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Original post made by Desperate Mom, Barron Park, on May 31, 2012

I am having behaving issues with my child. We have tried everything including counseling, but she continues her aggressive behaviors. I have heard of booth camping, but I do not know anybody who has tried it. Can someone give me honest and none judgemental opinion on booth camps. am thinking on boot camp.

Comments (8)

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Posted by Lauren
a resident of Midtown
on May 31, 2012 at 9:45 pm

Desperate Mom,

What does your husband have to say about this? Do you listen to him? I raised three teenagers, and I could not have done it without my husband laying down the law, so to speak.


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Posted by Mom
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 1, 2012 at 5:53 am

How old is the child?
Is there substance use involved?
Are there depression, attention or learning issues to be addressed?

I would start with a checkup by the pediatrician, included a hearing and vision check. Then I would do a full learning evaluation by an experienced team, like Morrisey Compton.

Sometimes, there are other issues going on that result in a child being frustrated or angry that are more effectively solved in less drastic ways than a boot camp.


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Posted by Scott
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2012 at 8:18 am

Ask your school's counselor about the Palo Alto Parent Project. It is a program run by the police department that is highly effective in helping parents with difficult children.


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Posted by My prayers for you...
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Jun 1, 2012 at 9:43 am

Mom and Scott give excellent advise.

I also advise looking at Martha Cravens PhD through her website (based in Los Altos), a specialist in dealing with aggressive and defiant teens. She runs classes through CHAC (Community Health Awareness Council) in concert with police officers on how to parent difficult, high risk teens, as well as has classes she runs personally, and individual counseling for parents...I have had a horrible last few years with an increasingly rebellious and aggressive younger teen, and she is absolutely fantastic in helping deal with such a teen.

Can also recommend buying and DOING the Total Transformation Program ( look online..by Lehman) if your child is younger than 10-12, and is responsive to "normal" consequences. But if your child is older or doesn't seem to respond to "normal" consequences ( like, "get home by 9 pm or you lose your phone the next day"..and she figures in for a penny, in for a pound, stays out until midnight because it is worth the price of a lost phone for a day)..then the more intense program they just came out with may be better ( ask them the name and cost).;

If I had started the Total Transformation and been consistent from when my child was 5-6, it may have made for a different Teen experience. As it was, it was too little too late by the time he was a teen. It helped, but we ended up having to go into a much more intense parenting shift.

Good luck! Chin up! Learn how to manage your child then stick to it! We are still struggling 3 years after the big trouble began, but have made great progress compared to then. It never ends, the testing never ends, not if you have a highly rebellious and defiant teen, but you as parents grow into your job and get better at it.


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Posted by susie
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 4, 2012 at 7:47 pm

CHANGE THE DIET.
No MSG. No Food Colorings.

You probably think you are feeding her American food. And that may be true. But to be an American you have to be ever on the look out for chemical and addictive junk to make you eat more and get fat.

She is probably sensitive to these foods. Only cook fresh food. No processed food. Her mood will change. Her health will change. Her sleep will change.


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Posted by Mom of 3
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 4, 2012 at 8:25 pm

Have you demanded too much academic success from her that she is rebelling? There is more to life than academics here in America.

I do not recommend boot camp. They can be physically and verbally abusive.

You don't need the advice of therapists. YOU need to change the way you treat her. Something in your parenting failed but you can change it.

All children want the love of their parents or they have a hole in their heart that no one else can fill besides their parents. Somehow, this child doesn't feel loved. You may know you love her, but she is not believing it. You need to start spending time with her, showing her your love, stop being critical. It may take months or a year for her to finally realize you really care, but this will work. Remember her as an innocent baby and how much you loved her. When children begin to feel respected and loved by their parents, they begin to want to please the parents.

If you had someone nagging and criticizing you all the time, wouldn't you want to rebel? Wouldn't you be angry? Wouldn't you just want to be able to make your own decisions instead of someone telling you what to do? She needs to know you love her even if she is not perfect, not the straight-A student you want. She needs to feel she has control over her life.

Children are not feeling respected and loved by parents, which is the root of rebellion problems. If a child feels loved by their parents, they will feel whole and behavior will improve.


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Posted by mmmmMom
a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 5, 2012 at 12:31 am

Children's Health Council is also an excellent resource for you.

I'm very sorry that you are having such difficult Mothering issues; please know that Mothers everywhere are with you in heart. ((HUG))

Don't forget to take care of yourself,too.


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Posted by Mom
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jun 6, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Don't just send kids anywhere: Web Link


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