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Topic : Setting Boundaries

Number of Replies: 344
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Created on : Thursday, June 30, 2005, 01:21:13 pm
Author : dataimport
It's important to set healthy boundaries for and with your teen. Share your strategies.

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December 22, 2005, 9:22 am CST

I have an almost exact situation

Quote From: pwilt65

Except I'm the man and it's my girlfriend, now X fiancee, who has the manipulating daughter. I will tell you as I continue to research and counsel that they are co-dependant and co-enablers. The daughter in my case didn't approve of me, and the X and the dad didn't approve of her boyfriend. The daughter refused to back down, and still sees the boyfriend, but the X cannot see me because the daughter will fly into a rage. The situation is not winnable for either of us. The children will come 1st, because of the guilt the parents have. I have learned so very much from this. Although my X and I had no issues between us, and I mean none, when it came to the daughter I couldn't suggest a thing, say anything, ask her to do anything because it was perceived as if I was picking on  her. But I have 3 of my own, and I didn't ask the young lady to do anything I wouldn't ask my own. Moreover, the X allowed me to ask and expect the same from her son. It was just the daughter who had to be treated in a special way. 

  

I live in NY, where do you live? Write back, we have a lot to talk about. I'm not saying misery loves company, but at least I have found someone who will understand what I went through, and still go through because the X at times tells me she wants to date me 1 day, then no the next day. I think it's because of her daughter again when she says no. It's absolutely NUTS! 

  

Paul-pwilt65 

Looks like a no-win situation and the best thing would be to move on.
 
December 22, 2005, 8:33 pm CST

need help

I have 2 boys 12 and 10. My oldest is mentally handicapped and was placed in a group home for kids with special needs in Dec of 04. I have been a single parent now since about 2001. Most of my attentionuptill last Dec has been focused on my oldest and getting help for him. my ten yr. old has a problem with  authority specially from me. I blame myself becasue im so tired and warn out from all the stress that i find it easier to give in. I get frustrated easily not just from stress, but I grew up in a household where my parents yelled and faught all the time. Im trying to restructure things now that my oldest is being taken care of. Its not easy specially now that he is already 10. Is any hope of changing him this late in the game? 

 
December 29, 2005, 4:50 pm CST

I unstand completely

Quote From: soareagle

I am a single parent with a very bright 14 year old who does not want to put in the work required to get decent marks - for now high Cs/Bs. 

  

I have involved the high school councilor who asked him if he would be willing to participate in getting his teachers sign of work done for the day and homework etc. He agreed and did so for 2 days. Now he says to me I have gotten it signed but forgot at school ... he did not; simply lied! 

  

I have substantially stopped negging him and occasionally take his TV privileges. Now the social councilor says back off and let him figure it out. That taking away privileges are counter productive with school.  

  

Thanks,  

Even though I am married I can understand completely where you are coming from.  I also have a 14 year old boy. He is from a previous relationship.  I have been trying to tell myself that  is the problem.  But I don't really think it is. He goes to a special school because of this kind of behavior.  At the begining of the school year it was great. He did the work just like he was suppose to. But now we are back to not doing the work until he is good and ready. 

  

I wonder if it is just a boy thing? I also have a 12 year old boy, but he loves school and learning. I just don't know.   

  

I hope that your knowing that another family is going through the same things will help you feel better and more hopeful. 

 
December 29, 2005, 4:59 pm CST

I need some advice about boundaries

I am the mother of 4 special needs kids.  None of them is badly handicapped, however they each have their own set of problems.  Thier ages are 14(boy),12(boy), 9(girl),8(boy).  They do have boundaries, and they follow them when their dad is around.  However, when they are with me, that is a horse of very different color.(lol)  I find myself Yelling at them. I hate myself for doing it, but I am afraid that I will loose my temper and hurt one of them.  (the way my mom did me)  I have bad flashbacks sometimes about my childhood.  I vowed the day my oldest was born I would never let anyone hurt him that way. I even ended up leaving his father due to abuse.   I never want my kids to go through the crap I went through.   But I am also afraid I protect them to much.  

  

Where is the happy medium?  I hope someone can help  me with this.    

  

Yes, I trust Dr. Phil, other wise I would not have written on this board.  Please help my family.  Just give me some ideas. 

  

Thank you 

 
January 1, 2006, 8:21 pm CST

Setting Boundaries

Here's a simple honest answer. Your kids don't respect you. 
 
January 4, 2006, 8:17 pm CST

Teenager is drinking too much

 I have a teenager who is 18 and she thinks it is ok to drink "once in awhile" .  How can I make her see that she is starting a bad habit?  I want to keep the lines of communication open with her but  I've just about had enough of trying to understand where she is coming from.  Some advice on how to handle this would be nice. 
 
January 5, 2006, 6:07 am CST

grandparents smoke

  

I have a three month old who is bothered terribly by cigarette smoke.  I do not let anyone smoke around him, but even the stale smoke from  his grandmothers clothing will cause him to caugh and get stuffed up.  I have no problem telling anyone in my family to not smoke if they plan on coming around him.  The problem is my husbands family.  He will not tell them that smoke bothers our baby because he doesn't want to hurt their feelings.  I already feel that his parents do not like me so I don't think I should be the one that has this conversation with them.  How should I let them know that if they want to see our child they can not smoke? 

 
January 5, 2006, 8:36 am CST

what do you do with a child who keeps lying?

 I'm the mother of a 12 year old girl. And quickly reaching my wits end. She lies to her dad and I on an almost constant basis. We are starting to think if her lips are moving.....it's a lie. Sneaking food or hiding food, report cards and hiding dirty laundry are an ongoing thing. I"ve gone to the extent of making them ( we have 2 kids, one boy) sit at the table and eat what ever they got caught sneaking till they were almost green. It worked. The laundry, I took all her clothes away and left her with only the basics to get through the week. I did that for 3 weeks. It seems to be working so far. 

 Report card time, after asking if I was in for any nasty surprises and assured no everything is fine....I was shown a terrible report card. I sit with the kids as they do homework, help if they need it and ask if stuff has been handed in. They have agendas that assignments are written in, I check them and go through them with her. 

We have tried talking to her, we've grounded her, we've taken priveleges away. I've read Dr. phil's advice columns, today her room is getting stripped to the bare minimum. And she will be spending a lot more time there. 

My biggest question is this: if this doesn't work, what do we do next? And there is no way she could be the only kid doing tis stuff.....other parents must just not admit to any of it. 

 
January 13, 2006, 6:01 pm CST

....

Quote From: romac101

 I'm the mother of a 12 year old girl. And quickly reaching my wits end. She lies to her dad and I on an almost constant basis. We are starting to think if her lips are moving.....it's a lie. Sneaking food or hiding food, report cards and hiding dirty laundry are an ongoing thing. I"ve gone to the extent of making them ( we have 2 kids, one boy) sit at the table and eat what ever they got caught sneaking till they were almost green. It worked. The laundry, I took all her clothes away and left her with only the basics to get through the week. I did that for 3 weeks. It seems to be working so far. 

 Report card time, after asking if I was in for any nasty surprises and assured no everything is fine....I was shown a terrible report card. I sit with the kids as they do homework, help if they need it and ask if stuff has been handed in. They have agendas that assignments are written in, I check them and go through them with her. 

We have tried talking to her, we've grounded her, we've taken priveleges away. I've read Dr. phil's advice columns, today her room is getting stripped to the bare minimum. And she will be spending a lot more time there. 

My biggest question is this: if this doesn't work, what do we do next? And there is no way she could be the only kid doing tis stuff.....other parents must just not admit to any of it. 

Personaly, I'd stop after you took most of my clothes away. lol. I'd suggest not letting her do anything. That would make anyone stop. No tv. No phone. No computer. No friends. Nothing but school, homework, chores, showers, and bedtime. Anyone would stop if it became that bad.  

My mom's a strict but loving, Southern woman. I was taught that if you lie, everything is taken away. Lying is wrong. I've learned that. Apparently, your daughter isn't scared that you'll punish her. Which it seems like you've been doing. But if she lies about where she is, check up on her. Call the house, call the place, stay with her at the mall. Don't be incredibally clingy but stay in the mall with her. Like if she's in a store stay outside the store and don't move until she comes out. Take all fun out of her life if she lies again and maybe she'll learn.  

  

This proves how my mom is, Maybe it will help. 

My sister was supposed to be at a friend's house, sleeping over. At two o'clock in the morning my mother called up the house to ask if Christy, my sister, was there. The answer. No. My mother, becoming incrdibally mad at this point waited until my sister was home the next morning to break the news. You lied, you get punished. No anything.  

  

If she lies punish her. No matter if it's the tinist of lies. Punish her. Apparently it's the only that will work at this point since the point hasn't gotten across to her yet. Good luck and I hope it helped. 

 
January 14, 2006, 4:29 pm CST

your situation

Quote From: paladium

I am a step-father and find myself backed into a corner between my wife and her 14 year old daughter.  No matter what I try to do or say, regardless of intent or good will, my every word and action are looked at with suspicion, and often with hostility, by both of them.  I am continually accused of being emotionally "mean" to the daughter because my comments are always taken as "critical".   However, if I don't say anything to her daughter at all in order to avoid those very problems, I get blasted for ignoring her daughter and not showing her love and respect.

  

I'm screwed! 

  

We also have a son between us who is 19 months old.  I often feel as if my wife is holding him hostage in order to force me to comply with what she wants, and how she wants me to treat her daughter.  Can you say "resentment"?  My wife refuses to attend family counseling to work out these issues, stating that she knows that she is partly to blame, but doesn't intend to change her behavior. 

  

OK, so now I'm screwed x 2! 

  

I have tried to research these kinds of problems on the web and have sent her articles on how important step-fathers are, and what some of the major problems are in step-families, all in the hopes of educating each other on the difficulties and dynamics of blended families.  I’m not sure if she is willing to even try…  As one article I recently read described "... for a stepfamily to work, the stepdad must have the respect of his spouse and stepchild.  Without this, stepdads always becomes the odd man out".  This is how I feel I am treated. 

  

I do not know how to turn this ship around, but above all, I do not want our family to become just another negative statistic.  We have no other major issues in our husband-wife relationship, and very few minor ones.  We are very compatible in many, many ways, and our morals and beliefs are identical.  We do not smoke, drink, party, or anything else that could cause problems in a marriage.  We are both home every night and on the weekends, we go out and do things together as a family regularly, and together we are able to provide well for our combined family.  And yet despite all this, we are on the verge of disaster. 

  

I'm afraid that if we can not overcome this issue, it will lead to divorce.  I do not want that... not again. 

  

  

Help! 

  

A loving husband and step-father, 

  

David 

I admire your desire to keep your family together.   

  

I want you to hear me when I tell you that teens add a dimension of drama to a relationship that goes far beyond anything a couple can understand!   

  

My fifteen year-old has created quite a lot of drama between me and her dad. Neither of us have remarried. This last year has brought so much sadness and despair. Her dad and I don't communicate anymore.  I have been my daughters rock for fourteen years. When her dad wasn't there for her I was the one to pick up the pieces. Her dad has made many mistakes which have caused him to lose his job, his house and his car.  He filed bankruptcy for the second time and apparently that was the last straw for him. He didn't want to pay me child support anymore.  Suddenly, I found myself  with a daughter who was very unhappy. She would come to me stating that I love money more than I love her. Before I knew it, her dad was defending my daughter's bad behavior because of his hatred for me. Her dad finally gave me an ultimatum. If my daughter called him crying again, he would come to my house and take her from me. The most heartbreaking decision that I ever had to make was to tell him to ask her if she wanted to stay with him. I figured that she would be happier. Never in a million years did I ever think she would be gone for a year. To this day, she still thinks of me as the bad parent.  

  

What I have come to understand is that teens act out because of the unhappiness that they feel inside.  In addition, teens are trying to work out their own feelings about why the marriage between their parents failed. Not only that, but at fifteen, teens are dealing with the stress of realizing that they need to get good grades in order to graduate from high school and get into a good college.  

  

What I'm trying to say is that raising a teen is difficult. You have added another dimension of uncertainty into this teens life because you married your teens mom. 

  

I would say ask you significant other to stay focused on your relationship. Let her know that  "this too shall pass."  I would hate to see your relationship end. Once your stepdaughter is older, and is able to understand the adult world better, you and your spouse will have a much better relationship.  

 
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