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How do I get my 12 year old daughter with ADD and ODD to stop taking advantage of the fact that her parents are physically disabled?

I am a physically disabled mother (confined to a wheelchair due to Spina Bifida) to a 12-year old daughter with ADD and ODD. My husband, her father, is also disabled (blind in one eye and bad balance due to Cerebral Palsy).
Our daughter takes advantage of the fact that we are disabled at every turn. She is defiant and openly disrespectful. Her father and I have a difficult time physically following through on consequences because of our disabilities. Our daughter is in counseling, but it doesn't seem to be helping much.
Add to this the fact that my daughter's self-esteem is very poor. She is overweight, and has been cutting herself. Counseling hasn't seemed to have helped that either.
Any advice you all could give me on what to do or where to turn would be greatly appreciated.

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Asked by lisapir at 9:44 AM on Jan. 15, 2009 in Tweens (9-12)

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Answers (5)
  • Change counselors if you need to. We went to marriage therapy and had a wonderful therapist who helped us greatly, but we had to go through 3 different people to find her. She is cutting herself to refocus pain and control. It is a control issue. She does not know how to deal with the emotions that she is having. I know you feel you've done everything you can, but you haven't. You have done everything that you think you can. She needs help; maybe more than outpatient counseling. She may need to be checked into an in-patient therapy program. I could go on for days about this, but it is difficult to answer fully as I do not have her file in front of me. And yes, I am trained in this and have a background in psych. so take it for what it is worth.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:48 AM on Jan. 15, 2009

  • i don't know much about the respect issue, but i do know that if she is cutting herself, she needs an inpaitent phystriactric hospital immeadetly! i was/am a cutter, and yes its about the pain, but not always about controll. and it is the most dangerous expression of depression ever! more people die from "accidental" suiside of cutting than "real" suiside attempts every year

    as for physically following through on punishments, do you have any relitave that could move in with you to help out on that? my bil lives with me and hubby and kids, and he is just as much a parent as me and hubby are. he displines the kids, and if me or hubby have gotten too stressed out over something, he steps in. it is a great help

    Answer by bi-polarmommy at 12:21 PM on Jan. 15, 2009

  • I am not disabled but I do have a daughter that has ODD and she does cut herself. Please change therapists. No matter how many times you have to, for her wellbeing, keep searching until you find one. So far we have gone through 5 of them. Hopefully this one will help her more.

    Answer by emandmeagsmom at 2:54 PM on Jan. 15, 2009

  • I am not sure of how to give you advice but I will try, are you going to church maybe find a really good youth program I know our church has a wonderful youth ministry and wonderful peers it sounds like she just needs some good friends and support system as well as you and your husband need to find some support for you I hope this helps

    Answer by AmieJo853 at 12:28 PM on Jan. 16, 2009

  • I agree changing therapists is a good idea. Also, is it possible to get her signed up to spend time with a mentor? Someone who she can do things with that you are unable to and to help build up her confidence?

    Answer by KTMOM at 5:59 PM on Jan. 16, 2009

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