“He’s going to flunk!” More Solutions for Parental Anxiety

Posted October 6, 2015 by

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We received some great feedback on our last newsletter, written in response to parental anxiety and futurizing. Thank you for your kind words and insightful comments!

Remember, futurizing happens when anxious, overwhelming thoughts lead to negative predictions for a child’s future.

Since this is such a common topic for parents, I want to share another useful strategy for coping with negative thoughts in a positive way.

Start by asking yourself this question…

What does my child need from me right now?

As you become more aware of futurizing thoughts, the next step is to try and bring your mind back to the present. Asking if there is anything you can do for your child right now helps put your feet back on the ground.

Here’s what this might look like:

Ashley has missed a lot of homework assignments lately, and we’re not even halfway through the school year…at this rate, she’ll flunk out of high school. College will never happen!

Instead of fast-forwarding to the future, what can this parent do for Ashley right now?

I know Ashley gets easily distracted and commits to too many things she doesn’t have time for. She needs some help making homework time a priority. I can get more information about the missing assignments, then sit down with Ashley and make a plan for how she can get her work done.

You can follow a similar process for yourself, too: What do I need right now?

Staying in the present and focusing on what you have control over is one good way to manage your anxiety. We also recommend The Calm Parent AM & PM to parents who futurize — it’s great for learning how to emotionally separate from your child’s behavior and think more rationally.

Be good to yourself — parenting is tough! We’re here to help support and guide you.

All the best,

Marissa S., Empowering Parents Coach
Learn more about 1-on-1 Coaching

“The best way to know if you are parenting from fear vs. facts is to ask yourself if there is any evidence of what you are so worried about.” – Debbie Pincus, MS LMHC


Marissa is a proud mom to two boys, age 10 and 5. She earned her degree in Sociology from Saint Joseph’s College of Maine and has been a 1-on-1 Coach since 2011. Prior to coming to Empowering Parents, Marissa gained experience working as the House Manager of a group home for teenage boys, as a Children’s Mental Health Case Manager, and also spent several years working on the Children’s Unit at a Psych. Hospital.

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  1. nadia ramnarie Report

    Hi I have a 16 yr old 10 yr old sons and 6 yr old daughter .I used the strategy of not arguing back on the 16 yr old and it worked thank you very much for that. I’m still having problems with him when it comes to doing assignments he does them but takes to long to complete them He will wsit until its due to do it the night before. He wake up at 5 30am father drops him off by 6 30 am after svhool he has lessons until 5 30 pm he reaches home about 7pm.this is Monday to Saturday .I’m I giving him to much class?
    On the hand my 10yr old has problems focusing he does all his work gets everything correct but when its test time he forgets everything. What can I do to help him.My 6yr old is brilliant child she would pick up a book and read she does all the right thing at pays attention focus completely but when it come to mummy and daddy she must have it her way. I’m bit hard on her because she’s a girl an needs to no dhe can’t have it all but Im not sure if I’m doing the right thing.Any suggestions anyone.

  2. Mammashaver Report

    We have a 10 yr old daughter with ADD and who is in the 5th grade. She doesn’t have it “full blown”, takes a low dose medicine to help her pay attention in class. She has a 504 plan at school, have spoken to the counselor & one of her 2 teachers about the plan. Had her teacher conference this Tues & the teacher said she has trouble w/ multi step tasks. Asked how to help her w/this and all she could advise was to encourage her to think about the steps she needs to do when something new is introduced in class. We didn’t think her teacher was very helpful. Showed us her grades, C+ in Science and I looked on our school website today and she now has an F in science. I have a part time job with the school so I get home around 2 in the afternoon. She gets home at 3:20. I’m wondering if I should quit my pt job to focus more during the day on how I’m going to help her when she gets home from school.  How do I find out how to help her with doing homework? Sometimes I feel with the 1 hour I have before she gets home that’s not enough time to do errands or house work and I’m running around trying to multitask doing homework w/her & doing laundry & making dinner.  My husband works until 7 some nights so I’m the parent that does homework with her. She goes to be at 8 per the pediatrician. She feels 10 yr old that get up at 6 to catch the bus at 7 need 10 hrs sleep.  Any advice, websites regarding homework would really help.  Thank you.

  3. Mytwins Report

    Hi, I have 9 years old twins, a boy and a girl and in my house there’s never a peaceful time. I have a hard time with my son, he is defiant and always tries to negotiate. If he doesn’t get his way he gets mad, screams, trows things or revenges on his sister. I admit I have very little patience so I do scream at him a lot, I just don’t know what to do he doesn’t seem to understand even after explaining calmly to him why we don’t do certain things… He is also very negative and never says anything nice to us. He says bad things to his sister and to me as well. I need to go to family therapy but never have the time. On the good side they are very active and love
    sports, so between flag football and the swim team, religious education and school I don’t have a minute for anything else… I am just exhausted all the time…any ideas how to stop the negativaty and the defiant attitude.

    • Empowering Parents Coach Marissa Stephens, 1-on-1 Coach Report


      Hi there! You ask a great question, and one we hear frequently
      from parents.Back talk and negativity
      are quite common ways for kids to show they don’t like the answer they are
      getting. Often times, it’s also a way to pull parents into a power struggle,
      with the chance of getting parents to give in or change their minds. After
      setting a clear limit with your son, we would suggest disengaging and walking
      away, not giving power to angry outbursts. You likely won’t be able to
      rationalize with him at this point, and really, there is no need to. In a calm
      time, you can help him problem solve and make a plan of what he can do when he
      is angry or gets a ‘no’ answer, and hold him accountable with a http://www.empoweringparents.com/child-discipline-consequences-and-effective-parenting.php,
      if needed. Best of luck as you continue
      to work on this behavior with your son.

  4. cmccaf Report

    my son is 16 and in grade 11. he seemed really excited about the new school year in the beginning of September but as soon as it came time to go to school, he has found every excuse in the book not to go. he has trouble sleeping, which I have given him melatonin and told him all about “good sleep hygiene”, but of course he’s a teenager and he “knows better”. he watches his tv until late at night and plays games on his phone while lying in bed. we have tried taking away these items, but his behaviour becomes worse. he gets very angry when I wake him up in the morning, he also gets very angry when I don’t wake him up in the morning for school. he has attended classes this year very sporadically, and it is usually just his last block. we met with the counsellor to try to re-arrange some of classes so he could be with his friends, but he needs to do a little legwork to make it happen, which is only going to those teachers to have them sign his form for dropping or adding a class. I offered to help him with this, he tells me he’ll do it after school and then doesn’t.  he has refused to go to 2 of his classes since September as he believed that he would be changing classes, he has not handed any homework in for the rest of his classes. the more I push him to get out of bed the more he refuses, as is the same with his homework. he has many friends, who drop by the house at lunchtime to try to get him to go to school and he has been told by the counsellor that our meeting was a warning, if he misses more classes he will need to go to an alternative school, away from his friends and I know this would devastate him.  does anyone have any tips/ideas on how to motivate him to go to school, once he’s there he’s quite happy. the odd time he has gone to school he tells me he had a great day.  he has a big problem with procrastination and I am quite sure he has some OCD qualities, as in if it is not right for him to do at the time he just won’t do it. he can get great grades if he puts in a little effort, he has done in the past. any ideas would be great, my husband and I feel like we’re drowning here….

    • momincontrol Report

      My son sounds just like your son. They both have to be held accountable. Observe what he likes to do. When he doesnt meet his responsibilities, take his “stuff” and his privliges until he does what he’s supposed to do. I understand that he gets angry. Let him get angry. Ignore it. For rxample, its my sons job to mow the lawn. Front and back takes 1 1/2 hrs. Its a small yard. He’ll complete the front and say he’ll do the back the next day. I dont argue and he follows through the next day, everytime. If he’s making the effort, I give encouragement, and praise. If he’s in bed on his phone til late at night, wstching TV, not doing any work, his privileges are rescinded. Then we start over again. It’s not perfect, but it’s MUCH better and with each cycle gets better. He left for college in the summer and seems to be doing very well but I attribute that to him being in a program that holds him accountable every second of his time. And the fact that he wants to do it.

    • Empowering Parents Coach drowden Report

      It can be distressing as a parent when it seems as though
      you care more about your child’s education than he does. From what you have written, it
      sounds like the school counselor has been very clear about what the
      expectations are for your son as well as what the consequences will be if he
      doesn’t meet those expectations. It also sounds like there are many people in
      your son’s life who are trying to motivate him to go to school – you, his
      school counselor, and his friends. At this point, everyone has done what they
      can to help your son – it’s now up to him to make the choices he’s going to
      make. It may come down to your son having to suffer the natural consequences of
      going to an alternative school in order for him to make a change. This doesn’t
      mean you have to sit back and do nothing, however. One thing we often
      suggest  parents do is limit their child’s access to electronics and other
      privileges on the days he doesn’t go to school. I would expect him to be angry
      when his privileges are taken away for noncompliance. Him being angry about
      being held accountable doesn’t mean you don’t still hold him accountable. You
      might find this article by Debbie Pincus useful for your situation:  http://www.empoweringparents.com/how-to-motivate-your-child-to-do-better-in-school.php#ixzz3pJnKh1wW. Good luck to you
      and your family moving forward. Take care.

  5. chell Report

    Hi My son is 15 years old.  For the most part, he is a good and smart kid. He is in the 10th grade. I am separated from my husband which is his father. His father lives in another state. I have notice something strange about my son. One thing about a mother they have that mother instinct. I question him about drugs and sex. He said no. His grades started to plummet. He has always been an AIG student in elementary and middle school. When he started high school, he wanted to participate in extra curriculum activities so I did not put him in the IB (international baccalaureate) program. Anyhow, I noticed that he was acting strange. I asked him if was doing drugs. He said no. I got information that he has tried marijuana twice and I did a drug test and it came back positive for Marijuana. I was heartbroken. It is not in his character to do that stuff. I believe he did it out trying to fit in. As much as I told him about the dangers of drugs, he still wanted to try it. The city where I live is known for gangs and drugs. There is not a lot to do for young people. With that said, his father want him to live with him. I was so against it at first but now I am considering it. My ex lives in a great school district and is one of the best in the country. My question is do you think I should let him go. I have never been away from son except for sleepovers or spending the summer with grandparents.  Also, my ex invited me to come to so we can co-parent together. I want to go because I need a change and a better selection of jobs.He makes a lot more than me and it would be easier for me to go than my ex trying to find something where I live at.  My friends and family are telling me not to do it but this is my child. He need both his mother and father with him. Also, he needs to get out of the environment he is in. As you can see, I have several issues going on.  Has anyone ever move to another state to co-parent?

    • Cecilia Report

      Chell if you reread your post seems you already have the answers. You mentioned that your ex lived in the best school district, there are better job opportunities for you there and you two can coparent together your son can have both parents nearby… Best to you and your decision.

  6. Brigitte Report

    As already been said, this article just fell on my lap when I most needed! Futurizing is a great way to get even more frustrated as a parent. I have a 12 year old girl who is pretty smart and responsible when it comes to hw, and she also has outstanding grades. Not to pry, but since she’s so capable, I tend to demand more from her than the school itself, giving her more complex tasks at home and at the same time teaching her to not accept everything as true, learning to be critical by stimulating her curiosity. It brought me some problems with teachers, who felt resentful or thought that I was diminishing their roles as educators, even though she’s a very shy kid that doesn’t dare to speak aloud in class if she didn’t understand something, for example. I encourage her to be more assertive, but it’s just not her, maybe because she’s really introvert. Don’t get me wrong, I truly respect her personality, and now I realise that the main problem is me overstepping boundaries. When I see something wrong in a subject or when a teacher is not coherent, I’m blunt enough to just say it out loud. That can put my child on spot – and she hates it -, and I become the annoying know-it-all mom. This is just something I can’t help it, maybe because I am a teacher myself or maybe I am just projecting my own insecurities. Anyway, the point is that I am not sure if I’m demanding too much from her and consequently overwhelming her with too much information. I am always afraid of not doing enough when in fact maybe I am doing too much. I just want her to be able to reach her full capacity, and at the same time be a conscious and critical person, not just a deposit of information.

    • Cecilia Report

      As I read the articles it is more and more apparent that our own responses to our children matter so much in that we really do have the power to change things by starting the change in ourselves. It seems that you feel that you’re not doing enough for her and that’s why you feel like stepping in to be assertive for her. Sounds like your daughter is doing well and Maybe let her come up with her own ideas how to get the resources she needs to better understand the lessons.
      Best to you …

  7. Pinky42 Report

    Some of the things I’m having problem with my son yall seem to bring it up in articles as if you gave posted it right on time and it help but how do I get him to obey and take responsibility for his actions

  8. DJ1999 Report

    I find this information is very helpful. I am struggling with a teenage daugnter and need all the help i can get. These techniques are very useful and calms me down before i react. I am glad to have come across this web sight. Thank you

  9. Cathy Report

    I just found this website. We just adopted 4 boys. The articles are very helpful and it is nice to start out my day with a positive thought!

  10. Pearl46 Report

    My son did the same thing in the past two and half years. Our situation is more serious. My son just turned seventeen. He has always been on honor roll. He was truly loved my many and one day he just starting self doubting himself, becoming very disrespectful, overall totally different son then the one I knew him to be. He starting missing school bus alot, not turning assignments , flunking tests on a regular basis.  The sweet kid turn into a monster. He didn’t care about anything anymore. I had to call the police more than once because he became very violent. He acted like he was grown and refused to obey the rules of the house. He moved out for months ago, goes to school faithfully but grades haven’t improved. He was cleared of using drugs but it turned that one of the reasons was he was being bullied because he is gay. The saddest thing of it all is that these were suppose to be his friends that turned on him.  I love my son but he hate who he is because of what he feels he should be. I’ve tried helping him but he doesn’t want to talk about it. He told me you just don’t snitch because it makes matter worse. I will never understand how a kid just one day go from 3.8 g.p.a. , to flunking every subject. I hope someone could give me some helpful advice.

    • Empowering Parents Coach drowden Report

      I’m sorry to hear your son is facing such struggles. It can
      be tough as a parent to know what you can do to help ease the suffering your
      child is experiencing.  It may be beneficial to have your son evaluated if
      at all possible. As James Lehman explains in his article http://www.empoweringparents.com/When-Your-Childs-World-Collapses-Kids-and-Depression-Part-I.php#ixzz3o5kf2MXn, sometimes
      depression and other mood disorders present as acting out and misbehavior.
      Having your son seen by his medical doctor may be a good first step. From what
      you have written, it sounds like your son has been dealing with a lot issues
      over the past couple of years. He may not have effective coping skills for
      managing all that has come his way. Finding him someone he can talk to, who
      could also help him develop more effective coping skills, may be key.
      Understandably, he may not be willing to work with a counselor. Many teens have
      a tough time with this. You might consider reaching out to a parenting support
      group or counselor for your own well being. Watching your child struggle is
      tough and it can take a toll on a parent; having a strong support network can
      help ease some of that burden. The 211 Helpline is a nationwide referral
      service that can put you in touch with community resources. You can reach the
      Helpline 24 hours a day by calling 1-800-273-6222 or by logging onto 211.org.
      We wish you and your family the best of luck moving forward. Take care.

  11. Laur710 Report

    I don’t want to get back on anti anxiety meds but IM feeling like its my only option to gebt through. What’s the moms out there opinion?? I’m a mom of a good-hearted but defiant 12 yr old son. I’ve dedicated my life to helping him as a good mom should. When everyone turned away from him I stayed. Making sacrifices of finishing nursing school and turning down a career as a vet assistant. But, to be honest I’m running so low on stength to keep being calm. The most thing I feel guilty about is I feel resentful. I’m always gonna be there for him. When is the line crossed from being a patient loving mother to being a full on doormat.?? I’ve been crying off & on today first time I let myself. I feel like Im bullied by him only recently and I will read the articles pertaining to this. I just need other moms who can identify so that I know I am not the only one who feels resentment & just letting him WIN as ANY parent w/ child w/ ODD & ADHD knows is the GOAL of the child to gain power over us.. For the first time ever in 11 years of more than tough times; this I feel like was the breaking point when he raised his fist to me. I have only joy in the shread of hope of him into a income based tuition private school that focuses on Christian values & bringing him through this. Have monthly family counseling there which we will find the money that we don’t have to make it top priority. Til he goes in how many wks it takes I don’t know what to do. I feel like running away lol won’t do but definitely feel that way! Thanks for any replies!!!

    • Awanya Report

      I understand your pain as a parent of an ODD child. He gave me HELL and got kicked out of every school until one day, he just stopped.  I stop futurizing as the articles says, I stopped panicking that if he does not get a good education he will fail in life, I stopped managing his day for him and focused on my life.  He now gets on the bus with no problem, excels in school (his goal), and he gets along with his friends and siblings, all his choice.

  12. LoreneNeilson Report

    My son is 16 and we have just found out he has Asbergers,as he started not coping at school and becoming very anxious about going to school.He is now being home-schooled by my sister.He also has a tough time waking up in the morning and focusing on school work…he stays up late at night (which is a constant contentious topic in our home) and says it’s because he cannot get to sleep any earlier. I like the idea of a cup of coffee in the morning. Is this healthy? Also, he thinks he knows everything and argues that black is white with us. Everything is a HUGE debate!

    • momincontrol Report

      LoreneNeilson I don’t know if coffee is healthy, some info says it is, but from all I have read, I don’t think it is unhealthy.  My son is 19 and my daughter is 14 (freshman)  Both have trouble getting up in the morning and going to sleep at night.  Both do not like the taste of coffee and don’t want to drink it but know it helps them wake up and stay alert.  
      I don’t engage either one in huge debates anymore.  I talk to them about their responsibilities before they’re due and we all agree on the plan.  If they are not meeting their responsibilities, the agreed upon consequence is executed (take phones away) until they get back on track.  My daughter bombed a Math quiz last week. Ridiculous.  She didn’t study, didn’t go to the teacher for help, and didn’t follow up after with steps she could have taken to make it better.   I took her phone, she argued, named called, threatened, etc.  I didn’t say a word.  When she calmed down, I told her what she had to do to get the phone back.  She had a Math test today, I’ll let you know how it went.

      Listen to the Lehman tapes.  This is all in them.  Read everything you can about your kids’ issues.  I can tell you anything and more you want to know about ADHD.  It helps ALOT.  Get tips.  Use them. If  one doesn’t work, get another one.  You’ll find one that works for you.  If you  get so overwhelmed you can’t function, take a walk.  Works every time.  Tell your kids to take a walk. 

      I ignore my kids when they curse, name call, throw things and say things they know will hurt my feelings. If they’re engaging in the behavior I want, I ignore the grumblings.  That is something so small from the Lehman tapes, , but has had a HUGE effect in my house.  

      Don’t let your 5 year old daughter have that much over over you.  My 14 year old daughter says the same things so you better get used to it.  It has nothing to do  with you.  Ignore it so you don’t make it  real.  Arm yourself with information.  Don’t take anything personally.  It gets better.

  13. jasnbri Report

    My daughter just turned 8. I been having the problem with her with comprehension. Sometimes its so easy to respond to a question and she doesnt get it, so i have to repeat myself various times and slowly or use different examples. Also at home, we have trouble with her math hw at times. I explain to her until she gets it ,then ill do more examples on the side until we both feel she understands how to do it. Then she goes to class and do the same work and she forgets. What can i do to help her?. I do get frustrated because she is smart but then she completely blanks out. The teachers will send notes to me saying she needs help and when we review her mistakes at home she gets her wrong answers right without any help. This drives me crazy because she does understand it just not in class. Is it because she understands my way better than in class?

    • rwolfenden Report

      It can be very frustrating and confusing when your daughter
      appears to have difficulty understanding her work when she is at school, yet
      can complete it correctly when she is at home.  This is a common issue for
      many families, and it happens for various reasons so it is hard to say exactly
      what might be going on with your daughter.  Something that might be useful
      is to have a http://www.empoweringparents.com/the-surprising-reason-for-bad-child-behavior.php with her about this during a calm time, and what might help
      her moving forward to complete her work in class.  It could also be beneficial
      to have a conversation with her teachers about what they are seeing in the
      classroom, and what has been helpful at home.  Please let us know if you
      have any more questions; take care.

  14. Zimaaa Report

    That’s all nice and sounds easy, but when you are a single parent struggling to pay bills and put food on the table, there is no money left for therapists, private schools, etc. You sacrifice when you can to pay for tutoring and give the child all the time and energy that you have left.You often have to take off from work for teacher conference, iep, calls from school, checking on the child and regular dr appts. You dont hi de it anymore hoping someone will have a magic solution but often face those that say if that was my kid, I wiil fix it in a day. Yeah right. Thank God for faith, strength and hope.

    • Laur710 Report

      Hey I’m with you but there are places that will not turn away low income if you can find time to research I know we are all busy !!! I just found a place in Oklahoma for my son to go to that help manage school and I can’t pay but they re taken him anyway! Being broke and have difficulties with raising kids almost seems to much to bear but know I’m there with you and many others for support!

    • VivianGregory Report

      I’m a single Mom also and know what you mean. I’m very fortunate that my daughter’s school provides tutoring after school and during the day she is taken to reading and math groups. It has helped tremendously.

  15. Stephaniemhack Report

    This doesn’t have anything to do with this article but i need help from other parents. I feel like such a failure as a parent. When my five year old says she’s never bringing her kids to my house, it’s terribly hurtful and I don’t know how to respond to that. How can I get my five year olds (one of whom has autism) to understand that I love them (I tell them all the time, as my daughter reminds me). But I want them to feel and see that I love them through my actions. I do get frustrated and speak shortly to them and I’m trying to stop myself from speaking in a “mean” tone. How can I control that? I really need help. I didn’t have parents so I have no role models. I don’t know what I’m doing and I’m afraid I’m ruining my children’s childhood experience.

    • Auntiemama Report

      Well I can tell you…you are not alone, I feel the same way you do. I get the rude talkback from my 7 yr old little girl too. People tell me you’re doing a great job hang in there but I don’t feel like I am. Just wanted to let you know you’re not alone.

        • LoreneNeilson Report

          Stephaniemhack Auntiemama It is very hard being a parent,I don’t think we are ever really prepared,even if we had parents,every child is so unique and different.Try to read up as much as you can about the issues you are dealing with…there is alot of helpful stuff out there,,,but also,look after yourself…we tend to get so emotional and forget about ourselves…be kind to yourself…and you will have the strength to deal with your little loved ones….

    • Laur710 Report

      Ps. My parents were not around much either so I can relate to being ultra fixated on whether our kids are having a good childhood because we didn’t. My grandparents showed me unconditionally love and stuff that I use to look back on as a guide. Be so nice to talk to u more

    • Reina Report

      Hi I also felt the same way until one day I witnessed someone being so mean to her son infront of so many strangers and when we looked at her she just looked at us and said “do not worry it’s Ok he is my son, I would never be mean to other people’s kids!”Then I had an Aha moment, that we do treat other people’s kids better.Since then on I was more conciencious to treat my Kids like if they were somebody else’s kids and I would talk to them like if they were not my own kids and it was amezing! I automatically started to respect them more and respect their opinions, choices, desicions and talk to them without raising my voice and just see them in a totally different perpective, I started to value them as individuals without jugment and started to show them appreciation for being who they are. Our life changed so much ,our relationship improved and now we showed our love and respect for one another everywhere we are!!I hope this can help you in some way and please never feel like you are ruining your kid’s life because they have you and as long as you showed them how much you love them they will learn to forgive you and respect you!! Blessings Always!!!

      • Stephaniemhack Report

        @Reina I’m in tears reading this. I’m in absolute tears. This is SO true!! I would never dream of having a mean look on my face or talking in a mean way to someone else’s child. There used to be a saying about how people treat those closest to them worse than any others because they know there’s love there and all will be forgiven. But I don’t want to be forgiven, I want to avoid the shortness/”mean-ness” in the first place. It’s so wrong to treat my children than way. 

        Thank you so much for responding to me and opening my eyes. I’m going to start doing this TODAY!  I used to be a really fun aunt; I want to have that same kind of fun, happy interaction with my own kids. Thank you so much!! You may have just saved my relationships with my children. THANK YOU!!!

    • Laur710 Report

      I empathize completely. This morning I grabbed my 12 yr olds sons arm when he raised back his fist at me. I usually am calm and love him through his anger but I snspped being so overwhelmed. I cried for two hours which I never do.. I think I just got to a point where I had to release the pain, the frustration & resentment… And after school he whole heartedly apologized & we hugged. Which is a rarity with us. You aren’t alone we all have differences in the specifics but so much in common… We love them enough to look for support and knowledge.

      • Stephaniemhack Report

        Laur710 Thank you so much for sharing your story with me. I’m sitting here in tears at all of the understanding responses. I too apologized to my daughter and I’m working really hard remember how much I love her before speaking in moments of frustration. So thank you so much for your kindness.

      • LoreneNeilson Report

        Laur710 Please take heart,I was a single mum for the first 12 years of my son’s life…it isn’t easy,but I believe your love will win through in the end.Our children are on a journey and they are a huge work in progress,nobody is prepared  for when they become like this!One day,they are our cute little boys and then something happens and we are not prepared.I did not put enough boundaries around my son and he became insecure and then started this power struggle.I have since learned that boys really do need boundaries and consequences(all done in love),and we really need to follow through with consequences that have been agreed upon in the first place.I struggled to follow through when I was on my own,so I know this is NOT easy as they wear you down.But,if you can try to do it once or twice…you will see that after the ranting and raving…they see you mean it,and then they actually accept it and I think it makes them happier and more secure inside,even if they don’t show it….to my huge surprise!Even if you ask a family member or friend to be there with you to help you follow through with the consequences eg – no TV for the night,or whatever his favourite thing is(it is called his currency)….then he will see you are not going to be a doormat..and always emphasizing it is because it is your responsibility as his mum to help him to grow up to be the best he can be,because you LOVE him…..hope this is helpful…I am only saying what I have been witnessing with my own son who is now 16…..we still have issues,but I am feeling more in control and less helpless…and I know under it all,he loves me…..and I see the same in your comment about your son and you hugging and apologising….that is a wonderful big step forward…..but,as with us,it is often 2 steps forward and one back…..and it is tough and exhausting,but,as a good mum(I can tell you are),you will get through this season….it will pass 🙂

        • Stephaniemhack Report

          LoreneNeilson Laur710 OMG – thank you!!! I don’t really give my kids any consequences because I want to be fun and I want them to be happy all the time. I’m super lucky that my daughter is so mature for her age that she just does what I ask most of the time but that’s no way to parent. You are so right. I really need to box this in. My son’s autism shouldn’t be a reason that he gets out of doing what’s expected either. But you are so right. I never had any structure or consequences and I was always self conscious and wondering how “other kids lived” – it really affected me as a person because I was socially inept for a very long time. I had to teach myself to be organized and put structure around my own life because I’d never had it. I don’t want my kids to be in that boat. I think I need to do some reading on parenting styles, pick one, and put it into play – and quickly. They need met to do this for them. You’re so right! Thank you for your help – you’ve inspired me to regain control lovingly and with purpose (to instill confidence and independence). Thank you!!!!

  16. rbkbz13 Report

    This article hit right on with me and my 9th grader… not only learning to adjust to high school, having what I feel is totally out of wack priorities, but also dealing with the power struggles.  Doing homework and making sure it gets turned in to the class is a daily struggle. I’m close to throwing up my hands and saying let whatever happens happen…. I’m just not that type of parent. I need support , help and a lot of guidance.

  17. steph Report

    My child has missed a lot of school and we can’t seem to get to the root of the problem. I just can’t seem to get him to get up

    • momincontrol Report

      @steph My son has ADHD.  Kids with ADHD have a tougher time getting up.  I put a cup of hot coffee on his night stand, before I wake him up.  The moment he opens his eyes, he drinks the coffee and it helps tremendously. 

      Does he have friends?  Is something at school bothering him?  Does he feel overwhelmed academically?
      We put too much academic pressure on my son.  We enrolled him in all honors classes.  He felt overwhelmed, and just gave up.  He didn’t get out of bed.  (Not saying this is your child’s issue)   We had him tested.  Found out what his issues were and tailored his life and schedule around that.  His life and future turned out to be pretty much as best it could be.  He’s in college playing a sport at a very high level in a very high profile position and he accomplished this on his own after we acknowledged and respected who he is,  not who we wanted him to be.  It was very, very difficult, but I could not be happier than I am right now.  I owe much of our success and his to this program.

    • DK Report

      We’ve been struggling with the same issue since the end of 6th grade – My daughter is now in 9th. After getting her evaluated for learning issues (ADHD, anxiety, depression, ASD) and beginning treatment with her doctors (we have several), I finally reached out to the school board for help. Homeschool didn’t work and she still will not consistently go to school. But once I got her diagnosed, we were able to develop an Individual Educational Plan with the school and school board that allowed accommodations for her anxiety and depression. She goes when she can, and we do other assignments at home. It is still a daily struggle, and now my full time job, but we are at least for now getting her educated, inch by inch! This might not be the answer for everyone, but I encourage you to get him evaluated and then go to the school board for help. Good luck! I know how hard that road can be.

    • dtcoach58 Report

      You didn’t mention his age, but if he is a teenager there is research that confirms that the developing teenage brain functions better in the late morning to evening. Unfortunately most school districts don’t schedule class start times for middle and high school to maximize the students learning capabilities.

    • LoreneNeilson Report

      @steph  My son was having the same problem and it was due to high anxiety around the school work and then we found out he does not learn the way they teach at school and he was struggling, and yet not saying anything. The teachers did not pick up that he has any learning difficulties until he fell through the cracks at the school and I have now had him tested and he has Asbergers…which is a new journey we are now on and I am learning a lot about how he functions and learns. He is now being home-schooled, and he is learning at his own pace.It helps to understand his unique way of learning etc and he is less anxious and more positive about his learning.

  18. Yalana Bohte Report

    I am so grateful for the information on ODT my 8 year old definitely has it and started exhibiting it at four years of age but I didn’t know what it was thanks to you I’ve stopped arguing with her and you guys are really helping me a lot I appreciate it thank you so much yalana Bohte

  19. Gabrielle Report

    Perfect timing Empowering Parents! It’s as if you were in my home a couple of hours ago when my son and I were having a huge argument about this very thing. I am very appreciative of this news letter. Thanks again!



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