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Q & A

What do you do when a teenage child in the home has resorted to stealing, lying, manipulating a parent, and other negative behaviors for constant attention over the years at the expense of everyone else in the home (me, my two daughters & son), except her biological father whom I am married to?




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Best Answer

I worked in the psychology field for 18 years and did spend time with teens, among other various groups.  They are the most challenging, not only to parents, but can even be to their own friends.  Any type of negative behavior is a sign of something going on mentally that they cannot express themselves appropriately due to the immaturity level.
Its typical for a teen to draw a wedge between themselves and their parents. You can only connect if you approach her in a different level than what you are use to in the past. By no means do you step into the “friend” role with your child. And be careful about what you fear. You probably need to start setting boundaries for this child different from the others because the intention for him/her is to manipulate and take control. Never give in. You are still the adult so set the consequences early on.
Your job is to find out what “the attention” issue is all about.  She may be the needy child right now who is sending you a signal that she needs your listening skills more than ever.


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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Carine Nadel wrote Jan 18, 2011
    • GET INTO FAMILY THERAPY/INTERVENTION.




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mztracy wrote Jan 18, 2011
    • Remove cell phone, computers, tv and all other privileges from him/her. no friends etc.
      Seek counseling as well if needed to find the core of the problem!




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Marie66 wrote Jan 18, 2011
    • I agree with the ladies.. And it needs to get done A.S.A.P..




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    • +1 votes vote up vote up

      Anaise wrote Jan 18, 2011
    • I worked in the psychology field for 18 years and did spend time with teens, among other various groups.  They are the most challenging, not only to parents, but can even be to their own friends.  Any type of negative behavior is a sign of something going on mentally that they cannot express themselves appropriately due to the immaturity level.
      Its typical for a teen to draw a wedge between themselves and their parents. You can only connect if you approach her in a different level than what you are use to in the past. By no means do you step into the “friend” role with your child. And be careful about what you fear. You probably need to start setting boundaries for this child different from the others because the intention for him/her is to manipulate and take control. Never give in. You are still the adult so set the consequences early on.
      Your job is to find out what “the attention” issue is all about.  She may be the needy child right now who is sending you a signal that she needs your listening skills more than ever.




            Report  Reply


    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Denise Richardson wrote Jan 19, 2011
    • Has anyone stopped to take out time to ask the child what is bothering them? Is there someone bullying them and they are lashing out at home? Sometimes we need to be a listening ear to the kids to see and hear what it isthey have to say and most times they will reveal to you in the conversation why they act out, this needs to be done in a non-threatening way show some love and compassion towards them and not anger, we all have our moments, but kids are different they haven’t learned the fundementals of controling themselves so we as adults/parents must help them with this. I hope all can be rectified in a timely manner and you all can get back to a happy and peaceful life.happy My prayers are with you all.




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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Denise Richardson wrote Jan 19, 2011
    • Hi Michelle, prayer CAN fix it! Keeping you all in mine.




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