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  • mkintx
    commented on 's reply
    Very thoughtful reply. Your last sentence really makes me wonder: why is it that good ones are so hard to find? I know several people who tried therapy but didn't get much out of it, and I have had that experience with several therapists as well. I know part of it is connecting with someone, but it seems to be too important of a field to have so many half-assed practitioners.

  • White.Beard.Doc
    replied
    Yes, these types of situations are each very unique, and what works for one kid hitting a rough patch won't work for another in a similar situation. But you have to know yourself and your partner in your roles as parents to strategize to help a struggling child. Supporting them can be either empowering or enabling depending on the circumstances.

    I send my best wishes to all of the struggling parents out there. It ain't easy, and I know that far too well because I have been there. Thankfully, I am now on the other side of the struggles and can look back with a sigh of relief.

    Leave a comment:


  • Dont_know_mind
    replied
    This is a very deep question on a number of levels. I hope you seek wise counsel in people around you and find a way to move forward.

    The James Dobson approach (from his famous book: ‘Love must be tough’) sometimes doesn’t work. I think it can be hazardous to live your life by mantras.

    The tough love, not enabling, codependence, rigid boundaries stuff may work better in the addictions area where you know with a greater deal of certainty the outcome. If you give a heroin addict $50 there’s a 99% chance they will spend it on a heroin hit. If you continue to support your daughter what is the chance she becomes a lazy bum ?

    I think it’s important not to underestimate what a powerful emotion shame can be. It is a source of societal control and people can go to great lengths to avoid it. Many people have died or put their lives at risk to avoid it.

    There are some questions that have no correct answer without a lot of context that goes back to the beginning of your relationship. Things like:
    - how do I make my partner come back to me
    - how do I make my child return my phone calls
    - how do I get my child to go in the right direction

    No one can say because it is so contextual and dependent on each of you and your relationship.

    The ‘love must be tough’ mantra can be misused with disastrous results. Like the mantra ‘if your spouse wants to leave, let them go, and if they’re yours they’ll come back’. It is amazing that people take this advice and don’t fight for their marriage if they have kids. Who knows why their spouse left ?

    Who knows why your kid did what she did. Like a spouse who returns after a month away without telling you. One approach is to
    lay down the law and that is perfectly within your rights. But how many spouses come back and unreservedly apologise and emphatically tell you they now realise they were totally wrong to do what they did ?

    All we can say is that at the time of their returning there is a point where the relationship is at risk. Things could go either way. How you navigate this is very individual and can make a difference. Some dyads can carry on without anything being said and there’s an implicit ‘we’re right again’. Arguably a discussion would need to occur at some stage about what and why it happened for trust to be fully returned. But not always.

    What would your daughters perspective be ?
    I worked at a drug treatment centre once where they would do family therapy. The kids would often say of their parents :
    - they were never there for me
    - they always sent me off somewhere or to have therapy to get fixed up.
    - all I ever wanted was to make them happy
    - they were never happy with what I did

    Often the dynamic goes back a long way, all the way back. No one sees themselves as overbearing or controlling. It’s hard to see ones own contribution to a dynamic.

    Often the parents would say:
    - we don’t know if we can keep supporting you like this
    - we’re really scared for you

    Often there is stonewalling, drama and people being sent away.
    My heart goes out to you. There is probably hurt on both sides. I hope you can repair the relationship.

    Sometimes a Counsellor or family therapist can help, but good ones can be hard to find.

    Leave a comment:


  • childay
    commented on 's reply
    Yesterday she spontaneously tells me she will now be ok moving out at 18 as long as she can come visit every day

  • Dicast
    commented on 's reply
    My 5 year old tells me she is never leaving. She wants to be just like her aunt.

  • jfoxcpacfp
    replied
    Originally posted by Panscan View Post
    I've never understood partying. What exactly are all these kids celebrating? Flunking their futures?
    Their new-found "independence", often enabled by the parents who have "liberated" them.

    Leave a comment:


  • jfoxcpacfp
    replied
    Originally posted by White.Beard.Doc View Post
    Originally posted by White.Beard.Doc View Post
    In our case this is so true. Strong willed would be putting it mildly. Our daughter who made it through a rough patch is incredibly strong willed. As a teen, she would battle us to the point of torture and death to get her way. It was exhausting, but when that kid wants something you had better get out of her way if you value your life.

    When we battled almost to the point of bloodshed when she dropped out of college, we finally convinced her that as she approached young adulthood, our house was ours and not hers, and our money and resources were ours and not hers. The idea that she was going to have to make her way in this world finally sunk in, and then it was, look out world, here she comes, and you had better get out of her way if you know what’s good for you.



    Our daughter is talented in STEM subjects and we encouraged her to pursue medicine. When she dropped out of college after only one semester, she said medicine was a definite no as it was something that felt more like her parents' idea and not so much hers. We were ok with that decision to change directions, but in the interim were were not too pleased first when she got stuck in her bedroom at home playing video games with no plan, and later when she went back to school to major in video game design/computer science. However, we did know enough to let go and allow her to pursue her own path.

    As a senior she started a game design company with her friends from college. After graduation they had some successes but also plenty of struggles with their startup. She then went to work as an educational game designer for a startup educational software company. She has been growing fast with the startup that now has over 800 employees and she has risen to managing director of the most important division at her company. She is in the C-suite working among the top executives/decision makers, earning a physician-like income. She is still in her 20's and is fast approaching her first milestone of a 1M net worth. She is not at all motivated by financial success, but she is passionate about the impact of her products on the learning of the students who use their curriculum. Their sales are in the many 10's of millions of students based upon outcomes research done at UC Berkley demonstrating higher achievement and a faster pace of learning with their tablet based curriculum.

    There were some very challenging years with this child as an adolescent and young adult, but the struggle was worth it as we couldn't be more proud of her accomplishments. And best of all, we get to spend 10 days with her and the other kids for a vacation over the holidays later this month. Another memorable moment occurred last year when the entire gang went out for dinner on my birthday to a very nice restaurant. It brought tears to my eyes when my "little girl" suddenly whipped out her credit card after dinner to treat me and the entire family. So this is a story with a happy ending despite some very challenging years and bumps in the road. I wish all of you with struggling kids a similarly happy ending.
    Oh, my word - love this story and thank you so very much for sharing. Congratulations on doing the right thing for your daughter and having it turn out so spectacularly. I bet she could write a pretty interesting book one day about her alternative path to success.

    Leave a comment:


  • Doc Spouse
    replied
    Originally posted by EndlessSummer View Post

    Geez, I hope you're not a guidance counselor.
    I'll translate that as - "I disagree with you good sir, but respect your right to have a different opinion!"

    But, no.. no guidance counseling here. :P

    Leave a comment:


  • EndlessSummer
    replied
    Originally posted by Doc Spouse View Post
    Hasn't been mentioned yet, but the military often does wonders for imparting a little direction for wayward teens. Let her pick the branch and then go visit the recruiter. They'll be able to give her some recommendations on what type of job she might find interesting. Takes care of any future college, as well.
    Geez, I hope you're not a guidance counselor.

    Leave a comment:


  • White.Beard.Doc
    replied
    Originally posted by White.Beard.Doc View Post
    In our case this is so true. Strong willed would be putting it mildly. Our daughter who made it through a rough patch is incredibly strong willed. As a teen, she would battle us to the point of torture and death to get her way. It was exhausting, but when that kid wants something you had better get out of her way if you value your life.

    When we battled almost to the point of bloodshed when she dropped out of college, we finally convinced her that as she approached young adulthood, our house was ours and not hers, and our money and resources were ours and not hers. The idea that she was going to have to make her way in this world finally sunk in, and then it was, look out world, here she comes, and you had better get out of her way if you know what’s good for you.

    Originally posted by jfoxcpacfp View Post

    Really curious about "the rest of the story" - where is she now and what is she doing?
    Our daughter is talented in STEM subjects and we encouraged her to pursue medicine. When she dropped out of college after only one semester, she said medicine was a definite no as it was something that felt more like her parents' idea and not so much hers. We were ok with that decision to change directions, but in the interim were were not too pleased first when she got stuck in her bedroom at home playing video games with no plan, and later when she went back to school to major in video game design/computer science. However, we did know enough to let go and allow her to pursue her own path.

    As a senior she started a game design company with her friends from college. After graduation they had some successes but also plenty of struggles with their startup. She then went to work as an educational game designer for a startup educational software company. She has been growing fast with the startup that now has over 800 employees and she has risen to managing director of the most important division at her company. She is in the C-suite working among the top executives/decision makers, earning a physician-like income. She is still in her 20's and is fast approaching her first milestone of a 1M net worth. She is not at all motivated by financial success, but she is passionate about the impact of her products on the learning of the students who use their curriculum. Their sales are in the many 10's of millions of students based upon outcomes research done at UC Berkley demonstrating higher achievement and a faster pace of learning with their tablet based curriculum.

    There were some very challenging years with this child as an adolescent and young adult, but the struggle was worth it as we couldn't be more proud of her accomplishments. And best of all, we get to spend 10 days with her and the other kids for a vacation over the holidays later this month. Another memorable moment occurred last year when the entire gang went out for dinner on my birthday to a very nice restaurant. It brought tears to my eyes when my "little girl" suddenly whipped out her credit card after dinner to treat me and the entire family. So this is a story with a happy ending despite some very challenging years and bumps in the road. I wish all of you with struggling kids a similarly happy ending.

    Leave a comment:


  • Drsan1
    commented on 's reply
    Wow, I think you know my kid!! That's how it has been, this exhausting battle. I hoping she uses her powers for good.

  • EntrepreneurMD
    replied
    Education, maturity and perseverance is obviously critical in the transition from a teenager to a more independent college student to an accomplished adult.

    As such, we do everything we can to give our kids the resources to accomplish this. They go to a private faith based private school for several reasons. First, the class sizes are small and structured for personal attention to help lift every student. Second, the lesson of honoring your parents (and other adults) plants the seeds to absorb the wisdom our elders and thus avoid making others mistakes. Third, they are surrounded by other quite accomplished families from all walks of life and I believes this provides motivation. Fourth, they have teachers/mentors with a common standard of ethics that helps provide the maturity to think about the more relevant things in life that transcend money and materialism. It's also critical to provide increasing levels of age appropriate independence and see how they manage the new freedoms, quickly correcting any mistakes with love and explanation. With the feeling of shackles all the time, sudden pseudo-independence in college will not be managed with maturity.

    They have, since grade school, had private tutors (teachers) and this is more critical now in their high school years when mom an dad now struggle to recall the complexity of their homework and assignments. They also take structured lessons at a formal educational learning resource center not just in preparation for standardized testing, but to develop learning and test taking skills to help get ahead in their current classes and in college. They take honors and college credit classes now in preparation.

    They both partake of their most beloved sports in a major way (basketball teams and competitive horseback riding) so that they know how hard they need to pursue anything to be the best at it. This also develops teamwork skills and the sports allow them to see the joy incorporating their natural talents in their lives, whether it's at a sport or in their career choices.

    While this may have come at a cost of about a half million dollars prior to even entering college, if one truly believes an education is the greatest investment then there are no regrets whatsoever.

    They work at our office summers and around their school schedule to have formal interaction with people other than their peers (coworkers and patients). They are encouraged to brainstorm and implement their own microbusiness ideas. Once it does not conflict with the educational process, we're encouraging outside relevant summer jobs and perhaps after school in their senior year of high school for further career and social development. They are also engaged in missions trips, charitable giving with their (first) chore stipends and (now) employment incomes, They are reminded to hold their door for others, give up their seats, lift others up, always learn from others, resist peer pressure, remain respectful even when wronged and so forth.

    Transitioning into adulthood is a confusing time. Just as we provide food, clothing and shelter in their younger years, we too must provide the resources and guidance to ensure success in life as there is still a tremendous need for guidance in the college and early adult years. As doctors we have busy lives but it's no excuse and why, in their critical high school years, I see patients 3 1/2 days a week and my wife works with the practice so we have the flexibility to take care of our most important investment. Take the time to show them the world, their potential, the challenges, the ups and downs...or else the wrong person may. With perspective, the wrong influence will be shunned and the right decisions will be made with careful contemplation of the engrained lessons you took the time to create for their memory bank. The desire to excel will override the pitfalls of irresponsibility.

    Leave a comment:


  • jfoxcpacfp
    replied
    Originally posted by White.Beard.Doc View Post

    In our case this is so true. Strong willed would be putting it mildly. Our daughter who made it through a rough patch is incredibly strong willed. As a teen, she would battle us to the point of torture and death to get her way. It was exhausting, but when that kid wants something you had better get out of her way if you value your life.

    When we battled almost to the point of bloodshed when she dropped out of college, we finally convinced her that as she approached young adulthood, our house was ours and not hers, and our money and resources were ours and not hers. The idea that she was going to have to make her way in this world finally sunk in, and then it was, look out world, here she comes, and you had better get out of her way if you know what’s good for you.
    Really curious about "the rest of the story" - where is she now and what is she doing?

    Leave a comment:


  • White.Beard.Doc
    replied
    Originally posted by OldSoul View Post

    I think the most important predictor of your daughter's eventual success is your description of her being "strong willed." Other posters to this forum have described the success stories of their friends and classmates that made it through a rough patch. My guess is that the majority of them also could be described as strong willed.
    In our case this is so true. Strong willed would be putting it mildly. Our daughter who made it through a rough patch is incredibly strong willed. As a teen, she would battle us to the point of torture and death to get her way. It was exhausting, but when that kid wants something you had better get out of her way if you value your life.

    When we battled almost to the point of bloodshed when she dropped out of college, we finally convinced her that as she approached young adulthood, our house was ours and not hers, and our money and resources were ours and not hers. The idea that she was going to have to make her way in this world finally sunk in, and then it was, look out world, here she comes, and you had better get out of her way if you know what’s good for you.

    Leave a comment:


  • OldSoul
    replied
    Having raised 3 children, I now know that there is no scripted age at which each child achieves the maturity to succeed in college and beyond. One of my kids took a gap year where she worked on a farm in New Zealand before starting university. Perhaps your daughter needs a gap year?

    I think the most important predictor of your daughter's eventual success is your description of her being "strong willed." Other posters to this forum have described the success stories of their friends and classmates that made it through a rough patch. My guess is that the majority of them also could be described as strong willed.

    The ones who don't necessarily make it to a thriving adulthood are those who don't have that so-called grit. My best friend from high school is still scraping by at 56 years of age, working retail at a hardware store. He was raised in an abusive household, with an alcoholic mother who put him down throughout his childhood. He lost his will long before he started college.

    Leave a comment:

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