Talking about 15 yrs old bad mouth and attitude again!!

Frances - posted on 03/02/2013 ( 14 moms have responded )

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I just joined this forum because I am desperately seeking advice on how to best deal with my almost 16 yr old daughter. She is VERY negative, has a bad attitude (until she needs something), yells and screams all the time, can me destructive with words and breaks stuffs when she gets angry. She has anger management issues and is unmotivated in school. She is very bright and could be an honor student, but she is lazy. She was in counseling for a while, but the counselor told her to call to call DIFUS (spelling?) if she thought she was being "abused." I've tried everything with her, leaving her letters, praising, love notes, scolding, taking away priviledges, you name it. Nothing seems to work. She continues to be angry and non collaborative. I'm really frustrated because she just seems not to learn from her mistakes. I'm afraid that if she continues like this (being so angry), that she will end up doing something crazy because she cannot control her anger. I recently purchased The Total Transformation Program and I'm trying some of the techniques. What works best for me right now is just to be calm when she is all upset. It keeps me under control so that I don't lose my cool. I also pray a lot. If you can share any thoughts I will be most greatful. I am at my end wits!!

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Kristi - posted on 03/10/2013

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Hi Frances, I'm very sorry for what you are going through. A couple of things that came to my mind while reading through all of this and based on my own life experiences are...

One, if she is not making any progress with her therapist, it is time to find a new one, especially if he/she is advising her to make false accusations of abuse against you to authorities. I would close that door now.

Two, you are being abused. It is not the typical role of spousal or child abuse but it is never the less, abuse. You should be in counseling for your own health. Do not discount it as ok or no big deal just because she is the child and you are the adult. Abuse is abuse and a victim is a victim. Get help.

Three, you can't keep cleaning up after her. She'll never learn from her mistakes. What are her consequences at home when she gets in trouble at school? I hate to break it to you but nobody thinks their kid belongs in Alt School. Maybe they don't but unless parents can figure out how to make their children mind, what other choice does the school have aside from just kicking them out completely? I am in no way, shape or form implying that you or any other parent have not done everything you could to get your child to comply. I'm just saying the school can only be responsible for so much.

Next, if you haven't, I would recommend you have your daughter evaluated by a psychiatrist. I know people, in general, don't like taking medication and as parents, we like the idea even less for our children. However, sometimes medication is necessary and can make an amazing difference in a person's quality of life.

For example, if your daughter is struggling with a mental disorder it is no different than struggling with diabetes or cancer, medically speaking. If she were diagnosed with a "physical" illness, you would follow the doctor's treatment plan, would you not? So, don't be dead set against medicating your daughter for a mental illness. It's nothing to be ashamed of. It does still carry a stigma with it but not nearly as much as it used to.

She may not even have a diagnosis but if she does, at least now you would know what you're dealing with and you could find someone who specializes in that area to help with her treatment. Taking medication now, does not mean she'd have to be on it forever, either.

Anyways, sorry for the mega long post! I hope something in it helps. You sound like a very strong woman. Hang in there and keep praying. ♥

Brandy - posted on 03/08/2013

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Is there a chance that she is being bullied at school? Or has a group of friends that are the wrong kind of friends? I agree with you Alternative Ed is not the solution, they do just lump everyone together no matter what their problems. I am not trying to pry anymore than I have already, but before this stage in her life, was she easy to talk with? Were you and your daughter close? Is there a father figue in her life? I ask because my oldest daughter went through a lot of behavioral problems when it was just myself and my children for 4 and 1/2 years, because she always just wanted to be "daddy's little girl". I know it is not the easiest thing to think about or do, but maybe she needs to deal with her consequences and not have you "solve" her problems for her. I have a friend of mine that put her son in a phychiatric institution, in order to get his medication in order and his behavorial problems on the right track, he was there for 2 weeks. He seemed to be doing a lot better when he got home (and she was able to visit him during the stay). Are you able to talk with the counselor about what your daughter speaks with her about, because she underage? I am trying my best to help and find the right advice to give and praying that something works..

Brandy - posted on 03/05/2013

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My middle daughter is angry also and my oldest has attitude and is lazy and unmotivated by school also. I have started a journal for her. I gave her a composition notebook and she is able to write in it all that she feels when she is angry, and then when she feels like she wants to talk about it to come to me and we can read through it together. Having her write down her anger helps to release the anger and calm her down. I realized that with my middle daughter some of her anger has to do with not feeling that she is as beautiful as my oldest daughter and she feels that her step-dad loves my oldest daughter more. There could be underlying issues for her anger that if she had the chance to write down it could help. I pray that this helps you and your daughter. GOD bless

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Kristi - posted on 03/14/2013

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Good Morning!

I'm glad the last few days have been better. Your ability to remain calm is probably making all the difference! It gives your daughter a chance to decompress.

If I may ask, what kind of rules is she breaking that are causing her to get suspended? She does sound like a very creative person. Good with the arts, literary, etc. I wonder if she is bored or feels unchallenged by her other classes and that is why she "blows them off." Have you ever considered home schooling her or just letting her get her GED so she can move on to college?

Just a thought, I don't know if they would be successful or not but it may give her one more thing she feels like she has some amount of control over, which may ease her stress a little. Maybe something to talk about with her therapist at some point?

Again, I really admire your strength and determination. It is an inspiration. There are always going to be people who have it worse then we do and others who have it better. Either way, it does not mean our problems and struggles are any less real or any less important to our family and neither our are feelings. They matter just as much.

If you want ever want to talk more outside of this public forum, you can private message me or you can email at kcisneros@cox.net But don't feel obligated, I will not be offended in the least! Scouts honor! : )

Keep fighting the good fight, your daughter will realize it one day and be forever grateful you didn't give up on her!

Frances - posted on 03/14/2013

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Good morning Kristi,
Once again, thanks for reaching out. It makes a difference!! Yes, I'm hoping that things will start getting better once she starts the home therapy. Presently, I'm taking it one day at a time. Her attitude these past few days have been better, but yesterday she started getting easily irritated again. She had another suspension at school for not following the rules and came home in a bad mood. I didn't push or responded in any way negative. I just asked her how was her day and I got "the cold shoulder." Last night almost at bedtime she asked me to contact the Dean of Students to inquire about the appeal that she made for the suspension. She is getting behind in her school work quite a lot. She is very bright, reads a lot and writes well, but is unmotivated at school. So she doesn't do the homework and now she's behind. This part is most perplexing to me because she has big plans of going to college for Film Studies. She is very talented and creative. I can't see her doing a "traditional" career. I'm here to support her as best as I can but she has to do her part to get there. She knows this but is still slipping. That's why I am worried.

Anyway Kristi, you have been most helpful with your insights. Just yesterday I responded to a post from a young woman who has lot of problems (pregnant, drug addicted mom, unemployed, practically homeless). My daughter's problems pale in comparison. So I thank God. But I feel for that young woman.
Take care and be blessed.
Frances

Kristi - posted on 03/14/2013

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Frances--

I'm glad to hear that your daughter is staying safe and has nice friends. That has to be a load off! : ) It is so hard not to fix things for our kids. With the additional information from your reply, it sounds very clear that your daughter is struggling with emotional issues as opposed to just being a defiant, all around trouble maker who is malicious just because she can be.

Hopefully the counseling will make a difference. It sounds like you are really doing a great job. Once she gets going in counseling, maybe the teachers will appreciate the effort she is making and will be a little more "flexible" with her. That was another reason I suggested the evaluation. Sad but true, but if you can put a name on her "behavior problems" the school will recognize that and make accommodations.

I'm really pulling for you guys. You will definitely stay in my thoughts and prayers. I hope you will keep us updated.

Frances - posted on 03/13/2013

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Hi Kristi,
Thanks for taking the time out to write. I agree with almost everything that you say. I haven't tried getting her evaluated as yet because I'm waiting to see how she does with the therapy. She is supposed to start next week. Intuitively, I do believe she is bipolar, but she hasn't been diagnosed as such. That will be the next step.

It's true sometimes I've tried to bail her out of consequences at school. Especially for missing school. Other times I've had to contact her teachers requesting extension for her school work. Recently, I've stop and let her stand the consequences for whatever she does at school. It pains me to see her get so many suspensions/detentions for things like not following rules at school. But she has to live with the consequences.

In general she is a good teenager, nice friends, nothing illegal going on, no boyfriends, always at home. But her mood swings and anger are creating havoc for me and her sister.

I appreciate your candor and sound advice.

Brandy - posted on 03/09/2013

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You say that she blames you for everything, I wonder if her anger towards you is because she may feel that she is to blame for her dad and yours split? I know when my boyfriend split from his wife his girls were very angry towards him and after 10 years still are because they feel that he did nto try as hard as they thought he should ahve to save the marriage. When in reality, their mother never wanted to be married to him in the first place. I pray that her counselor can help sort somethings out for her and am still praying for you and her. Even though she is mean to your younger child please remind your younger child that it is not her fault. I went through that with my sister when we were younger, although I was the older sister she treated me horribly and she had horrible anger issues. She went to a therapist and within about a year she was better and had not near as much anger. She also learned how to express her anger positively.

Frances - posted on 03/08/2013

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Hi Brandy,
No I don't think that she is being bullied at school. She doesn't like the school and doesn't get along with some of her teachers. No, you're not prying. She has a dad who cares about her and loves her too, but they don't have a relationship per se. She just started talking to him again recently but won't visit him or call. He and I separated in August and he lives close by. They didn't get along while we were together as a family and there were constant problems. I couldn't take it anymore so I left. I thought that the move will diminish the problems, but now she is acting up. I also have a 14 yr. old who. she "hates" and is mean to her constantly. Her anger is beyond my comprehension. She blames me for everything including why she explodes the way that she does.

Frances - posted on 03/08/2013

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Thanks so much Sharon. I'll try the book. Today there was another explosive episode. So now I am the one who is unloving, hateful and judgmental who doesn't listen to her until she yells, breaks something, is disrespectful & rude.

SharonKuh - posted on 03/08/2013

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Try the book "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. It has a lot of good advice on how to deal with kids who cannot control their explosive behaviors. I also have a son very similar to your daughter. He is 14 and is very negative and angry, yet very bright. He is also unmotivated in school. Very frustrating! Hang in there... hopefully will get better.

Frances - posted on 03/07/2013

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Thanks Brandy for taking the time to respond to my post. I really hope it gets better. But it won't unless my daughter recognizes that she has a problem and she has to deal with it. I just got an email from one of her teachers saying that she had to escort her out of class for playing a game on the computer when she shouldn't. He asked her to stop and she refused. She knows the consequences of this at school. It will lead to more days of suspension. It seems that she doesnt even care anymore. The school has already sent me letters to inform me that if the behavior continues she will be asked to leave the school and attend an alternative school. These types of schools dump all types of students with behavior problems together and will only make things worse for her. I had her start in home therapy recently and she refused to speak to the therapist saying that she could "handle it."
I'm at my ends wit and just need a solution. I know that it will take time but I don't want her to continue getting herself into more problems that I have to solve for her.

Brandy - posted on 03/06/2013

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Anytime, I know it is really rough right now for you and I pray that it gets better. I pray that the counseling and techniques work for your daughter and your relationship. GOD bless

Frances - posted on 03/05/2013

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Hi Brandy,
If I could just get her to do that, it would be helpful. Unfortunately, she doesn't communicate much with me (only when she needs something). I would take your suggestion to the therapist and let her communicate it to my daughter. Maybe she will listen. Thanks for the advice.

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