11-08-2017 05:52 PM - edited 11-08-2017 07:35 PM
My pleasure @Adventure5. That's the rule isn't it, stay calm and don't get angry. It's so much easier said than done sometimes, and I think most parents will agree with that! I've learned that in those times we don't get it quite right, once things have calmed apologising for yelling or getting angry works wonders and opens up a whole new way to bond. My daughter and I have learned it's a two way street, and from a kid who I'm sure would've rather walked over hot coals than apologise and take responsibilty for her part, now will say sorry and she can articulate exactly what she is sorry for.
We had a 4 day stay at a residential program a few years ago, where I did role play with the counsellors there. I was surprised to have my tone of voice, more so than my words, come back at me, and I was in tears! My daughter was having toileting problems and I was forever asking her if she needed to go, but my worry made my tone of voice very accusatory. So different situation, but tone and wording can make such a huge difference.
Let us know how you get on with your conversation
11-14-2017 10:09 PM
I haven't done the joint 'lets decide on rules and consequences' conversation yet, cos she hit a bit of a rough patch and we just bunkered down for a while. So we have had a few phone 'stand-offs' but overall no discipline issues as yet. To be honest, apart from a bit of cheek and her phone obsession, she hasn't really pushed that many boundaries (ie alcohol, drugs etc.)... which makes me worry that I still have all that to come!!
Psychiatrist has just added new med to the mix so hopefully that will help with her mood swings. Because I have replied to this post (@Zoesplace), unfortunately I can't see all of your other specific advice, so I can't respond. Should I have just started a new post??
11-15-2017 03:42 AM
Hi everyone, I thought that I would post an update. We received some good advice from a friend of ours. "Do whatever you need to, to preserve the open lines of communication, once they are closed they are difficult to open again." We had noticed that our daughter was becoming more secretive, and withdrawn. This is a concern for us so we are doing whatever we can to keep things open in the house, and engage her in conversation. Sometimes she has trouble articulating her feelings, and we don't want to put our words in her mouth. Communication is still a struggle.
One good conversation we did have was regarding some internal conflict she has. I was surprised to hear that it permeates almost every part of her life. She wants to get her drivers licence but doesn't want to study for it. She wants to learn a new skill in gymnastics but doesn't want to put in the time to make that happen. She wants to re-connect with some friends but won't give up any other activity that would free up the time to see her friends, she knows certain actions are right and wrong (she knows what she should do) but she doesn't want to do the right one, etc.. I'm sure this internal struggle is a major source of stress. she made it clear that she doesn't want us parents to make these choices for her. She is going to have to resolve these things herself.
We are still worried about discipline, so we are parenting out of fear, however, we have eased off on the constant fights and nagging, which I think has improved the relationship a little bit. We are working on compromise, some battles are more important than others, we are choosing our battles carefully.
we are celebrating (making a big deal about and almost throwing a party for) the small things. I actually remember doing this when our children were potty training... Celebrating small wins. A good comment on her report card..., she reached out to a friend who we would consider a good influence - we celebrated these things.
11-15-2017 11:16 PM
Hey @coco821, it's great to hear from you again, but please don't apologise. We completely get that life happens and we don't always feel up to posting. It's great that you know when to bunker down and look after yourselves. I'm sorry to hear that your daughter's having a tough run. It sounds like you're still having wins with the phone and boundaries not being pushed too hard. All things to recognise and celebrate!
To respond to a message that you want to be able to refer back to, in this case @Zoesplace - you go to her message and reply using the reply button under that specific message instead of the reply button at the top of the page. @Zoesplace gave some awesome advice didn't she!
Mood swings can be difficult to cope with at times. Very emotionally taxing and exhausting for parents, and very confusing and upsetting for teens as well. I hope the new med helps and keeps her mood swings less extreme.
Hang in there, you're doing an awesome job.
11-16-2017 12:36 AM
Thanks for the update @Adventure5 and it sounds like you're daughter is very insightful! Those internal battles for her must be a huge sourse of stress for her and she is right that she has to sort these things out for herself. I wonder if this is the reason for her being more withdrawn lately? My daughter spent 12 months in her room, only coming out for the bathroom and food. She cut off from everything and everyone. She still lives in her room, but she comes out to talk to me all the time and share with me, she plays tennis once a week and has a part time job involving dealing with people. She's also very insighful and used the time to work things out for herself and learn positive coping mechanisms. She really blows me away.
During the residential stay we had, my daughter started learning about emotions and their names. They had bear cards, each bear expressing a different emotion and the emotion name. We'd choose our card at brekky, lunch and dinner. Once home we put a mood chart on the fridge, with a small magnet each. It's a great way of communicating how we're feeling without speaking. By having to look for the emotion they feel, they're seeing the facial expressions and reading all the names and are learning without realising. If you google 'teen emotion charts', there are some great ones you can print off. That might be a good way for your daughter to learn and become more comfortable with her feelings. You could start off by using it yourselves and she'll see it there each time she goes to the fridge.
That's such great advice about the lines of communication, compromise and celebrating the small wins. Thank you so much for sharing with the community.
11-22-2017 09:47 AM - last edited on 11-22-2017 08:35 PM by taokat
I am very interested in the steps and discussions you had with your daughter about getting her phone out of her room at night. Sleep is so important. We have understanding that the phone needs to off after 9pm. Lat night got up and noticed a light in her room- on the phone -for school work!!!