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My twins are out of control!

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My twins are out of control! Their doing everything from drugs to drinking to skipping class and leaving campus. I've just started this program and need feed-back to issue appropriate discipline right away as Im not to this section of the program yet. One is already grounded and yesterday she cut class and went shopping. It just goes on and on. I have found that it just goes from one to the other with twins. What one doesn't think of the other does. HELP!


Anonymous said...

Some kids become druggies because they can’t figure out another way to fit in. The entrance requirements for the drug clique are easy. Just use and buy drugs. Presto. You have a group to hang with. For kids who are lonely or feeling they don’t have what it takes to gain membership in another high school group, this is very, very seductive.

Some kids get in over their heads and don’t know how to get out. What started as a way to fit in takes on a life of its own. Other kids threaten them if they try to leave the group. I even know of kids who were told that the group would hurt their family if they didn’t steal, deal, and use. What looked like escalating criminal activity was really a frantic attempt to protect their family.

Some kids who use drugs are self-medicating. I’ve worked with several kids who discovered that they felt better when they tried marijuana at a party. They kept using because they liked the relief. It turned out that they were suffering from an untreated depression or a high level of anxiety. When we got them on proper medication, they no longer abused illegal drugs.

Some kids have the mistaken idea that in order to be okay they have to be better than other people. They know they can’t compete with the “good kids” in the family or at school. They have the idea that they can’t be a star in any area that counts to their peers. Their self-esteem then depends on finding at least some way to be “better” than other people. So they become the best at being worst. It may be painful but it works.

Some kids use drugs for all the attention it gets them. If he were the perfect child, would he get anywhere near the same amount of attention from you? Does he know that he would? Is it possibly true that he just doesn’t have any outstanding academic, sports or artistic talents but has ambitions for fame? In his discouragement, he may have turned to the only arena where he feels he can be successful. If being a star achiever isn’t possible, being a “gangsta” will have to do. From his point of view, at least he’ll be noticed.

Some kids are just plain bored. Playing with criminal behavior is exciting. The drama and risk of getting drugs, hiding them, using them, and maybe even selling them is its own kind of high. If he were seeing me for therapy, I’d be asking a kid like this how it is that he isn’t involved in something that gives him a “natural high”? What is he doing for excitement? What kind of risk-taking actually makes a kind of sense? What activity might stretch him beyond his comfort zone in a positive way?

Some kids think that using drugs is normal. They have friends whose parents smoke dope with them. They know adults who rationalize their own illegal drug use by stating that it is no worse than alcohol and should be legalized anyway. They watch TV and see ads for all kinds of medications for all kinds of ills. Feeling down? Take a drug. Can’t sleep? Pop a pill. Can’t have sex? There’s a drug for that too. Some movies glorify the drug culture. Some music makes it all sound very, very cool. Parents need to model meeting challenges in other ways. We need to teach our kids about the satisfaction and excitement that comes from stretching ourselves and succeeding.

And, of course, there is the possibility of a true addiction. It’s simply not true that kids don’t develop a dependence on marijuana. Some do. It’s also possible that you don’t know what else your kid has been taking.

Anonymous said...

One of the common stereotypes of adolescence is the rebellious, wild teen continually at odds with Mom and Dad. Although it may be the case for some kids and this is a time of emotional ups and downs, that stereotype certainly is not representative of most teens.

But the primary goal of the teen years is to achieve independence. For this to occur, teens will start pulling away from their parents — especially the parent whom they're the closest to. This can come across as teens always seeming to have different opinions than their parents or not wanting to be around their parents in the same way they used to.

As teens mature, they start to think more abstractly and rationally. They're forming their moral code. And parents of teens may find that kids who previously had been willing to conform to please them will suddenly begin asserting themselves — and their opinions — strongly and rebelling against parental control.

You may need to look closely at how much room you give your teen to be an individual and ask yourself questions such as: "Am I a controlling parent?," "Do I listen to my child?," and "Do I allow my child's opinions and tastes to differ from my own?"

Anonymous said...

Put Yourself in Your Child's Place

Practice empathy by helping your child understand that it's normal to be a bit concerned or self-conscious, and that it's OK to feel grown-up one minute and like a kid the next.
Pick Your Battles

If teenagers want to dye their hair, paint their fingernails black, or wear funky clothes, think twice before you object. Teens want to shock their parents and it's a lot better to let them do something temporary and harmless; leave the objections to things that really matter, like tobacco, drugs and alcohol.
Maintain Your Expectations

Teens will likely act unhappy with expectations their parents place on them. However, they usually understand and need to know that their parents care enough about them to expect certain things such as good grades, acceptable behavior, and adherence to the rules of the house. If parents have appropriate expectations, teens will likely try to meet them.
Inform Your Teen — and Stay Informed Yourself

The teen years often are a time of experimentation, and sometimes that experimentation includes risky behaviors. Don't avoid the subjects of sex, or drug, alcohol, and tobacco use; discussing these things openly with kids before they're exposed to them increases the chance that they'll act responsibly when the time comes.

Know your child's friends — and know their friends' parents. Regular communication between parents can go a long way toward creating a safe environment for all teens in a peer group. Parents can help each other keep track of the kids' activities without making the kids feel that they're being watched.

Anonymous said...

A certain amount of change may be normal during the teen years, but too drastic or long-lasting a switch in personality or behavior may signal real trouble — the kind that needs professional help. Watch for one or more of these warning signs:

* extreme weight gain or loss
* sleep problems
* rapid, drastic changes in personality
* sudden change in friends
* skipping school continually
* falling grades
* talk or even jokes about suicide
* signs of tobacco, alcohol, or drug use
* run-ins with the law

Any other inappropriate behavior that lasts for more than 6 weeks can be a sign of underlying trouble, too. You may expect a glitch or two in your teen's behavior or grades during this time, but your A/B student shouldn't suddenly be failing, and your normally outgoing kid shouldn't suddenly become constantly withdrawn. Your doctor or a local counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist can help you find proper counseling.
Respect Kids' Privacy

Some parents, understandably, have a very hard time with this one. They may feel that anything their kids do is their business. But to help your teen become a young adult, you'll need to grant some privacy. If you notice warning signs of trouble, then you can invade your child's privacy until you get to the heart of the problem. But otherwise, it's a good idea to back off.

In other words, your teenager's room and phone calls should be private. You also shouldn't expect your teen to share all thoughts or activities with you at all times. Of course, for safety reasons, you should always know where teens are going, what they're doing, and with whom, but you don't need to know every detail. And you definitely shouldn't expect to be invited along!
Monitor What Kids See and Read

TV shows, magazines and books, the Internet — kids have access to tons of information. Be aware of what yours watch and read. Don't be afraid to set limits on the amount of time spent in front of the computer or the TV. Know what they're learning from the media and who they may be communicating with online.
Make Appropriate Rules

Bedtime for a teenager should be age appropriate, just as it was when your child was a baby. Reward your teen for being trustworthy. Does your child keep to a 10 PM curfew? Move it to 10:30 PM. And does a teen always have to go along on family outings? Decide what your expectations are, and don't be insulted when your growing child doesn't always want to be with you. Think back: You probably felt the same way about your mom and dad.

Anonymous said...

I say just work one session a week. I think you're jumping the gun with looking for immediate discipline - which hopefully you read "can be the kiss of failure."