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Old 12-03-2008, 08:42 PM
1 posts, read 4,672 times
Reputation: 14


We're having an issue with our daughter (my step daughter). We have always had certain rules in our house, and our approaches to parenting and views are the same. We've been together for 7 years, and have sole custody.

The 14 year old, S, has always been difficult. She was diagnosed as bipolar a few years ago, and was on meds for it. Some meds worked, some did not. At one point, when she was 10 years old, she pulled a kitchen knife ( sharp one) on her older brother because he would not let her use the phone (he was using it). We started loking for help after this incident. Two years ago, we started family counseling, for many reasons, S being one of them. The counselor suggested taking S of her meds, and see what happened. No major blow-ups, and after being disciplined a couple times for her behavior, she settled down.

The problem that we're having now is that she is a freshman in high school, and thinks she knows everything. She thinks she is ready to date; house rule is not until you are 16. She constantly fights us about this. She's been texting (she had her phone taken away today) a classmate who is under house arrest, because he made a bomb. She does not think this is a big deal, and that we are being judgemental. This boy asked her to go out with him, and knowing full well that she is not allowed to date, she told him she would.

She wanted a guinea pig, and got one, under certain terms: make an effort to stop fighting with her brothers, no complaining when asked to do something (chores), and keep her room cleaner than she had been. She has failed on all 3 terms, consistently.

She is extremely disrespectful to all of us; tells us she hates us whenever she doesn't get her way. Never listens to anything I have to say, even when she asks for advice. She claims: we're too old to remember being teenagers, everyone hates her, no one understands her, we know nothing about her, she's stupid...I could go on and on.

Tonight, when we found out that she told this kid she would go out with him and told her that she would not, she started again. Insults, arguing, threats, you name it. I would not have even dreamed of speaking to my parents the way she speaks to us. She was sent to her room, only to come back out every couple minutes. Finally, she stayed in her room. Found out later that she took everything off her walls, and fell asleep.

The most disturbing part is that she claims that she does not remember any of this. She came out of her room and asked me what happened. I don't know whether to believe her or not. She rarely tells the truth. We're going to find a psychiatrist, and fast. She's said many times that she'd be better off dead, she wants to die, kill herself. She is a MAJOR drama queen, so we don't know if this is true, or just her histrionics. I'm leaning toward calling the police the next time she threatens.

At this point, I'm ready to wring her neck. Her mom has health issues, and the problems with S are not helping. Our house is in constant chaos because of her.

Her father is out of the picture. She talks with him, but he is 2000 miles away. Lately, she says she'd rather go live with him, instead of under our rules. I highly doubt he will even consider this; he has a new family, and has never been a constant in her life. He tells her he will do things, but never follows thru.

I'm at my wit's end with this girl.
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Old 12-04-2008, 08:41 AM
Location: Whiteville Tennessee
8,262 posts, read 15,969,001 times
Reputation: 10024
A teenager who throws fits. Wont behave. Wants to date. Wants to associate with boys her parents dont approve of. Thinks her parents dont understand. WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 12-04-2008, 09:06 AM
2,857 posts, read 6,257,654 times
Reputation: 5098
Of course some of this is normal teenage stuff, but what you describe sounds way beyond normal and it sounds like you know that.

I think you are on the right track to get professional help. Given her past diagnosis history this all could be a manifestation of being bipolar and medication might help even out some of the ups and downs. More importantly though it sounds like she might benefit from some type of group adolescent counseling. Well-moderated groups can be so helpful for teens because they often respond best to a reality check from their peers. They figure out that you are not the "meanest parents in the world" and that some of their behaviour is causing the problems. Ask your psychologist or counselor if he or she thinks that this could be of benefit.

Does she get any physical exercise. Teen brains typically respond well to the chemical changes that exercise brings on. If she isn't "into exercising" perhaps you all could identify some sort of activity that could give her a healthy outlet for some of her anger and frustration.

Good luck
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Old 12-04-2008, 09:17 AM
Location: Orlando
8,181 posts, read 16,160,994 times
Reputation: 49735
It sounds like you're doing all the right things.
Teenagers, in general, are going thru so many changes that it makes them a bit crazy. Girls, to me at least, more so than boys.

If you thought they tested you at age two, you ain't seen nothing yet.

She's testing your love and your limits.

I would take her back to the doc and see about adjusting the meds.
Most of what you've described is normal with the exception of the memory.

Hang in there, stay firm but give her a few extra hugs.
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Old 12-05-2008, 07:24 AM
24,120 posts, read 8,727,153 times
Reputation: 60974
She is not your daughter & you are not living with her father? Have you had custody all her life? How did you end up with custody & not her biological mother or father?
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Old 12-05-2008, 10:02 AM
Location: Stuck on the East Coast, hoping to head West
3,785 posts, read 8,768,256 times
Reputation: 7334
Originally Posted by Gue View Post
She is not your daughter & you are not living with her father? Have you had custody all her life? How did you end up with custody & not her biological mother or father?
That's what I was wondering, too. I mean, I feel bad for this kid--mom unable to care for her, dad out of the picture. Wow.
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Old 12-05-2008, 01:27 PM
2,857 posts, read 6,257,654 times
Reputation: 5098
Originally Posted by Gue View Post
She is not your daughter & you are not living with her father? Have you had custody all her life? How did you end up with custody & not her biological mother or father?
I think that the OP is her step-dad!
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Old 12-05-2008, 02:01 PM
Location: Chicago 'burbs'
1,022 posts, read 2,979,068 times
Reputation: 720
I believe the OP is the step-dad also.

If she is threatening suicide, claiming to forget these instances, I'd get her admitted into an inpatient psych program until they get her on the right meds and some serious counciling.
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Old 12-05-2008, 05:09 PM
809 posts, read 2,550,456 times
Reputation: 489
Sounds like how I was when I was 16-17. I was very rebellious. I thought I knew everything, I thought I was tough *****..... I went against EVERYTHING my parents told me not to do. They never grounded me (They tried, but I wouldn't listen and would go out anyways) ...... this was all before cell phones were around so I never had that taken away. And I never had a phone in my bedroom so I just went and used the house phone whenver I wanted.

I would just leave the house and go somewhere if they made me mad (I had my license by that time) and even though my parents owned the cars, they never went after me to get the car. Usually by the time I came back I was a lot more cooled off.

I think if my parents had been a little more at ease with me, and put a little more trust into me then I wouldn't have rebelled as much.

One thing that ALL parents need to realize is you CAN'T protect your kids from EVERYTHING. All you can do is let them know that you EXPECT them to be good kids and you EXPECT them not to disappoint you. It is totally up to the kids to do either right or wrong........ and let me tell you, all of the WRONG things I did only taught me LESSONS. My parents telling me all their "horror" stories from when they were teens didn't stop me from doing stuff anyways. I had to see it and experience it for myself. When I messed up, SURE they got mad, but I learned from the experiences.

The key is not to BLOW UP and get REALLY angry. YOu have to talk in a normal, CALM tone otherwise the kid will rebel even more! Let her learn her own lessons. Let her know you are there for her NO MATTER WHAT and that she can come talk to you WHENEVER. Let her know that you dissaprove of certain behaviors, and that you have certain expectations of her. IF she goes against those expectations let her know there are consequences.

Most importantly is that you let her learn life lessons through her own eyes!
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Old 12-05-2008, 05:32 PM
Location: NC/SC Border Patrol
21,136 posts, read 21,133,751 times
Reputation: 23168
She is trying to grow up and needs a lot of love. Here is your chance to really get to be her Father.

Someone told me long ago that children want to be grown up but know they are not. All that hostile behavior is to get you to do what they cannot. They want to be independent. They realize they still need their parents. They hate that.

Professional help sounds good. That room thing was a little far out. Never ignore a plea for help like a threat of doing harm to oneself.

Do not label her as the bad child. Take her side even when she is wrong sometimes. She really needs to know that someone loves her. And it will take a lot of love. Don't stop with the rules, but make sure they are for her own good.

They say advice is worth what you paid for it, and this was free. Girls get very critical of their mothers when they are teens. In our house my husband had to take over a little. She has a step-dad. Make sure she knows you are Dad too. Take her out on a date. Make her feel special. You might invite one of her friends too. It is going to be difficult, but you may improve your wife's health when she sees her daughter more happy.

A girl who had been a problem child told me that what turned her around was the sad look on her parents faces, because she knew they loved her so. Love is the answer, but sometimes it has to be tough.

May God bless your whole family.
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