 2 that came to me on Sunday go to him, and the one that stayed with him on Sunday,, stays with me on wed..... and we alternate it every week, Thinking that it will be a positive thing for the girls ALL to have 1 on 1 time with each parent.... plus the benefit of the other 2 girls getting some time away from their sister..

 

I have however come to the conclusion and even discussed this with my teen, that from this point on... Things are going to change...I am going to mean what I say, and do what I say...... there will be no arguing, no dealing, and no more tantrums.... know what she said to me?  This blew me away!

"She said, yea right... you never stick to what you said before"......!!

OMG that made me stop and think that a lot of her ATTITUDE I'm sure I brought on... by giving false threats, and never falling thru... I know it's late in the game, but she is only 13, and I see her still as a little girl... and it's never to late to start...

 

I have however made the "DEAL" with her..... I told her that I would buy her an outfit (staying under 50.00)

and it would have to be something I approved of.... She couldn't beleive it... she said your serious...?

I said yes, and all you have to do is go 3 weeks (until her next 1 on 1 day with mom) without any "NEW" cuts... I have the right to check anywhere on her body, at anytime, without the "ATTITUDE", of not trusting her... she said fine... I can do it !!  I told her I know she can,, and when she gets the urge to cut.... try writing a poem,, or take a warm bath, etc....

This is to try to encourage her to stop cutting, and I do still have therapy in the works, but the bi polar thing that I mentioned earlier.. bothers me..... I do not think she is bipolar.... i do think she is depressed, as she does have low self esteem, and she tries to make friends wherever she can... If I can get her to stop the cutting, and start being consistant with the punishments I set for her, and get her in the therapy with someone she "connects" with.... I would like to say that maybe things can turn around here... but I know it will be a long road, and will be hard as hell to keep cool..... but I am going to do it.....

I took the love and logic classes about 6yrs ago... just to have knowledge....and I know what they recommend, and I am working on it!!!

 

This is really the first time I have talked about this, with anyone outside the immediate family who knows what is going on with her,, and I have to be honest.... It feels good to have someone else  (un bias 3rd party) look at this and say, hey, you are going about it all wrong, or hey open your eyes and see the real deal......and give me advice on this.... So thank you very much for all your time,, I appreciate it more than you know...

 
October 30, 2008, 6:55 pm CDT

Troubled Teens

Quote From: brokenmom3

I will definately let you know how it goes.... She is with her dad Thursday, Friday, Sat.. and returns to me on Sunday after church!  My x husband and I have came to an arrangement that, on Sundays 1 of the 3 girls will stay with him, while the other 2 come to me.... then on Monday, I have all the girls until Wed.... which after school on wed the same 2 that came to me on Sunday go to him, and the one that stayed with him on Sunday,, stays with me on wed..... and we alternate it every week, Thinking that it will be a positive thing for the girls ALL to have 1 on 1 time with each parent.... plus the benefit of the other 2 girls getting some time away from their sister..

 

I have however come to the conclusion and even discussed this with my teen, that from this point on... Things are going to change...I am going to mean what I say, and do what I say...... there will be no arguing, no dealing, and no more tantrums.... know what she said to me?  This blew me away!

"She said, yea right... you never stick to what you said before"......!!

OMG that made me stop and think that a lot of her ATTITUDE I'm sure I brought on... by giving false threats, and never falling thru... I know it's late in the game, but she is only 13, and I see her still as a little girl... and it's never to late to start...

 

I have however made the "DEAL" with her..... I told her that I would buy her an outfit (staying under 50.00)

and it would have to be something I approved of.... She couldn't beleive it... she said your serious...?

I said yes, and all you have to do is go 3 weeks (until her next 1 on 1 day with mom) without any "NEW" cuts... I have the right to check anywhere on her body, at anytime, without the "ATTITUDE", of not trusting her... she said fine... I can do it !!  I told her I know she can,, and when she gets the urge to cut.... try writing a poem,, or take a warm bath, etc....

This is to try to encourage her to stop cutting, and I do still have therapy in the works, but the bi polar thing that I mentioned earlier.. bothers me..... I do not think she is bipolar.... i do think she is depressed, as she does have low self esteem, and she tries to make friends wherever she can... If I can get her to stop the cutting, and start being consistant with the punishments I set for her, and get her in the therapy with someone she "connects" with.... I would like to say that maybe things can turn around here... but I know it will be a long road, and will be hard as hell to keep cool..... but I am going to do it.....

I took the love and logic classes about 6yrs ago... just to have knowledge....and I know what they recommend, and I am working on it!!!

 

This is really the first time I have talked about this, with anyone outside the immediate family who knows what is going on with her,, and I have to be honest.... It feels good to have someone else  (un bias 3rd party) look at this and say, hey, you are going about it all wrong, or hey open your eyes and see the real deal......and give me advice on this.... So thank you very much for all your time,, I appreciate it more than you know...

I'm glad my responses have been useful. Parenting is not easy, and as I once read, by the time you know all the right answers, it is too late. But, by doing the best you can, and getting outside help - like the therapist - where appropriate it usually works out OK in the end.

 

Stick with meaning and doing what you say! It will help both of you, and even the whole family, more than you can guess. Hopefully, your behavior etc. standards are consistent with her dad's. If not, do try to get together on the point. Maybe get the new therapist involved as needed.

 

It seems you will get the cutting stopped for the moment. Do bear in mind that the cutting happens to take her mind off other things, in a way "releiving" other pressures she feels. At least that's how I understand it. So, there remains the matter of addressing the other things, whatever they are ... so a new and appropriate therapist remains a high priority.

 

Best of fortune to you and your daughters.

 
November 3, 2008, 12:38 pm CST

Do Kids ever grow up?

I've been struggling raising my oldest since early on. She was always a daddy's girl.  Her dad and I divorced when she was 12.  We moved to a suburb of Tulsa just before her 6th grade year and things have gone from bad to worse.  Her first long-term boyfriend hit her.  He was always expelled from school and had no supervision at home.  Her next boyfriend (whom she still has) is 22 or 23 and still lives at home working at Subway and never pursued college.  She planned to, but quit attending class her 2nd or 3rd week into it and now owes  $1200 tuition for classes she didn't attend.

 

All she wants to do is party with her friends.  Hang out and get high and drunk.  She has moved out of my house and in with a friend and her mom, then moved from there in with a guy she knew from Tech school, and he kicked her out, so she moved home, this time with a new cat.  That lasted a month or two, cause she didn't have a job, got a job at the Humane Society, then lost that job for no-call no-show, then got a waitressing job at Red Robin after 3 weeks of job hunting... then they didn't like her pink hair or her eye brow ring... so now she is jobless again.  She found a guy who her friends knew who needed a room mate to drive him to and from welding school, as he has a DUI, so she takes that... moves in and is loving life for two weeks... then I get the call that he has beat her up and broken a bunch of her stuff and his friends have stolen her camera and i-pod.

 

So she moves home again Friday (10.31) and by Sat (11/1) she is mad again because I want her to come home from her Halloween partying to put her clothes away and feed her cat.  So she runs away literally on foot this time and came by today while I was at work to take a shower, then left again, still without any of her things.

 

We've made appts to help her enroll in school, given her housework when she needed to earn gas money... set ground rules for living at home... nothing works.  Its like she will never accept responsibility for herself or her actions.  It is ALWAYS someone elses fault.

 
November 4, 2008, 3:06 am CST

Troubled Teens

Quote From: kdejager

I've been struggling raising my oldest since early on. She was always a daddy's girl.  Her dad and I divorced when she was 12.  We moved to a suburb of Tulsa just before her 6th grade year and things have gone from bad to worse.  Her first long-term boyfriend hit her.  He was always expelled from school and had no supervision at home.  Her next boyfriend (whom she still has) is 22 or 23 and still lives at home working at Subway and never pursued college.  She planned to, but quit attending class her 2nd or 3rd week into it and now owes  $1200 tuition for classes she didn't attend.

 

All she wants to do is party with her friends.  Hang out and get high and drunk.  She has moved out of my house and in with a friend and her mom, then moved from there in with a guy she knew from Tech school, and he kicked her out, so she moved home, this time with a new cat.  That lasted a month or two, cause she didn't have a job, got a job at the Humane Society, then lost that job for no-call no-show, then got a waitressing job at Red Robin after 3 weeks of job hunting... then they didn't like her pink hair or her eye brow ring... so now she is jobless again.  She found a guy who her friends knew who needed a room mate to drive him to and from welding school, as he has a DUI, so she takes that... moves in and is loving life for two weeks... then I get the call that he has beat her up and broken a bunch of her stuff and his friends have stolen her camera and i-pod.

 

So she moves home again Friday (10.31) and by Sat (11/1) she is mad again because I want her to come home from her Halloween partying to put her clothes away and feed her cat.  So she runs away literally on foot this time and came by today while I was at work to take a shower, then left again, still without any of her things.

 

We've made appts to help her enroll in school, given her housework when she needed to earn gas money... set ground rules for living at home... nothing works.  Its like she will never accept responsibility for herself or her actions.  It is ALWAYS someone elses fault.

Don't make appointments for her - to reenroll in school or for anything else.  You've already seen that doesn't work.  SHE has to WANT something other than a free ride and freedom without responsibility before whe will get it.

 

I don't think there is anything you can do for her other than encourage her to do for herself.  I can suggest places that could help her gain motivation, but first she'd need to want that help.  It is hard to cut support and see your child suffer, but maybe that is what they really need.  Your lack of support for her lifestyle may get her to change for the better that much sooner.

 
November 6, 2008, 11:38 pm CST

teen trying to reach out to mom

i was hoping there were some moms out there who could help me communicate with my mom in a way that she will understand and be willing to talk
ive just graduated from high school and im about to go to collage

me and my mom have lots of communication problems

i try to tell her that i want to know what she is thinking whenever we get in a fight, but she will never tell me

i try to listen to bolth sides of the story, so that i can tell if i was in the wrong, but she never tells me anything. she just blows me off!

i joined this site because i know there are a lot of moms out there and mabie you all could tell me how to make peace between me and her

im the kind of person who likes to get evrything out of thier system and live without regret
it seems my mom is the kind of person who wants to keep evrything inside and not talk about any problems

 
November 10, 2008, 10:39 pm CST

I could use some direction

Quote From: glowitch

Hello,

This sounds so much like our family with the exeption that i have no drug or alcohol problem. My son is beginging to be just like you! He is also ADHD and a dad who treats him as a buddie rather than a "parent" It is begingin to get out of hand with their relationship, i see it going to the point where they wil get physical with one another . I am at a loss . Maybe this Hyde is a good program for my son? He is a very Intelligant young Man, Loving , warm , and I know his potentical. I love him so much its killing me to watch this distruction!

My name is Gail and I am the mother of 5 children ,my youngest according to the quiz on this subject of ODD optional defiant disorder has really reared its ugly head the past three years but not as much as this year his 1st year in high school.I have talked to the school conselors,set up counseling ,not even the school or truncy officer or the police have made any head way to change his behavior and I fear its just getting worse.I live in Northern California and my e-mail is gailredbluff@aol.com.If you have a person I could talk with who would be willing to help us out ,I'd really feel blessed since ,again to night he hasn't come home after school which let out at 1:30 and its 10:29pm. I'm disabled and don't have a car nor do I drive. These public schools really aren't very helpful. His behavior of stealing ,lying,cutting classes,smoking pot and who knows what else.Hes a bright kid and really has a good heart,it just seems everything is a struggle and a fight. I can't trust him out of my view,not even to school and home again. Please help me if you can !Sincerely Gail 
PS I am 58 years old and my 5 children are 34 to 14 so its not like this is my first trouble with teens but ,this is the first of these problems.

 
November 14, 2008, 9:26 am CST

Troubled Teens

Quote From: cinnibon

i was hoping there were some moms out there who could help me communicate with my mom in a way that she will understand and be willing to talk
ive just graduated from high school and im about to go to collage

me and my mom have lots of communication problems

i try to tell her that i want to know what she is thinking whenever we get in a fight, but she will never tell me

i try to listen to bolth sides of the story, so that i can tell if i was in the wrong, but she never tells me anything. she just blows me off!

i joined this site because i know there are a lot of moms out there and mabie you all could tell me how to make peace between me and her

im the kind of person who likes to get evrything out of thier system and live without regret
it seems my mom is the kind of person who wants to keep evrything inside and not talk about any problems

This is my first time on the message boards.  I was actually looking for other parents who have problems with their teenage sons.  I came across your message and just really feel for you.  You sound like a very good daughter whose heart is really in the right place.  I have 2 daughters ages 16 and 21.  I had a hard time with my 21 year old but I am the kind of person that wants to sit and talk and talk.  Probably too much.  Anyway, sometimes mom's get caught up in things going on in their life and when they have a good kid, sometimes they just expect that kid to always be okay.  I think that you should concentrate on your life and college and realize that you can't change people.  I am willing to bet that the older you get, the better your relationship with your mom will be.  Don't let this get in the way of your goals and your happiness.  I am sure your mom realizes that she has a difficult time communicating and hopefully one day she will work through that.  Given the great person that you seem to be, I am willing to bet that eventually you will have a great relationship with your mom.  Focus on you - not her.  Keep up the good work and good luck in college!!!!!
 
First | Prev | 126 | 127 | 128 | 129 | 130 | 131 | 132 | 133 | 134 | 135 | Next | Last