My kids are out of control.

DEAR COACH RICHIE: My kids are out of control. I am here crying and my husband took off because he cannot deal with children issues. Our daughter disconnected our home’s electrical power today for the second time. I am going to lose my mind. I will now spend the next several hours with no power and in the dark because of her out of control behavior.

Between my two kids 16,17 they have totaled 3 cars and my son has 3 moving violations. My son has paid for his last 2 tickets and is purchasing his own car. My daughter is a senior and She does well in school. They are good kids. I know they are. They are loved by school staff and always are the first to help out. But I feel like they are out of control and I don’t know what to do.

COACH RICHIE: My kids are out of control is putting it mildly. It also sounds like your husband wants to disengage which is not really supportive of him. When there are 2 parents they really need to parent as one. You don’t have an option as a parent to check out when things get tough. That is what parenting is all about. It really sounds like your daughter is looking for some attention. There is really not enough information here to know what is going on. There is something going on inside your home that is making her like this. Teenagers don’t take transformer boxes for no reasons. The first thing I would do would be to lock the door to wherever the transformer is. So what do you think your daughter needs this moment? She has something going on in her world that is causing her emotional troubles. She is acting out because deep inside she is crying for help. Teenagers use anger to mask their emotional troubles.

\Do you and your husband fight in the house? Is she having problems with friends? In order to get through to her and find out what is bother her you need to speak to her and listen. Don’t do it right after she takes away your electricity. You need to do it from a space of peace and love. When you are not fueled by rage. If you can get her to go out with you somewhere. to eat, etc. Start by sharing how you feel emotionally. be honest, be vulnerable and tell her everything. Hopefully, that will relieve some of her pressure and allow her to open up to you. If and when she opens up, don’t fix, rescue or advise her. Just listen with an open heart and acknowledge her feelings. Whatever they are. Once you have the communication lines open you can rebuild from there and hopefully she will stop the transformer robbing. Onto your boys. If they are totaling cars.

This may be a stupid question. But why are they getting more cars? Seems like a lot of enabling is going on? Why are you paying for the tickets? Why are you paying for the insurance that is double your house payment? Great that your son is purchasing his own car, etc. Are you going to keep paying for his insurance and I am not sure what state you are in. But you may need to look into the homestead act in case he gets into an accident and you get sued. so they won’t take your house. What would happen if you cancelled their insurance and told them they had to pay for it? Maybe they would start driving safer? That is amazing that the children are well behaved in school, etc. Unfortunately that doesn’t do you any good.

Have you actually sat down and spoken to your boys and let them honestly know how you and your husband feel about their careless driving habits? Same conversation that you should have with your daughter you should have with them. If you don’t make a change nothing will change. Are you waiting for something bad to happen? Sometimes we don’t get second chances and as a parent this is our job to make sure our children know that. Your window of opportunity is now to make some changes and make things a little easier for you and your children. You don’t deserve any of this and you can get control of this situation if you want. Hope something here helps.

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