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Old 04-12-2020, 05:33 AM
 
5,173 posts, read 4,464,209 times
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Forget schoolwork in these extraordinary times. Hard enough to force a reluctant learner when school is in session - impossible now. If she's not in danger in her mother's home, send her back. If she is in danger there, keep her with relatives during this crisis, with rules. She gets up when the household gets up. She is in bed, quiet, when the household goes to sleep. She helps with cooking and cleaning. That's all you can expect during this crisis.
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Old 04-15-2020, 11:08 PM
 
Location: NYC
9,543 posts, read 6,187,650 times
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Your time is valuable. just send her back home and let her live reality.

Give her one last chance and tell her flat out that if she doesn't follow the rules then she can go wherever they take her.
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Old 04-16-2020, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Free From The Oppressive State
24,539 posts, read 18,194,587 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbyK285 View Post
This is going to be a long one. I’m 26, my husband is 30. We recently took in my younger cousin who is 13 from a bad situation at home. Nothing legal, the mother agreed and is cooperating. Before we took her in with us, we would pick her up almost every weekend and she would sleep over with us for the last 7 years or so. We are very close and she knows us well. However, for the past month or so, I have completely lost control. My husband and I do not have any experience raising a teenager so I’m looking for advice. She has been lying constantly about completing school work from home to me and her mother. She has been very disrespectful and refusing to listen or see me or husband as parental figures. Her aunt, also my cousin, lives down the street and has been helping me, she took her in for a week and it was the same deal. I have tried taking away phone and games, that didn’t work and she actually tried to runaway. I have called her mother numerous times to talk to her and she has, but that does not help either. This is a kid who has been through a lot within her life and I’m trying to be understanding. I’ve tried giving her her space and letting her come to me, that does not work and she gets no work done. I’ve tried being right on her, also gets no work done and causes a huge fight between everyone. I’ve asked both her mother and aunt for help as they are older than me and have raised teenagers before hand. They both keep telling me that there is nothing I can do. It’s just a “teenager” thing. So I’m supposed to just let her do what she wants? Fail school? Stay up until 4am? I was told to “choose my battles” at that point. I personally feel the other adults in her life are being extremely lax with her behavior and not addressing it. Or they are addressing it, but there are no consequences. If I try to be the parent, it doesn’t work, I’ve tried it to take many different approaches with this and I feel like no one is willing to help me at this point. I feel as though these outbursts and disrespect are more than just a teenager being a teenager. It’s been going on for weeks. I’m about ready to just send her back home or beg her aunt to take her in at this point. Any advice would be helpful.
Have you sat down with her and just talked? Let her talk, let her say what she feels she needs to say? Has anyone listened to her, really listened to her? You said that she's gone through a lot, you may know that, but have you talked to her about and let her say whatever, and I mean whatever, she needs to say instead of bottling it all up and letting it come out in anger and defiance?
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Old 04-16-2020, 07:58 AM
 
Location: Free From The Oppressive State
24,539 posts, read 18,194,587 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollycatherine View Post
Family counseling.

This kid was basically given away by her mother (or at least that's how she's experiencing it, though your interpretation may be different). In my area, a month ago also coincides with when people were starting to get really stressed about COVID, with isolation and a massive change in routine beginning just after that. Add in what sounds like a prior/lifelong trauma history - as well as just being 13 - and it's no surprise that she's struggling.

Please reach out to the school counselors (probably the fastest route) while pursuing telehealth appointments with a community-based counselor. They're likely closed for in-person visits but, depending on state regulations and professional ethical guidelines*, may be able to do intake and initiate services remotely.

*In some cases, care has to be established face-to-face first before beginning telehealth. I don't believe that's always true, and many such regulations have been relaxed under emergency orders.
I'm going to say it again: You are very, very good at your job. You totally get it.
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Old 04-22-2020, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Oregon
313 posts, read 72,846 times
Reputation: 298
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbyK285 View Post
This is going to be a long one. I’m 26, my husband is 30. We recently took in my younger cousin who is 13 from a bad situation at home. Nothing legal, the mother agreed and is cooperating. Before we took her in with us, we would pick her up almost every weekend and she would sleep over with us for the last 7 years or so. We are very close and she knows us well. However, for the past month or so, I have completely lost control. My husband and I do not have any experience raising a teenager so I’m looking for advice. She has been lying constantly about completing school work from home to me and her mother. She has been very disrespectful and refusing to listen or see me or husband as parental figures. Her aunt, also my cousin, lives down the street and has been helping me, she took her in for a week and it was the same deal. I have tried taking away phone and games, that didn’t work and she actually tried to runaway. I have called her mother numerous times to talk to her and she has, but that does not help either. This is a kid who has been through a lot within her life and I’m trying to be understanding. I’ve tried giving her her space and letting her come to me, that does not work and she gets no work done. I’ve tried being right on her, also gets no work done and causes a huge fight between everyone. I’ve asked both her mother and aunt for help as they are older than me and have raised teenagers before hand. They both keep telling me that there is nothing I can do. It’s just a “teenager” thing. So I’m supposed to just let her do what she wants? Fail school? Stay up until 4am? I was told to “choose my battles” at that point. I personally feel the other adults in her life are being extremely lax with her behavior and not addressing it. Or they are addressing it, but there are no consequences. If I try to be the parent, it doesn’t work, I’ve tried it to take many different approaches with this and I feel like no one is willing to help me at this point. I feel as though these outbursts and disrespect are more than just a teenager being a teenager. It’s been going on for weeks. I’m about ready to just send her back home or beg her aunt to take her in at this point. Any advice would be helpful.
When my daughter was 14 there was an issue that caused her to be angry and defiant and ... well alot like your niece. Ultimately I sent her down to my sisters house to live for a summer. During that time, my sister bought the book https://www.amazon.com/Habits-Highly.../dp/B004IK92RA and had my daughter read it. When my daughter came home, she was back to the girl I knew and could handle.

Hope that helps
Kacey
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Old 04-22-2020, 11:07 AM
 
1,237 posts, read 685,534 times
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DO NOT reach out to school counselors. DO NOT involve school bureaucracies in a child's life. Go to a counselor who isn't on their payroll. Don't let them put anything on her record. Do it privately. Had to say that first. Despite all sorts of reassurances about confidentiality, it will become known around the school and other children will find out. She has enough on her hands without having to deal with that too. Go private for her sake.

You said it was/is a "bad situation" at home, but not legal. Okay. Clearly her mom is a main factor in the "bad situation"...there is no dodging that. Odd that you don't mention the father. Siblings. I suspect much more is going on.

Therapy. Privately. And I suggest beginning with individual for HER alone. She will resist, I'm sure, but try to tell her something like this: "So many things are happening in your life now, and I think you could really use someone that is TOTALLY on your side. It seems like you feel that we and your mom aren't on your side, and I really, really want you to feel like someone is totally there for you. Paying someone to set themselves aside....someone who isn't wrapped up in our family stuff....can give you a way to say whatever you want and have a sounding board so you can figure things out..."

Something along those lines.

But seriously, if you can keep the school out of it, you should. A "system" should be kept as far away as possible from a child in trouble unless it's completely necessary. It isn't in this case. There seems to be no reason not to go to private therapist.

edited to add: I think it is totally appropriate to take away phone, internet, etc....she's staying up to 4 am how?...because of those things no doubt. Balance caring with punishment...it's how humans survive and thrive. No doubt, the therapist will have ideas on how to proceed...but don't just bend to their will either: argue your points with them. I'd stick to my guns about not only taking electronics away, but unplugging the wifi at a certain hour at night AND putting the router in your own bedroom, along with her phone.

You *have* to win...but with love.

Lastly, bouncing back and forth between homes can make a child feel unwanted...don't give her a choice: the adults should sit down and make a decision about where she is to live and STICK TO IT.

Last edited by crusinsusan; 04-22-2020 at 11:18 AM..
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Old 04-22-2020, 11:22 AM
 
1,534 posts, read 625,479 times
Reputation: 5208
Agreed with other posters. Reach out to her school and/or school district for starters. There are a bunch of resources online to help deal with the increased anxiety and craziness that is going on right now, for both you and her. Maybe talk to teachers to figure out what their expectations are right now so that you're all on the same page.

Then, yes, talk to her. If she's against therapy, maybe look into something like https://support.therapytribe.com/teen-support-group/. Set boundaries, but maybe don't set ALL the rules from the get-go as it can be overwhelming. Basics, like don't lie, wake-up time is x o'clock (natural consequences if she stays up late), and positive reinforcement when she does ANYTHING good... pick up her stuff, tell you the truth even if it wasn't what you wanted to hear, etc.
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Old 04-22-2020, 02:12 PM
 
1,237 posts, read 685,534 times
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Wanted to clarify: It's one thing if she's visiting you on weekends. But since the situation at home is "bad", she needs a better place to live for more than just weekends. And you can't leave that decision up to a child....just as no divorce judge leaves it up to a child (they may ask the child for a preference, but a good one will make it clear that it's not up to the child...thereby alleviating the child of any guilt).
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Old 04-26-2020, 04:14 PM
Status: "DFTT" (set 15 days ago)
 
10,300 posts, read 10,816,402 times
Reputation: 7707
You have got to figure out a way to gauge what is typical for a child that age and not over react to it. Deal with it in normal parental mode. Acting out is part of every adolescent's behavior. I am biased toward the system I was taught to use only because that's all we used. We got one hour per week of training by a child psychologist who met with the staff at the agency I worked for. We would bring up actual behaviors and he would suggest ways to deal with it.

As per this child Psychologist, acting out behaviors can be high intensity, low intensity, high frequency and low frequency. Talking back might be low intensity but it might happen every 10 minutes. Punching a hole in the wall is high intensity but it might only happen once a month or less. Stay on top of the low intensity behaviors and the ones that are the most frequent. Don't be punitive just let them know its unacceptable. Always find a way to reward appropriate behavior no matter how small. The over all goal is for the child to come to the realization that its more desirable to live in a peaceful setting rather than one full of turmoil. Unfortunately most problem children are more adept living where there is shouting and turmoil.
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Old 04-26-2020, 04:57 PM
 
17 posts, read 4,155 times
Reputation: 51
Consequences, punishments, rules. The same old, same old.

I agree with Three Wolves In Snow; that is, you need to have a sit down talk with her. Ask her "What to you want out of life?" and "How can I help you achieve/obtain those things?" She may not have a clue, but at least it will get her to think. But if she does have a clue, work out a plan with her, and agree that the plan is flexible (and on your side, make your own notes so you do not forget). And you can admit to her you are not an expert a raising a teenager.

It may sound sappy, but remember the line from Jerry Maguire? "Help me help you."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmlXU4uK5rA
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