need feedback

kimmygaSeptember 13, 2008

I have a 17 year old daughter that went to jail yesterday. She has a temper & insisted that I call the police. She gets really mad when she feels guilty or gets a no.

She was verbally abusive & busted her lamp. She threatened to bust her window if we didn't call the police. They arrested her for damaging property.

She went to adult jail.

She has called several times but I have a block on my phone for telemarketers. I called to get it taken off but it is not instant. I assume she thinks I won't accept the call.

I adopted her when she was six & I am pretty sure she is getting through to her birth mother. I also am pretty sure she is babying her.

I am having a really hard time with this. I am hoping this will help her in the long run but is really hard. I have tried to teach her that she can't damage things when she is mad. She thinks anything goes as long as she is angry.

I don't think I can even afford to get her out.

Any advice?

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Have you addressed maybe a hormonal issue?
When my daughter was the same age she had "rages" that had the whole family upset.
It took me a while to figure out not to respond to these. Period. No matter what she threw at me. NO matter what nasty language she used. I would only respond to her with "that is not the point". Most acting out teenagers want their way like a two yr old, and if you say no well Katie bar the door!
Do not let her egg you on, nor change the subject (which they are quite good at)in order to distract you from the issue at hand. Stay as calm as you can whatever that takes. Remove yourself from the situation if need be.
And whether she is in contact with her birth mother or not, she would have found someone to "side" with her. Is there any chance you could engage with the birth mother in helping talk her down?
She will grow out of this and turn into a nice young lady. She will.
I'm sorry for your troubles, really I am.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2008 at 1:35PM
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Once I ignored her rage & she destroyed everything in her room. That is why she got locked up now, destroying property. Mine.
Anyway, she can't call her birth mother, cause her phone is blocked too.
Her actions have consequences & if I get her out, what will she learn. She knows we can't afford to.
Its very hard. Especially waiting for to call & when she does, not being able to talk to he(we think it will be fixed now) & what will I do when I do talk to her?
Its just so hard.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2008 at 3:59PM
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Ignoring antagonizes them more in my opinion.
I used to tell her how much I loved her during those icky times, over and over. So hard because at the time I didn't like her at all.
I'll give you an example of one of my child's "rages". She wanted to go out on a school night with her BF. It was late and I said no...well, you'd of thought I'd shot her. (And yes, I remember how important my BF was at that age) She got all into my face calling me a Biatch, F U and so on. I knew that she was pulling this so that she could run out of the house in a rage in order to do what she wanted and of course it escalated to that degree. In the meantime her stepdad told her in no uncertain terms that was she not to talk to me like that. "you're not my dad"! she screams in his face. He steps back and she comes at him screaming it again. He puts his hand on her shoulder and tells her to back off. Well, as soon as he touched her she's all about him "hitting" her. Screeching out the door F U all down the drive.
About 45 minutes later I get a call from her wanting to come home. Lo and behold her BF wasn't able to pick her up after all. She is at the corner store. I tell her when she apologizes to SD she can come home. Well, that opens the floodgates for another rant about how he hit her, blah blah, I said when you're ready to apologize you can come home and hung up. Five minutes later it's her again on the phone saying how sorry she was. I thanked her and repeated that she'd have to apologize to SD too. Again the rant..I hang up. This goes on 4-5 calls before she agrees that she was in the wrong and will apologize.
In our house only a heartfelt apology is accepted, no sarcastic sorrys allowed. Which she did.
Hanging up on her every single time she wanted to justify her behavior was so hard for me. So hard. Yet I knew it was the right thing for our family.
My daughter was not into throwing or destroying things, so your situation is different. But I did attend a Tough Love meeting, (in support of a friend)and although I didn't agree with most of the methods there were a couple that seemed viable to me.
1. It is your house. And if you don't like what is going on in your home there are things you can do. For instance, taking the door off of her bedroom. They hate having no privacy.
2. You are legally bound to her until she is 18, unless you or she emancipate her. She is welcome in your home if she follows the rules, if not have a safe place for her to stay while she is raging.
I'm not an advocate of "dumping" or abandoning a child. I believe that for the most part there is a solution within the home, a parent just needs help in finding that solution. Do not be embarrassed to ask for help. Everyone has challenges with their kids. Don't beat yourself up about her behavior, you're a good mom who cares about her child.
This will pass.
My daughter is now 37 and is the most lovely person and daughter. It was just a stinky stage that neither one of us are proud of. And I seriously believe that my child's was hormonal. We discussed it with her doctor, who suggested we keep check on her diet and use Midol. It did help some.
Know that you are not in this alone, others have gone before you, keep asking for support. And most importantly remind your heart what a good mom you truly are.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2008 at 7:37PM
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She threatened to bust her window if we didn't call the police.

Why did she want you to call the police? Was she daring you to do so?

She needs to take anger management classes. Maybe you can talk to the crown attorney/judge and explain to them about her anger and ask that they order her to take anger management.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2008 at 11:24PM
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I recently posted a thread about rage, perhaps you would like to read through that.

My main point in that thread was that when teens go into these rages, one of the reasons could be that they feel they are not being heard. You daughter needs to be taught how to deal with her angry thoughts, she seems to have become labeled and is labeling herself with negativity.

She really needs to talk to a counsellor about her behavior. She does not have to accept that she can only deal with things by having angry outbursts.

Perhaps you need to talk to someone who will give you some coping mechanisms, in this situation.

It is very drastic that she has gone to jail, you really don't want this to happen do you ?

Are you certain she is not using drugs ?

Does she go to school ?

Take control of the situation, tell yourself you can deal with this and seek out people who can help you.

All the best to you.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2008 at 9:34PM
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I really think, we need to go back to one sentence in your original post. "I adopted her when she was six". If she was in a disfunctional, unhealthy environment before she came to you, the damage was already done. There are experts who claim--and frankly, I've seen IRL--that a child who is 5 or older when their 'rescued' is already lost, and cannot be reclaimed.

Sadly, as I've said, I've seen a number of people who have taken in relatives' children or accepted children 'off the streets' into their homes to raise. They were good, caring, devoted, loving and strict parents---and in every case, it did no good. The children reverted to being the kind of people their parents were before they were taken away from them. Actually, one of the kids I know in that situation was only 4 when she was removed from her very disfunctional birth family--she's grown now and is exactly like they were, even though she had the best upbringing possible, a life filled with love, education, care, etc.

So, if you weren't able to start parenting your daughter until she was six, it very well may be that there is only so much you can do here.

Should you get her out of jail? That's a tough one--theoretically, staying in jail would teach the lesson of consequences BUT you say your daughter demanded to go--so I'm not sure that's a valid point in this case. I think, though, that it probably won't hurt to give her some time to cool down.

More importantly, the question is--what are you going to do when she does get out? And of course, she is going to get out sooner or later. She sounds like she needs a thorough physical, emotional, and mental evaluation. Get to the bottom of the problem. Is there a chemical imbalance causing her problem--hormones, bipolar? If that's the case, she can be treated so that life is easier for her, and pleasanter for all around her. She definitely needs some education on how to handle anger. And you probably need some counselling, too--to help you cope.

I suppose another option--although probably not a good one--is to see if her birth mother would like to take her in for a bit? I don't know the situation, nor whether that is possible or not, and it may be a poor solution, depending upon what the birth mother's situation is at the moment.

Are there any boot camps for troubled teens in your area? They can sometimes work wonders.

And, of course, if she's 17, you've only got a tiny window of time to get help for her, before she's of age, and doesn't have to follow your advice at all, if she doesn't want to. I'd get on things quickly, and try to find her appropriate help, before it's absolutely too late for you to do anything at all to help her.

I hope you are able to get the help your family needs. Good luck.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2008 at 8:46AM
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Does she have damage due to her mother using drugs or alcohol during pregnancy? Fetal alcohol syndrom?
Find out....that will allow you some slack in judging her behavior and perhaps get you financial help in dealing with the situation.
Linda C

    Bookmark   September 15, 2008 at 9:41PM
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This is my first postings on the Parent forum. I usually post on the Step Family forum but since I have 2 biolocal kids I thought I would check this out today.

I would get her into counseling and have a professional evaluation, both physical and emotional. I would think that the courts would require or at least suggest that.

I'm sure that your are just sick over all of this. I feel for you. I have a 16 year old son that is dyslexic and also has several other learning disabilities. He does, however have an IQ of 130 so he isn't dumb by any means.Which makes situations even more difficult. When he was younger and I was not aware of his disabilities he would cause me all kinds of grief. Mostly he would rage over things. Once, after I had put up new wallpaper in his room he walked right in and started ripping it off. I remember telling him that I would not sacrifice the entire family for one child that would not behave and show me respect. I meant it.....after learning of his problems I was able to deal with him differently and things calmed down some.

I am wondering if you have an open adoption agreement. If not then the biomom is breaking the law is she not? If you have an arrangement that allows for contact then perhaps you could consider allowing the daughter to spend more time with her biomom if the biomom is worthy, although you did mention that contact with her could be part of the problem. I'm just throwing out suggestions, I certainly don't claim to know what would be best for you and your family.

I would see a counselor myself at the very least. You have been through a lot and need some professional advice. Best wishes to you.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 11:44AM
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Why was she put up for adoption in the first place? Was she taken away from the mother, or did the mother give her up?

A lot of adopted children who were given up for adoption by their birth mother feel unloved, hurt, angry, etc. Does her bio-mom have other children?

There are so many factors/emotional garbage in situations like this. IMO, you must show her a lot of compassion and show her that you're there for her no matter what. I'm almost certain that she has insecurity issues too. Probably feels that nobody really cares for her or loves her anyways. Probably feels "unworthy" of a lot of good things.

She needs to let her anger out in a "healthy" way. Perhaps you can help her find the right way to do so, and let her know that you love her and will be there for her NO MATTER WHAT! That you won't give up on her because she is, after all, really special... one of the reasons why you adopted her in the first place.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 2:53PM
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DD is home now. I posted bond after 3 nights. I did not want her to feel that I abandoned her.
Her birth mother is kindof related to me & signed her over to me when she was six. She does have 3 other ones & has the son back now.
DD is doing much better. Still has good days & bad.
I can not let her spend time with birth mother because I am not strong enough. The last time, was one of the worst rages she ever had & although I understand, I just don't want to put us in that situation again.
Thank you all for your support. It was a really hard time for me.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2008 at 8:43AM
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