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Question
Posted by: Linda | 2005/01/13

Troubed teenage child

I got 16 yr old girl who does not want to listen does everthing she like does not want to go to school I've tried evertyhing sending her to the boarding school speaking to her everything I try does not work with her.Beggining of the year she said she want to go to school but three months down the line she left school.She goes out with older man than her even my next doors who she was a kid infront of them. Now there is AIDS she now about it but I don't think if she ever thinks of it and ever think of her life. Know I'm confuss don't know what to do anymore

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I answered the other time you posted this question, but I really like Liza's and Fairy's approach in their replies to you, here. She needs to know that if she claims the right to be an independent adult, this is not like a pick /n mix salad bar, and she can't just pick out the nice bits of being adult, and avoid the whole package. The right to choose what you'll do includes the unavoidable necessaity of accepting and dealing with the results of ou choices.

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Our users say:
Posted by: fairy | 2005/01/13

I agree!! I've seen this work before
Teenager want to rebel so as long as you tell them they can't do it, they will try their best to exactly what they told not to do.

Put all the responsibilty on her shoulders. If she want to live like a grown up, she must act and live with the decision and responsibility of a grown up. (tell her that)

Tell her she's from now on free to do her own thing and make her own decisions.

This will make her scared and make her wonder why you are suddenly so nice?? she will then start to realise that all this is not bringing her anywhere.

I had a friend who smoked and was an alcoholic, she was also friends with druggies and the shoplift at times. Her mom caught her and did the same with her. She's now still smoking but 4 months later she stopped her drinking, left her friends and feel that since her mother love her so much, she can't do anything anymore to hurt her.


Just make sure you monitor her anyway, After 6 months if nothing changed, then you will probably have to get help from someone like a shrink
Hope this help

Reply to fairy
Posted by: Liza | 2005/01/13

My advice to this situation is always the same - tell her that she can do what she wants, you will never reprimand her again for doing anything she does - then follow through with that. Just also make sure that you explain the consequences of certain actions to her in a calm and relaxed voice. E.g. 'When I was young, at least we only had to worry about getting pregnant. Not all the other stuff thats so prolific nowadays' Then laugh and tell her to have fun if she's going out, or give her a good night kiss and tell her that you love her.

You can also tell her that she is old enough to make her own decisions - that you will not make her decisions for her anymore. That as an adult she can figure out the consequences of her actions all by herself, you don't need to tell her anymore. Then leave her alone - except the times when you see her, when you tell her that you love her.

I went through this with my younger sister - she was convicted of a serious crime at the age of 14. Dropped out of school, and moved in with my husband and I (while I was still married). I frequently told her that I loved her and that she was old enough to make her own decisions. That she was also old enough to know the consequences of those actions. I also told my mom to cut her some slack and leave her alone - except for the I love you bit thrown in. Within a month she was back living with my mom, even passed Std 8 (with the 6 weeks of term time that she lost). She passed matric with exemption. Today she is studying towards a BCom degree.

Might not work with every rebellious teenager, but it definitely worked for her.

They realize that without an education they'll become bums like the rest of the older crowd they hang out with. They realize that without a curfew, they're too tired to go to school the next day and won't pass - and still end up like the older crowd they hang out with. Sometimes its better to let them learn the hard way.

Reply to Liza

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