MaryZ's support thread for parents of troubled teenagers - Part 2 here's to a peaceful 2013

(810 Posts)
Maryz Cote D'Ivoire Tue 01-Jan-13 15:57:49

This is a continuation of this thread which I set up as a safe space for struggling parents of challenging teenagers.

This is meant to be a welcoming thread, where everyone can come and moan, whinge, bash ideas off each other and support each other as we face a new year and new challenges

Newbies in particular - come and join in. When ds1 started going off the rails I felt very lonely as there was no-one in real life I could talk to. Being able to be open and honest on here has helped me cope over the last few years.

Many of us have extremely challenging teenagers, some are involved in alcohol and drugs, some are violent, some are struggling with depression, anxiety and various SN. This thread isn't here to judge people and tell them how to parent or to simplify and minimise their difficulties.

So if you think we should simply tell them to come home and night, and take their phones away if they don't, you are probably in the wrong place. Also if you think a few joints or a couple of pills are harmless, go and start a thread about it somewhere else.

The mantra of this thread is - don't look back, guilt is a wasted emotion. You are where you are now, carry on from here. You may not be able to change them, but you can change how you react to their behaviour, so pick your battles, take a step back and try not be too emotionally involved, and FFS, be nice to yourself.

So here goes: here's to a calm, peaceful and positive 2013.

MuchBrighterNow Tue 01-Jan-13 16:29:19

Hi , signing in to the new thread. happy New Year to everyone.
Here's hoping that 2013 will be much less stressful and a whole lot more positive than 2012 !

flow4 Tue 01-Jan-13 16:35:37

Marking my place and trying not to think that sounds a bit like a dog weeing on a lamp-post!

StressedoutMotherofTeens Tue 01-Jan-13 16:44:06

Thank you Maryz. I'm relatively new to MN but take a lot of strength from what people write on here. I too hope for a more positive less stressful 2013 but already am worrying about what will happen this year! One more NY Resolution to add to list!

Ineedmorepatience Tue 01-Jan-13 18:11:08

Hi maryz, my troubled teen is 24 now but still troubled.

I dont post over here that often but am always lurking.

I want to wish all of thos with troubled teens a very quiet and peaceful 2013 smile

Toredig Tue 01-Jan-13 18:25:25

Very upset, S has been really upset all day & told me awful stories about being bullied as a child, of which I knew nothing. He was too frightened to tell me at thetime. Classic eh?
Things are different here. His behaviour has changed since I asked the police to deal with him
I don't know if it's a turning point but fingers crossed
Thank you everyone

Maryz Cote D'Ivoire Tue 01-Jan-13 18:30:42

It's great he's talking to you Toredig. Try very hard to just listen, not to give him answers or solutions or tell him what to do. Let him talk.

I know I'm guilty sometimes of trying to solve ds's problems when he (rarely) talks to me. And it makes him clam up again.

Good luck smile

Hi all, marking place. Things been very quiet here for a while ds behaving himself!

Happy new year to you all smile

foxy6 Wed 02-Jan-13 00:05:28

hi all just marking My place here hopefully it will be a better year for us all xxx

xxDebstarxx Wed 02-Jan-13 09:14:39

Feeling a bit anxious about CAMHS appointment later. Not so much the appointment but trying to get my son out of the door to go. He refuses to go to school ... well refuses to go anywhere he doesn't want to. I don't know what I'll do if he won't go.

xxDebstarxx Wed 02-Jan-13 11:42:20

Well he's up and showered so that's a good start smile

Maryz Cote D'Ivoire Wed 02-Jan-13 11:47:24

If he doesn't go, try very hard not to get angry.

Get him to write down (or dictate to you) why he won't go and go yourself anyway, explaining to them what is wrong.

Just try to be matter of fact about it all. And take something (ipod or whatever) for him to do in case you have to wait. ds1 used to come, wait three minutes and then bolt. Eventually I had to let him wait in the car and get him when they were ready for us (and hope he was still there).

God, it was stressful.

flow4 Wed 02-Jan-13 14:00:14

Deb, I don't know whether this will help, or applies to you and your DS as well as me and mine, but just in case... smile

My DS used to refuse to go places too. It would make me cross and/or panicky. Because of our personalities, DS generally argued about why he wasn't going to go, and I'd argue about why he should. Every reason he gave me, in turn gave me something to argue about,and vice versa! I would follow him round, explaining. Or I would text him with a list of reasons.

I would repeat myself endlessly if he didn't seem to be listening, in case he didn't understand. I would repeat myself if he was listening, because I wasn't going to lose that rare opportunity to engage! hmm blush I would cajole, and/or try to motivate him, and/or offer rewards and out-and-out bribes, and/or threaten.

None of my approaches and tactics worked. Usually DS got to a point where he either stormed out or lost his temper. Usually he was then able to blame me for his not going. ("I would've gone if you hadn't nagged/made me angry/made me not go". hmm )

One day (last Sept.) we reached a turning point. (It was his last chance to enrol in college and I was absolutely desperate. I had already given him an ultimatum - weeks before, then days before, then that day - and the stakes were high, because I had told him I would throw him out if he didn't have a job or a college place by that evening). He was chuntering about why he wasn't going, how he didn't want to go to college, how they wouldn't have him anyway, how he was just going to doss, how he didn't care if he achieved nothing with his life, how he didn't care if I threw him out, how he'd just take loads of drugs and die and then I'd be sorry... etc... sad sad

Suddenly, I realised that although he was telling me he wasn't going, he was actually getting ready! confused shock So I shut up. grin

He got in the shower, telling me he wasn't going. He climbed into the car telling me he wasn't going. We drove for half an hour with him telling me he wasn't going. All the time, I either kept quiet, or said something calm and factual like "We're setting off in ten minutes"...

Basically, he was incredibly stressed, and he didn't want to have to do this difficult thing^; but all his objections and arguing were just noise. I discovered that if I just ^let them happen - and 'detached, detached, detached' (of course!) - then he did what he said he wasn't going to do.

The same thing has happened since. I now think of him as being like a boiling pot: if I 'turn up the heat', everything boils over; but if just leave him bubbling, he gets on with it. grin

Dunno if that helps. Maybe! smile

Hope it all happens and goes well today smile

xxDebstarxx Wed 02-Jan-13 16:30:49

Thank you Maryz and Flow I really appreciate your advice and support.

He got up and had his shower. Dressed in his suit!!!!! and was ready to leave an hour before the appointment.

Apparently he is showing autistic traits rather than depressive traits. It would explain a lot of his behaviours.

We shall know more after the next appointment when he is seen by the doctor.

flow4 Wed 02-Jan-13 17:16:56

Hey, that sounds positive! smile Fingers crossed for you...

xxDebstarxx Wed 02-Jan-13 19:04:26

Thank you. I am a lot happier this evening that I was this morning. I feel as though I have been listened to. I just wish someone had listened to me three years ago when this all started!

Maryz Cote D'Ivoire Wed 02-Jan-13 19:07:35

That sounds much better Deb. Hopefully he will also feel listened to. And flow's advice about the ranting is spot on - often ds1 will push and push me to try to provoke a fight. Then he can storm out and blame me for his binge/drug use/disappearance - it's all my fault because I nagged hmm.

xxDebstarxx Wed 02-Jan-13 21:33:10

Yes being listened to makes one hell of a difference...something I need to take note of too. I hate not being listened to but sometimes don't listen closely enough to what the boys are saying (that may be because I'm not fluent in teenage grunts though grin)

Ineedmorepatience Wed 02-Jan-13 22:58:23

Ok, I can tell you this because you will understand, I need to get it off my chest but talking to DP just causes more friction.

Dd1 (undx'ed aspergers/adhd) bought Dd3 a lovely game for her birthday last year.

A while ago she asks if she can borrow it. Dd3 is not good at sharing and Dd1 has a very bad rep for not looking after or returning stuff. Anyway for whatever reason Dd3 did lend it to her, I probably nagged her. It was all in the box and imaculate. (You know what I am going to say dont you).

Tonight I drove to Dd1's partners house to fetch the game after several times of asking her to bring it back and the box is trashed and the instructions are shredded. Hopefully all the pieces are there but we havent checked yet.

I know this is minor by comparison to what some of you are dealing with but if I have a go at Dd1 she will be very stroppy with me but if I dont say anything Dd3 will feel that once again Dd1 has got away with not respecting her or her stuff.

I hate being put in this situation and god knows why I let her borrow the dam thing any way.
The last thing I lent her was a lovely little tent and she left it wet it the bag and by the time I got my hands on it it had startef to go mouldy.

I am just so sick of her making me feel bad if I refuse to lend her stuff and yet she just doesnt care enough to look after it.

Sorry that was soo long and pathetic sad

Ineedmorepatience Wed 02-Jan-13 22:59:56

Sorry meant to say Dd3 has ASD which is why she struggles to share, she is not a spoilt baby as Dd1 calls hersad

Maryz Cote D'Ivoire Wed 02-Jan-13 23:04:55

Trying to be a referee between two of your children (especially teenage children) doesn't work.

You have to pretend benign supportive indifference grin.

Ineedmorepatience Wed 02-Jan-13 23:24:11

Oh god just wrote a reply then and lost it.

The trouble is maryz that Dd1 left home when Dd3 was 5 so they dont have a normal sibling bond.

I am just so fed up of her upsetting either Dd2 or 3 to the point that they are in tears.

I dont care about her not respecting me or my stuff.

I just want to walk away from her atm, she creates so much havoc.

Please dont judge me, this is not just about a stupid board game sad

zeeboo Wed 02-Jan-13 23:37:14

Coming to join. I have spent all of Christmas just wishing and hoping that my 17 year old would just move out. He has mild ASD, and SPD but mainly I think it is that his personality, like his bio dad is lazy and entitled. I've defended him for years and blinded myself to how he treats me and the house and younger siblings and now it's like the scales have fallen from my eyes and I can now see that he isn't a child, he's practically 18 and he's lazy. Quit sixth form because he couldn't hand work in despite his exam scores putting him on course for Bs and C's.
quit 3 part time jobs because "they tell me what to do" bang head on wall repeatedly and I think his attitude to college, his 'last chance' is going the same way.
The worst thing is his aggressive language and physically attacking his 12 yo brother.
Hello fellow sufferers.

Maryz Cote D'Ivoire Wed 02-Jan-13 23:41:10

Right, in that case dd1 is an adult, and you have to develop a more adult relationship with her.

dd3 is a child (and a child with SN) so her needs have to come first. I do understand - the number of times I have seen clashes between ds1 and ds2, and my inclination is to keep the peace with ds1 because there is less fall-out hmm.

Disengage, don't feel responsible, buy dd3 a brand new game (if you can afford it) and don't lend anything of hers again - and reassure her you won't.

Then take back a bit of control. Decide what you will do for dd1 (money, time, whatever) and what you won't. And stick to it.

At least she isn't living with you at the moment grin. When she isn't there, don't stress about her. When she is, deal with it (as though she was a rather irritating distant relative).

See it's easy - I can sort anyone else's problems hmm. It's mine I can't deal with [rueful smile]

Maryz Cote D'Ivoire Wed 02-Jan-13 23:43:07

Welcome zeeboo.

Read the other thread, there's loads of dealing with similar, sadly.

The one thing we agree on is NO VIOLENCE. That has to be an unbreakable, unmoveable, line in the sand.

Language/respect/everything else you can deal with by disengaging, developing selective deafness and walking away. But you can't have a violent teenager in your house. Call 999 next time.

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