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I have a seventeen year old grandaughter who wants to quit

school and has no reality...
I have a seventeen year old grandaughter who wants to quit school and has no reality as to what lies ahead. Right now she is living with friends(couch surfing) She knows that she can stay with me,but chooses to live with friends. Her options are wearing thin as she does not have a job and does not contribute to others for staying with them .She is not being accountable.She and her mother fight constantly.There is a major power struggle going on.I am trying to remain neutral. What is the aspen group? We are in our sixties and don't have the resources we wish we had. What are our options for her that we could help.I am hoping that the consequences of her choices will speak to her.She doesn't believe what we have told her about her choices to not go to school,stay out late at nignt,not deal with her responsibilities.She has a high intellegence level in math and art.Wants to get a G.E.D. and go to college.Any advice would be appreciated. We live in Montana with less resources.
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Answered in 35 minutes by:
2/12/2012
David Akiva
David Akiva, BA, MA,
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 167
Experience: Counselor; Behavioral Consultant
Verified
DuddyH :

Welcome, I'm a professional counselor and behavioral-consultant. I'd like to chat with you for a few moments to better understand your question. I noticed your offline right now so I'm going to leave you a few questions. I'll check back for your response, and either leave a few more questions for you or provide an answer if my picture is clear enough of your presenting problem.

DuddyH :

1. Does your granddaughter have any formally diagnosed mental health or health problems?

DuddyH :

2. What has her average academic performance been like over the last few years, and has it been stable?

DuddyH :

3. Are there any serious drug or alcohol problems that you know of?

DuddyH :

What are the top 2 major issues that she argues with her mom about? When did that defiance problem start?

DuddyH :

I'll check back early in the morning EST time for your responses.

Customer:

No mental health issues diagnosed.Her mother has been diagnosed as addict/alcoholic.Went to prison for 18 months for drugs when her daughter was 4 and again when she was 10 for probation violation .My daughter has been on probation for 10 years .My grandaughter has abandonment issues.She did well in school up until 8th grade scored high in math and science.Seems to not be challenged. She and her mother have been in a major power struggle in the past 2 years.My daughter has been clean fo 9 years.but has mood swings takes medication (wellbutrin and adderall) Has Adult ADD.Over reacts to everything and is difficult to live with.I believe her daughter is tired of living with the fighting.Her mother can't stop nagging and has a difficult time editing her mouth,obsesses about everything.She and my grandaughter say such hateful things to one another.I believe my granddaughter has just given up and does not know what to do.I try to talk to her about her goals in life.she seems to just want to run away from everything.i believe that she is smoking pot.she denies it and says to have her tested if we don't believe her.She has gotten worse about getting up in the a.m.and sleeps all day takes off at night .She took off when her mother took her cell phone away.Her cell phone was our only connection to us.Her mother gave it back after 2 weeks. Our granddaughter has a great personality, funny and witty. She is physically very pretty.Striking is the comment from others.She has so many talents but seems so self destructive,as if to get her mothers attention.She and my daughter have 5 cats and 2 dogs.my grandaughter wants all the pets around to love but no responsibility for thier care.they fight about the pet chores and cleaning all the time.My daughter has told her(granddaughter) several times that she doesn't want her to live there when they fight.My granddaughter responds with" Why did you have me I would be better off dead."my grandaughter is an only child, does not know who her father is.We are her only other parents she has besides her mother.We have been told to not interfere by my daughter when things get bad.I feel her(grandaughter) mother's mental instability and lack of boundaries has caused most of my granddaughter's issues in the past few years. I love her and feel helpless in giving her any direction.She does not trust many people.I call her and try to be positive and tell her that we love her.I hope this gave you better insight on the situation.

DuddyH :

First, I have to say that I am so sorry to hear that you are going through this right now. What you have described here would incredibly difficult and even heart wrenching at times...

DuddyH :

I've actually worked as a counselor, a psychotherapist and a residential treatment program developer for kids with serious emotional and behavioral problems. I've also worked as school board wide behavioral consultant and crisis intervention worker....

DuddyH :

I've studied the best, ***** ***** for kids and highly distressed families, for a number of years. It sounds to me like an intensive home-based family counseling and parenting intervention would be very helpful here...

DuddyH :

I'm thinking of Multi-Systemic Therapy (MST) or Functional Family Therapy (FFT)....

DuddyH :

These programs which are most often totally government funded because they get powerful and lasting results, actually target exactly that serious kind of parent-teen arguing and family dysfunction, you described.

DuddyH :

They provide family counseling in the home, they provide specialized counseling to the teen, and they also provide what's called behavioral parent training (BPT) to the parent or parents. They also intervene very effectively at the teen's school...

DuddyH :

They also provide telephone support to the parent so that the various interventions are supported through out the week outside of counseling.

DuddyH :

These programs seriously reduce running away from home and family arguments. They also seriously reduce substance abuse behaviors and kids start to do a lot better at school too. What's more the effects of these programs last years after they end, when researchers come back to see how everyone is doing.

DuddyH :

Let me get you some internet links that really provide detailed and clear explanations of how these programs work:

DuddyH :

This is what I mean by MST: http://mstservices.com/

DuddyH :

This is what I mean by FFT: http://www.fftinc.com/

DuddyH :

What I often suggest to family members who are trying to positively influence their kids and/or adult and children or relatives is to provide helpful information rather than criticize or to overstep perceived boundaries. That can make people defensive so that they shut down...

DuddyH :

It can also be very helpful when talking to them to focus on their issues or their side of the story. For instance, you might want to share the links I've provided and introduce the suggestion of this kind of treatment intervention by addressing the need to improve your granddaughter's behavior and academic performance etc, and to reduce other risk factors in her life. Emphasizing the benefits to your daughter may also be seriously helpful....

DuddyH :

If she does decide to work with such a program as I've suggested, the specially trained program therapists and supervisors will quickly identify the real problems and the bigger clinical picture. They will also be able to assess the support needs of your daughter too.

DuddyH :

Both of the webpage I've provided have contact information and find a program in your area pages. Ideally your daughter will learn about these programs and e-mail or make the call herself. And remember, these programs are most often free, especially MST and can be found all over world.

DuddyH :

Well I sure hope I've answered your question ok today. If you feel I've left something out or missed something, please let me know. Otherwise, please press the green "ACCEPT" button on your screen so that I am paid for my time researching and providing this detailed answer for you. I sincerely ***** ***** and your family the very best! Take care.

DuddyH :

Thought I'd check back to see if you'd had a chance to review my detailed, tailored answer. I'll check back again tomorrow. I sure hope my answer is helpful to you and your family....

David Akiva
David Akiva, BA, MA,
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 167
Experience: Counselor; Behavioral Consultant
Verified
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David Akiva
David Akiva
David Akiva, BA, MA,
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 167
167 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Counselor; Behavioral Consultant

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