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how do you step-parent an out of control/bi polar teenage girl?

They she and her father moved in with me and my 4 children in nov. It was then that i learned that he was more of a friend than a father to his 15yrold. Allowing her to drink and smoke and boss him around. Now I understand why he asked for help. I have never considered myself a super strict parent, but I do have rules and consequences. (my children are 14,13,12,8) She has thrown super temper tantrums assaulting me and my mother as well as causing a heap of prop damage. Was then commited to a psych institution where she was diagnosed with severe bi-polar syndrome she is currently prescribed 900 mg lithium a day. Unfortunately she still is way out of control. I guess I would like any advice on how to handle this as well as handle my own children with this new not-so-positive influence in their lives. HELP! I look forward to hearing what others have to say on this. Thanks ~H

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supermomhlh

Asked by supermomhlh at 12:12 PM on Mar. 16, 2010 in Teens (13-17)

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Answers (4)
  • oh man... My heart goes out to you and your children. I'm sure it's traumatizing for them to witness her behavior. I'm surprised that she has SEVERE bi-polar, and has only recently been diagnosed. First, just b/c she's bi-polar, doesn't mean she can't follow rules or have consequences. Although she might not always be able to control her emotions, there should still be consequences for her actions. So, her dad should set some rules and guidelines and remain consistent. Enabling her to do and act however she likes isn't helping her condition. Also, it may take some time, patience, and counseling to get the medication that is right for her and that works with her body. My advice would be to learn a proper restraint technique. If she has the propensity to harm others, cause prop damage, or hurt herself, you will need to know how to stop her w/o hurting yourself and her. You may want to check on programming in your area

    kenzie07

    Answer by kenzie07 at 1:29 PM on Mar. 16, 2010

  • that offers day treatment. There are alternative schools that can help her manage her emotions. This is a serious condition and there's no cure, but over time, the behavior can be managed with intensive counseling, drug therapy, and a unified front consistently projected by you and her father. I might set up a few counseling sessions for the other children in the beginning so that they can process what's going on and they can express their feelings about what they're witnessing. Lastly, truly ask yourself if this is something you and your family can indeed handle. If you're not married, it might be beneficial to your relationship w/ this man and your children if you don't reside together. All the best!
    kenzie07

    Answer by kenzie07 at 1:47 PM on Mar. 16, 2010

  • She needs to be seen by a Psychiatrist and have counseling and her meds adjusted. She needs people to care about her, not walk away. It is not easy having Bipolar and some people can have it so bad that it interfers with their lives. Also, alcohol for someone that is Bipolar is a very bad idea, especially being mixed with Lithium. Also, when she gets so out of control that she harms herself, other people, property or threatens to kill herself or others---then call the POLICE. They will do a Chapter 51 and she will be involuntarily committed to the closest child mental health until for observation, evaluation and treatment. Also, seeing she is probably going through puberty, her hormones will be out of wack and make the Bipolar symptoms even worse and more difficult to get under control. It also can takes months, if not years to get the Bipolar under control.
    tyfry7496

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 6:59 PM on Mar. 16, 2010

  • Patience, Counseling and Meds.
    Ihatelaundry

    Answer by Ihatelaundry at 8:14 PM on Mar. 16, 2010

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