How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask JohnMichaels,MS,LPC Your Own Question
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC, Counselor (LPC)
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 405
Experience:  25+ years helping people find solutions...
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Hello, I am a mother of 5 children, ages 5, 9, 14, 16, &17.

This answer was rated:

Hello, I am a mother of 5 children, ages 5, 9, 14, 16, &17. My 16 year old daughter has become extremely defiant, verbally and emotionally abusive, has run away 4 times, the third time she was gone for a week. This is affecting my family and my 5 year old has begun wetting his pants for no apparent reason, I believe he may be also experiencing stress and this hurts so much. I can't seem to get much help from law enforcement as far as what I can do and just need somewhere to start. Any help is appreciated.

I know this must be stressful on you as well as the other children. I do have a couple questions that might give me some clarification. !) What is your family situation? Are there stresses that might be contributing to this behavior? 2) Is the daddy of the children in the home? If not, is there anybody else you can turn to for support? 3) What are the genders of the children? Are they all biological or are there stepchildren?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I am a week into my marriage but have been in the relationship for 7 years. The only stress I can think of at this point is that my daughter insists on having things when she asks for them but refuses to work for those things. Such as doing an extra chore or something out of the norm to earn a trip to the movies. My other children love to earn and do it with such joy and excitement but my 16 year old wants everything handed to her. Her father isn't in the picture, he hasn't been for the past 13 years. She recently contacted him hut he seems to be ignoring her calls or his girlfriend will answer and tell her that she hasn't seen her dad for days. I have talked to my husband, sister, brother, and my father which is more confusing for me because they all have different ideas of what I should do but I just think they are bandaid fixes. She needs help, we all need help. A permanent fix. I have 3 girls, they are the three oldest and all biological sisters. My two boys are the younger children and are both from different fathers however my 9 year old believes that my husband is his father and my husband is okay with that. I left his father because of physical abuse by him towards me.
it sounds like you care deeply for your daughter and have gone through great lengths to win her over. I apologize for asking more questions, but I want to make sure my response is well-founded. You say she has run away 4 times, so when did her defiant behavior begin (at what age)? You say you have tried counseling. was that just for her or was it family counseling? Where did she go when she was away for a week? What is her relationship like with her stepfather?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
She has always been the kind of child that has never welcomed any kind of authority but it has always been correctable, manageable. I was always able to get her to understand and be able to follow rules after talking to her, I got her to understand why we have rules, not only as a family unit but in life as adults as well. The behavior has been progressing since about February when she started dating this boy (which I had no knowledge of until I learned she was ditching school to be with him). The counseling we went to was for the family the first time around. The second time was just for her and I because I felt that if we could strenghthen our relationship, the rest would fall into place. I am a big believer in respect, respect of others and moat importantly of self because I believe that if there is no self respect, you will easily allow others to disrespect you. I have made her aware that I feel that not only has she disrespected herself, but our home by breaking the rules everyone else follows. When her step father doesn't say anything to her (such as correcting a behavior or asking her to complete a task) he is her best friend. The moment he says anything to her about a chore or helping out around the house, she is quick to yell at him telling him to shit up because he is not her father. She is the same way with me, everything is fine until I make a request. I honestly don't mind your questions, I appreciate your help.
I apologize. I has a response, but lost it. Give me a moment.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Sure thing.
i am so sorry again, but my computer did crash at just the wrong time. You are seemingly trying everything you know to do. I applaud your love and patience with your child. Number One, don't give up on her or yourself. She is obviously a hurting child. I do believe she needs further counseling. If she refuses to cooperate, maybe you could attend yourself for support and guidance if nothing else. If she continues to insist on risky behavior such as running away, temporary placement of some sort may be an option (though only if necessary). A counseling agency in your area would know your options better. As far as how you are handling it, consistency is very important, yet at the same time, if what your are trying is not working, you might try something different. i do not know the boyfriend or that situation, but you might try getting to know him and his family. In your wisdom, you will better know if that is and option. Remember, each child is different, so must be handled differently. Give where you can give and stand strong where you must Whatever you do, don't give up. I am convinced your daughter does care for you and I am confident you will succeed in raising her to be productive. i hope this has been helpful. I wish i could give you more, but am limited in this forum.
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

Honestly, if I did raise more questions, feel free to ask while I am on.


Hi! I appreciate you allowing me to help you maybe arrive at a solution the other day. I hope I was helpful. Let me know if I can help you in any other way.

John Michaels, MS, LPC

Related Mental Health Questions