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 Lori Gephart Your Own Question

Lori Gephart
Lori Gephart, Licensed Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 259
Experience:  20 years of experience as a Psychologist and Parenting Coach. Parent of 2 grown children.
45699345
Type Your Parenting Question Here...
Lori Gephart is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My 20 year old and 17 year old daughter are not speaking again.

Resolved Question:

My 20 year old and 17 year old daughter are not speaking again. At an outdoor family event, my 20 year old threw her sister to the ground for taunting her with a water bottle, in front of the entire group. We left. At home, it got nasty, yelling and derogatory cursing, till my 20 year old said "so kill me if you want to" and my 17 year old grabbed her by the neck and began strangling her till she pushed her off. What do I do now. THe 21 year old is away at college. Neither regret their action. What do I do?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Lori Gephart replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for contacting JustAnswer.

 

I am sorry to hear about the problems you are experiencing with your daughters. There seems to be quite a bit of anger between the two sisters. It may be helpful to consider what may be contributing to this (perhaps jealousy). It is important to be careful not to encourage this jealousy by fueling the conflicts or taking sides. However, it is also important to set limits that violence is not acceptable. Threats, particularly to kill another human being, are serious and should not be ignored. The message to your daughter should be that this will not be tolerated. If you believe that these threats are plans, then hospitalization may be needed in order to offer safety for both girls. However, if you believe that this was not a serious threat, then individual or family psychotherapy may be very helpful to address the issues that are contributing to these conflicts. Strangling is not something to be taXXXXX XXXXXghtly and should be addressed by a psychologist.

 

You may also want to let your 20 year old daughter know that if she continues to engage in physical confrontations with her younger sister she could be charged with child abuse and to tell the 17 year old that if she continues with physical conflict and is out of control she could be hospitalized. You can also let them know that if they become physical again, you will call 911 in order to set a limit and protect them from harm.

 

I hope this answer is helpful. Please let me know if I can clarify further.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The 17 year old has been in therapy, and in rehab for substance abuse. She is trying to get her life on track...her older sister has tried to help her (she too has used before but not to the same degree to require rehab) by listening and offering advice, but it goes sour quickly.

My oldest is a high achiever, excellent grades...a tough act to follow.
The 17 yr old is a charmer, could achieve, but has no desire.
We have stressed that they are their own people and do not compare...but they compare each other.

I should not have left the house when they were at odds, but I couldn't take it any more and needed a breather. Now it's a mess and my husband is not giving it much attention. He thinks they will work it out.

How do I get them together if they won't go to family therapy (which we have tried, but not with the 20yr old.

Expert:  Lori Gephart replied 3 years ago.
I am glad to hear that your 17 year old is in therapy. It would be important to let her therapist know about this recent aggressive outburst and threat so that it can be addressed in therapy. It might be good to ask the 20 year old to avoid offering advice unless it is requested from her sister as this may be contributing to the conflicts. It can certainly be overwhelming when this type of conflict is happening. Instead of you leaving the house, you might try calling a time out and asking them to walk away from each other when they are angry. It may take time before they are able to get together and work out their issues. Rushing them or trying to take charge of their relationship with each other may not be productive. Instead, offering each of them unconditional love, while enforcing strict limits of respect and avoiding aggression in your home is what you can control. The more you try to manage their relationship with each other, the less they may take responsibility for it. While you cannot force them to be friends or get along, you can require them to follow the limits of respect and avoiding acting out by having limits and consequences. Please let me know if I can clarify further.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your prompt response. I am going to contact her therapist. I feel like I'm in over my head. You have helped me clarify my role. I can only control what goes on in my home and will try to enforce the rules.
Expert:  Lori Gephart replied 3 years ago.
You are very welcome. I wish you the best with all of this.
Lori Gephart, Licensed Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 259
Experience: 20 years of experience as a Psychologist and Parenting Coach. Parent of 2 grown children.
Lori Gephart and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
< Last | Next >
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
  • He answered my question promptly and gave me accurate, detailed information. If all of your experts are half as good, you have a great thing going here. Diane Dallas, TX
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Rafael M.T.Therapist

    Family Counselor

    Satisfied Customers:

    108
    MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/IN/intrapsyc.com/2012-2-20_161928_RGMTPicturex5002012.64x64.png Rafael M.T.Therapist's Avatar

    Rafael M.T.Therapist

    Family Counselor

    Satisfied Customers:

    108
    MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/jhollo77/2010-2-6_651_Avatar.jpg Jennifer's Avatar

    Jennifer

    School Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    77
    Collaborative parent consultation on everything from modifying behavior to child development.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VO/vodkas25/2012-1-29_16528_P1010831.64x64.JPG professional_Alison's Avatar

    professional_Alison

    Child Care

    Satisfied Customers:

    77
    Degree in early years,16 years experience in childcare
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/HU/hungryjack20/IMG_1281_edit_2.64x64.jpg Dr. L's Avatar

    Dr. L

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    40
    Licensed as psychologist and marriage and family therapist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/KaterB1270/2012-5-2_17226_016.64x64.jpg KaterB1270's Avatar

    KaterB1270

    Teacher

    Satisfied Customers:

    18
    BS Family Consumer Sciences Ed. and Masters of Art in Teaching
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/Kansastherapist/2012-6-13_171911_4upon20120220at14.64x64.jpg KansasTherapist's Avatar

    KansasTherapist

    LSCSW

    Satisfied Customers:

    17
    17 years experience with depression, abuse, and borderline.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/HE/heidi1107/2012-2-18_15325_Heidi.64x64.jpg Heidi LPC's Avatar

    Heidi LPC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    16
    Licensed Professional Counselor