15 Yr Old Drama - UPDATE

Updated on April 04, 2008
M.L. asks from Katy, TX
14 answers

Well, she has not went to school and says she will probaly not be home when I get home. She has the "I don't care" attitude so I would not doubt it if she left. She has already been to jail for hitting me once and we worked that out but here we go again, and that was only 2 months ago.

I have a 15 yr old daughter that is working my nerves. When she gets grounded fro something she acts like it is the end of the world. My rules are stupid - I am over protective - the worst mom in the world. She says things like, "I will do things my way". And when she is tired and doesn't get her way, oh man - hell is a good word for that. I am a devout Christian and I pray for her constantly, and my sanity. I state myself clearly and but she still throws a fit when she doesn't get her way. She has been diagnosed as bi-polar because she has the anger outburst that are jsut uncontrollable at times. She doesn't think about the consequences before she acts or speaks. At this time I don't even know if she is at school because she missed the bus and said she is not walking. I told her to make her own choice and it was her consequence if she does not go to school.
Question: She got her cell taken up at school for having it out in the hall. She said she was trying to turn it off because it kept vibrating and it was on silent...ok. Well it costs $15 for me to get the phone back so I told her that she will work off the $15 by doing extra things around the house, but she will not get her phone back until she works off the $15. Then after she gets her phone back she is not allowed to take it to school for two weeks. I don't think that is too severe. Do you?

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M.S.

answers from San Antonio on

You are doing a great job!! The punishment is not too severe.

I would remember that the brain develops from back to the front. And it is the front that controls logical thinking. (I learned this on Dr. Phil). So the last part to develop is the part that has the if you do ______ then _______ happens stored in it.

You are helping that part develop by offering consistent consequences. If I get my phone taken away at school, I have to pay to get it back and can't take it to school. If I miss the bus then I have to walk to school. Etc, etc...

This is what my mom did with me and boy was I thankful to her for it. (Well, later I was thankful, at the time I wasn't very happy with her).

Sending you a great big {{{{{HUG}}}}}}

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K.C.

answers from Houston on

I think your being too easy...lol. even thou most kids her age have cell phones now days including my step sons. My step son which is now 17 decided to get his cell taken up in school 2 months ago and he still doesnt have it back. I told him that the cell was not to be used at school and it should be turned off, he didnt listen so he lost it. He was also in the hall and turning it off but a teacher saw it. My son is a grade A student involed with almost every sport at school but he broke the rules.

I look at it this way we didnt have cell phones back in our days, it wont hurt them now if they dont have them now. Rules Are Rules. Im sure you have told her not to have her phone on at school. If you want to see a change in your daughter you may also try using the phone as a reward for her good behavior like start giving her weekend usage. Then when she starts behaving and respecting you on a regular basis give her more cell phone time. And even though she is bi-polar she still knows how to behave it maybe alittle harder but she can do it. I have a brother in law and a neice that are both bi polar. My neice when she trys to start having the fits I remind her who is boss and who is the child. She hasnt had a fit in my house since she was 5. To this day my neice when she is at my sisters house she runs the place leaving bruses on my sisters face and arms on a daily basis.

I am a 29 year old mother of 5 children 17, 15, 12, 7, and 5. And I still remember the ways my mom use to get me to behave when I tried to rebal, plus I see it everyday when I see my kids do the same to me.

Good luck I hope some of this helps you and your family.

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C.R.

answers from Houston on

I was that same 15yr old girl in 1988. My problems started at 13 when my parents divorced. I went from being a straight-A student to lucky to have a C-D average, I didn't come home at night and had a very disrespectful tone when speaking to my mom. (I never physically hit her) I would miss about 30-40 days of school each semester, but I always managed to pass the grade. She doesn't have the right to hit you, ever, nor you her...it is a respect issue. A good spanking on the but wouldn't hurt her though. Just know that no matter what you do, she'll rebel, so giving in isn't the answer. (DO NOT GIVE HER THE PHONE BACK UNTIL THE END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR) My kids know, mom won't be going to get it until the end of the year!

However, I disagree with everyone stating she must be doing drugs. I've never touched drugs, I hung out with the addicts and was their safety. My mom threatened to have me tested all the time and I was ready to go get tested just to prove her wrong. All of my friends with the strictest parents had kids of their own by the time we graduated, except for me. I was the girl who always took care of my friends who were on drugs, drunk or behaving destructive.

My mom and I resorted to having conversations by placing letters (not notes) on each others bedroom doors. I don't regret anything I did, nor does she, but I have told her that she gave in more than I thought she ever would. She finally showed some tough love when I was 17 by throwing me out of the house. I came home one morning around 6am (school day) to find everything I owned on the front porch with the locks changed. When I say everything, I even mean my bed. I had to stay with my boyfriends family, whose mom was very faith based. She finally talked my mom back into me coming home. The rules that applied upon that return were: if I didn't want to answer to her, I would do my own laudry, pay $100 rent, meals where my responsibility and she no longer helped with my car payment or insurance.

Looking back on now it made me the person I am today. It's funny because my mom shared with me recently that the reason she quit hounding me is because I only seemed to get further away. She also told me that her faith told her that out of all three of her children I would be the survivor with the strength to bear anything. Reviewing the trials life has thrown my way, she is right on the money. I had to make the mistakes to grow up to be who I am. Had all of us who were those kids not made these same mistakes, who would you get a feeling of comfort from that there is hope at the end of the tunnel.

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J.G.

answers from San Antonio on

First of all im sending you a great big {{{{{{{hug}}}}}}}!!! I know where you guys are coming from, i used to be that 15 year old, except i started back when i was 12, and didnt stop till i meet my husband almost 6 years ago (im almost 25 now), but i was worse than your daughter, i did drugs, had sex with just about any guy, just because i could and i knew if my parents found out it would hurt them and that is what i was after to hurt them, i skipped school all the time, i drank all the time, smoked, anything and everything i could do i did, snuck out at night, snuck people in, if i was told not to do something i did it, i just did complete oppisite of what i was told. I know that for me i acted this way because of my parents, my dad was never around (no my parents were not divorced and im not to sure if it would have been the same or not) he went to work before we got up, came home after we went to bed, and most weekends he was gone, only time i got to spend time with him was during hunting season, or maybe if he was home working on a car (hes a mechanic). I dont know if this is what made my mom crazy or what, but my parents had 4 kids (and i dont mean anything by saying this about anyone else just my parents), and i think for them that was too many, they had too many kids and not enough attention for them, they picked fav. and my dad picked me (sometimes) but it didnt do any good when he wasnt home, cause my mom went crazy on me all the time (my grandma said she thought this was because of the relationship between me and my dad, not like that just that he spent time with me). Im not saying that your relationship is anything like this, im just saying maybe there is something going on she thinks she cant talk to you about, because you might get mad or something. I know when my mom found out about me skipping classes so much, she threatened to take me to school everyday and hold my hand the whole time, and go to all my classes with me (in our school it was called parent shadowing), it made me quit for a while and go to my classes, until things settled down then i would start ditching again. as far as the cell phone punishment i dont think it is harsh at all (now) but back then i would have thought you were "killing" me LOL!! I didnt have a cell phone until my junior and senior years and the only reason i had that then was because 1 i lived with my grandparents by then, and 2 i had to travel so far to go to my school. I didnt die from not having a cell phone, she wont either, ohh and if you do plan on keeping her off of it for two weeks, either take it to work with you and hide it, or take the battery out and take it with you to work, or have a friend of yours keep it, somewhere she wont be able to find it, just not in your house, because she will find it eventually trust me, we always find it, no matter where you hide it!!!!!! Ohh one more thing, maybe have her talk to a counseler (sp?) not one from school, it may be harder to talk to someone she knows then someone she doesnt. Good Luck and one more {{{{{{{{hug}}}}}}}}, hang in there, she will out grow this stage eventually.

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H.P.

answers from Houston on

Your response to her behavior is certainly not too severe. Maybe I'm too old-fashioned, but I believe that a cell phone is still a privilege and not a right for someone who is not doing what she's supposed to do. Do you need for her to even have a cell phone at this point in her life? We got away without them. You don't owe it to her. I know that it sucks when our "babies" don't like us, but we've got to look at the big picture and focus on the goal, our vision for the kind of people we want our children to become. Do you want her to feel entitled to things that she hasn't earned? That's a small example, but you get my point. It's hard, but try to feel better knowing that she's at the age for exactly what she's doing, and your intolerance for (self-)destructive behavior is more than okay.

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L.B.

answers from Houston on

Hey M.,

Been there too. Our daughter is 14. I do know what will help and please just do it. Print all of these letters and just leave them on her bed for her to read. But the very last one has to be from you. You must remind her (you say you're a Christian, so remember Christ forgave us for everything we do and did, we are suppose to be like him right?) you must remind her nomater how awfull she acts, no matter how bad she treats you, no matter how much she abuses herself(body,mind), you love her....and YOU WILL NOT GIVE UP ON HER!!!!! Just like when we mess up and pull away from Christ...He is there waiting on us to return..the same is happening with your daughter, she is pulling away and hurting you and herself...but you must WAIT, continue to love her and she will return...it won't be soon...she still has to experiance these things to really appriciate your love for her and learn about God's love. Just because we know about God and what he has done for us we sometimes think our children autamaticly know and so we forget to TEACH them about God. And something you need to know....anger always stems from somewhere..always. So prepare your self for the worst and hope for the best. Here is an example.....our daughter was just like this...the anger and skipping school and rebellion from hell and then finally she broke....she finally told us what had happened. Two yrs. before she was "touched" by a family member that was two yr. older than she was. She had stayed the night with family to reunite with all of her cousins, and one thought she was asleep and "fondeled" her. She held it in for two yrs. and acted out in other ways because she couldn't deal with it and didn't want to tell. The night she told was the night of 2007 Superbowl. the next day I was on the phone with a counselor to get her help. The behavior has gotten better. No more self destruct issues, but she still has alot of anger...and not quite sure always were to direct it. Or how to.

The point is no matter how awfull she is know she is still a child of God, and he is letting you take care of her on this earth. So tell her it will all be okay and you love her and will be waiting for her to return to you when she is ready. Most importantly tell her about God.

What are you waiting for? Get busy.....love ya girl. L.

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M.A.

answers from Killeen on

My kids school doesn't allow cell phones AT ALL! They are considered a distraction and will be collected if found. I don't think making her work off the $15 is unreasonable, but I would only allow her to have the phone out side of school. Who does she need to call when she should be learning anyway?? As far as the bi-polar goes, my husband also has that and medications are important! His have been messed up to the point he had to be admitted to the hospital because he didn't know what he was doing half the time. Talk to her therapist and make sure her medications are the right ones for her. My DH went thru 5 different medications before we finally found the right combination. If you don't know much about bi-polar, there are wonderful places online and at your doctor's office to learn more. I found that when I learned about my DH disorder, things got a LOT easier because I knew what to expect and when. Good Luck and God Bless!

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V.B.

answers from Houston on

I think that you are doing your daughter a favor by having strict rules and consequences. Unfortunately, 15 year old girls can be quite difficult (I know I sure was and I still feel bad about how I treated my Mom to this day!). I'm sure her bi-polar diagnosis isn't helping the situation, but I think you're just going to have to ignore the tantrums when she doesn't get her way and just tell her that if she wants to be treated like an adult, then she should start acting like one. Ask her what she thinks your boss would do if you started throwing a fit at work when you didn't get your way....that may make her start to think about her reaction to things.

As far as the phone thing goes. I think what you're doing is completely reasonable. She should definitely work off the money to retrieve the phone and "grounding" her from the phone at school for 2 weeks is not the end of the world (although in teen time, that's an eternity).

You may have a tough couple of years on your hands with a teenage daughter, so just hang in there Mom! Just keep praying and do what you think is right. Giving in is not the answer because you want to raise a young lady that understands consequences. You're preparing her for the real world, whether she sees that now or not. Best of luck to you!

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K.B.

answers from Houston on

Hi M.-

Although I don't have teenagers yet, I was a high school teacher for a few years before staying at home with my kids and I do remember being a teenager myself. So for what it's worth, no I don't think you were too severe at all.

Although I'm sure with her diagnosis of bipolar things are probably much worse, the description you provided in the beginning sounds like a typical day at my house when I was growing up. I had an older sister who was an absolute terror as a teenager. I was less difficult (I think :-))but still had my run-ins with my mom. Unfortunately I think it's true for most teenage girls. The good news is both my sister and I have grown up and have a great relationship with our mom and we each have our own daughters who I'm sure will return the favor to us in a few years.

Good Luck!
K.

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M.S.

answers from Longview on

Ummm... what were YOU like when you were 15? Most girls that age have perfected the art of drama.

With the skipping school thing: you need to check the laws in your state. In many states, the penalty for truency is worse for the parents than the kid. In other words, it may not be her own choice and her consequence if she does not go to school.

And I do not get the deal with the phone thing. Why is she (or any other teenager) allowed to have a phone at school anyway? And who is calling her during class?

Anyway, no, I definately do not think you are being too harsh. I think you're being too soft.

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V.M.

answers from Houston on

M. your daughter is going through what is typically called rejection. Rejection is huge, it caused people to act out in rebellion, anger, outrage, bitterness and the list goes on.

Is her father in the picture? See at 15 she is really needing that father-daughter relationship. I just wish dads would realize that, they learn to love and be loved by their fathers. I was one of them, I found love in all the wrong places, but it was because my dad dies when I was 15. I had a daughter out of wed lock and the fater DEMANDED I abort her. Which I did not and when she was 11 months old my husband came into our lives, he says he fell in love with her instantly..haha well she carried my last name before I did. He and her were non seperatable and even though we had two other children together he never made a difference in anyone. As a matter of fact she never knew it until she was in the 8th grade.

Are you involved in a church anywhere? Please email me and lets talk.

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J.V.

answers from Austin on

I am 26 and I was horrible to my mom when I was your daughters age. And I must say that this punishment is not severe at all. My advice is to pay to get her phone out and hide it, maybe take it to work with you, or have a friend hold it. Maybe take it away longer than 2 weeks. She needs to know you mean business, teenagers got through this stage. Believe me I did it all, screamed, yelled, torn up my room, drugs, got kicked out of school alot of bad stuff. And in Texas, or a least in Houston where I grew up parents are held responsible in some school districts for kids not going to school. Some of my friends when I was in high school in 96-00' their parents wwere charged $500 bucks for them not attending school. So maybe speak with the principle about how much you are responsible for her not attending. Believe me you need to handle this situation quickly before she does something she may regret. I was really bad when I was young as I had mentioned and I even threatn'd my mom that I would get pregnant to hurt her. note(I am so not anything like I was when I was younger now, I feel like I had an out of body experience when I was younger). But studies have shown that teens brains go through changes during this age and they don't really know the repurcutions of what they do now. My parents did everything to stop me from acting out, took away everything they could, house bound me(I couldn't go anywhere), counseling, and later on medication when I was 18. I feel horrible now for the things I did and said to my mom back then. Just remember it will not be like this forever. And I hope my advise helped and keep us updated. Take care...

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K.W.

answers from Corpus Christi on

That isn't too severe, it isn't severe at all actually.... if she were my kid she'd have it taken away until her attitude improved.....If I were you I'd pay to get it out then cancel the service. I feel for you having to go thru this, maybe it is time for some really tough love. Have her picked up for truancy, let her go to juvy and spend some time, maybe that will show her how nice her life really is. Have you considered a boot camp type environment for her? That may be the only thing that can get thru to her at this point. If I had to guess based on her behavior I'd guess she is into drugs, which you can have her tested for. Is she medicated for her bi-polar disorder? If not, she really needs to be.

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L.A.

answers from Houston on

I think maybe taking her to church she might be hanging around the wrong crowd of people

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