Adoption Forums®

Members List Photos Events Local Adoption Support Search Arcade Reviews Membership Upgrade
Welcome to the Forums.
If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ. You may have to register before you can post or search: click here to proceed. To start viewing messages, select a forum below that you would like to view or click View All of Todays Posts.
Forum Categories

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-06-2013, 07:46 PM
wren24 wren24 is offline
Member
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 80
Total Points: 18,040.16
Donate
Need help with problem almost 13 year old girl

Iím not a foster or adoptive parent, but my husbandís cousinís daughter may need to come live with us full-time. She has some very difficult behavior problems and Iím completely unprepared on how to deal with them. I hope any foster parents on here might be more experienced with kids with these types of problems or any recommendations for books or other forums.

A little background: My husbandís cousinís daughter (for short, Iíll call her my cousin, but thatís how weíre related) is 12, soon to be 13. Sheís been living with her grandmother (my husbandís aunt) for about 6 months. Her mother is serving 3 years in prison, her dad (my husbandís cousin) struggles with mental illness and substance abuse problems.

Her grandma is dealing with a serious illness that is getting progressively worse. My husband and I live in the same town so weíve been trying to help her since the girl is causing so difficult and causing so many problems. I guess you could say we are doing respite care. We babysit some afternoons and have her some nights to give her grandmother a break and to see how things would go with her living with us - which Iíll admit is not good.

Nothing has an impact on the girlís behavior. Her grandma has tried behavior charts, reward systems, positive reinforcement, getting tough. She doesnít listen to my husband and I either and we feel as if we have absolutely no control over anything she does.

The behavior problems keep escalating. Money has disappeared from her grandmaís purse. She lies. She acts as if she canít hear you when you ask her to do things. She has cussed out just about everyone, including me, her grandmother and my 4 year old daughter. She has developed the habit while at our house of going downstairs while weíre asleep and watching tv.

Iíve been looking through every book I can find on how to deal with these types of discipline problems and canít find any solutions that are going to work. Iíve downloaded Parenting with Love & Logic, The Connected Child and Raising Kids Who Refuse to be Raised on my Kindle, but Iím not sure any offer a solution that will work for my cousin.

A lot of parenting books are geared more for younger kids. But sheís not a teenager either. These books also are more for parents or adoptive parents. She also gets very defensive about anyone acting like her mom or trying to replace her mom. She is very clear that she doesnít want anyone to act like a parent towards her and I donít want to replace her mom either.

Thereís nothing to take away or use as leverage. She doesnít have a cellphone or Facebook account. She doesnít play video games. She doesnít have any friends or ask us to take her places like the mall or to parties. She doesnít want to do any activities at school. She doesnít care about clothes or makeup. She uses the internet to email her mom, but doesnít care if she doesnít have internet access otherwise.

She doesnít listen to what we say nor does she care about natural consequences. She doesnít ask us for anything. If thereís something he does want, she does behind our backs and does whatever she wants or steals.

Sheís been given the opportunity earn anything she wants as a reward for good behavior but that hasnít worked as motivation.

We canít figure out how to discipline her. She ignores what we say. Getting her to do chores is next to impossible, so doing something as punishment hasnít worked. Thereís nothing to take away.

She is seeing a therapist, but there are a lot of issues, mainly related to her mom, and her therapist hasnít been helpful in providing solutions for behavior problems. We understand it's going to take time, but things are getting worse not better.

Iím very concerned that I have no ability to handle an almost-teen with these problems and what will happen to her if her grandmaís illness gets to the point where she canít care for her. Weíre the only close family in this area.

If we wonít take her and her grandmother is to ill to take care of her, then sheís going to end up in foster care. I know there are great foster parents out there, but there is also bad ones and her grandma especially is very fearful of what will happen if a relative canít take her for her. But I donít think I can deal with her behavior and I am afraid of the impact she will have on my two daughters.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
Reply With Quote
Adoption Community Information
Become an adoption forums premium member to enjoy these Membership Benefits:
  • Remove Advertising
  • Unlimited Arcade
  • Unlimited Attachments
  • Increased PM Storage
  • Calendar Posting
  • Larger Avatars
  • Personal Page
  • Just $19.95 / yr!
Domestic Adoption?
Virginia
Click here to visit Adoption Home Study Provider
If you live in the U.S. and are going to adopt, you will need an adoption home study. Click here to find a home study provider in your area. Get Started Today!
Adoption Home Study Provider
 

  #2  
Old 01-07-2013, 08:19 AM
CaddoRose's Avatar
CaddoRose CaddoRose is offline
Community Moderator
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,553
Total Points: 206,885.37
Donate
Honsetly, I would tell you that maybe foster care is what is needed in this case. (yes, I'm a foster parent who loves taking teens). I say that because if I were in your place and had young children, I would think about how having a teen with the behavior problems you have given, would effect my little ones. You have already had her there and tried to enact some control, but it isn't working because there appears to be nothing she cares about so a reward/consequences system doesn't work. I am surprised her therapist hasn't been helpful either. If you haven't done so, perhaps a sit down with the therapist would give you an opportunity to really explain what is going on and what help you need to help her. Be very clear about the fact that without some help for her behavior, she is headed for foster care as there isn't anyone else to take her. Is she on any medications? Has she been evaluated for depression or any mental illnesses? (considering her father has them and perhaps her behavior is a sign of that)
__________________
DH - 20 yrs
Diva 17
Pink Princess 17
Little Lucy 7 (really a 17 yr old trapped in a 7 yr old body!)


Dr. Phil 18 yr old (returned Forever our Joy)

I love my teens!!




I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ-Mohandas Gandhi


Community Forums Moderator
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-07-2013, 02:26 PM
wren24 wren24 is offline
Member
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 80
Total Points: 18,040.16
Donate
I havenít spoken to her therapist directly, but that is something Iíve been considering trying to take a bigger role in. My aunt has so many doctors appointment of her own that itís a way I can help out.

The therapist has suggested before some rather basic things like house rules and rewards systems but hasnít been helpful on what to do when those donít work.

Itís all well and good to say that she needs to write a letter of apology or do chores to pay for things she has stole, but what do you do when she completely ignores you, wonít do it? Weíre locked into a power struggle with her where as soon as you take something away, she doesnít want it. If you try to talk to her and sheís pissed off and doesnít want to listen, she has no problem just walking out the front door.

Sheís been diagnosed so far with just depression and anxiety and her therapist is helping her with specific issues related to her mom. He hasnít been seeing her long enough to diagnose anything more serious. She isn't on any medication yet, but that is being considered if just talk therapy doesn't help.

Her grandma has very little confidence in the therapist, but heís the only one close thatís covered by insurance. He doesnít have experience dealing with kids with this many problems and far too many other patients.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-07-2013, 05:54 PM
gardensparrow gardensparrow is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 12
Total Points: 535.10
Donate
Wow-I'm sorry you're facing such a tough situation with your young cousin. It does sound like you've looked through a lot of options in handling her behavior. And, it's funny you mentioned downloading The Connected Child because I was about to suggest that. Have you had a chance to read it yet? I know it sounds like it's just for adopted/foster kids, but I've heard a lot of therapists recommend it for kids in general who don't respond to traditional discipline methods or come from difficult backgrounds. Of course, I think that a therapist is your best bet for getting to the bottom of your cousin's behavior. Perhaps if you're not having luck with this one it may be worthwhile to see if you can find someone who specializes in attachment issues? Not sure if that's the case with your cousin or not, but just a thought. Well, I'll be praying for you as you try to figure out whether your home is the best place for this young girl.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-08-2013, 09:36 AM
wren24 wren24 is offline
Member
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 80
Total Points: 18,040.16
Donate
Quote:
Originally Posted by gardensparrow
Wow-I'm sorry you're facing such a tough situation with your young cousin. It does sound like you've looked through a lot of options in handling her behavior. And, it's funny you mentioned downloading The Connected Child because I was about to suggest that. Have you had a chance to read it yet? I know it sounds like it's just for adopted/foster kids, but I've heard a lot of therapists recommend it for kids in general who don't respond to traditional discipline methods or come from difficult backgrounds. Of course, I think that a therapist is your best bet for getting to the bottom of your cousin's behavior. Perhaps if you're not having luck with this one it may be worthwhile to see if you can find someone who specializes in attachment issues? Not sure if that's the case with your cousin or not, but just a thought. Well, I'll be praying for you as you try to figure out whether your home is the best place for this young girl.


I’ve looked through The Connected Child, and the examples seem to be for much younger kids. I think it has some good principles, but I need to figure out how to apply those to an older child. But her reactions are a lot different than younger child’s would.

For example, she doesn’t ask for things. She doesn’t whine. If she wants something in the kitchen, she takes it. She is very independent and was used to being on her own because her mom worked evenings/nights.

Trying to correct her is difficult since likes to retaliate or says something like “F*** off you’re not my mom”. If I try to stand up to her, she is out the front door in ten seconds.

I’m also not really not trying to be her mom or her parent. I’m also not sure about the attachment therapy, since she’s very attached to her mom. It’s a huge loss for her being separated from her mom and I’m not sure it would be possible for her to bond with another family. She just wants her mom back.
Reply With Quote
Reply

« Previous Thread | Next Thread »

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Points Per Thread View: 1.00
Points Per Thread: 15.00
Points Per Reply: 5.00


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:42 AM.