Online Parent Support Chat

My 17 year old who is diagnosed ADHD and Oppositional defiant disorder...

RE: "Parents_Support_One_Another_@_MyOutOfControlTeen_com/support = 

I need help with the following issue: My 17 year old who is diagnosed ADHD and Oppositional defiant disorder is not following house rules. We have been following your program. I work in mental health/addictions for adults so I have an educational background as well. Mt son is not coming home when expected too, just recently back in school (6 days) from a lengthy suspension, and is back to skipping. I am at a loss what to do with him... As well as doesn't follow thru coming home when expected. If I ground hi8m he just tells me he is 17 and he can do what he wants. Didn't come home last night."

Please email Mark Hutten, M.A. so he can respond to you personally:

Working the Program!

RE: Parents_Support_One_Another_@_MyOutOfControlTeen_com/support = I need help with the following issue: things have got much worse. My 17 year old signed the contract we drew up which included re no drinking for a month which would be reassessed end of January.  She has however drank alcohol since then so I grounded her for 3 days again. She left the house the first day of grounding so I did what was suggested and moved grounding to Friday night to monday morning when I am not at work. I had a talk last night with her and she now says she is not going to follow the contract around drinking. She got very drunk twice once in oct and once in Nov.  So I was very concerned. She says I have made up in my head that she has a drinking problem. I'm saying I just want to monitor it for a month to assess the situation. She says I am doing more damage to her than alcohol. I don't care. I didn't comfort her when she cried when she was grounded. She can't eat. She can't sleep. She knows what's best for her and will do what she thinks is right and fight for that. She phoned her dad yesterday and asked if she could move in with a friend (she had already asked them) because she lives in fear at home . At this stage I would have usually backed off, but I will continue with the grounding. I have also cut her phone and the Internet.  There is a treatment facility nearby for adolescents. She has 9 months left of school. I don't know what to do anymore. I am being accused of being controlling and insane.


Let’s troubleshoot…

I find that when parents continue to struggle – even after they have completed the 4-week OPS program – it is nearly always the case that the parent has neglected some of his/her strategies. The method discussed in my eBook consists of a ‘set of strategies’ that must be used ‘in combination’ with one another. If any part of the method is overlooked, the entire system often fails.

Consider all the individual components in the transmission of your car. If just one tiny part (e.g., a check ball or a little spring) is lose or broken, the entire transmission stops working. The same is true with these parenting strategies.

Let me provide you with a check-list of sorts (although this list is not all inclusive). If you answer “no” to any of these statements, you may have discovered a potential problem in your parenting transmission:

1. After issuing a consequence, I never retract it.

2. I allow my out-of-control child to make wrong choices, which gives him wisdom; experience is a great teacher.

3. I am able to differentiate between my child’s wants and her/his needs.

4. I don’t nag – I simply follow through with the consequence.

5. I don’t try to save my child from negative consequences and painful emotions associated with poor choices.

6. I expect my out-of-control child to resist my new parenting strategies.

7. I give equal love to all my children, but parent them differently.

8. I give only one warning -- then I follow through with the consequence.

9. I give my child at least five chores to do each week.

10. When I slip into a rage against my child, I apologize, but I don’t try to compensate by over-indulging him/her.

11. I keep an eye out for my child’s guilt-trips.

12. I know that a weaker parenting-strategy supported by both parents is better than a stronger strategy supported by only one, and I adjust accordingly.

13. I have learned to say “no”-- and to stick with “no” when it is my answer.

14. I only give my child gifts on birthdays, Christmas and graduation.

15. I understand that over-indulged children are too comfortable and that they need some discomfort before they will change.

16. I understand that parenting is not a popularity contest – I am not a "buddy"!

17. I respond to my child’s anger with a poker face.

18. When taking away privileges, I take away the privilege for a short period (3 days works best; if it lasts too long, resentment builds, my child forgets the infraction, and the lesson is lost).

19. When I catch myself feeling sorry for my child, I know it is a sign that I am – once again – taking on too much responsibility.

20. When my child needs to be cheered-up, I do so with active listening, empathy, paraphrasing, validation, and hugs rather than giving her/him stuff or freedom (e.g., unearned privileges, food, gifts, fun activities, etc.).

21. I do not dabble with these non-traditional parenting strategies – I am consistent!

22. I regularly use “The Art of Saying Yes” when my answer is yes.

23. I regularly use “The Art of Saying No” when my answer is no.

24. I regularly use the strategy “When You Want Something from Your Child” whenever I want my child to do as requested.

25. I regularly use “The Six Step Approach” when something unexpected pops-up.

26. I use the “deal-with-it-later” file when problems begin to pile up.

27. I use the “Fair Fighting” strategy when conflict arises.

28. When I am undecided about what to say or do in any particular situation, I always ask myself the following question: “Will this action that I'm about to take promote the development of self-reliance in my child, or will it inhibit the development of self-reliance?” (If what you are about to say or do is supportive of self-reliance, then say it or do it.  If it is not supportive, don’t!)

29. I avoid power struggles at all cost.

The above items are the “core” principles discussed in the online text and videos. Do a quick tune-up on your parenting transmission, and your child’s behavior should become very manageable. I see it work for others time-and-time again. The same can be true for you!


Alcohol Use

RE: I need help with the following issue: I know my 17 year old smokes cigarettes. As I am trying to enforce a no alcohol rule (after some drunken incidents) I thought I would let the cigarettes slide as she has gone out a few times and not drank as agreed. I set the rule that there would be no smoking in the bedroom but in the yard. This rule is being broken and I've just taken away the cigarettes. Is this enough ?


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