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Dr. Shirley Schaye
Dr. Shirley Schaye, Doctor
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1673
Experience:  PhD-Psych; Certif. Psychoanalyst NPAP& NYFS; Memb.APsaA;IPA; Pub.Author; Teach/Supervise Therapy
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I am a mother of 3 daughters. My eldest is 12, exceedingly

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I am a mother of 3 daughters. My eldest is 12, exceedingly bright, artistic, and challenging. She has been a difficult child since the age of potty training. We have tried numerous counselors to help us and her function as a family better but the older she gets, the more defiant and entitled her attitude. I bought the total transformation program several years ago and used their counselors by phone but I need someone to tell me unequivocally how to handle my daughter's defiance. She and her sisters are expected to help with chores, etc. around the house and they are paid for them. She refuses to do anything if she "doesn't feel like it" and most of the time she doesn't. We have taken privileges away but nothing seems to affect her. We have never been able to determine what motivates her. I don't want to have her grow up thinking she doesn't have to do things she doesn't want to do as we all do things we'd rather not do every day - and without getting paid most times! When I ask her to help out, I want to know how to handle her "no" response.

jenhelant :

Hi, My name is XXXXX XXXXX sorry to hear what you are going through. I understand how difficult it must be for you especially since she sets the example for the other children.

jenhelant :

I understand you have tried many things already and all of the things sound good. Are you consistent with taking away priveleges and etc?

jenhelant :

Also, how were your results with the total transformation kit?


My husband and I struggle to be consistent and he is the easier one of the two of us. Remembering to enforce things has been hard with everything that goes on, but all-in-all, I think we are fairly consistent. She just doesn't seem to care about the we keep thinking they need to be more severe but can't come up with what might work with her.


The total transformation kit was a bit of a nightmare. We consulted with a counselor by phone who advised us to try different techniques that didn't work and probably exacerbated my daughter's defiant behavior.

I want to add something from a different perspective. In addition to a B.A. in psychology, I have a Master's Degree in Psychiatric Social Work, a PhD in Psychology and two certificates ( Five years each of post graduate training) in Psychoanalysis. I am a member of the American Psychoanalytic and a Fellow of the International Psychoanalytic Association, not to mention umpteen years of treatment experience working with children, adolescents and adults. All this to say that if providing a behavioural modification programme such as The Transformation Program has not worked we need to take a deeper look into what is causing this behaviour. I am certainly not saying that your daughter should not suffer the consequences of her misbehaviour. What I am saying if behaviour modification alone is not working you need to have someone provide a proper diagnosis so that then a proper treatment protocol will be put into place. To do that you would need to bring her to a Board Certified Psychiatrist who can help with getting her properly diagnosed. Then, of course, a treatment plan can be put into place.

Of course, since I have not met your daughter in person I cannot diagnose her. One would also want to know a lot about the family history, the ages of each of her siblings, when this all began, etc. Again, in other words, a very detailed look at what is going on to have her properly diagnosed.

To begin with I would like to send you some links from the DSM IV --- the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual published by the American Psychiatric Association. I am not saying that what I am sending you is what I would diagnose her as. I can't, of course, diagnose someone I have never seen in person. What I am saying is take a look at what I am sending you --- does anything you are seeing in these diagnostic categories ring a bell. You are her mom --- nobody, except also her dad knows her better than the two of you. So let me send those links and after you have read them, tell me what you think.
This, of course, is not the treatment plan. It does start us in the direction, though, of getting a proper diagnosis so that we then know how to treat her. Also, again, she needs to be seen by a child psychiatrist to implement a treatment plan.
INATTENTION (need 6 of 9)
a) often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work or other activities

b) often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities

c) often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly

d) often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (no if oppositional behavior or doesn't understand instructions)

e) often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities

f) often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks or activities that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork or homework)

g) often loses things necessary for tasks or activities (e.g., toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools)

h) is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli

i) is often forgetful in daily activities

a) often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat

b) often leaves seat in classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected

c) often runs about or climbs excessively in situations in which it is inappropriate (in adolescents or adults, may be limited to subjective feelings of restlessness)

d) often has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly

e) is often "on the go" or often acts as if "driven by a motor"

f) often talks excessively

g) often blurts out answers before questions have been completed

h) often has difficulty awaiting turn

i) often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games)

1) Present at least 6 months, maladaptive and inconsistent with development level

2) Some symptoms that caused impairment were present before age 7

3) Some impairment from the symptoms is present in two or more settings (e.g., at school {or work} and at home)

4) There must be clear evidence of clinically significant impairment in social, academic or occupational functioning
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

My eldest daughter definitely does not fit either of these 2 Dx. She is incredibly smart - has skipped a grade and still manages to be more successful in school than most of her peers. She is currently taking 4 advanced placement classes in 7th grade when the schools generally only recommend students take 2 at a time and though we haven't seen her first report card, I expect it will likely be all A's. My youngest has been diagnosed with ADD and I'm familiar with those criteria. The last counselor to see her did suggest ODD...which fits better, but leaves us in the same position we are currently facing.

Also take a look at this link for :

At the bottom of this link you will see:

D. Criteria are not met for conduct disorder, and, if the individual is age 18 years or older, criteria are not met for antisocial personality disorder.

Also, See: Other Disorders Usually First Diagnosed in Infancy, Childhood, or Adolescence

Other Mental Health Diagnostic Symptoms and Criteria

Go there, too, and see what you can find.

Now, remember, we need to diagnose properly, first, in order to know how to treat. Let's put it this way, if a patient came into a doctors office with all kinds of symptoms that sent a red flag to the doctor that the patient was diabetic you would not tell them to just go eat something if they felt dizzy, or had to urinate frequently,let's say. A well qualified doctor would look at the symptoms and then diagnose and ONLY then treat. So the same for your daughter --- behaviour modification alone has not worked. So let's back up a bit, get the right diagnosis and then treat.

I know you have a lot to read. Do take your time and write down what questions you have and then I will guide you in the right direction. Just put Dr. Shirley Schaye before your response and I will be the one to answer.

I wish you well. Come back with any questions you might have.

Just let me say this --- Just because someone has ADD or ODD does not mean they are not smart. I have treated a little boy from the time he was 5 years old who had ADD. Because of the coaching of his mom and the medication this boy was on he turned his life around. He went To Princeton, Harvard Law School and now works at one of the best law firms in NYC. Having ADD has nothing to do with being smart or not.

Ok, so now let me ask you what are the credentials of this counselor? I would definitely want her to see a child psychiatrist first if she were my daughter. It would be important for the psychiatrist to know that the behaviour modification things you have tried have not worked. She may also need medication for a little while to help her get started in the right direction. As I said, I can't diagnose on the internet --- not ethical either.

Awaiting your response.
I have to see a patient now. Enter your response and as soon as I am finished I will check to see your response.
Hi there,
Just wanted to let you know that I am finished with my patient and so am available should you wish to add anything to our chat.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Dr. Shirley Schaye,


If I were to look for a child psychiatrist, how would you recommend finding a good one? I live in a small town and would need to travel 2.5 hours to a big city in order to see someone, but I don't want to just pick one off the internet. Suggestions?

Wise and thoughtful of you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What is your zip code? What is the zip code of the nearest bigger city? Give me a few surrounding names of towns, cities and zip codes and then I will research who is around there AND their credentials.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Dr. Shirley Schaye,


We live in zip code 78852 (Eagle Pass TX), within 1 hour of 78840 (Del Rio, TX), and 2.5 hours from 78229 (San Antonio) among others.


Thank you

Thank you! Let me start my research. As soon as I find something I will respond back to you.
Well --- not easy to find someone who is well qualified. I think I'm moving --- LOLLaughing. Where I live there are hundreds within a few blocks.

I found someone in San Antonio, TX. I'm sorry that I couldn't find a Board Certified Child Psychiatrist with post graduate education closer to you. But here's the thing. Get your daughter properly evaluated. Let this doctor know that unfortunately, you live so far away that you cannot see her regularly and once she diagnoses your daughter she can implement a treatment plan based on her diagnosis. Also, since she lives in TX she might know people closer to you who can carry out the treatment. It could also be a psychologist. If this doctor thinks your daughter requires medicine she can do that periodically and have a psaychologist nearer to you carry out the weekly treatment. The child psychiatrist listed below has extensive training.

5007 Broadway St
San Antonio, TXNNN-NN-NNNN

I wish you well and am here for you should you need any further help.
Dr. Shirley Schaye, Doctor
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1673
Experience: PhD-Psych; Certif. Psychoanalyst NPAP& NYFS; Memb.APsaA;IPA; Pub.Author; Teach/Supervise Therapy
Dr. Shirley Schaye and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Dr. Shirley Schaye,


Thank you very much for your time and advice.

Oh, you are very welcome!!!!!! I treat and have treated lots of children and adolescents over the years. The key is to make a proper diagnosis. I know, I know, I sound like a broken record. But if you diagnose properly, then you can treat properly. So if e.g., you get a kid with severe ADHD and all you do is treat them behaviourally, NOTHING will change because this is NOT a psychological problem. I'm not saying your daughter is ADD/ADHD. I am saying we need to rule out organicity and then go from there to get at the root of the problem to know how to treat it.

Again, I wish you well and I am here for you.
Please don't forget to rate me. I don't get credit for my time if I am not rated.
OOPS!!! I just saw that you already rated me. Thank you!!! I appreciate that.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Here's a specific instance with my 12-year old daughter that I need help with: I've asked her to unload the clean dishes from the dishwasher and put them away, twice. I also asked her to take her backpack, that she left on the couch, to her room. She responds by going to her room, closing her door, and reading. She picks and chooses what she wants to comply with and we don't know what to do anymore. She's already on restriction from electronics (TV, computer) so there isn't much else we can take away for misbehavior. She is too big at this point for us to "force" her to do anything. Suggestions? We try not to ask much of her anymore because if she refuses, it reinforces to her that she has the power in the relationship.

To me it seems that she has ODD. Of course, I haven't seen her in-person and so this is just a guess. Look at the link I sent. She does seem to present some of those symptoms from what you have just described. Of course, you need to continue doing what you are doing, that is, take away privileges. You are doing the right thing . But, as I said before nothing will change really. She'll misbehave, you'll apply your restrictions and so it will go. You need to have someone do a thorough evaluation so that you can get to the root of why this is happening. Then in therapy, the therapist will help her work it out --- along with, of course, the behavioural restrictions you impose when she does not comply with household rules.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I really want to know what someone would suggest doing if this was any other child. Forget that she might be ODD, what if she isn't? How would you recommend any parent handle this particular situation?

As I said, I would continue providing restrictions, as you have done. I would also find a suitable time to sit down and bring up your thoughts and feelings about how she is behaving and ask her for her thoughts.
It doesn't matter whether she has ODD or not or whatever other diagnosis unless it was ADD/ADHD which would require medication. What's important is that one gets to the root of her problems. If one can determine what psychologically is going on with her, one may then know what they can do.
As a psychoanalyst, when someone comes like your daughter would come to see me for a consultation I would want to get a complete history from the parents and then see the child to determine what it is she is acting out. Without having that complete history I cannot say why she is doing what she is doing. I can most definitely tell you that giving her behavioural consequences clearly from what you have described will not do it. She may be enacting something that is bothering her. A therapist with the proper training needs to be added to your behavioural restrictions so that the therapist can help determine what is going on. We therapists have no magic. She needs to be seen by someone.

This is Jennifer. I am the first person to respond to your question. You had rated me poorly and I want to apologize to you. I really do not know if you ever received my responses or not. I sent you many responses and some how they never got to you and the other expert had locked the question, so it prevented me from responding. I then saw she was helping you and you were not happy with me. I now see you have asked another question here and I really do not know if you had seen my responses or not. I will take my risks of you rating me poorly again in order to try and help you because I really feel what you are going through.

I am sorry about this and I know how much of a struggle this can be especially since she is the eldest and can effect the younger siblings since she is a role model to them. I do not see a problem with an evaluation, but I do not believe in only relying on that. I have seen many children get labeled whereas had no issue at all. I have seen that happen much to prematurely. Sometimes there are other things that can be done besides the traditional methods. If you were to see someone I would suggest a psychologist or therapist first because a psychiatrist main goal is to give medicine. I would recommend therapy before even thinking about medication or even labeling your daughter. Therapy can help with issues without labeling her. Many children and adults have issues that need to be worked on and therapy is one way to help, but I would not say that is the final solution or your daughter should be put in a category at this point.

I do believe there are things you do at home. I understand this particular incident that happened tonight. I do agree if you ignore it then she will take dominion, but at the same time you can not physically put her in a time out. I would say continue to take privileges away, but also take away the basics that she may have. She may have luxuries that you may not even think about taking away, such as washing her clothes, making her a snack, little things that you probably do for her that she takes forgranted and you may not consider taking away. Stop doing those things for her and this will force her to take action if she wants to eat or have clean clothes, etc. You can even lock her room and have her sleep on the couch. The point of this is if you take away privileges, but she has back ups then it will not work. She will need to be without anything in order for her to see that she needs to respect you and do what she needs to do or nothing will get done for her. Also, consistency is extremely important. If you do it mostly, but not always this can cause her to not take you as serious and she will use this against you. Another thing is you and your husband needs to be on the same page if you are not then she will play on that as well. Children are very smart and play on our emotions as well. I know how hard it can be to be consistent on a daily basis, but it is better to go through a tough time the first few weeks and have things get easier than just have it stay like this. It won't be comfortable to be consistent nor to make these changes, but in time you will see results. She is getting into the teenage years and things can get worse, so best to do all you can now. Our time with our children is shorter than we think before we know if they are adults, so whatever you do don't give up. Remember that the fruit of our labor is not always seen right away, but may be seen years later. Best to stay positive, focused, and keep on pressing.

Some other things that I would recommend is going out with her somewhere maybe for lunch together and having some one on one time. Its at these quiet talks is when children open up most when it is just the two of you and she is in a good mood. Use that time to get on her level. See what she likes and try to get into her world. This will help you understand her better. Casually you can talk with her about how she thinks and feels about different things in life. Tell her about yourself and how you were as a young girl. This all will help build the bond you both have even stronger than it is and can help her to listen more to you. If she is on your "team" she will be open to listen more. Continue to have these talk with her and outings. You will not want to criticize her or discipline her at these times. Just casually talk and even give her some life lessons by example. When you see a situation you can say something like " look at that boy helping his mom that is so sweet" or "I feel so bad for those people who were hit by that hurricane. I wish there was a way we can help. Do you have any ideas". Just this type of talk can help her see the goodness in you and make her start thinking of the goodness as well.

Then at some point you can ask her directly " let me ask you why do you not like doing your chores" you know when we do good things good things happen to us" when we do not so good things then not so good things happen to us". It is important to put our stuff away because.... And if we don't.... Tell her something like " sometimes I don't like putting my stuff away either, but I have to cause ...and if I don't then...." Just make small talk with her.

The conversations, the discipline, making her feel uncomfortable at home are all things you can do and take to the next level the things you already do. Therapy can help, but still need to be careful since that can make her resentful if she does not want to go. I would not give up even when you feel like doing that. Let her know she is the eldest and her siblings look up to her for her as a role model and this is a huge responsibility, but let her know how much she is loved by them.

Also, she is smart and good in school. You can bring that up at some point " ask her what her teachers would think if they knew what she did at home" they would probably be sad the same way it makes you sad. Let her know it makes you sad cause she is capable of behaving in school, so if she behaves in school then why she can not behave at home. This suggest to me more behavior rather than illness because most children with illness will misbehave anywhere. I could be wrong. She may misbehave in school, but based on what you wrote seems as though she does not. If she behaves well in school that is a very good sign and I think you should encourage her to behave the way she does at school at home and talk about with her on your quiet talk times why such a difference from home and school. Just something to think about.

I know you rated me negative and I do not know how much you read of my previous answer since it got lost, but I just wanted to try and help. If you do happen to want to respond to me then please put my name in your reply, so that I know you are talking with me and not the other expert. However, if you do not want me to respond anymore then I will remove myself from this thread. In any case I truly wish you the best and hope things get better for you all. Stay positive. I know how hard it is being a parent is not easy and remember your not alone.

I wish you gentle wishes and please let me know if I can be of further help.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you Jennifer (jenhelant),


I didn't get your previous responses past the first initial questions you asked and assumed that you had passed things off to the other expert, thus, the rating I gave you reflected that. Sorry about that. I do appreciate your attempt to help again.


We have taken my daughter to multiple therapists, mostly LCSWs and she enjoys the situation and tends to manipulate them. Your point that she has behavioral issues at home but not at school rings so true and that is why I am reluctant to seek a diagnosis of ODD (or whatever), which would encourage someone to prescribe medication. I feel like if my husband and I had better tools for dealing with her, we could turn the situation around. I feel such a sense of urgency, but don't know what to try. I feel like everything I have done has failed with her and frankly I lack the confidence to enforce anything anymore (though I still do try). I'm really hoping for specific suggestions to specific instances from the experts on this website.


I have threatened not to wash her clothing before but haven't followed through with that. At this point, she already makes her own snacks, but I did stop making her breakfast several weeks ago mainly because I was making it for her and she wasn't eating it. Now she doesn't eat breakfast at all. I have a hard time with this outcome when she doesn't seem to be phased by my consequence and is also harming herself as a result; she has been gaining weight since she was 9 and skipping breakfast is not good for her metabolism.


Other suggestions for consequences are welcome and needed. Right now, she occupies a second master suite with a bathroom that we "took away" from her for a few months to improve her behavior. We switched rooms with her sister. Her behavior was better but as soon as she was given her room back, she reverted to the same mouthy, non-helpful behavior. We are thinking about doing this again, but permanently and without warning. The problem I see with this would be the incentive to change her behavior would not be there if she did not have the opportunity to "earn" her bedroom back. I'm not going to do it, however, if we have to keep switching rooms back and forth. Doing this switch also has consequences for her relationship with her younger sister who would be sharing the other bathroom with her. I'm sure there would be fights.


Once again, thanks for your additional attempt to help me. I look forward to hearing back from you regarding the additional things I have written today.

I just want you to know that the name of the doctor I have given you is someone who is trained as a Psychoanalyst as am I. Anyone who is trained as a psychoanalyst is NOT going to just prescribe a pill --- absolutely not. She has extensive training to get at the root of what is making your daughter do what she does. You have mentioned that the people she has seen are LCSW's. That is very different compared to the name of the person I gave you. Whereas, I don't know Dr. Martinez, I have checked her credentials. She has extensive training. She would after a consultation would know where to start.
Dr. Martinez not only has a Bachelor's degree but has an MD plus additional postgraduate training in Psychoanalysis.
Please pay attention to what you have said. You have tried all kinds of behavioural restrictions. It has not helped. So the time has come to dig underneath to discover what is creating her defiance.
I just want to say when another EXPERT has locked a question the Expert who has already answered is ALWAYS FREE TO POST AS WELL.

Thank you for your response and again I apologize for that misunderstanding. Occasionally there are these technical issues that allow two experts to lock at the same time, but is very rare. It is true that after a question is answered if unlocked another expert can respond when the answer is different, but usually does not happen when only a question was asked. However, if you remember we were in a chat. I sent you many messages on that chat then saw on a different page the other expert had switched to question and answer also all of my many responses were not there, so very strange why my responses were not there and how the other expert had locked meanwhile I was locked. This is probably why you did not see my responses. I had asked the company about how this could have happened since never did and they said it was a technical issue and again I do apologize for that.

I am so sorry about this and I want you to know that you have very good insight to this and it is not easy. That does play a big role as to why she does this at home and not in school. Most children who can not control themselves are the same in any setting due to a particular issue. I just have seen many children be on medicine when did not need whereas others did not go toward the main stream and take the "medicine" they were told needed and actually did change as they grew. I do believe there are cases of illness for sure, but I do not believe it is the answer for every child who misbehaves. It is also very difficult sometimes even for the therapy to help whether it be a psychologist or etc because as you said they do say "their side" of the story and sometimes and even get supported. But don't get me wrong therapy can help with the right therapist even with no illness at all just by working with them. It is not easy and there really are no cut and dry answer whether it be therapy or ideas. An evaluation is fine if you stay skeptical and get other opinions as well,but from what I have seen and by what you are saying I do see a possibility of her getting past this and becoming a well adult with no issue or need for medicine.

Let's face it some children are more difficult than others I see it all the time. Some parents can do anything and the child is an angel whereas others can do any and everything, but still the child does not behave and I am saying ones with no illness even. I would suggest you continue doing what you are doing with her. As you have mentioned you are not always consistent. This can be the difference. Sometimes we think it is not, but children are very smart and seems as though your daughter is, so she can play on this because she knows what she can and can not get away with. Try being consistent and follow through with what you say. You are on the right track just don't give up and also be very consistent. Talk with your husband about this as well so you both are on the same page.

I understand what you mean about her room. She knows how to behave because she got her room back by behaving and then changed again. I know if you take it for good then there would be no motive for her to be better and you do not want her to share with her sister. What about not giving her a room and have her sleep on the couch just using the room for her things, so she can not go in it when you tell her to do something or let her stay in the room, but only use it for sleeping. Also, do not give in at the sight of her changing. She would need to behave for a very long time before her privileges are given back. Make sure you are taking things away for the right amount of time.

I would stop the clothes washing and I understand about breakfast you do want her to be healthy, but can not force her to eat. Sometimes children do learn by feeling the consequences of their actions even when it is harder for us.

Try making family times together like a game night, Movie night, or a family talk. I don't know if you have a religion if so you can have a family night about whatever your religion is if you have one. As I also said try bonding with her getting on her level. I know this may be hard since we can hold anger towards our children even though we love them the behavior upsets you. Try putting it to the side and get inside of her head as to why she does the things she does. This will help you to better understand her and help her personally since you know her best.

Sometimes its the little things that change the situation and not so much one solution itself. I don't know if you yell, scream, or get angry. If you do I would recommend you trying to control that. Children also play on this as well. Try to remain calm and just tell her what needs to be done. If it is not done there will be consequences without thew fighting. If there is a fight then there is no solution. Also, since this has been going on for a while maybe you were not consistent in the beginning because you may not have realized what it would turn into. You may have saw it even as cute or that she will grow out of it. Maybe recently you have started being stricter. I am just assuming correct me if I am wrong. I am thinking this because of her behavior at home and not in school. She may see you as she can get away with things because has been all along in the past. It would take time for you to prove to her that you are not going to accept this behavior and you will be consistent. As you continue to be consistent she will then see how serious you are and the clock will start turning back.

I would suggest your husband be just as involved as you are if he is not. When children see both parents on the same page they also take it more serious. When they see leeway they play on that. It is the daily little things that make the end result. Nothing happens overnight whether good or bad. It is our daily behaviors and actions in order to succeed in life. This is the hard part. It is extremely difficult to maintain parenting with a difficult child. It takes a lot of stress on our part. Be sure to take care of yourself as well. Give yourself the relaxation and time you need for yourself as well because this will give you the strength to face the daily challenges.

Please let me know if I can be of further help and again I am sorry for the miscommunication with the site in the beginning.