She wants to go into care

(29 Posts)
Cab43 Thu 18-Apr-13 09:54:49

Help!
My daughters behaviour and attitude has been steadily getting worse over the past year (she's 13)
But lately she's been coming out with a new one, she wants to be taken into care because she hates us.
The latest episode was this morning after having her mobile taken away for being rude to her mum, she then said "well I'm not coming home from school" and "phone social services I hate you"
She apparently has a friend that's either in care or living with an adoptive family and she seems to think it sounds great.
We just feel at our whits end with the daily bombardment usually after she's told no.

MiniTheMinx Thu 18-Apr-13 09:56:17

Why are you having to say no? what sort of things do you have to say no to?

noisytoys Thu 18-Apr-13 09:59:30

DD wants to go into care because my DF is a foster cater so she thinks going into care means she gets to go and live at grandads

cazboldy Thu 18-Apr-13 10:04:56

ha noisy toys same here my parents are foster carers -and i have had that one thrown at me! [grin}

OP - is she rational enough to sit down with, and talk things through. i.e your expectations/her expectations, what is reasonable/unreasonable.

sanctions if she oversteps the mark.

if you can both agree, she can't argue about it when she is in a temper, but equally will feel like you have listened to her, and what she has to say matters.

We did this with my son last year just before he turned 15, and have to say it was a bit of an eye opener for us all, and made us all think about our behaviour. - what's more it has (most of the time) worked.

I know she is younger, but as she is a girl maybe is more mature for her age??

Cab43 Thu 18-Apr-13 10:15:13

It's anything that doesn't let her do want she wants, this morning it was over the fact that she wanted to sew her pocket in the car on the way to school, my wife said not the best idea, we've got time to do it now before we go
BOOM!
can you tidy your room?
I'll do it later.
Your not going out until its tidy.
The usual stuff, but the response from her is just getting out of hand, neither of our other two kids where anywhere near as mouthy.
My wife is even thinking about phoning social services for advice.

MiniTheMinx Thu 18-Apr-13 10:23:55

Why could she not sew it up in the car?

The word no is always antagonistic.

Would it be worth trying persuasion and then sitting back and allowing the for law of natural consequences?

"Please tidy your room, I would help you by putting on the washing and then you'll have clean clothes for tonight" the implication then is no tidying up means she can't find clean clothes, rather than no tidying results in no TV. There is natural relationship btw being tidy and watching TV and teenagers are bright enough to spot that!

MiniTheMinx Thu 18-Apr-13 10:26:17

*there is no relationship btw tidying up and tv.

I wouldn't rush to involve SS. Unless she really is out of control. She may even perceive your willingness to involve SS and weakness and pick up the idea that you have given up on her as a lost cause.

Cab43 Thu 18-Apr-13 10:41:21

She had plenty of time to fix her pocket before we left it was just the very idea that we suggested an alternative that she do it instead of sitting watching tv.
anything we ask her to do is not her job.
The last thing i want to do is involve SS but shes going to come home from school and ask if we've phoned.

YoniBottsBumgina Thu 18-Apr-13 10:54:24

This happened in our family too.

I agree with sitting down with her at a neutral time and having a general chat about behaviour and living together respectfully. Saying "Can you tidy your room?" is a question, then she said she'd do it later (I realise this is unlikely!) and then you suddenly came out with "well you have to tidy it before going out". No wonder she thought it was unfair, you've just moved the goal posts!

A better approach to this kind of thing would be to say, way before she goes out,ok, when are you going to do your homework/tidy your room/walk the dog this weekend. What time slot works for you? Respect that her socialising etc is important to her but encourage her to plan the less fun things around that. She's starting to get more independent and you can't dictate what she does when any more, so start steering her towards good time management of her own, get family commitments in early that she has to go to, and try not to be dictatorial. If she says she'll do something later, ask her to pin down a time, then you can remind her.

MiniTheMinx Thu 18-Apr-13 10:55:47

oh dear. Do you think she's testing you? What do you think, she believes you will do?

Sometimes people like to think everything they do is their own idea, which is why they become oppositional. Are there ways of suggesting things, allowing her time to think and then she might believe something is her idea. Might it be better to present everything as a range of options?

I hope others might come along who have more experience.

When she comes home, rather than just make a flat statement "we don't want to ring" why not discuss with her what she thinks the outcome will be if you ring/if you don't. Encourage her to think about the various consequences.

Good luck and stay strong

HumphreyCobbler Thu 18-Apr-13 10:59:21

How to talk So Kids Will Listen might come in very handy here

Cab43 Thu 18-Apr-13 11:04:53

with a bit of luck she'll of cooled off by this afternoon and ill have a talk with her about what she/we expect.

BastardDog Thu 18-Apr-13 11:05:31

I don't know your child obviously, but I do know my children and know that reverse psychology would work for me.

I would put the ball in their court and tell them that if they are that unhappy then they must do what they need to do and if that means ringing social services, then they may use the phone. I'd inject into the conversation the fact that I loved her and wanted her to stay. I would then not engage in any more "I want to go into care" conversations.

All families have rules and expectations, yours will be different to mine. But as long as you feel you have been reasonable, you need to follow through.

She's only 13. Too young to rule the roost or try and hold the family to ransom with threats of involving social services.

She's not been watching Coronation Street has she? Current story line on there is a young girl, not getting her own way, so has made allegations of abuse against parents at school and instigated a SS and police investigation. Interestingly though not taken into care, but staying temporarily with relatives.

MrsDeVere Thu 18-Apr-13 11:05:40

It might help to tell her that she will not get taken into care.
Its not an option.
Its very hard for a teenager to be removed into care and your DD is very unlikely to understand that.

So tell her. 'SS are NOT going to take you into care. It isn't as easy as you think it is'.

To be honest, SS just do not have to time to deal with stroppy but well cared for teenagers.

You will find threads on these boards from parents at their wits end with teenagers who are in serious trouble and SS don't want to know.

It took me a huge effort to get them to help with a girl I was supporting who was homeless and 15 with no one to care for her.

But I feel your pain. I went through this with DS1. Its very tough.

Maryz Fri 19-Apr-13 12:55:23

What MrsDeVere said. They won't take her.

I would reduce your rules, and stop fighting over little things. Have a list of about four of five things that are non-negotiable, and forget the rest.

For example. Don't fight about her room. For mine, they have to put clothes out for the wash or they don't get washed. They aren't allowed to eat in their rooms and they have to bring out cups once a week.

If they don't keep them tidy (which they don't) I do a clear out once a month and bag everything that's on the floor.

I don't argue about it, I just do it. If you argue, they always win because they have nothing else to do and can continue until the cows come home.

State your point and walk away. And try to make a consequence that you can easily follow through, and make it positive "I will drive you to town/give you money/buy you whatever when you have cleared your floor/finished your homework/whatever".

ItsRainingOutside Fri 19-Apr-13 14:49:40

I agree with Maryz. Don't sweat the small stuff. Just close the door on her room and leave her to rot in it with the rest of her junk. Definitely don't allow friends round if it remains untidy. If she doesn't put clothes in the wash then that's her problem. It is just a phase although it may seem like the end of the world now. If she wants to sew her jacket in the car then let her do it herself. She'll soon get the message if you stay ambivalent to it all. Good luck.

redcrop Fri 19-Apr-13 22:21:44

Hi I just wanted to add that my DS1 who is a very challenging boy also tried this at age 15 and in the end we rang SS whilst he was in the next room and could hear everything that was being said. Basically as we are good parents and he was not in any way in danger they said no. Maybe you should try this. It certainly put a stop to him keep saying it!! xx

sashh Sat 20-Apr-13 05:06:11

she's 13, she wants t start making her own decisions and be independent.

Unless she share her room let her live in squalor, retrieve mugs/plates etc but leave her to it.

Pick the battles carefully, win the ones that matter and listen. She may have good arguments/reasons.

An example, and I was 16

I had to be by 11 on Saturday night, never allowed out any other night.

The group of from the local VI form and the college would get the late bus, which would have dropped me off outside my house at 11.15.

Instead I had to leave the group, walk across town on my own and get the other bus that dropped me a 15 min walk from home.

Now to most rational people being 15 mins late and in the company of friends could be a better option. I took me a year before I finally got my mother to listen and allow me those 15 mins.

So just check that you are actually listening, and give her options over some things. Let her make some choices, she will make choices anyway, better that it be about something at home such as live in squalor.

ihatethecold Sat 20-Apr-13 06:26:39

My DS now 22 was in lots of trouble when he was 13.
Running away, truanting from school, lying, stealing, you name it, we had it.
I contacted ss and begged for help, they told me that unless I was abusing him or he was under 5 they didn't have the resources to get involved.

That was a very sad day.
I wish I could impart advice, but the only thing I would say is remember you are the parent.
Try to keep calm, walk away from petty arguments. Keep the lines of communication open.

Ask the school for advice. Does she play up at school?

WeAreEternal Sat 20-Apr-13 13:19:57

SS will not take her,
I work with a very very vile aggressive nasty stroppy teenage girl, she is 14 and I've been seeing her for six months.
She is horrible, argues with everything just to argue, and is very nasty and spiteful.
She tells her parents that she hates them and wishes they were dead on a daily basis. She has even tried to poison them by putting things in the food (including pouring bleach into a carton of milk, which is why I am seeing her)
She tells people that she is abused, and lies compulsively and she is violent.

SS won't touch her, even when she was making claims of abuse.
Her parents begged SS to take her for a short period, but they won't.

Unless a teen is in serious danger SS never get involved.

I have known of teens that have been dropped off at hospitals and SS offices with a packed bag and told that they are being abandoned, and still then SS won't take them into care, they will just work with the family and try to help.

IIWY I would get a friend (who DD doesn't know) to come round and pretend to be a social worker and tell her exactly the way things are (I doubt you would be able to get an actual SW to come, but you could try)

The reality of it is that even if SS did get involved they would most likely only be interested in helping find a placement with a family member, but if they did agree to take her there is no way she would get a placement with foster parents.
She would be out into a group home or residential facility, she would be sharing a room with several other teenagers, she would have strict rules, that she would have to follow, she wouldn't be allowed to just go out when she wanted or watch tv whenever she felt like it.
She would have no money to buy anything, and no way to get any, so if she needed something she would have to request it, and would only get the most basic/cheap things.
If she didn't follow the rules she could be thrown out and either put in a worse, secure facility, or be given up on and put in a homeless refuge, probably a bedsit.

I have worked with teens in this situation and it is grim, if anything it usually makes them worse and they usually have very little support.

Do you have a family member that your dd can go and stay with for a few days. Preferably someone that will show her exactly how good she has it at home.

flow4 Sat 20-Apr-13 14:26:58

I suspect an awful lot of teenagers threaten their parents with social services at some point. As everyone else has said, there is no way SS would take her into care, and if she threatens to call them I suggest you just calmly tell her to go ahead.

It's a while since I've mentioned this book. It's the only book about parenting teenagers that I've ever found useful. You might too. smile

Cerisier Sat 20-Apr-13 14:55:04

Another vote for picking your battles. Would it really have mattered if she had sewn her pocket in the car? Does the tidying really matter?

I only suggest that rooms are tidied if they are having their friends over- in which case my teens do have a tidy usually anyway.

Other than that I expect dirty washing in the basket, wet towels hung up and dirty cups/glasses bringing down periodically.

My two work very hard at school but are messy at home. I have trained myself not to stress too much. It is more important that they talk to us, are happy and doing well than that their rooms are tidy.

I think if it was calmer at home your DD wouldn't be pushing against you both and threatening you.

needaholliday Sat 20-Apr-13 15:41:34

Cab43. Your DD"s attitude is dreadful,on other areas of mumsnet there are kids who are in serious need of SS. Not because she is having a teenage strop,there are only so many Social workers and if they are wasting precious time,dealing with a childish DD other kids who need them are being ignored. Does she really know how bad it is to be in SS.Its a shame you could not drop her off at a HOME for a week and see if she "LIKED IT" she would come back within 24 hrs i guarntee you.

ivykaty44 Sat 20-Apr-13 15:59:58

I agree with picking your battles, if she wants to sew her pocket up in the car - she will learn that it is a silly place to do it, letting her be in an environment where she is free to fail and make mistakes may help her and you as it sounds like she wants to fight/argue

you may be a very very laid back chilled out parent but some teens will still find a way to push against you even if your home is as calm and cool as cucumber.

if she wants to phone ss then tell her go ahead if thats what you feel you must do - then leave it don't engage in her fights as it is really hard to fight on your own smile

Does your dd have any hobbies that she engages in? Does she do any sport? Is this something you could encourage with her to stop her having so much energy to want to fight or less time on her hands?

Justaperfectday Sat 20-Apr-13 16:23:12

She will not be taken into care, I had I go to hell and back to get my 15yo dd accommodated. She is now in a secure unit under a court order for her own safety.
It's a tough age!

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