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MaryZ's support thread for parents of troubled teenagers

(480 Posts)
MaryZcary Sun 28-Oct-12 10:12:41

I am starting this thread in the hope that it will become a safe space for those of us strugging with very challenging teenage behaviour.

I'm hoping that it will be a support thread, rather than descend as so many threads do into a "criticism of the parents". Those of us in this situation know that it is pretty much impossible to just "tell them to stop" or to "ground them", and taking away phones, money and gadgets leads to lying stealing and running away sad.

Sadly it seems cannabis is at the bottom of an awful lot of these children's problems, and I'm hoping we can talk about that here without having to defend ourselves against the "cannabis does no harm" brigade. So if anyone tries to turn it into an argument about whether cannabis is addictive or harmful, could you please just ignore them and hope they go away - or start another thread which I can hide where they can argue away happily.

Anyway, sign in if you are interested. I'll be back later.

TantrumsIsTheREALPumpkinKiller Mon 29-Oct-12 16:49:17

My DD really wanted to go into care last year as she thought she would be able to do as she pleased if she was in foster care.
After she ran away for the third time I told her she had to decide what she wanted to do because the police could not keep running around looking for her.
Theres no drugs involved so far with her problems that I know of. Theres a whole lot of other stuff though. It stops for a few months and then starts again.

Lilka Mon 29-Oct-12 17:01:43

Diet - So right now, are you going to the GP to request a referral for CAMHS? Your GP will fill in the referral paperwork if they agree, and someone from CAMHS will look and decide if you need an appointment with them. If so, you'll be put on the waiting list for the initial appointment. It can take a while depending on where you live

If you go to CAMHS - You'll be doing an initial appointment with CAMHS and then further assessment with them if appropriate. At your initial appointment you'll be talking about your son, and what his difficulties are, how they've developed and how this is impacting the family, and what you want to happen for him. Your son may or may not be present for it, or parts of it's. Then at the end, it should be decided what will happen next, and whether CAMHS should be providing assesments, or other supports. If you have assessments, depending on what assessments they do, they can identidy and diagnose things like autism, depression, ADHD and so on. Different CAMHS departments offer different services and have different approaches to it, but the initial bit should be similar for all. My DD has been dx'ed with complex PTSD and accessed some therapy through them among other things and other kids will have different things

See if the Young Minds website is helpful to you, they have good advice and explain it

Quality of support from CAMHS will vary depending on where you live, but it's worth trying to get an appointment, our CAMHS have really helped DD

MaryZcary Mon 29-Oct-12 17:25:51

I am a great believer in getting help from anyone or anything - so go to the gp, ask for help (counselling, anti-depressants, a referral, whatever) for yourself and at the same time accept any help for your child.

So if you are referred to CAHMS, go with enthusiasm, listen to what they have to say, accept the advice offered. Ditto parenting courses, or counselling, or intervention from the police liaison officer.

Accepting help is NOT (repeat not) a sign of being a bad parent or of failing. It is a sign of being a concerned responsible parent and of caring what happens to your whole family - you, your difficult child and the rest of your family.

There are people here (Katie is one) who have let ss take their children into care, and it has given the parent a break and the child an indication that the buck stops here, that they can only go so far and no further.

I'm in Ireland, where ss are even more stretched so unfortunately I couldn't get ss to take ds, otherwise I would have.

Again, it isn't something to be ashamed of - we all have to stop this guilt, as it is counterproductive.

I am currently waiting for an appointment for ds2 to see CAHMS for suspected ADHD - he is 14 and his problems so far have been put down to simple bad behaviour hmm. I'm hoping this will be a start of him getting some understanding in school.

dietstartsmonday Mon 29-Oct-12 17:31:13

Thank you for that explanation, it has told me what i feel the school should have instead of sending me to gp with no idea what i was asking for.

I will welcome any help, though atm i am not struggling at home too much but contstant trouble at school becomes very wearing.

I am seeing gp on friday so hopefully it will be the srart if some help

KatieScarlett2833 Mon 29-Oct-12 17:32:36

Every agency person I have ever met (and I have met them all) have said that asking for help is the sign of an excellent, concerned, effective, parent.

Even if they have no suggestions and are as baffled as the parents wink

And DD never went back into care, it was short, sharp, shock tactics. She discovered in her 2 days in care that the other kids actually had real issues and her parents large comfortable affluent home and lifestyle was actually not so bad after all......

So YY to what MaryZ said

teapot5 Mon 29-Oct-12 17:55:13

Hi all,

What a timely thread. I haven't been here for a few months as things were sort of ok(ish). My DD is a troubled one - she is not a bad child, deep down she wants to do well and is still a kind-hearted person. I'm not going to tell all the details but like many of you here we have been struggling. Her problems (depression, cannabis, alcohol, staying out etc..) gave me the whole cycle of self blame, despair, anger, acceptance, hope, despaire again, anger angain.. it goes on and on. On the whole I am learning to live with it and surviving. Unlike Maryz I'm not open to anybody about our problems thus it is a very lonely and difficult journey. So I'm joining in this thread xx

Schlock Mon 29-Oct-12 19:20:35

I'm dealing with come down tonight. Lucky me. SCREAM SHOUT YELL I FUCKING HATE YOU. That kind of thing.

I have zoned out.

doinmummy Mon 29-Oct-12 19:38:09

Police don't want to know. I phoned and said she's missing. They can't help as they said I've not spoken to her so can't tell th where she is.

doinmummy Mon 29-Oct-12 19:40:05

I've told her father he has to assume resppnsibilty for her but he's had a go at me saying its ally fault.

MaryZcary Mon 29-Oct-12 19:49:51

Well don't listen to him. Unless of course he thinks you are so hopeless that he will volunteer to have her for a bit.

Do you know where she is? I presume she is sofa surfing - or alternatively has told a friend's mum that you are a right bitch and the mum is "looking after her".

Is it half term where you are?

Welcome teapot smile. I kept things quiet for a long time before I was brave enough to start talking about it.

doinmummy Mon 29-Oct-12 19:59:54

She sent a text to her father and said she's camping . I rang her phone but got message saying calls are barred.

doinmummy Mon 29-Oct-12 20:02:40

Her father doesn't want her. He has done a counselling course and now thinks he can solve anything but is not willing to help me. He wants me to take anti depressants and because I won't he says I'm failing DD . He is a heavy drinker and was violent to me.

MaryZcary Mon 29-Oct-12 20:44:12

You know, if she has texted her dad you know she is ok (relatively anyway). If I were you I would take a breather and think about where you go from here.

Have a plan for tomorrow.

If you genuinely feel you can't have her back you need to call social services and tell them, absolutely, that you won't have her in the house. Make it clear.

At the same time text her dad and tell him what you have done. Then don't talk to him about it any more, unless you have a family crisis meeting with a neutral third party present.

Then call your gp and make an appointment. You may well be depressed, I don't know, but you could certainly do with some counselling.

doinmummy Mon 29-Oct-12 21:23:30

I would like it for me and daughter to " disappear" . No more upset. No more worry, no more anything

Brightspark1 Mon 29-Oct-12 22:09:35

doin , make a nuisance of yourself at SS ring every hour if necessary. Try parentline for telephone support 0800 0808 2222, they can be really helpful. maryz is right ask for help and accept any offered, go to your GP and get referred for counselling, it won't magically make things better but will be a safe space for you to dump all the feelings and emotions you are experiencing at the moment. You sound exhausted and at the end of your tether.
Ignore your XP's unhelpful comments, his violent behaviour in the past must have contributed to your daughter's present troubles.
I have been in a similar situation, my DD was depressed which expressed itself as violence, both to herself and to me, which apparently is a not uncommon way for teenage depression to manifest itself. She couldn't cope at home, and we couldn't cope either, she has been in care for 6 months now. I miss her and desperately want her home, but at the time we had no choice. The time away has helped us to rebuild our relationship.

doinmummy Mon 29-Oct-12 22:41:10

Thank you for your replies. What a sad situation for all of us. I wish I had never had her. I haven't heard from her now on in 36 hours. I will take all her stuff to her fathers tomorrow. He says by reacting this way I make her feel unwanted. I don't care how it makes her feel.

MaryZcary Mon 29-Oct-12 22:42:31

Well, that isn't going to happen, sorry (though I do understand the wish for the world just to stop).

So you do have to do something. I think you should start with your gp, as although you say you don't want anti-d's (and I don't want to diagnose you online) you do sound very depressed to me.

At least you recognise you need help; go and see your gp, they will make the call to ss if you tell them you are afraid you will hurt her.

flow4 Tue 30-Oct-12 00:12:53

doin, I think your last post sounds a bit stronger. Are you feeling a bit stronger?

Taking her stuff to her dad's tomorrow sounds like a really good idea. It is v stressful to have an Ex around undermining you and usually a real disadvantage, but in this particular situation it might be an advantage. You can say to him "Yes, everything you say is right: I'm a crap mum, so I'm handing over to you now. Bye."

It is important, though, that you don't actually believe the bit about being a crap mum! You are not a crap mum: I have seen some of your previous posts. It's clear that you are usually very caring, thoughtful, supportive and loving towards your DD. You have just reached breaking point. You need rest and help, and you need to find your strength and resilience again.

I'm another person who has had counselling and found it really helped. Ask your GP to refer you. But meantime, talk to a friend, or give Parentline a ring on 0808 800 2222 - they're open 7am-midnight.

And by the way, your mental health is a different issue: if you are depressed, then that is all the more reason you need support; and if you're not, you may be soon, if you don't get it. Your Ex is trying to use it against you, and he's effectively saying "You're depressed and not coping, but I'm still not going to help". What a dick! Don't let him make you feel bad...

By the way, I threw my son out twice earlier this year, because he had behaved so badly and I was so angry with him. I'll tell you about it sometime if you like. But you are not the only one who's felt like she couldn't stand living with her teen any more...

You can get through this. You are stronger than you think.

doinmummy Tue 30-Oct-12 00:13:58

I would like to have joint counselling with daughter but she would not go. Maybe give her ultimatum - counselling or she can't come home. I feel as if history is repeating itself, she shoves me about just like her father used to.

flow4 Tue 30-Oct-12 00:48:48

I wanted joint counselling too, but DS wouldn't either. With hindsight, I think it's better to have your own - helps you get your own feelings straight if you have your 'own time'... You can move on to something together later, maybe, when you're stronger.

Don't do an ultimatum though. It won't work. She needs to choose counselling voluntarily - you can't force her.

Don't let history repeat itself. Call 999 the next time she hurts you or threatens you or frightens you. Seriously. You have a right to feel safe.

amillionyears Tue 30-Oct-12 07:57:00

doin, I think you need to put yourself first.
We have to look after ourselves, to be able to look after others.

If we are not right,we are not in the best situation physically and emotionally to care for others.

I didnt know whether to write on this thread or not,as havent had the same problems as others.
Feel free to tell me to go away if you want me too.
tbh, I may not have anything more that is useful to say.

MaryZcary Tue 30-Oct-12 09:15:42

I agree with the advice of "help yourself first". My lightbulb moment was the day I realised that I couldn't change him but I could change myself and the way I reacted to him.

I went for counselling - he wouldn't come - but it helped get my own mind straight, to work out what I could do, what I couldn't control but could put up with, and finally what was totally unacceptable and to have a plan for that.

Interestingly, as I got my head straight and coped better, his behaviour also improved, I'm not sure why.

amillion, all views on this thread are welcome - sometimes when we are in the middle of things we can't see the wood for the trees and a wide range of opinions (as long as they aren't "blame the parents" judgy grin) are welcome, imo.

merlottits Tue 30-Oct-12 10:07:18

Thanks for this thread.

I've got a very difficult 15 year old DS and I'm sick to the back teeth with people (including my own family) asking me if I've "taken away his pocket money" or "grounded him". We are so far down that road those things are meaningless.

He is currently failing (quite dramatically) his GCSEs and doesn't care a jot. He swears at teachers and me and DH and does what he likes most of the time. He has no fear.

He's a liar and a thief.

I feel ashamed and frustrated and totally helpless. I physically can't MAKE him study or be nice.

Sadly it's nice to know others are in the same boat.

merlottits Tue 30-Oct-12 10:14:24

Do you want to know the irony? For those of you who feel that it may be your parenting that may have caused it...
I will have to name-change after this...
My DH and I, up until recently, presented seminars on parenting shock
We did them together looking at the role of mums and dads and the differences in parenting boys and girls.

We can't even parent our 15 year old. We have two other lovely children.

It's not necessarily to do with parenting, sometimes it is about the child themselves.

HappyHalloweenMotherFucker Tue 30-Oct-12 10:19:08

amen to that, merlot

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