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  • Meanagers....Will We Survive????

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    Old 11-02-2004, 11:22 AM   #16
    heartlandguy
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    Re: Meanagers....Will We Survive????

    Goody, you have got tons of great advice here. Good luck sorting it all out. Personally, I like the idea of your daughter spending time with your neighbor. That is the Americanizing of the saying “it takes a village to raise a child.” You have given her the opportunity to see the grass isn’t greener on the other side of the fence. The neighbor’s home should be seen as an educational opportunity, not a refuge.

    I think you should review your relationship with your daughter like you did your relationship with Tom. You are hoping she will be changed when she gets back home. That attitude is setting you up for failure, just like it did so many times with Tom and you when you expected him to change without you changing, too. Tom and you both had to change for your marriage to improve. Likewise, both sides of the relationship need to change for the daughter-parents relationship to improve. Your daughter needs to see something changing at home, too. Tom, your daughter and you all have your shields up and locked — you all are always ready to battle. You butt heads whenever you talk. Please think seriously about how Tom and you are repeating the same problems you two had but now with your daughter. Just like you, she knows right and wrong so you can’t keep treating her like a child. That may have worked when you and I were that age but it rarely works now. Even school systems reflect that fact.

    Your neighbor is a special gift. I bet both your daughter and you trust her more than any counselor. (When I say “you”, I’m not excluding Tom.) She can be a mediator for your daughter and you. Before your daughter can come home, your daughter and you must mend the damage or the same problems will reoccur. You hinted that you know this. I know you don’t believe in following Stacy’s advice but it is exactly what you need. You can’t continue parenting a teenager as we were parented. With your neighbor as a trusted mediator for both sides, explore your daughter’s issues and your issues. Isn't that what would happen if you went with her to a counselor? After the issues have been brought up, all can work to arrive at the changes needed to reincorporate your daughter as an adult back into your family. Stacy laid out the plan; let it work for your family. Good luck, Goody

     
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    Old 11-02-2004, 03:06 PM   #17
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    Re: Meanagers....Will We Survive????

    Hey Wowwwweeee & Heartland....Thanks for your support. Wowwwweee, I cannot agree totally with you on your last post....your advice I know is great in certain situations but my gut feeling is that we still need our daughter to take that baby step not for my benefit but for hers She has never been able to apologize for her actions and I feel that at this time she needs to extend that olive branch on her own and to know that she is equipped to do so. Why....because it is all part of her need for autonomy and success in reaching adulthood. And, believe me, when we mutually decided that she needed to go next door...we made it quite clear as did our neighbor...that it was not as a refuge but rather as an opportunity for her to come to terms with issues and to serve as a learning experience for her as well in order for her to see for herself that the grass is not always greener on the other side!!! And Heartland....you took exactly the same thoughts that Tom & I had when we decided to ask our neighbor to take her on next door...that it takes a village to raise a child. We have been torn by the decision to do so....but today we finally are beginning to see the visions of that baby step.

    My neighbor called to inform me that my daughter approached her asking if Tom & I had found a counselor for her to see. I have many phone calls out to various people and am hoping we get one lined up ASAP. To me this is a clear message that our daughter wants to come home....why, because she refused the idea when Tom & I suggested she talk to someone over the past few months to figure things out as to why her behavior has taken on such a drastic change. She's a great kid, we love her to death, and, last night I was just aching to go over and hug her to death and tell her it's time to go home and this little voice keeps telling me that it is the worst thing I could do and that all our efforts would have been done in vain. She called us last night to clarify my neighbor's rules and if she had to go by them. When she first spoke my heart just sank hearing her voice and she asked what we were doing. (I was soooo disappointed that she wasn't asking to come home but I sensed later on by her voice that she did) I explained that we were doing family things and that we were going out for a bite to eat since I had my youth group....the simple "oh" that came out of her mouth just about killed me. I went on to say that what my neighbor said went as long as she was living with them and reminded her of the whole purpose she was there in the first place. I announced that we had arrived at the restaurant and asked if she had anything else on her mind that she'd like to talk about and she said no and that was about it. And ever since I've had a heartache hearing her sad voice over & over again and the mother in me wanted to run over and tell her we want her home. But once again that little voice stopped me. It told me to be patient and the fruits of our labor would soon come.

    Tom & I are not expecting heartfelt apologies and for her to make a drastic move. I know if she initiates another phone call that I wil be able to mirror her openness to counselling as a great step and achievement on her part over the past week and assure her that Tom & I wish to work on things too because we love her. We're almost there and it is the most difficult thing we have ever had to do....most people would frown upon it but today when I spoke to Sister Jean at a local ministry she agreed that the step we had taken was a good one for our family especially since our younger daughter was beginning to mimic her older sister's behavior.

    Heartland...Tom & I are certainly following all the loving advice everyone gave us...and yes Stacy's advise as well as Wowwwweee's are terrific. We just want her home soon so we can start using it, however, her meeting with a counselor of her own free will is more than we could have asked for & I have a feeling she will decide with help to return on her own and feel the power of being able to come to that decision all on her own. That's what I want most for her....to empower her with the ability to make her own decisions and to take responsibility when having made mistakes. And Tom & I feel that we can't take that away from her. Please pray that we get an appointment tommorrow and that perhaps by the weekend or even before we will have her back with us.

    Thanks again for your support.....Goody

     
    Old 11-02-2004, 03:29 PM   #18
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    Re: Meanagers....Will We Survive????

    Goody, thanks for the update! Things sound much better today; cooler heads are prevailing. If you get a counselor’s appointment, will you be going with your daughter?

    I will add my prayers to the many others being said for your family. God bless.

     
    Old 11-02-2004, 05:27 PM   #19
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    Re: Meanagers....Will We Survive????

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by heartlandguy
    Goody, thanks for the update! Things sound much better today; cooler heads are prevailing. If you get a counselor’s appointment, will you be going with your daughter?

    I will add my prayers to the many others being said for your family. God bless.
    Tom and I as well as our neighbor feel that my daughter will be less threatened if she were to go with her the first time. Tom & I would like to go as well and also bring our other daughter into the sessions when & if the need arises, but only when our oldest daughter indicates that she is open to it. I feel that any good therapist is going to suggest that we attend. Right now our daughter has taken the intitiative to seek professional help and Tom & I both feel, as does our neighbor, that she will back off if we were to attend with her (at this point in time). We all know that in order for it to succeed that we need to eventually be involved as well and intend on doing so.

    Thanks for your prayers...Heartland, we could really use them....Goody

     
    Old 11-03-2004, 05:00 AM   #20
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    Cool Re: Meanagers....Will We Survive????

    Goody,

    Your last two posts sound a little more "relieved". Hopefully your family will be together again soon. I'm glad that you and your spouse are sticking by a plan together; unity is so important.

    I think the great things about different suggestions and observations is that a poster can take what they want or not, from each reply. I'm never offended if someone doesn't agree with an opinion or suggestion of mine, and I always enjoy reading about the same thing from someone else's viewpoint.

    Please keep everyone posted on how things go for your family and your daughter.

     
    Old 11-03-2004, 05:55 AM   #21
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    Re: Meanagers....Will We Survive????

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by goody2shuz
    Tom and I as well as our neighbor feel that my daughter will be less threatened if she were to go with her the first time. Tom & I would like to go as well and also bring our other daughter into the sessions when & if the need arises, but only when our oldest daughter indicates that she is open to it. I feel that any good therapist is going to suggest that we attend. Right now our daughter has taken the intitiative to seek professional help and Tom & I both feel, as does our neighbor, that she will back off if we were to attend with her (at this point in time). We all know that in order for it to succeed that we need to eventually be involved as well and intend on doing so.

    Thanks for your prayers...Heartland, we could really use them....Goody


    Sorry to butt in here, but I wanted to say things are starting to look great and I do hope thing progress in this direction for her

     
    Old 11-03-2004, 07:18 AM   #22
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    Re: Meanagers....Will We Survive????

    Also, an observation: you spent a lot of time of these Boards giving advice to other people. You should be focusing on fixing your own familial personal struggle



    Wowee, most of your advice was great, but this sounded like a criticism, that you sugar-coated with "im not trying to offend you". IT is easier to take things to heart without some little dig stuck in there. Maybe its just me, but I was a little perturbed by that. Hopefully goody wasnt though.

     
    Old 11-03-2004, 07:56 AM   #23
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    Re: Meanagers....Will We Survive????

    Well Wowwwweeee....things are certainly coming to a head and I would love to hear your take on things.

    Last night we had a surprise visit from our daughter. She brought over important paperwork that was due in to the Girl Scout Council by today for a Gold Award she is working on. (I must say that it was one of the issues here that she didn't work on the paperwork despite my coaxing and would probably not have accomplished it without a constant battle to make the time to do so.) Before she left I asked her to inform her leader (who so happens to be my neighbor who has opened her door to us) if she was not going to be able to do what was required of her to achieve this goal.

    Anyway...when she delivered the paperwork Tom & I told her how proud we were that she didn't give up on it and that we would deliver it on time for her first thing in the morning. We then asked her how she felt things were going and that we loved her and hoped that she would be home soon. Well.....that's the point when the tazmanian devil appeared and she proceeded to go on & on how my neighbor was making her life miserable, allowing her friend to sit around while she did all the cleaning and how she had to cook dinner because she was 1/2 hour late and how she wakes her up early to get her SAT studying done and on and on and on and on. When we reminded her that she was to live as they lived and that was part of the agreement she went on cursing (which we gently reminded her was not acceptable here) and of how we got together with our neighbor to make it that way and that it normally wasn't that way over there...blah, blah, blah....and all my hopes of her having seen things a little differently went down the drain. She ranted on & on about everything using words like "mad, upset, depressed, stressed, unfair, sad, miserable" and she started crying (something she has hardly ever done) and at that point I wrapped her in my arms and said gently, "Yes, Kate...your are sad, miserable, stressed, depressed, and all those negative things you describe. And I can't tell you how happy dad & I are that you have come to the realization all on your own that you need outside help from a counselor in order to find out why." I started to cry myself explaining to her that her dad and I would like nothing more than to see her happy. That moment, although short lived, was a breakiong point. She went on with her excuses honestly believing in her mind that her misery was everyone elses fault. I sofrly explained to her that the truth of the matter was that she felt that way here as well as next door so that just that was enough to show her and me that it's something that lies within and needs some working on and that the outside help should be helpful in achieving this.

    She continued to try to sabatage any headway by saying..."I know I need to change my attitude and I will only IF I can work my hours at work. Tom and I told her that she was working two weekdays while next door and that when she was back with us we would like it to remain that way and reevaluate over time seeing how things went because going back to the hours she wants was what we feel attributed to the problems we were having in the first place. She asked why she had to make all the compromises...that she would change her attitude IF she worked the hours she wanted and what we would do as far as compromise. I told her that at the point she left I felt that she should totally give up the job and that continuing to work was our compromise. And that a good attitude was nothing that should be compromised by either party. We explained that a good attitude and behavior in all aspects of life, in school, at home, with friends, at work and most of all in any relationship was important and shouldn't be contingent on anything else. She got angry and told us that her boss at work and her friends and even her friends mother thought she was right & that we were unfair. I told her that with all the information that we found that hard to believe but evenso....it really didn't matter because we are the ones that care and love her more than all those people put together. Tom & I commented on how we knew she was capable of being respectful and had learned to bite her tongue with our neighbor next door and that was a good thing and hopefully would carry on here. She souted,"the only reason I haven't said anything over there is because I would have to come back here." Tom & I told her that it was obvious that she wasn't quite ready and that it was okay and that perhaps after speaking with the counselor she would be equipped and able to do so. We went on to tell her how much we loved her and needed her back with us and that when she felt ready to please do so. Our dinner was overcooked and we invited her to please sit down and join us. She declined and said she needed to get back next door and I went to hug her and she pulled away. We reassurred her that we would talk together about what she said andasked her to do the same.

    My neighbor reports that she came back and was crying...when she asked if she wanted to talk she said that she just needed time to be alone. my neighbor asked if there was any word on a counselor and she told her she didn't know.

    I have been on the phone all morning....awaiting return calls. My neighbor has supplied me with 4 names supplied by the school guidance office. I intend to make a few appointments and then have my daughter choose which one to see. That way she has made the decision and can't say that we picked someone who will side with us.

    One question I have is,...we have mental health coverage but none of the names that have come recommended to us seem to be in the participating provider list. I think this is going to be a long term thing and could be costly. Do we go to someone in network who didn't come recommended or do we go pay ourselves despite having coverage ? With our benefits we would have a copay of $15/visit versus $150 per visit. I'm leaning towards trying someone in network & see if she clicks....because I have no idea if she'll click with someone out of network either....please help me...I'm tired & want to make the best decision...Goody

    Last edited by goody2shuz; 11-03-2004 at 08:07 AM.

     
    Old 11-03-2004, 08:06 AM   #24
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    Re: Meanagers....Will We Survive????

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hillaryb
    Also, an observation: you spent a lot of time of these Boards giving advice to other people. You should be focusing on fixing your own familial personal struggle



    Wowee, most of your advice was great, but this sounded like a criticism, that you sugar-coated with "im not trying to offend you". IT is easier to take things to heart without some little dig stuck in there. Maybe its just me, but I was a little perturbed by that. Hopefully goody wasnt though.

    Hillary...Please don't take offense...but I am doing as you do and appreciate you taking on Wowwwweeee for me at the same time. In helping others on this board I am at the same time helping myself stay sane. It is allowing me, as I believe it does you, a way to turn things around positive when things are going so negative in my life. We all have different coping skills...mine seem to center on helping others in order to help myself. It sure beats lying in bed and crying about it. And at the same time I am not neglecting my family ( I am very careful about not doing that) Like now...I'm awaiting return calls from therapists and not dwelling on the difficulties I am faced with and seeking help from the others on the board to steer me in the riehgt direction.

    I am not perturbed at anyone...I would be the first to admit if something were true...but I do not feel I am spending too much time here...I don't work and I am focusing on what is at hand 24/7 and on my downtime offering advice to others. One good turn derserves another as they say.

    So thanks for the advice....Goody

     
    Old 11-03-2004, 08:10 AM   #25
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    Re: Meanagers....Will We Survive????

    Goody-
    I'm SO glad your daughter came to such a realization. Thats the first step. I know shes still blaming everyone else for her issues...thats normal. Even today I still struggle with blaming others for not making ME happy. 16 is such a hard age and I never want to go back. Finding a good counselor is hard. I would start with one thats in your network and see how you like him/her. I have been to several counselors over the years and one, a psychotherapist, truly helped me. She wasn't covered in my plan and it cost my parents close to $100 a session, but they even admit it was well worth the change they saw in me. I'm not in anyway trying to discourage you, but I don't want you to give up on the first counselor if you don't like him/her. Educate the differences between a cognitive, behavioral, psychotherapist etc. They all have a different approach to how they will counsel your daughter. Hang in there and I'm keeping you in my prayers.

     
    Old 11-03-2004, 08:17 AM   #26
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    Re: Meanagers....Will We Survive????

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by goody2shuz

    ...but I do not feel I am spending too much time here...I don't work and I am focusing on what is at hand 24/7 and on my downtime offering advice to others. One good turn derserves another as they say.

    Goody,

    I can relate here to because when I first came aboard I need help. Then I got into posting like you have and everyday I find new advice or threads that I take in and could help me in the future if I was to face any of these issues. I do spend a work day on here to post to people or try to get personal stuff solved but overall I do spend the time I need to in my relationship to work things out. This site has many great benefits and is one of America's Legal drugs

     
    Old 11-03-2004, 08:23 AM   #27
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    Cool Re: Meanagers....Will We Survive????

    Hillaryb,

    I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to criticize anyone on the Boards, but I can see how the statement that I posted can come across as that. My apologies if it offended anyone – I always try to be respectful of peoples’ situations and feelings, so my comment was not anything but an observation. I will try to be more careful with my words in the future, as I would not intentionally ever make a remark to hurt or put someone down. Thank you for pointing this out.

    Goody,

    On the counseling situation, you may want to call your daughter’s primary doctor. Ask your doctor to provide the names of therapists who deal with teenager/family issues who accept your insurance. Or, you can call your insurance provider and request that they mail you a list of names that your insurance will accept (sometimes you can go on-line and obtain these names) usually the list (at least here in NY) will provide a brief description of each specialty, so you can locate an appropriate therapist that accepts your insurance.

    With that said, as far as locating a counselor who is under your insurance or not, of course you should try to locate someone suitable for y our daughter/family that is covered. On the flip side however, if this was me, and my family member wasn’t able to connect with a counselor from the coverage list, I would then pursue looking for someone else even it they weren’t on the coverage list.

    From our few postings on here, I realize that we have some differences of opinion – you know your family and daughter better than anyone on these Boards ever will – so your decisions need to be based on that of course. Family struggles are so difficult. Please post back soon.

    Last edited by Wowwwweeee; 11-03-2004 at 08:27 AM.

     
    Old 11-03-2004, 08:30 AM   #28
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    Re: Meanagers....Will We Survive????

    lol goody, for some reason that comment just stayed with me, even though it wasnt directed towards me. I guess that after the years Ive been on the boards, Ive learned almost as much by replying to posts, and I dont see any fault in offering your opinions, even when your life isnt 100 percent perfect. I doubt that you are taking time away from your daughter-husband by popping in here. And I will also say this, im in my late twenties, so I remember vividly my teenage (meanage) years, and what you are going through is quite common, and I have faith that you will be okay. IT isnt your fault, this is the hardest time a parent can go through,and as long as you continue to take an active role in raising your daughter, you are doing everything you can. Counseling is good, being there for her, acknowledging her acheivements--just know that as long as you can lay down to sleep at night knowing you did all you could that day, you should not beat yourself up. I know you've had alot on your plate with you husband and daughter, but I will be the last person to say that all these problems are somehow your fault and you need to be better, because if you were, this all wouldnt be happening. That isnt really true. Life happens (usually in 3's) and people go through phases and transitions and I HATE it when someone pops in on a thread and says something along the lines of 'gee, you sure have alot of stuff happening--thats not normal you must be doing something terribly wrong because you have had too many bad things happening".

    Its all an issue of perspective. My parents had an interesting discussion one time. My brother and I didnt always take the easiest, wisest path, and my dad would always kind of say "how come we have all these problems? Why cant we be like so and so (some other family we knew) becuase everything seems to go perfectly for them?" Mom's response: "Trust me, everything isnt going perfectly. We dont always wear our problems like a badge in public, and everyone , EVERYONE has stuff (crap ****) to deal with".

    Its true. We all have STUFF! lol

     
    Old 11-03-2004, 08:47 AM   #29
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    Re: Meanagers....Will We Survive????

    LOL....Hilary, I'm glad you took my post the way I hoped you would
    I was about to edit the please don't take offense but chose not to.

    Thanks for the understanding. What's really frustrating is when a few therapists have spoken to me....they say to me "you seem to be handling the sitaltion quite well and pretty much along the lines of how I would advise you." My question is, "Then why is my daughter living at my next door neighbors and so negative and what can we do to mke things more positive for her as well as us??

    I have made a few appointments and have just goten off the phone with my daughter's guidance counselor at school. She had me ramble off names of people in network and said that there was one who she recommend just as highly as one out of network. I figure...start with him (having my neighbor suggesting him to my daughter to lessen the threat) and if he don't click move on to someone else. Have a feeling when my daughter doesn't see somebody in her corner she's gonna want to do that anyway But, at least she will be empowered to make the decision and continue to seek help in getting back home with us. It's the hardest thing for us as parents to do but it really has to dome from her and she really needs to figure out for herself what it is that is making her so miserable, and to be so negative.

    So....I have to patient once again and pray that she sees the light and that she has the power to seek happiness and make her life happy with a few tools that the counseling needs to equip her with. Thanks Hilary, for being here to hold my hand and also for sharing some of your meanage moments with me. Your parents are right....no body really knows what's going on in other homes but it's all the same in different degrees and at different times.
    Thanks for the smiles I could really use it right about now...Goody

     
    Old 11-03-2004, 06:36 PM   #30
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    Re: Meanagers....Will We Survive????

    Hi, Goody

    I hope your daughter is continuing to meet with Tom and you daily to work through your differences. She surely realizes that is the most practical way to resolve most of the differences that are preventing her from returning home to a relaxed environment. The irresolvable differences can be saved for the counselor you are trying to line up.

    Years ago, I went alone to a counselor for two sessions concerning one of our teenaged daughters. Those were dark days that I don’t like to remember. When a counselor works with only one person, they (at best) can only validate the client's behavior. When a counselor works with two or more clients, they have the opportunity to resolve differences, which is what your family needs. I know you realize this and I hope your daughter realizes it soon, too.

    What is the latest news, Goody?

     
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