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He is on computer online game all day...

Parents Support One Another @ = I need help with the following issue:

My son is 15 in 10th grade. He is on computer online game all day whenever he is home. If I try to take the computer/modem etc away from him, he would take my laptop and wallet and purse away. I need the laptop for my work. I need the wallet since my drive license is in it. If I cancel the internet service, he then refuses to turn in home work and school project. Anyway, with internet, he is still not turning home work so much. His grad is very low. It is getting worse and worse. Now he start playing over night and no able to go to school in the morning. Please help!



Video game addiction is often referred to as video game overuse, a compulsive or excessive use of computer games and/or video games. Video game addicts are believed to exhibit the same psychological addictive behaviors as gambling addiction, often described as an impulse control disorder.

The 2007 study by the American Medical Association reviewing video game addiction concluded that “more research and studies are needed to provide conclusive evidence that video game addiction is a disorder.” Increased pressure is being placed upon the American Psychiatric Association (APA) to include “Internet/video game addiction” in the next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the standard diagnostic text used by psychiatrists worldwide.

Research by Stanford University School of Medicine in 2008 shows video games do have addictive characteristics, and a Harris Interactive Poll released in April 2007 showed that 8.5% of youth gamers in the United States could be “classified as pathologically or clinically addicted to playing video games.”

Research into computer game addiction or video game addiction statistics shows that men and boys are more likely to become addicted to video games (if they aren’t already), versus the percentage of girls and women becoming addicted to video games, but the numbers of female video game addicts are rising. If you don’t know or don’t understand video game ratings, how games are rated and the effect the ratings should have on your video game playing habits or purchases, it’s time to become fully aware.

Here are some symptoms or signs of video game addiction as well as computer game addiction to help determine if your children are addicted to video games:

For Children:

1. Most of their “free time”, non-school hours are spent on the computer or playing video games.
2. Fatigue; tendency to fall asleep in school.
3. Not keeping up with homework assignments/not turning in homework on time.
4. Worsening grades.
5. Lying about computer or video game use so computer or video game privileges aren’t taken away.
6. Choosing the computer or playing video games rather than spending time with friends or family.
7. Dropping out of activities such as social groups, clubs or sports.
8. Irritable, cranky or agitated (withdrawal symptoms) when not playing a video game or on the computer.

If you are truly convinced that your teenagers or young children are addicted to video games or computer games, it’s your job as the parent to get your kids off the computer and off the video game console, providing them ample opportunity for active play and natural exercise in and outside of the home.

Make no mistake, video game addiction is a real addiction and if you are a parent that is concerned about your home-grown video game addict, it’s up to you to parent your children and closely monitor and limit their gaming activities. Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG’s) are designed to be addictive.

Video game makers and marketers are counting on people to become addicted to the games! Cha-Ching! It’s a lot of money in their pockets, and a lot of money out of your pockets. Let your children whine, cry and complain all they want about placing restrictions and limits on their game use, but be the parent.

One of the effects of children addicted to video games is the increase in childhood obesity amongst young children and teens due to excessive amounts of time spent leading a more sedentary lifestyle (and poor eating habits), amongst other physical, emotional and mental problems associated with too much time being spent playing video games.

Be the parent of your children, not their friend. If the video game problem in your home is so bad that you feel your child is a “video game addict”, or if your children spend too much time watching television, shut it down and get your children involved in other activities that encourage and promote active play and that provides more than finger and thumb exercises from video game controls.

Son will not come home or tell us where he is...

Parents Support One Another @ = I need help with the following issue:

Our son 15 year old son will not come home or tell us where he is. He has been gone for 2 nights and it is 8:00 pm on the 3rd night. He showed up today for about 30 minutes and left again. he is mad because we have taken his phone away so I am sure he is trying to pay us back by not communicating. I have heard of his whereabouts so I know he is OK. I am thinking of calling the police. What should I do?

I guess I fell off the wagon...

Parents Support One Another @ =

I need help with the following issue: I started this program a couple months back and like stated it started to get worse before it got better and I guess I fell off the wagon. I was struggling as how to draw the line between discipline for things at home while we were having just as much trouble at school. Just as an example: since we were too into video games during the week to be worried about homework. Video games are now gone Monday - Friday, BUT that was also one of the privileges I was using as leverage. So should I do that because it's not just 1 day it's 5 automatic which was said not to do. There are so many issues at home and at school that I'm not sure how to integrate them together. Also, I have 2 other boys and with everything going on, sometimes I give a punishment or take away a privilege and then a few hours later with so much else going on can't even remember why I specifically gave it to him. Is this unusual? I think I just might be losing my mind!!!!!

My 17 year old daughter is having sex, getting high, skipping school and staying out up to 2 nights without permission...

Parents Support One Another @ =

My 17 year old daughter is having sex, getting high, skipping school and staying out up to 2 nights without permission. Has anyone had a similar experience with positive results using this or another technique... please let me know... any programs you can recommend?


Best Comment:

Adolescence is a time of tremendous change. Too often, adults and teens think the primary task of adolescence is separation. Many consider adolescent rebellion to be a necessary part of the separation process. Indeed, there is a need for teens to begin loosening the connections between themselves and their parents. But this separation is not the most important change required. Adolescence is also a time for forming new connections-to one's peers, to the world outside family, to one's sexuality, to the deeper experience of self coming into awareness, and to one's innate spiritual longings. Separation from family is necessary primarily to open up space for all the new connections teens must forge. Curiosity fuels the drive to find new relationships and to experience the world beyond the confines of home.

Adolescence is life's first really conscious voyage of discovery. Teens are aware that they are on a profoundly important voyage, and this conscious awareness helps in guiding the voyage. Some are terrified and try to remain moored to their home dock as long as possible. Others are cautious and take several short cruises first before striking out for more distant ports. Some respond to the challenge and sail out directly to find their fate, while others are so thrilled by the adventure lying just over the horizon that they charge out like dog soldiers high on adrenaline. Human temperament varies widely, making it nearly impossible to make any universal generalization about teenagers.

Still, we can be sure that the majority of teens who experiment with marijuana are motivated primarily by a desire to satisfy their innate curiosity about the world. Whether they first try pot with trepidation or rush headlong into the experience, they are intrigued by what lies ahead for them. It is one of a thousand ways they are trying on new parts of the world to see how each fits for them. While they may be ignoring or denying the risks, the motivation propelling them is essentially healthy.

In many cases, however, adolescents are motivated to try drugs more by a desire to get away from home than to reach any given destination. Poverty, whether emotional, spiritual, or financial, has parched their family and grown sharp thorns on what should be comforting relationships. Cruelty, whether emotional, spiritual, physical, or sexual, has scorched away any desire for family, leaving some kids to stow away on whatever ship they can find. Family problems often contribute tremendously to the urge to find solace in alcohol and other drugs.

Finally, some adolescents are so discomforted by their own sense of failure and internal distress that the distraction that drugs offer is too powerful to resist. Depression and anxiety can bedevil teenagers just as deeply as they torment adults. The stress that kids bear today is far beyond any that most of us experienced during our youth. Success in college seems to be predicated on getting into the correct kindergarten. No wonder that any hint of a learning disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) plummets kids into feeling defective and doomed (see chapter 5). Whatever offers any hope of relief from these stressors is bound to be welcome.

Adolescence, then, is a time of fundamental transformation in perspective, basic connections, and identity. Because this process of transformation takes place over several years, impatience and urgency are common, if not legendary, among teenagers. The experience of being “all dressed up with no place to go” pervades the adolescent's life, especially sexually. Having a driver's license but not owning a car symbolically defines the teen years. On a more abstract level, teens often have a fully formed concept of independence and freedom but still lack some of the basic tools to realize this goal. It is human nature for them to focus more on the barriers placed on their freedom than on the preparatory tasks that lie ahead of them.

It is within this maelstrom of powerful forces that drugs are first encountered, and their effects can be profoundly seductive. The French novelist Marcel Proust wrote, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” I suspect that this advice applies more to wearied adults than to fresh teens, for whom seeking new landscapes is precisely their most important challenge. Their recently developed abstract thinking is all the new eyes they need. Now their job is to seek new landscapes that satisfy their own unique needs and desires and then to connect emotionally to these new vistas.

Marijuana provides much more of the “new eyes” that Proust describes than the “new landscapes” that teens need. Suddenly, with a minimum of effort, a little pot overlays the world with a superficial sense of novelty. Being high seems to transform everything and passively grants teens an experience of great connectedness. This new world is probably nothing like the one Mom and Dad live in, so an immediate sense of separation appears. Almost magically, marijuana seems to leapfrog an adolescent away from childhood. The chemically induced experience substitutes for actual, hard-won psychological development, and it can continue to substitute for emotional growth for years. While giving a teen an illusion of having jumped ahead in development, marijuana, like any drug, can actually delay and distort maturation. The chronic pot smoker may wake one day to find that peers have long ago embarked successfully into their adult lives, leaving him or her behind, without the skills required to move ahead.

Before looking at how the experience of being high on marijuana can substitute for successfully completing developmental tasks, I want to take a moment to point out that as parents we face our own developmental challenges as our children pass through adolescence. After years of taking direct responsibility for managing the risks facing our children, we now need to begin stepping back. If teens are to begin taking greater responsibility for themselves, we have to make space for this to happen. Except in situations that threaten basic health and safety, we gradually have to move into the role of consultants to our kids' lives, where before we had been producer and director. The timing of this shift in roles is critical and difficult. While some of us turn too much freedom and responsibility over to our children too soon, others hold on too long. There is no perfection here, only trial and error.

Shifting into the role of consultant goes beyond a change in child-rearing techniques. It represents a developmental step for the parent as well. Impulses to overcontrol the world that went unchecked during our child's early life suddenly become the focus of intense power struggles with adolescents. To pick battles wisely, we parents need clarity about what lies under our control and what does not. We need to have enough self-worth to feel valuable to our children even when we've been relegated to the sidelines of their lives. It helps to be solid in our faith, whatever form that might take. Without faith that the universe provides the support teens need to mature into healthy adults, the next few years are going to be filled with anxiety. It is a rare parent who understands that anxiety about his or her teen is not the teen's fault. Anxiety about the normal process of separating from our partially-matured teenage child is our responsibility. It is not the child's job to soothe our fears or our dislike of “losing our babies.”

The initial experimentation with smoking grass is often a watershed moment in a child's life. Despite all the antidrug messages received in school and at home, many teens and preteens decide to take the risk of getting high soon after the opportunity first presents itself. This single act is a clear step away from the path prescribed by most parents. In households where the importance of not using drugs has been emphasized, it is a direct act of disobedience. (We're ignoring for the moment kids who are introduced to smoking marijuana by their parents, either directly or by dipping into their parents' stash to get their first joint.) Trying marijuana for the first time is also an act of self-assertion. The child has weighed the issue, more or less carefully, and come to his or her own decision. At this point, teens do not doubt that they are charting their own course. They are claiming their freedom, and no one can control them. That's a fact.

An adolescent's decision to smoke marijuana is often seen very differently by the two sides-parents and kids. The disparity in how each perceives this moment is important, because it forms the framework for a lot of failed prevention programs and a lot of unsuccessful family discussions. Author David Wilmes asked each group why they believe kids use drugs and found some interesting differences (Facts about Kids' Use of Alcohol and Other Drugs). Adults gave the following reasons:

• School: “Can't those teachers see what's going on? Don't the kids get any supervision?”
• Other parents: “Well, what can you expect from a home like that?”
• Peer group: “My kids never had any problems till they got in with that bunch.”
• Pushers or alcohol sales: “Put the pushers in jail and close up those sleazy places.”
• Media: “What can you expect when the movies take it for granted that it's cool to use drugs?”
• Police: “If the cops were on the ball, they'd pick up those kids the first time they got out of line.” Or “If the cops wouldn't hound the kids as if they were all criminals, they wouldn't even think of using drugs.”
• Role models: “Those rock stars are all into drugs-just like professional athletes. And these are the people our kids want to imitate.”

These reasons generally point to external factors. Perhaps parents are reluctant to believe that their children would willfully defy them unless they were being pressured by others. Parents tend to place great emphasis on peer pressure as the cause of adolescent drug use. As a result, programs designed to prevent drug use are heavily weighted toward helping kids resist peer pressure. This perspective is guided by the belief that drug pushers are lurking around every corner, waiting for our kids. Without these pushers, teens would follow their instincts and mind their parents.

But teens tell a different story. When asked why they think kids use drugs, teens gave the following reasons:

• “I wanted to see how I'd feel.”
• “I wanted to be part of the group.”
• “I didn't want to be a nerd.”
• “I just wanted to have some fun.”
• “I like to take risks.”
• “I'm no baby. I can make up my own mind.”
• “I like to experiment with new things.”
• “I wanted to feel grown up.”

Unlike adults' perspectives, these reasons are more internal. While teens may be underestimating the presence and power of peer pressure, they are also owning responsibility for their decisions to a degree greater than adults seem willing to give them credit for. This is completely consistent with the need teenagers have to take control of their lives. They are intrigued by the wide world, including sometimes by what the experience of being high would feel like, and they even enjoy the risk it might entail. No one thinks it odd when a teen courts the risk of rock climbing, sailboarding, or fast driving. These risky behaviors may make us nervous, but we see them as normal adolescent behavior, part of defining for themselves what their limits are. The impulse to experiment with marijuana has the same lure as other risky choices.

Understanding adolescents' perspectives is an important step to being able to communicate with teens. The temptations that attract them and the desires resident in their hearts form part of the cutting edge by which they learn their true identity. Adolescence is an important time for beginning to come to terms with adult desires. From this standpoint, teens are teaching us something important when they list the internal reasons for using drugs. As parents, however, we are often made nervous by the fact that this is occurring precisely when our kids are developing the capacity and freedom to satisfy these desires if they choose. And one simple, available, and relatively passive avenue for exploring their newfound desires is through experimenting with marijuana, alcohol, and other drugs.

He has literally been living out of the jeep for 4 nites...

Parents Support One Another @ = I need help with the following issue:

17/18 yr old son out of highschool 6 mths with no motivation to do NOTHING other than sleep and play WOW. He says he's applied for many jobs, however he wears sweats covered in doghairs & a black stocking cap when he goes to apply. Who WOULD hire you. He & his dog trashed my downstairs w/o effort to clean it up. I gave him option to clean up living space/get a job/pay some room&board OR move out. He moved out to his non-working jeep which sits in front of my house. He has literally been living out of the jeep for 4 nites, with the big dog too. Has no money for food. I have allowed him to use my car when he's gone to apply for jobs, but am no longer because he can't seriously be looking for work dressed like that. He ran an extension cord from the house to his jeep to run a space heater and his computer!!! I removed the extension cord. I asked him last nite if he'd like to sit down and discuss the situation and my expectations. He said 'not interested'. WHAT DO I DO WITH THIS KID??? He is *extremely* smart but for some reason thinks not working is better than working and paying taxes. For some reason thinks playing the role of "victim living in a car" is okay. UGH!!!!!!!! PLEASE HELP!



How to Get Your Adult Children to Move Out—

1. Communicate. Let your adult children know that you want and expect them to move out. Explain that this is good for them, good for you, and good for your relationship. Be kind and loving, but be firm.

2. Show a united front. Don't risk having one parent riding the fence and the other being the enforcer. Have a discussion with your spouse before you discuss the topic with your child. Make sure that both of you are on the same page. You can even create a list of mutually agreeable chores, time lines, household rules, expectations, etc.

o Agree that neither of you will amend the rules without discussing it with the other parent. One parent riding the fence to avoid confrontation will only cause resentment between the two of you.

o Agree to communicate with your spouse weekly or more often about issues that arise, progress that is being made, problems that are developing, etc. By staying on top of it you will always know what the other is facing when you aren't around. Make special time to have this talk and perhaps use it as a chance to sneak away for a nice dinner once a week. You deserve it.

o Discuss the plan with any other moms & dads that may not live in the home. If your ex is in the loop they may be able to help. Just by knowing they can stay out of the manipulation or avoid being dragged into the new policies. If they know your plan and your rules they can also help enforce them. By having all of the moms & dads in agreement the kids will feel the pressure.

o If both of you sit down together for a moms & dads' meeting and discuss the new rules you'll have a better chance of the rules being followed and everyone being happy once they're presented to the child.

o If one parent is easily swayed or will cave if confronted by the child you should point out that weakness when you are setting up the rules in your moms & dads' meeting.

o Realize that a step-parent has just as much right to decide what goes on in the home as the biological parent. By marrying into the family you were given a say in how the home is ruled.

3. Make a plan together. Living independently requires an income and a variety of different life skills. Help your kids analyze their situation and plot a realistic course of action.

4. Stay involved. Once you have a plan, meet with your kids weekly (or more often as needed) to communicate, assess the situation, identify short-term tasks, and especially to recognize and celebrate progress! Collaboration and cooperation between moms & dads and their kids can be a beautiful thing, but it takes lots of energy.

5. Consider a no-guests rule. Sharing your house with your adult kids can be challenging enough, without opening your home and your refrigerator to your kids' friends.

o Be firm and address the situation. If necessary, explain it to the friends as a new rule.
o Consider making the bedroom a no guest zone.
o Don't be shy. Address the subject of having girlfriends/boyfriends over. Forbid your home from being used for their sexual convenience. If possible, forbid "dates" from coming over as soon as possible so bad habits don't develop.
o It is perfectly reasonable to tell the kids they cannot entertain friends or other guests in your home, and this gives your kids a powerful incentive to find their own living situation.

6. Implement a list of chores and a curfew. At the very least, your kids should clean up after themselves and be considerate of you and other residents at all times. Don't feel guilty about this or let your kids squirm out of it; they will need domestic skills and basic discipline to make it on their own.

7. Don't provide all the meals. While your adult kids are living with you, make certain they contribute their fair share to buying food, cooking, and cleaning up afterwards.

o Start by asking them to make a quick run to the store for basic items. Make it their job to buy certain grocery items every weekend such as milk, cereal, bread, eggs, etc. They'll learn to budget their money and schedule the time to get it done.

8. Collect rent. The kids may be living with their parent(s), but if they're adults, they should help to support themselves. Be firm about this - it will help build your kids' self-esteem as well as keeping your resentment in check. Start small and increase the monthly amount over time until it approximates the cost of a studio or roommate situation.

9. Live your life. Socialize, redecorate your house, get a dog or cat. Don't let your kids cramp your style - that phase of your life is over!

10. Get some support. Talk with friends who are facing the same dilemma; enlist the help of a counselor, relatives, your church, and others who care about you and your kids to help you keep your resolve and help your kids take the plunge and move out. Make sure you and your spouse are communicating.

11. Report any unkind behavior or rude remarks to your spouse. You should both be aware of how the child is treating the other person. Take aggressive behavior very seriously.

12. Don't make living at home too comfortable or convenient. You are a parent, not a butler or maid. Consider removing televisions, video games, and computers, or at least limiting access to them, especially if these things are distracting the kids from getting jobs, saving money, and completing other parts of the move-out plan.

13. Stay positive. Focus on helping your kids towards independence and on the progress you and your kids have made, not on the negatives.

14. Be firm. If your kids disregard the rules of the house or treat you with disrespect, you must introduce consequences, up to and including forcing them to move out. Taking your adult offspring to a homeless shelter or changing the locks is excruciating, but it is kinder than hating them for continuing to take advantage of you.

15. Draw the line. There are some things you must not allow your kids to do under your roof, including dealing or using drugs, dangerous or illegal activities, and anything that endangers or infringes on the rights of other family members. If your kids persist in such activities, you may have to throw them out. If your family has conservative views on sexual activities you should also restrict the access to your home.

16. Set Goals and Deadlines. Give them a time line by which point they need to move out. You can change the locks if necessary but do try to have them move out on their own.

17. Stand by your rules. It's tiring to enforce them all the time but by ignoring some rules they assume you will cave on the time line to move out.

18. Work with your Spouse. Don't let your child gain the upper hand by turning you away from the rules that you and your Spouse worked out together. It's easy to get defensive and take the side of the child over your Spouse but remember... You and your Spouse are the rulers of your Castle, not you and your Child. Defensive Moms & dads become Single moms & dads quickly and is it really necessary to lose a Spouse because you can't tell your adult child "NO"?

19. Stay Out of the Drama. Your child(ren) have the ability to trigger you by what they say and do. Move past the emotion and drama. You are NOT a bad mother or father, you did the best job you could with the resources that you had and what you knew at the time. You are not helping yourself or your child by allowing yourself to be held hostage by anger, fear or even mental illness. Get support someone to talk to that will give you clarity on what is real and what techniques you can use to be heard.

20. Don’t Buy into the Poor Me Stuff. There are always excuses for not doing things. Instead of listening to what your child is saying. Pay attention to what they are doing. Focus on their actions and their plans. When they start to complain about how hard it is. Be understanding but keep focused on the “action” that they are taking and the ”plans” they have. There is the clarity. Your child may be arranging lots of job interviews but not getting hired. What could be happening here is for the child setting up interviews may be the desired result for them. They might have no intention of actually getting a job.

21. Teaching Life Skills. Don't think that by doing your child's laundry and cooking for him/her and handing out money is preparing them for the real world. They need to learn to take care of themselves. You must be firm and be ready for resistance. Remember, they are used to you doing everything for them and they may not be ready to give that up but you must prepare them to live life when the time comes you are no longer around. You may think being hard on them is tough but doing everything for them makes them helpless and lazy adults and it will be even harder for them once you're not around.

22. Be frank about this. Drug use or friends who use drugs are not allowed on your property. Do not allow them in your home. If they have listened this far, then possibly they will listen to you about this. If they are high then wait to comment about this. Make sure you are not high.


• Adult kids are masters at playing your emotions. The longer you give in the longer they will play you like a fiddle and the more unhappy you will be. It is your responsibility as a Parent to make them ready for the real world. Letting your child stay home and taking care of him/her like a Maid is YOUR fault, not the child's. If you baby them then they have no reason to leave do they?

• Ask them how much they've saved for a deposit on a new place. Help them keep track of their savings if you need to. Reward good saving practices by offering additional rewards as incentives. For example, after they've saved a predetermined portion of what they would need you can offer them certain furniture pieces, buy a microwave but don't allow it out of the box, help them pick out kitchen items or furnishings. Keep those in a "storage area" assigned for the new place but off limits for now. Seeing the items will further encourage independence.

• Discourage them from spending money on unneeded items. Are they buying video games, guitars, clothes, eating out with friends? Help them make a budget. Keep your eyes open and point out unnecessary spending. Explain to them what it's really like in the real world.

• Don't allow them to ban you from their room. It's your home. You should feel encouraged to go in from time to time, look for expensive and unneeded purchases, make sure it is clean. If they argue, remove the door from the hinges.

• Don't baby them, but do support them.

• Don't just hold them to the same chores you had them doing as a child. They're an adult and capable of not only contributing but helping you make improvements to your home. Even if they are employed you should feel comfortable assigning them more demanding and labor intensive tasks. For example: cleaning out the garage and repainting it, cleaning out the attic or other storage spaces, removing paneling and repainting walls, filing old papers and documents, organizing photos, redoing rooms in the house. The list is endless.

• Don't provide them with any additional conveniences at your expense. If they want conveniences they should get a job. This includes cell phones, cars, insurance, internet and even food costs depending on how much you are able to provide.

• Experts agree that the best way to discuss – and stick to – these household rules is to draft up a customized contract between you and your adult kids living at home. Schedule a mandatory family meeting.

• Get a calendar and establish a time line for getting a new job or additional jobs and moving out. Mark it on the calendar and let them know up front the date is firm.

• Helping them monitor their money and spending is essential. Consider setting up a savings account with both your names. You can monitor the progress and any money withdrawn won't impact your financial standing as it would for a checking account.

• If they are legitimately unable to find work ask your boss if they can be brought in one or two days a week for minimum wage. Have them file, etc. If you're able you can also take them to work and have them assist you with getting caught up on your work that could potentially make you more money. You may need to pay them out of your pocket but it could save you money long term.

• If they don't have a car, drop them off in a business or retail district and when you pick them up ask to see the application forms.

• If they spend too much time on line or on the phone, playing video games, etc. you should consider getting rid of the internet or phone line or eliminate their access to those luxuries. Consider locking up video game consoles, controllers and games.

• If you kid won't take initiative you can start speaking to neighbors. Find out who needs their lawns mowed, fence painted, etc. Because of your efforts you should feel comfortable being the one to collect the money once the job is complete and take a percentage. You can also make sure they did the job as instructed.

• If your child DOES have a post-graduate job, but its entry level (though on a career-oriented path), the odds are that they won't be able to afford living on their own just yet. As long as they contribute to the household's utilities, buy their own groceries (cooking for themselves), pitch in with household chores, and clean up after themselves, you have nothing to worry about. Give it a few years, as long as you can get along. Their salary will go up in time. Remember, many cultures are based on large families living together, and in today's financial crunch the job market is rough. Give them bonus points if they pay for their own health insurance.

• If your kids do require moving back home after school, after a job loss or divorce you should establish up front that you are doing this as a favor and it is temporary.

• In some areas it is common for kids to stay in the parental home longer than in other areas. The cost of living in a region is the main reason but there are other factors. Just because you moved out when you turned 18 doesn't make it practical today. An 18 year old in a large city will not be able to support themselves as easily as an 18 year old in a small town. If you're in a large city you may want to anticipate them staying longer or start the planning while they are still in school.

• Plan ahead! The concepts of responsibility, accountability, and independence should be introduced to kids gradually over a period of several years. If you overindulge your kids or allow them to feel a sense of entitlement, it will be very difficult for them to become successful, self-sufficient adults.

• Refuse to feel guilty. Remember, moving out and becoming self-sufficient is in your kids' best interests. Letting them stay at home and take advantage of you is not only miserable, but irresponsible.

• Remember it's your turn now No one wants to feel like they're letting their kids down, but if younger kids see their adult sibling still living at home when they are grown up, then what is to stop them from doing the same thing. You are not obligated to keep kids at home with you untill they are in their 30's or 40's. That was not part of the deal. If they make poor adult choices that is their fault and not yours.

• Think of jobs around the house you would need to pay someone for and assign those to be done by a certain deadline.

• You should stay on them. Nag if you must. Get them up early and watch them leave the house in presentable clothes to begin searching for work. Remind them you are doing them a favor and they should not confuse this time with summer vacation.


• Adult kids living at home who are over-parented and over-supervised will rebel as quickly as teenagers, so you need to develop some strategies to establish a new adult-to-adult relationship – quick!

• Do not put your own financial future on the line to support your adult kids living at home. You do neither yourself nor your kids any good by creating extra debt or obligations for yourself.

• Don't allow them to use credit cards. If they can't afford to pay them they can be digging into a bigger hole. Confiscate them.

• Don't be cruel! No matter how annoying they may be now, they are still your kids, and you should treat them as such.

• Drug use or people carrying drugs onto your property is illegal. For that matter any illegal activity by your adult child exposes all of you.

• Drug use or their friends who use drugs should not be allowed to enter your property.

• If you don’t know where the money to make the situation work will come from, you need to think long and hard about whether you can help your adult kids by having them live at your home.

• It may be hard to remember sometimes, but adult kids living at home are still adults. A sure way to set yourself up for conflict is to over-parent your adult kids.

• Keep an eye on bills coming in to make sure they have not opened lines of credit that can't be justified or paid for.

• Keep an eye on expenses and utilities. Keep records and set new rules if you find certain utilities costing significantly more.

• Once your kids are moved out, resist their pleas to move back in, especially if the living situation was difficult previously. It is usually better to lend your support in other ways, like helping them to find an affordable living situation or lending them money for utilities, etc. if you can afford it. They may struggle at times just to keep a roof over their heads, but they will probably prove resourceful and resilient enough to recover eventually. It may be better to let them be homeless for a time than to allow them to become helpless and dependent adults.

• This is one of the most difficult tasks in all of parenting. It takes a lot of patience and love, and sometimes professional guidance, to get through it.

Online Parent Support

12 year old daughter loves 16 year old boy...

Parents Support One Another @ = I need help with the following issue: Telling my 12 year old daughter that she cannot see or talk with a 16 year old boy she says she love. She says she will run away. His family is messed up as well they use drugs... his dad is violent and his parents see nothing wrong with them seeing each other. Help has anyone dealt with this, what did you do?

Police are called weekly...

Parents Support One Another @ = I need help with the following issue: Juvenile system can be 6 months off, and 16 yr old continues to not come home for days, misses school, suspended, expelled, etc. Police are called weekly. 7 citations, 1 vandalism, continues. Contracts no good. Not getting cell, money, car, laptop and doesn't seem to matter. Any ideas?

I have a very defiant 17 yr old daughter...

Parents Support One Another @ = I need help with the following issue:

I have a very defiant 17 yr old daughter who wont be 18 til May of next year. She has a drug and alcohol problem, wont come home for weeks on end, she doesnt attend school, she has been in trouble with the law (although she doesnt have a record because they have never arrested her), she is very disrespectful to me. This is very tough on me because I am a single mom with no money.

I have tried just talking to her to get her to open up to me (she says I wouldnt understand). I have also tried getting mad at her, taking things away from her, grounding her, etc. i have a ton of missing person reports filed on her. The police say for me to get counseling for her. I tried, she doesnt want it and wont go.they say for me to physically put her in the car, but she gets physical back.

She has also attempted suicide before. Pls HELP! I have also looked into lock down facilities, but I cant afford one.



We run late most days trying to get her out of bed...

Parents Support One Another @ = I need help with the following issue:

My daughter is in her final year in high school (nearly 16), every morning she is complaining about feeling sick (for the last 5 weeks), I don't let her stay off, but it is making mornings very stressful and we run late most days trying to get her out of bed. Her school is 5 miles away so I drive her to school each day then go to work. Most mornings we battle then don't speak all the way to school. It is putting me in such a bad mood even before getting to work!! Any advise?


Comment 1

School refusal occurs when a student will not go to school or frequently experiences severe distress related to school attendance. Comprehensive treatment of school refusal, including psychiatric and medical evaluation when appropriate, is important because studies show that psychiatric disorders are the cause for up to 46% of students who fail to complete high school in the United States. Parents can do several things to help their child who refuses to attend school and treatment may be necessary. With treatment, the rate of remission is excellent; approximately 83% of children with school refusal who were treated with cognitive therapy were attending school at 1-year follow-up. School refusal is considered more of a symptom than a disorder and can have various causes.

Although young children usually find going to school fun and exciting, 1 in 4 children may occasionally refuse to attend school. Such behavior becomes a routine problem in about 2% of children. Many children with school refusal have an earlier history of separation anxiety, social anxiety, or depression. Undiagnosed learning disabilities or reading disorders may also play a significant role in the development of school refusal.

Signs of a psychiatric disorder called separation anxiety disorder can include the following:

• School refusal
• Excessive worry about losing a parent; excessive worry that a parent might be harmed
• Excessive reluctance to be alone at any time
• Persistent refusal to go to sleep without a parent or other caretaker present
• Repeated complaints of physical symptoms whenever the child is about to leave a significant parental figure

These behaviors must begin before the child is aged 18 years, must last for 4 weeks or longer, and must cause serious problems with academic, social, or other functioning in order to be called a disorder.

Some commonly cited reasons for refusal to attend school include the following:

• A parent being ill (Surprisingly, school refusal can begin after the parent recovers
• Parents separating, having marital problems, or having frequent arguments
• A death in the family of a friend of the child
• Moving from one house to another during the first years of elementary school
• Jealousy over a new brother or sister at home
• Parents worrying about the child in some way (for example, poor health)

Other problems at school that can cause school refusal include feeling lost (especially in a new school), not having friends, being bullied by another child, or not getting along with a teacher or classmates.

Refusal to go to school may happen at any age but most typically occurs in children aged 5-7 years and in those aged 11-14 years. During these years, children are dealing with the changes of starting school or making the transition from elementary or middle school to high school. Preschoolers may also develop school refusal without any experience of school attendance.

Generally, the child or adolescent refuses to attend school and experiences significant distress about the idea of attending school. Truancy (absent from school without permission) may be due to delinquency or conduct disorder and can be differentiated from school refusal. The truant student generally brags to others (peers) about not attending school, whereas the student with school refusal, because of anxiety or fear, tends to be embarrassed or ashamed at his or her inability to attend school.

Signs of school refusal can include significant school absence (generally 1 week or more) and/or significant distress even with school attendance. Distress with school attendance may include the following:

• A child who cries or protests every morning before school
• An adolescent who misses the bus every day
• A child who regularly develops some type of physical symptom when it is time to go to school

Teachers and school staff should help the student identify and recognize the triggers for school refusal. Opportunities to practice relaxation techniques can significantly reduce anxiety.

Parents or other caregivers can do several things to control school refusal before it becomes a routine, troublesome behavior.

• Listening to the child's actual concerns and fears of going to school is important. Some of the reasons for refusing to attend school may include another child at school who is a bully, problems on the bus or carpool ride to school, or fears of inability to keep up with the other students in the classroom; these issues can be addressed if they are known. On the other hand, making too big a deal of school refusal may promote the child's behavior to continue.

• Firmly getting the child to school regularly and on time will help. Not prolonging the goodbyes can help as well. Sometimes it works best if someone else can take the child to school after the parent or caregiver says goodbye at home.

• It truly helps to believe that the child will get over this problem; discuss this with the child (the parent or caregiver needs to convince himself or herself of this before trying to convince the child).

• The parent or caregiver should reassure the child that he or she will be there upon the child's return from school; this should be repeated over and over, if necessary. Let the child know that the parent or caregiver will be doing "boring stuff" at home during the school day. Always be on time to pick the child up from school if you provide transportation rather than a school bus.

• Whenever events occur that could tend to cause students to miss school (for example, traumatic events such as terrorism, school shootings, or other traumas) all attempts should be made to help students return promptly to school and to help them to feel safe at school.

• Supportive counseling is often made available at school in these circumstances so as to minimize reinforcement of school avoidant behaviors and to prevent secondary gain from school refusal and should be encouraged for any student who wishes to have it. If the child simply refuses to go to school, some parents have found that decreasing the reward for staying home helps, for example, do not allow video games or television, or find out what work is being done in the school and provide similar education at home, when possible. This is especially if the "illness" seems to disappear once the child is allowed to stay at home.


Comment 2

Teens are notorious for staying up late at night and being hard to awaken in the morning. Your teen is probably no exception, but it's not necessarily because he or she is lazy or contrary. This behavior pattern actually has a physical cause — and there are ways to help mesh your teen's sleep schedule with that of the rest of the world.

Everyone has an internal clock that influences body temperature, sleep cycles, appetite and hormonal changes. The biological and psychological processes that follow the cycle of this 24-hour internal clock are called circadian rhythms. Before adolescence, these circadian rhythms direct most children to naturally fall asleep around 8 or 9 p.m. But puberty changes a teen's internal clock, delaying the time he or she starts feeling sleepy — often until 11 p.m. or later. Staying up late to study or socialize can disrupt a teen's internal clock even more.

Most teens need about nine hours of sleep a night — and sometimes more — to maintain optimal daytime alertness. But few teens actually get that much sleep regularly, thanks to part-time jobs, homework, extracurricular activities, social demands and early-morning classes. More than 90 percent of teens in a recent study reported sleeping less than the recommended nine hours a night. In the same study, 10 percent of teens reported sleeping less than six hours a night.

Big deal? Yes. Irritability aside, sleep deprivation can have serious consequences. Daytime sleepiness makes it difficult to concentrate and learn, or even stay awake in class. Too little sleep may contribute to mood swings and behavioral problems. And sleepy teens who get behind the wheel may cause serious — even deadly — accidents.

Catching up on sleep during the weekends seems like a logical solution to teen sleep problems, but it doesn't help much. In fact, sleeping in can confuse your teen's internal clock even more. A forced early bedtime may backfire, too. If your teen goes to bed too early, he or she may only lie awake for hours.

So what can you do? Don't assume that your teen is at the mercy of his or her internal clock. Take action tonight!

• Adjust the lighting. As bedtime approaches, dim the lights. Turn the lights off during sleep. In the morning, expose your teen to bright light. These simple cues can help signal when it's time to sleep and when it's time to wake up.
• Curb the caffeine. A jolt of caffeine may help your teen stay awake during class, but the effects are fleeting. And too much caffeine can interfere with a good night's sleep.
• Keep it calm. Encourage your teen to wind down at night with a warm shower, a book or other relaxing activities — and avoid vigorous exercise, loud music, video games, text messaging, Web surfing and other stimulating activities shortly before bedtime. Take the TV out of your teen's room, or keep it off at night. The same goes for your teen's cell phone and computer.
• Nix long naps. If your teen is drowsy during the day, a 30-minute nap after school may be refreshing. But too much daytime shut-eye may only make it harder to fall asleep at night.
• Stick to a schedule. Tough as it may be, encourage your teen to go to bed and get up at the same time every day — even on weekends. Prioritize extracurricular activities and curb late-night social time as needed. If your teen has a job, limit working hours to no more than 16 to 20 hours a week.

Sleeping pills and other medications generally aren't recommended for teens.

In some cases, excessive daytime sleepiness can be a sign of something more than a problem with your teen's internal clock. Other problems can include:

• Depression. Sleeping too much or too little is a common sign of depression.
• Insomnia or biological clock disturbance. If your teen has trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, he or she is likely to struggle with daytime sleepiness.
• Medication side effects. Many medications — including over-the-counter cold and allergy medications and prescription medications to treat depression and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder — can affect sleep.
• Narcolepsy. Sudden daytime sleep, usually for only short periods of time, can be a sign of narcolepsy. Narcoleptic episodes can occur at any time — even in the middle of a conversation. Sudden attacks of muscle weakness in response to emotions such as laughter, anger or surprise are possible, too.
• Obstructive sleep apnea. When throat muscles fall slack during sleep, they stop air from moving freely through the nose and windpipe. This can interfere with breathing and disrupt sleep.
• Restless legs syndrome. This condition causes a "creepy" sensation in the legs and an irresistible urge to move the legs, usually shortly after going to bed. The discomfort and movement can interrupt sleep.

If you're concerned about your teen's daytime sleepiness or sleep habits, contact your teen's doctor. If your teen is depressed or has a sleep disorder, proper treatment may be the key to a good night's sleep.

Online Parent Support

The abuse seems to be increasing...

Parents Support One Another @ = I need help with the following issue:

How long does a parent put up with being told how much they are hated and how worthless they are, I am questioned about how I spend their child support. My sons are 17 and 19 and the abuse seems to be increasing. I am a single female parent with a good job. Any comments?

She is on the phone at night sometimes till 11:30 -11:45pm...

Parents Support One Another @ = I need help with the following issue:

I have a 15 yr. old and she is on the phone at night sometimes till 11:30 -11:45pm and has school the next day. I would like her to get off the phone sooner and have asked her to do that. She has said to me that as long as she is getting up on time for school and her HW is done why am I having a problem with it? If she continues to get up on time and has her HW done is this one of those pick your battles? I am not sure if this is one battle I should leave alone, unless it starts to interfere with her getting up for school or having her HW done. Thank you.

I kicked him out...

Parents Support One Another @ = I need help with the following issue:

Can this system help my son and I regain our relationship? Things are so bad that I kicked him out (he is 18) and he is living in his pick-up truck, sponging off anyone, and still lying ( of course)!

How do you get a teen to hand in items for bad behaviour?

Parents Support One Another @ = How do you get a teen to hand in items (we take away all electronic items) for bad behaviour? He has threatened to get a knife, to runaway etc today as he is so worked up about loosing his stuff. His therapist tells us we need to reward him with his things for being good instead of punishing him. We have had more success with your program.

Staying out late on school nights...

Parents Support One Another @ = I need help with the following issue:

One of my sons favorite people is a 22 year old. He is a nice, polite person, but just isn't getting it when I tell him to not encourage my son to stay out late on school nights, support his having to go to school, mentor him regarding school, etc. It isn't working. I don't want to tell this young person to beat it, but...Now, my husband is about ready to kick all of our son's friends away-that's not realistic-our son will go nuts over that. We have tried to tell him, hey you can hang with them all weekend, from after school to Sunday evening, but it just isn't enough. I don't want to freak out on our son, but I feel a huge panic coming and Lord only knows what I might do. That's not going to help matters any!


Comment 1 -

Everyone needs to belong — to feel connected with others and be with others who share attitudes, interests, and circumstances that resemble their own. People choose friends who accept and like them and see them in a favorable light.

Teens want to be with people their own age — their peers. During adolescence, teens spend more time with their peers and without parental supervision. With peers, teens can be both connected and independent, as they break away from their parents' images of them and develop identities of their own.

While many families help teens in feeling proud and confident of their unique traits, backgrounds, and abilities, peers are often more accepting of the feelings, thoughts, and actions associated with the teen's search for self-identity.

The influence of peers — whether positive or negative — is of critical importance in your teen's life. Whether you like it or not, the opinions of your child's peers often carry more weight than yours.

Positive Peer Pressure

The ability to develop healthy friendships and peer relationships depends on a teen's self-identity, self-esteem, and self-reliance.

At its best, peer pressure can mobilize your teen's energy, motivate for success, and encourage your teen to conform to healthy behavior. Peers can and do act as positive role models. Peers can and do demonstrate appropriate social behaviors. Peers often listen to, accept, and understand the frustrations, challenges, and concerns associated with being a teenager.

Negative Peer Pressure

The need for acceptance, approval, and belonging is vital during the teen years. Teens who feel isolated or rejected by their peers — or in their family — are more likely to engage in risky behaviors in order to fit in with a group. In such situations, peer pressure can impair good judgment and fuel risk-taking behavior, drawing a teen away from the family and positive influences and luring into dangerous activities.

For example, teens with ADHD, learning differences or disabilities are often rejected due to their age-inappropriate behavior, and thus are more likely to associate with other rejected and/or delinquent peers. Some experts believe that teenage girls frequently enter into sexual relationships when what they are seeking is acceptance, approval, and love.

A powerful negative peer influence can motivate a teen to make choices and engage in behavior that his or her values might otherwise reject. Some teens will risk being grounded, losing their parents' trust, or even facing jail time, just to try and fit in or feel like they have a group of friends they can identify with and who accept them. Sometimes, teens will change the way they dress, their friends, give up their values or create new ones, depending on the people they hang around with.

Some teens harbor secret lives governed by the influence of their peers. Some — including those who appear to be well-behaved, high-achieving teens when they are with adults — engage in negative, even dangerous behavior when with their peers.

Once influenced, teens may continue the slide into problems with the law, substance abuse, school problems, authority defiance, gang involvement, etc.

If your teen associates with people who are using drugs or displaying self-destructive behaviors, then your child is probably doing the same.

Encourage Healthy and Positive Relationships

It is important to encourage friendships among teens. We all want our children to be with persons who will have a positive influence, and stay away from persons who will encourage or engage in harmful, destructive, immoral, or illegal activities.

Parents can support positive peer relationships by giving their teenagers their love, time, boundaries, and encouragement to think for themselves.

Specifically, parents can show support by:

*Having a positive relationship with your teen. When parent-teen interactions are characterized by warmth, kindness, consistency, respect, and love, the relationship will flourish, as will the teen's self-esteem, mental health, spirituality, and social skills.
*Being genuinely interested in your teen's activities. This allows parents to know their teen's friends and to monitor behavior, which is crucial in keeping teens out of trouble. When misbehavior does occur, parents who have involved their children in setting family rules and consequences can expect less flack from their children as they calmly enforce the rules. Parents who, together with their children, set firm boundaries and high expectations may find that their children's abilities to live up to those expectations grow.
*Encouraging independent thought and expression. In this way, teens can develop a healthy sense of self and an enhanced ability to resist peer pressure.

When Parents Don't Approve

You may not be comfortable about your son or daughter's choice of friends or peer group. This may be because of their image, negative attitudes, or serious behaviors (such as alcohol use, drug use, truancy, violence, sexual behaviors).

Here are some suggestions:

*Get to know the friends of your teen. Learn their names, invite them into your home so you can talk and listen to them, and introduce yourself to their parents.
*Do not attack your child's friends. Remember that criticizing your teen's choice of friends is like a personal attack.
*Help your teen understand the difference between image (expressions of youth culture) and identity (who he or she is).
*Keep the lines of communication open and find out why these friends are important to your teenager.
*Check whether your concerns about their friends are real and important.
*If you believe your concerns are serious, talk to your teenager about behavior and choices -- not the friends.
*Encourage your teen's independence by supporting decision-making based on principles and not other people.
*Let your teen know of your concerns and feelings.
*Encourage reflective thinking by helping your teen think about his or her actions in advance and discussing immediate and long-term consequences of risky behavior.
*Remember that we all learn valuable lessons from mistakes.

No matter what kind of peer influence your teen faces, he or she must learn how to balance the value of going along with the crowd (connection) against the importance of making principle-based decisions (independence)

And you must ensure that your teen knows that he or she is loved and valued as an individual at home.


Comment 2 -

“But, Mom, EVERYBODY does it!” It’s a child’s battle cry. Wanting to do what “all” the kids are doing is part of growing up. Children naturally form into groups by preadolescence and the desire to “belong” often produces a desire to conform. But when peer pressure shifts your child’s attention away from healthful activities and toward dangerous ones—drugs, drinking, smoking, sex—you have a right to be concerned. The media are full of horror stories of the consequences of peer pressure from teen suicide to drug overdoses to pregnancy.

To help your child cope with peer pressure, there are several tactics you can use. One of the best ones, from the very start, is keep close emotionally and physically to your child. Studies show that the child who is most susceptible to negative peer influence is the child who feels least close to a parent. If you leave an emotional vacuum in your child’s life, it will be filled from outside the family and possibly in a negative way.

Adolescents must learn to understand and rely on their own emerging selves. But teaching children how to make choices is far from simple. Expect to have to put in a lot of time.

What is Peer Pressure?

To open the door for talks with your child, make sure your youngster understands exactly what it means. Peer pressure is the perception that others expect you to act in a particular way. This perception may be wrong! Here are some elements of peer pressure you can discuss with your child:

• Kids want to feel a strong sense of acceptance and “belonging”.
• To get recognition.
• To look mature.
• To have fun.

Peer pressure is one of the most potent forces in your life, but its influence is often very subtle. You may not even realize you are being pressured. It’s a combination of subtle influences and not only from peers. Positive and negative pressures also come from parents, teachers, and the media.

Negative peer pressure happens when your friends ask you, or otherwise try to influence you, to do something you know is wrong! You don’t want to say “no” because:

• You don’t want to be left out.
• You don’t want to seem like a goody-goody.
• You don’t want to lose them as your friends.
• You’re afraid they’ll tease you and spread rumors around school.

Who Feels Peer Pressure?

Kids aren’t the only ones. Many adults allow themselves to be victimized by the “keep-up-with-the-Joneses” syndrome. But preteens and teens are extra vulnerable to negative peer influence. They are in the time of their lives in which they turn to their peer group for recognition and support and away from their families. They are trying to establish independence from the family. This is desirable and normal, but the process takes a long time and in the meantime, there can be confusion and frustration.

Kids whose parents and schools do little to teach them healthy ways of having fun are more likely to submit to negative peer pressure. They simply don’t know any better. Low self-esteem, depression and lack of understanding and communication between adolescent, the parents, school officials and other adults are all significant problems.

Parents who are critical, judgmental or unsympathetic to underlying emotions set up their kids for excessive peer influence. These kids will follow peer examples despite strong parental reactions. Why? They haven’t been given an incentive to follow parental guidance. They have to like you and trust you first.

What Should Parents Do?

1. From infancy on, play with your kids. Laugh with them and talk over concerns with them.
2. Set strong, effective limits. Stick to your basic standards as your child adjusts to the peer group.
3. Make your rules clear and don’t ignore problems when you child breaks one of the rules.
4. Help your child sort out “safe” from “risky” situations.
5. Discuss what behavior would be appropriate in various situations.
6. Help your child realize that peer pressure is largely in the child’s own mind. Therefore, the child can manage it.
7. Teach your child decision-making skills.
8. Stress how “grown-up” it is to stick to your guns in the face of ridicule, when you know you’re doing the right thing.
9. Teach your child mature and responsible qualities (making the best decisions for yourself) so that the child will strive to practice them instead of harmful activities that just look grown-up such as smoking, drinking and using drugs.
10. Acknowledge how hard it might be to turn down a friend. Teach your child to ask the question, “Is he really my friend if he asks me to do this?”
11. Encourage your child to always come to you to talk about incidents, even if he has submitted to the peer pressure. Promise that you won’t let your anger get in the way of listening fairly and trying to help.
12. If your child does make a mistake, reprimand him appropriately. Discuss with him how to prevent the same thing from happening again.
13. Above all, stress that children have a choice! They can evaluate each situation, consider the facts, examine personal feelings and values, and arrive at the best conclusion.

What Are The Consequences?

Give your child the opportunity to resist peer influences. Alert your child to potential problems. Give him or her time to anticipate these situations and devise and practice ways to overcome them. That’s how to help a young person develop skills to act out decisions. That’s how to develop true independence.

Consequences of Submitting to Negative Peer Pressure

1. Potential effects of and legal penalties for using drugs.
2. How dangerous it is to mix drugs and alcohol.
3. Specific ways that judgment can be impaired by drinking alcohol and using drugs.
4. The dangers of smoking.
5. Legal punishments for stealing.
6. Penalties for being caught cheating.
7. How sexual excitement can build and become difficult to control.
8. How and why it’s possible for a female to get pregnant, no matter what time of the month it is.

Consequences of Resisting Peer Pressure

1. Self-respect for being confident and strong.
2. Respect from friends and other adults.
3. Sway friends away from situations that may be dangerous, mean or just plain wrong.
4. Possible teasing and ostracism.
5. Risk losing friends and acceptance.

Even though they may not act like it, preteens and teens are looking to you for explanations and reassurance related to their changes in emotional and physical states. They’re anxious about their own development—more than you are! The more you talk with your child, supply information, and acknowledge the many feelings that might be involved, the less likely it is that he or she will be pressured into unhealthy or dangerous decisions. And the more they will know that you love them. Your child’s physician is an excellent source of further information about peer pressure.

Online Parent Support

My son is way out of control...

Parents Support One Another @ = I need help with the following issue:

My son is way out of control, he is suspended again at the moment, I have tried using the three day grounding etc and has taken his computer, dvd, etc out of his room, he never seems to get through the three days, he had smashed things in my house, kicked in my front door, been pick up by the police for being truant, smashed a plate in front of me, slashed my fly screens in the windows and thrown a fruit at a large mirror splattering it everywhere, he swears at me and I cannot stop him myself from leaving the house. We are in counselling and yet his behaviour is getting dangerously out of control. He hit a boy at school yesterday and the parent doesn't want to lay charges, he is going all these things and the police can't do anything, he knows he can get away with most things he does at the moment, he steals from me, I have a lock on my bedroom door and he broke in from outside. The police are reluctant because he is only 14 yrs old.He wont talk to me and I dont know what to do with him.

What to do for runaway teens?

Parents Support One Another @ = I need help with the following issue: we have just begun the program today, and my husband on giving her internet access to do her homework found her talking to her boyfriend about living with her dad (ex crim) on msn and became so mad he asked for her phone, she ran away down the road with not even any shoes on in the cold and dark and he told her not to come back, we are sitting at home wondering what to do, what will happen.....what should we do....we are in text conversation with her but she will not tell us where she is and she is refusing to come home...what to do for runaway teens? She wants to go live with her dad...don't know why he didn't pick her up?

Daughter has been sneaking out of the house at night...

Parents Support One Another @ = I need help with the following issue: Just found out that my daughter has been sneaking out of the house at night. And shes been lying or omitting wheres shes going with do I bridge these issues without driving her away?

Thanks, MF

Teenager leaving home...

Parents Support One Another @ = I need help with the following issue: Teenager leaving home and not coming back for several days.

She will not even talk to me...

Parents Support One Another @ = I need help with the following issue: my child is at her father's house and now she will not even talk to me. she refuses to answer the phone ...her father is of no help he is enabling this kind of behavior. I have custody of her but I can not get any help to get her back ...I feel like i'm up against a wall. what do i do now?

My son left Saturday night...

Parents Support One Another @ = I need help with the following issue:

My son left Saturday night after refusing to go to church, he told me F you and we the rest of us went to church he was gone when we got back. I called a friends house Sunday night because he hadn't come home yet and asked his mom if she would tell him to come home. She text her son and he said he hadn't seen him but would tell him if he did. I know that he has seen him though. I suspended phone service on my son's phone and I suspect he is staying with different friends and is being stubborn. What should I do? Should I make a scene and get the cops involved or find him and just make sure he is o.k. and let him come back when he is ready to talk.

My daughter is out of control...

Parents Support One Another @ =

I need help with the following issue: my daughter is out of control. she is 16 yrs. old going on 21. she runs away, she is sleeping around with older men. she is just uncontrollable. I need someones help.

Teen who is making bad choices...

Parents Support One Another @ =

I need help with the following issue:

I am wondering what you think about allowing a teen (15) who is making bad choices (sex, drugs, etc.) to just make them or put in obstacles so they CANNOT make the choice again. I have an alarm on my home. My daughter climbed out of our cat door, through the garage and out the side garage door that the alarm in not connected to. Aside from other consequences, in response to this, I bought a bolt lock with a key on both sides so she cannot get out the door. This is my MO...when she makes a bad choice, I put obstacles in her way so she cannot do it again instead of allowing her to use her own self will to make the right choice. I feel these choices are dangerous and I should intervene but how is she going to learn to make the right choices on her own?

Daughter took friend's car and is still gone...

Parents Support One Another @ = I need help with the following issue:

I previously wrote in the chat box, but now I see I can get feedback here and I do need it. My daughter, 17, non-driver, not licensed, took a friend's car today and is still gone. I feel terrible. The friend is a Marine that just got back from the field, only to find his new vehicle gone. He doesn't want to press charges. The sheriff said all I can do is report her a runaway. I want her safe, I pray she is safe; doesn't have an accident and doesn't wreck this nice young man's vehicle. He had loaned the car to a common friend who gave my daughter the keys earlier today. What a mess! I have been so grateful for this parenting program, and still I am exhausted-- a single mom, two part-time jobs... but you know my daughter is out of control, surely, and yet I am so hopeful, just don't see the end of the tunnel it ahead somewhere...? I am real glad I am in the part of the E-book about letting go, and forgiving... Sorry this is so long, but it is very cleansing writing, and knowing there are others out there dealing with similar difficulties. Thank you for being there...This is painful. I sure hope my daughter and the car are okay. And I will not give up.

My daughter is 16 and has a baby...

Parents Support One Another @ = I need help with the following issue:

My daughter is 16 and has a baby. She does not respect me at all. I tell her or ask her to do something, she does what she wants. I have called the police on her twice and I am just tied.


Best Answer:

I was a teen mother too. I was 15, in love, doing well in school, had an after-school job and not a care in the world.

I was also sexually active; I had been since I was a freshman in high school. I vividly recall the first guy I slept with -- tall, strapping and popular with the ladies, and for some reason, he liked me! Or so I thought. Even when he told me, "If you get pregnant, you will have to deal with it," I looked at him starry-eyed and did not utter a single word.

I hated the way I looked. I lived in a home with eight other people, and the idea that this tall, good-looking guy wanted me instead of the other girls, well, that was worth anything. I equated his touch with specialness, his kisses with love. When I was with him, all the loathing I felt about my appearance and the sadness I felt at home disappeared. I wasn't just one of those other girls. After all, he said he loved me, and he wouldn't have sex with me if he didn't, right?

Well, I did have to deal with it. I became pregnant by that first guy, and family pressures led me to have an abortion. Lesson learned right then and there, huh?

Guess again. Next was the guy I really thought I was in love with. This "first true love" dumped me for a cheerleader in my class about three weeks after we slept together. About nine months later, I was a junior in high school, with straight A's and in honors classes. I still had my after-school job and yes, I still was sexually active. My latest boyfriend was this guy I had met about two months before through a friend of a friend.

Lesson still not learned. Here I was once more. Kisses, touching, words of love. One day I don't get my period. No big deal, I think; I am very physically active. I'm just late, is all. One day turns into a week, and then two and then three. I had now officially known my "boyfriend" nine weeks. Do I tell him? Do I go to the doctor? What if my family finds out? I finally break down and ask a friend to go with me to the drugstore, too terrified to ask my very old-fashioned grandparents for help. Our house was a house where you didn't ask and you weren't told. After all, they were raised that way, so why not raise us that way too?

We went to Eckerd's under the guise of needing a pair of pantyhose, and with great embarrassment, I asked the pharmacist for a test. I ran home with the sacred box hidden under my shirt and locked myself in the bathroom. Those three minutes were the longest, most painfully anxious moments in my young life. I couldn't bear to look at first and then, slowly; I turned my head and saw the bright pink "X" staring me right in the face.

At first I was disbelieving. I think I sat in that bathroom for an hour, just staring at this white stick with the big pink "X." My heart was in my throat, my pulse was racing, my stomach was doing flip-flops. Instinctively, my hand went toward my belly. I removed my top and stared at my flat stomach in the mirror and tried to fathom its getting big and round.

Eventually my sense of hopeless romanticism took over and I began to imagine myself and my boyfriend taking long walks with "our child" in the stroller, "our child" lying in a soft bed next to his/her parents, "the proud mom and dad" sitting side by side as "their child" grew up in utter bliss. By the time I left that bathroom with the little white stick in my hand , those childish fantasies were real in my mind.

Never once did it occur to me that my unborn child's father might not want this. After all, he loved me; he had told me so. In my naiveté, I had made myself believe that sex was love. After all, I was a good girl and good girls didn't sleep around. They "made love" to the person they were in a relationship with.

Now excited about the idea of being a mom (me, a mom!), I called the father-to-be, expecting, I guess, for him to share my enthusiasm, for him to come right over, scoop me in his arms, profess his undying devotion and propose to me on the spot! Well, as I eventually learned the hard way, fairy tales only exist in those beautifully drawn books in the libraries. This was no library and he was no Prince Charming.

He was a 17-year-old kid, getting a phone call from a girl he barely knew, telling him he was going to be a dad. "Are you sure?" was his first question. "Are you sure it's mine?" was the next. That should have been warning enough for what was to come, but I had always been a romantic and I wanted -- no, I needed -- to believe in love so badly that I didn't process his doubts. To me, they were just a reaction to major news; he would come around.

We went to the doctor several weeks later to confirm what I already knew. Soon, at 16, I would be a mom. Soon this tiny life would be in my arms.

The doctor confirmed my pregnancy, and this time I decided I not to have an abortion. I moved in with my boyfriend and his family. I was to learn, years later, that both of our families felt it was the right thing to do. I simply thought at the time that it was a sign of his love for me and his excitement about becoming a father.

I continued to go to school and study hard. Around my fifth month of pregnancy, when my belly started to get a little bigger and my breasts started to get a little heavier, the father-to-be and I started to drift apart. I don't think it hit either of us, until I started to show, how permanent this was. Once there was the "proof" that we would soon be parents, it dawned on him that soon he would be a dad and a parent with someone he neither really knew nor ever truly loved. By the time the baby was born, we had separate bedrooms and when we spoke, it was through his parents.

On a rush of hormones, adrenaline and fantasy, I still clung to the ever-persistent notion that it had to work. We had to be a family. We had created a life together, another human being, and that had to mean something. If it didn't, then all of those careful fantasies, all of those sweet little stories I had let myself believe, were wrong. It meant I would have to face reality -- that I was going to be a mom and I was going to have a child who would depend on me, alone. Me! For the rest of my life.

I just had not had the maturity or the strength to allow myself to see the truth. In reality, we never loved one another. How could we? Our relationship was based on a sexual attraction. I think in our secret hearts we both knew that when you date someone as a teenager, even if sex is involved, somewhere deep down you know that it is temporary. You are young with the world at your feet -- everything to explore and learn, and there is plenty of time to settle down and get serious. But girls and guys like me -- so desperate to feel love, never realizing that the love starts from within -- girls and guys like me cling to every word, every touch, every kiss, and make it into something much more than it is.

By the time our child, a beautiful girl named Christina, had been born, things were irretrievably broken between her father and me. Several months later, I left his home and moved back to my grandparents'. I was lucky to be able to continue high school, but like most young parents in my situation, I needed to seek government assistance to help with the insurmountable bills I never expected.

Reality came crashing down on me. I never had realized the demands and pressures that parenthood would bring. I was lucky to have supportive teachers, friends and family members, who, although sometimes overbearing, were always there for me. My daughter's father came by occasionally, although by the time I moved back home he and I had become quite volatile toward one another. We rarely spoke and when we did, it was never nice. He felt I had trapped him, and I, still clinging to my childish fantasies, felt he had betrayed my love, my trust. I laid a lot of the blame and guilt that I felt in his direction. It was much easier to feel less guilty myself by making him the bad guy.

Now I realize how he must have felt seven years ago, when I called him late at night to tell him of his impending fatherhood. Scared, alone, disbelieving. I don't absolve him for not taking part in his child's life, but I guess I can understand him a little better.

Looking back on the last seven years, I realize that I have grown up, and am still growing up right beside my daughter. I regret that there were many things that she did as a baby that I did not have the character or the maturity to appreciate as fully as I do now. I remember that when she was a baby, I was much more a big sister to her than a mom, content to play with my beautiful little "doll," dressing her in the prettiest dresses, putting the cutest bows in her hair and matching frilly socks on her feet.

Eventually it dawned on me that she was not a doll I could put on a shelf until I felt like playing with her again. She was a living person who soaked up everything I did and learned from it. She had demands and needs, and it was my responsibility to take care of them.

She isn't a baby anymore; she's already in the second grade. She is growing into the confident young lady I hoped she would be. I listen as she reads books out loud or calls a friend on the telephone, and I see how precious a gift I have been given.

After she was born, I graduated from high school. I am now a paralegal-in-training with a law firm specializing in guardianship issues. I am married and my husband and I have a 19-month-old son. I feel successful now. But the road still is not easy.

Being a parent is the most complicated yet rewarding job there is. All the education in the world cannot prepare you for the ups and downs. There is no textbook to give you the answers, no test to pass or fail, no notes that you can copy from of someone else. You have to learn through experience, and experience comes with age.

I write this in the hope that one parent who reads this will go home and talk to his or her son or daughter. All too often, those hugs that we give so freely to our children when they are small tend to come less and less the older our kids get. You may hear an "Aw, mom" or "Aw, dad," but the extra hugs and kisses will be worth more than any present you can ever buy.

I also write this with the hope that one teenager will read this and talk to his or her mom or dad, or even girlfriend or boyfriend. As teenagers we feel invincible: We feel the world is ours for the taking, that things like pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases can't happen to us.

Every hour, in this country alone, one out of every 100 women who finds out she is pregnant is under the age of 17. It is up to each sexually active teenager to learn to protect herself or himself.

Take it from someone who has been there. Abstinence is the best policy, but if you are going to have sex, be smart about it. If you are taking adult actions, then you are old enough to take on adult responsibilities. Being a parent is not temporary. The title "mom" or "dad" stays with you forever.

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