What I Learned From My Troubled Teen

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  • #593429

    eclipse
    Member

    From my troubled teen,I learned how much Hashem loves me.

    1.No matter how rude and disrespectful my child is,I still love her.I can’t help it.

    2.No matter how sad I feel when the attacks are deeply hurtful,I still love her.I can’t help it.

    3.No matter how long she’s totally uncommunicative for,I still love her.

    4.No matter how many times she causes others to think I’m worse than I am,I love her.

    5.I have been saddened,wounded,worried, even angered and detached…but throughout it all,I HAVE NEVER STOPPED LOVING THIS CHILD.

    Think about how much of this stuff Hashem “takes”from us.When we contemplate teshuvah,the yetzer hara tries to tell us it’s too late,we’ve repeated our mistakes too often,Hashem has lost interest in us CHAS V’SHOLOM.

    If a parent of flesh and blood still wants the very best for a child who is spurning them because they are troubled and suffering…KAL V’CHOMER Hashem!

    Your thoughts?

    #718447

    tzippi
    Member

    From your troubled teen, or is this from somewhere else? Could you let us know?

    #718448

    WIY
    Member

    eclipse you are right.

    However I hope that you are having your child counseled by a social worker or psychologist…its a nutty world out there and it doesnt take long for a troubled teen to end up on drugs, or to do something worse that cant be taken back I wont be more explicit but you know what I mean. A troubled teen boy is “halb a tzara” a troubled teen girl is a big problem because they have very low self esteem and they will look to the boys attention for self esteem. Dont think it cant happen to your daughter as its happened to 100’s of girls from frum homes as young as 14 and 15 years old.

    #718449

    Health
    Participant

    That’s true. You can learn this from that. But with teens they sometimes need extra help, not just from parents, schools, friends. A lot of times they need therapy. It’s sometimes a good idea to go for family therapy.

    #718450

    eclipse
    Member

    Therapy is in place,of course.Not all(ridiculously inexperienced) therapists know what they’re doing,but we are in the process of upgrading that!

    Tzippi,I don’t understand your question.Please explain.

    WIY:The troubled males and troubled females are MAGNETS for each other,and I am totally tuned in to the scene.(Only ostriches stick their heads in the sand)

    Health:Some schools exacerbate the problems,and some(like the one she’s in now),are thankfully,part of the solution.I thank Hashem(and them) for every positive shaliach.

    #718451

    Health
    Participant

    Finding good therapists is even harder than finding good doctors. There aren’t many, but they do exist, even in the frum community.

    An org. called “Relief” helps frum people in this regard.

    #718452

    amichai
    Participant

    you will all say I am being overly sensitive, but eclipse is correct. she is giving over a feeling and relating it to g-d, and you guys start telling her to take her child to therepy,etc. she wasn’t asking for advice. just try to listen when pple speak. lovely thoughts, eclipse.

    #718453

    eclipse
    Member

    Rare indeed,but b”h spotted at last.Respectful to all involved, and careful with the confidential info. entrusted to her.So far,anyway.

    #718454

    tzippi
    Member

    Sorry Eclipse, for some reason I thought you were too young and you were quoting this.

    There is a light at the end of the tunnel and it’s not the train. And no, therapy is not the answer for everyone. Some sort of support group does wonders though, and iy”H your teen should find her way. Your love and consistency, and demonstrating that you have a relationship with Hashem, are anchors, for her as well as you, even if you don’t see the peiros so soon.

    #718455

    eclipse
    Member

    Amein,and I like that joke about the train!I heard that there are little lights all along the tunnel,not only at the end.And for the record,I think you are the FIRST person to ever apologize instead of arguing in the CR!

    #718456

    eclipse
    Member

    Amichai,I was kind of wondering about that!Thank you for HEARING me!

    #718457

    WIY
    Member

    Eclipse

    Id like to add to what tzippi said. The best thing you can do as her mother is be a positive role model for her. Let her see how beautiful Yiddishkiet is and NEVER let her hear you ever voice a complaint against Hashem Chas Veshalom for your difficult matzav as that will instantly undo so much of the growth and change that any therapist…will accomplish with her.

    #718458

    aries2756
    Participant

    Eclipse, you are both going through your own nisyonos, your child is going through his/hers and you are being tested as well. Children do not come with guarantees and they are not perfect. No matter what they do, what they say, or how they behave they are still our children. No matter what they wear, how they embarrass us they are still our children.

    When I work with at-risk teens and their families the first thing I try to teach the family especially the parents is that they have to separate their pain from their child’s pain. It isn’t easy. Whatever they are doing it isn’t really aimed at you. So don’t take it personally, they are going through their own pain. And don’t ever worry about what other people think. Believe me other people don’t care what you think about them. Worry about what you child thinks of you.

    Keep telling your child that you love them no matter what. Write them notes, and give them cards believe me they hold on to that and keep them in their drawer, in their secret box. They take that out and read it over and over again at the worst of times. They hear your words of love like a recording over and over in their mind when they need it the most. They take out your hugs from the pocket closest to their heart and envelope themselves with it at their worst points. So be their mother no matter what.

    You have it right, keep learning to be the best mother you can be through the best of times and the worst of times because that is your nisayon to see your child through all their journeys the happy ones and the dark ones.

    #718459

    your daughter is lucky to have such an amazing mother…:)

    #718460

    eclipse
    Member

    WIY: You’ll excuse me for saying this,but your insinuation that a parent(?!) undoes the “chinuch” of the therapist– when in fact the case is quite often the reverse– is downright azus.I could explain further but such youthful arrogance does not even warrant more.

    I’m sorry,but I cannot let that go.Really!!

    #718461

    eclipse
    Member

    Smile E. Face,thank you.

    Aries,yes,that is all I can do right now.

    #718462

    I second eclipse 100%.

    #718463

    WIY
    Member

    eclipse

    What I wrote is based on a famous story with Rav Moshe Feistein. Yes reality is that a parent can do more harm then good for their child without even realizing it.

    From Revach.net

    Rav Moshe Feinstein – ‘Siz Gut Tzu Zein Ah Yid!

    The Meoros HaShabbos tells a story of someone who once posed the following difficult question to Rav Moshe Feinstein. In the early part of the last century if one wanted to be Shomer Shabbos, he would very often need to find a new job on Sunday, after being fired for not coming to work the previous day. Nevertheless there were many Giborei Koach who passed this Nisayon and were moseir nefesh to keep Shabbos despite the hardship. How is it possible that many of these courageous Yidden had children who went of the derech, even as conditions for a Yid considerably improved as the community grew, with the influx of European Jews after the war?

    Rav Moshe’s answer is heartbreaking but something we need to learn from. Rav Moshe said that this all depended on what the child saw in the house on the holy day of Shabbos. If he saw his father, the worn out warrior, bemoaning his terrible fate and worrying about his future, then despite his mesiras nefesh his child learned the lesson that being a Shomer Torah U’Mitzvos is torturous. If we feel that “Shver tzu zein ah Yid”, our children may opt for the easy life despite our decision to serve Hashem in light of the difficulty. However if the father came to Shabbos glowing, feeling fortunate to be able to bask in his Creator’s warmth on this special day, even at the expense of his job, this child understood that Shabbos is very special, and it is a priceless privilege to be part of the fold.

    Our children are watching carefully. Not only our words but also our body language. What we feel is important and Geshmack is what they will come to value. Happiness screams louder than words. Enjoy Hashem, enjoy Shabbos, enjoy Yom Tov, enjoy learning, enjoy giving tzedoka, and make it enjoyable for them too. If torah and mitzvos are a burden, in today’s day and age there are plenty of alternatives and they are readily available, Rachmana Litzlan. When we grew up it was enough to “Enjoy Coca Cola” but today they want more. It isn’t a trick, Diracheha Darkei Noam. But we ourselves need to believe it and feel it before we can pass it down to them. Oy es iz gut tzu zein ah yid!

    #718464

    one thing ill say, a close friend of mine who went through a very rebellious, basically “at risk” stage in her life once told me that no matter how painful it is for the parents its harder for the teen themselves. they are being pulled in a million directions and when confronted with a major choice (be it somehow in dress, or to drop something in yiddishkeit) it is gehenim for them.

    eclipse, be strong!, you’re lucky she’s in the right school. i know many kids who were inadvertently “pushed” further away from yiddishkeit becasue of the school (and teachers) they were in.

    #718465

    WIY In another thread wrote If you noticed Im not on as much recently,

    No I have not noticed!!!

    As someone who is not yet 27 and not even on the verge of parenthood, you should not have stuck your 2 cents in this therad!!!

    #718466

    aries2756
    Participant

    SS, you are so right, not everything applies to everyone and not everyone has experience and/or knowledge in every subject. Therefore there are threads that we just choose to skip over and leave it to others to comment on, while there are threads that we feel more comfortable addressing. None of us are experts in all areas and to assume that we should comment on everything is just plain assuming too much or thinking too highly of ourselves. Sometimes we just need to back off, edit, or apologize when we are taken to task.

    #718467

    eclipse
    Member

    Thank you,all.(um…almost all)

    #718468

    Your welcome.

    #718469

    kapusta
    Participant

    eclipse, you really have your head in the right place. I once heard from a certain speaker/therapist what he told his child (who went through a rough stage) when she realizes he loves her more than she will ever be able to defy him, she’ll come back. In my head I compared this statement to a persons relationship with Hashem, if someone understands how much Hashem loves them, theres no way they can go in the wrong direction. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. May you always be able to feel Hashems presence, and His love, in everything.

    WIY, I will try to say this in the most civil way possible, but WADR, while what you are saying may be completely true (and that is debatable, since there are many different situations and no one right answer), eclipse wrote a comment (and a beautiful one at that) about Hashems love for His children, not about her daughter. Lakol Zman V’ais.

    *kapusta*

    #718470

    eclipse
    Member

    Thanks,Kapusta.BTW,last night I wrote a very long letter to my daughter…I hope the words from my heart find their way into hers.Kimayim ponim el ponim.No mussar at all…just love.

    #718471

    BEST IMA
    Participant

    eclipse that is beautiful. If all parents of teenage children have that outlook so many more of them would turn out better than they do.

    #718472

    aries2756
    Participant

    I am sure that means a lot to her in more ways than you know!

    #718473

    WIY
    Member

    eclipse

    I never insinuated that you werent a good mother all I was saying is that its important for parents to realize that they can send mixed messages. The fact is its the kids who pick up on that the parents dont even realize when they send mixed messages. Like if a father tells the kid to Daven in shul but he talks the whole time, thats a mixed message. If the parents have a TV in their bedroom but dont let the kid watch thats a mixed message. If the parents expect respect, but then bash other people at their table and say nasty things about Rabbonim or people they know, thats a big mixed message…

    Parents have to be extremely vigilant that they arent crossing wires. The only way to know if you are guilty of this is to take a cold hard honest look at yourself in the mirror.

    I dont know why my comment sent you off the handle but its clear to me that you obviously have some kind of guilty conscience and maybe feel responsible for your daughters pain. I dont know you so I dont know if those feelings are warranted or not. If they are warranted, you can always apologize and change. If they arent warranted, you can work on yourself to not beat yourself up over things that are out of your control and are not your fault.

    Heres a disclaimer: You cant take things personally online. We are all anonymous and the purpose of these types of forums is the exchange of ideas. Nobody told you to make things personal. I never accused you of anything. You dont have to read any members comments and feel free to ignore all of mine. But you do yourself a disservice by taking anonymous peoples comments personally and out of context. I have nothing against you and Im sure you are a wonderful person, but the comments you wrote on my thread about my new “shtick” make it clear to me that I struck a nerve somehow and that you are upset with me. You had no right to open up personal attacks against me for my comments here. However I dont take it personally. I realize that you are the one who needs to learn how to take a breather and not take everything to heart. So please chill out and stop taking things personally when they werent meant that way.

    #718474

    eclipse
    Member

    WIY:What on earth are you referring to?I did not fly off the handle at any point.I did not open up a new thread related to this subject,I did not use the word “shtick” in any of my posts,I did not attack you personally anywhere at any time.

    Seriously,what posts are you referring to?I only post under one name!IT SEEMS YOU ARE MISTAKING ME FOR ANOTHER POSTER.

    And I will share this little tidbit with you:

    This child was taken away from me by her father at the age of 11 years old,and I have been watching her deterioration from afar,bearing zero responsibility for its occurrence,and sending her my love with shackled abilities to improve her situation from up close.

    P.S.Thanks for inspiring me to stop posting.Period.

    #718475

    BEST IMA
    Participant

    eclipse DO NOT let someones insensitve comments get you so upset. You dont know how inspiring your post was. I wasnt going to bring this up but i had more than one child that gave us nightmares like you wouldnt believe. Im talking major issues not just rebelious teenage issues. And even though sometimes all i wanted to do was just throw them out of the house or just give up somehow Hashem gave us the strength to go on. BH its years later and they are doing amazing and they all tell us the same thing. If it wasnt for the fact that we kept showing them that we love them and we still care for them despite all that was going on they never would have come out of it the way they did. And the friends that they had that didnt have that kind of support from their parents unfortunately didnt turn around. So keep strong and may you end up having much nachas from your daughter!

    #718476

    amichai
    Participant

    to wiy – I know this isn’t the right post to write this but I also feel attacked by some of the things you write, even though you haven’t written it to me directly. I am tired of hearing you tell pple to chill. I’m not your kid brother. you kinda bash pple in such a way, that an outsider might not notice. but I certainly do. I have to say I get nervous seeing your name up. wishing you all the best , but I think it’s you that needs to grow up a little. amichai from Israel.

    #718477

    yentemonkey
    Member

    im a 17 yearold teen i got to say one thing no matter what i do my parents still love me i got thrown out of 9 high school i currently dont go to school i hang out with guys my age smoking weed cathcing their high while im a yeshiva chilled out type so i dont make it in any yeshiva my english studies is a total failiure i wish the flatbush community would make a school for guys like me just with out the drugs and shomer shabis i personally have my own struggles in life whether its keeping shabis or putting on tefilin well actualy tefilin i never missed but shabis i wasent keeping for a while but now i baruch hashem am if only their was a school which deals with my age type trash everyboy thinks they could open an at risk school but it falls apart the only way to really domit is with drug testing and a shabis getaway every week with a group of guys so somone can really overlook us that we are on the right path i hope ill allways be a shomer torah umitzvos yid with the my help and emuna bitachon in hashem and in yeshiva my rebbi in 6th grade tough me somtimes you fall down the ladder to go back up !!!!

    #718478

    yitayningwut
    Participant

    Eclipse, please don’t stop posting. Nobody wants you to stop, and just because someone went a bit overboard shouldn’t convince you otherwise. I personally have been inspired by things you have posted.

    #718479

    aries2756
    Participant

    WIY, WOAH!!!! Once again you have stepped over the line and once again you need to use the “EDIT” key or not necessarily use the “send post” button after you have vented your thoughts. Not everything you are thinking needs to be written or sent. You are very young and you need to “filter” your thoughts because many of them are hurtful whether you mean them to be or not. And whether or not you are anonymous or not does not give you the right to say them!

    No you don’t know Eclipse and you certainly don’t know her situation. So it can’t possibly be “clear” to you that she has a guilty conscience and if it is then YOU are the one who does not see clearly or read clearly. Because you are way too young to understand or decipher what her situation is. You have a lot yet to learn about many things and although you are well versed in Torah and in picking and choosing articles to post here, you are not versed in being a parent, or being a parent of a teen who is in pain. And you have no right to assume she needs to apologize and change and you have no right to say that to her or anyone else. You are not a qualified therapist, YOU are a kid and in no position to advise an adult in such a position. So if you have nothing nice to say, maybe the rule of thumb you should be using is to not say anything, I am sure your mother taught you that at some point in time. And I am sure you could find some good vort that would cover that as well. It is not necessary to post on all threads, so maybe you should choose your threads more carefully.

    If I sound upset, I am. Because YOU have no clue what a mother in pain feels like. You can’t possibly know until you will eventually be a parent. So to say that you are way too presumptuous is a huge understatement. And I don’t just speak for Eclipse, I speak for at least 100 parents that I have worked with over the years. And since YOU don’t take things personally, I guess I don’t have to apologize for hurting your feelings.

    #718480

    aries2756
    Participant

    Eclipse, pleaaaaaaaaaaaaaase don’t leave me, I need you. I come here for chizuk from you. I certainly know how you feel and I feel terrible that you felt the need to share something so personal because of someone so foolish and hurtful. You shouldn’t have to share anything you don’t want to share. I know how that feels and how you feel the need to explain yourself because of some mean and cold individuals. But Eclipse, he is just a kid, wet behind the ears. Don’t let his lack of understanding and ignorance of our adult situations get to you. Please, please do what you told me to do and ignore, ignore, ignore. Take the love you shared with your child and know that you are loved and valued, very, very valued and don’t let the foolishness of an anonymous blogger hit you where it hurts the most.

    #718482

    tzippi
    Member

    Yentemonkey, am I the 579th or so person to drop Rabbi Wallerstein’s name? Hatzlacha!

    #718483

    bpt
    Participant

    I saw this thread earlier in the day, but could not give it the time or response it deserves until lunch time (this topic deserves more than just quick quips).

    As the parent of teens, I salute you, Eclipse, for the koichos you’re putting in and assure you, it won’t be for naught. You may not see instant results, but a mother’s love is never lost.

    One thing I was told in my earlier days was, no matter what, be sure you kiss and / or hug your child each night before they go to sleep. Unconditional love penetrates really deep!

    Hatzlocho rabbah, and may you be zoicha to see nacahs from this child and her children, b’korov mamash!

    #718484

    cherrybim
    Participant

    eclipse – Every child is born with a unique personality. Most children conform, making you feel that like the best and smartest parent and other children will present challenges and all you can do is cry.

    Many times a change of environment is the start of the process. This means that it will be necessary to have your daughter understand that the best place may be a school that is away from home, in a more relaxed atmosphere; but she will have to want it on her own, it can’t be forced. There are several excellent schools out of New York which have restored self esteem and happiness to girls. And this is all you really want at this point, the rest will come later.

    #718485

    aries2756
    Participant

    cherrybim, I totally disagree with you. There are many schools that kids have been shipped off to out of town that have been extremely destructive to the child. Children do not need to be shipped off, they need the TLC that only a parent can give and every child and case is different.

    As far as shunning therapists I disagree with that as well. No one knows who the best sheliach will be for any given child and who that child will click with to work out their problems. So each parent must decide according to the circumstances what THEY feel is best for the child not by the advice others give them, but by what they themselves feel they need to do for the benefit of their own child. And the first one they try may not be the best. A parent must learn to “listen to understand” their child and really hear them. They must work with the child until they find the right shiduch, even with a therapist.

    #718486

    cherrybim

    Didnt you read what this poor mother wrote? How can you give advice on schools when she has little or no say in the matter?

    This child was taken away from me by her father at the age of 11 years old,and I have been watching her deterioration from afar,bearing zero responsibility for its occurrence,and sending her my love with shackled abilities to improve her situation from up close.

    #718487

    cherrybim
    Participant

    Shloimies Shver – “Didnt you read…”

    You’re right, I didn’t see that later post; I apologize.

    aries2756 – “There are many schools that kids have been shipped off to out of town that have been extremely destructive to the child.”

    Why do you transform words, suggestions given with sincerity and caring, into something nasty. Is that your disposition?

    And by the way, do you have years of personal experience in this inyan? Have you consulted with the “professionals”? Do you have children who have veered? Do you know of successes that came about because of therapeutic or rabbinic intervention? Are you not aware of the schools out of New York which have been highly successful? Don’t you think the first step in regaining a child is the restoration of self esteem and happiness?

    Or are you just yapping to hear yourself talk?

    #718488

    Health
    Participant

    Eclipse -You shouldn’t beat yourself up about it. My ex-wife is in the process of making most of my kids frei, and I do what I can to combat this, but I won’t let this eat me up alive! Good luck!

    #718489

    aries2756
    Participant

    Cherry, which words did I transform? Yes I have many years experience working with the at-risk population and all the well-meaning, yet not-knowlegeable helpful people who made suggestions to parents: or social workers and rabbinic intervention who kicked kids out of school and “sent” them out of town where they would be better off.

    Please list for me the schools out of New York, where kids are away from their families and they were highly successful because I would love to be able to refer others to them. I myself had called only one that I know of but couldn’t get any in for lack of space and a place for them to live and be supervised. FYI I have also spent much time, effort and $ getting kids into rehab, so regarding the yapping factor, please provide real information or don’t accuse others of yapping.

    And by the way, what are your credentials in this regard

    #718490

    cherrybim
    Participant

    I cannot understand your last post, was it purposely rambling, vague and disjointed?

    You may want answers but you haven’t provided any yourself. Any worthy m’chanech will know which schools and principals I am referring to; the CR is not the forum to discuss names and addresses.

    #718491

    aries2756
    Participant

    No Cherry, I was very clear that is just the way you read it because you chose to and you have no answers for me, you are just avoiding MY questions. If you have no experience in this field that is perfectly fine, my point is that you should be careful with the advice that you dispense if you don’t have experience and knowledge in the area you are offering advice. And that you don’t have to be so rude in your replies or should I use your own phrase just yapping for the sake of hearing yourself speak.

    #718492

    smartcookie
    Member

    WIY- for the future, take mine and many other’s advice:

    When someone wants you to listen, you just listen and feel what they’re feeling. If they didn’t ask for your help then they DONT WANT IT.

    Mish Dich Arois….(If you need translation, ask.)

    It’s ok, you learnt it the hard way, but it will take you very far in life.

    #718494

    chesedname
    Participant

    eclipse

    When things calm down, re-read WIY post. He meant no harm or disrespect to you.

    he wrote

    “Id like to add to what tzippi said.”

    so far agreeing with a nice comment

    “NEVER let her hear you ever voice a complaint against Hashem Chas Veshalom”

    his point, if parents tell kids make a bracha and don’t forget hashem loves us, and 2 minutes later, i have no money for pesach, why am i jewish? the kids always hear the last part.

    “that will instantly undo so much of the growth and change that any therapist…will accomplish with her.”

    he means IF and only IF you would complain, which he didn’t say you do, it would undo the work of the therapist, and you’re work on her as well.

    on a side note reb moshe said the reason ppl weren’t frum after ww2 was for this reason, they got fired, came home and by the shabbos table complained it’s hard to be a jew.

    He meant well, re-read it and tell me what you think.

    all the best!

    #718495

    Perhaps eclipse can take this opportunity to change her screen name and start fresh, like she indicated she wanted to do a week ago or so.

    #718496

    eclipse-maybe im not qualified to be writing this post, seeing as im on the other side of the coin in a way, but i just wanted you to know that your post really helped me with something. im not one to go spilling my heart out over the internet, but i’ll make an exception for you… without going into detail,you helped me realize that its possible that my mother still loves me and that Hashem still loves me too. and i owe you a lot for that. i dont know if you’ll ever see this,and i know this seems a bit incongruous with the other posts in this thread, but i just wanted to say thank you. please dont leave… and if its too late for that, hatzlacha with everything. (i hope you dont find this disrespectful or hurtful in any way, thats not my intent.)

    #718497

    aries2756
    Participant

    Smile E. Face, I want to let you in on a secret. Even parents make mistakes. But no matter what, no matter what we say, no matter what mistakes WE make. No matter what mistakes YOU kids make WE never stop loving you. WE always love you and YOU are always the most important people in the world to us. WE might not always show it. WE might not even always know it because we can be blinded by circumstances and by other people. But OUR love for our children is like breathing itself. WE just can’t live without it.

    When working with kids I was mentoring my rule was to get them to rebuild their relationships with their parents. It wasn’t easy and in many cases it was a long process, but it was always the goal. (And by the way, it wasn’t difficult to love someone else’s child either. Hashem gives us that capacity to love a yiddishe neshoma, so just imagine if we could love another’s child kal v’chomer how much more so is our love for our own children?) Back to getting them to build a relationship with their parents….many times parents were just plain too stubborn to see the forest for the trees and truly acting immaturely. Many times I had to tell the kids “one of you are going to have to be the adult in this situation and it looks like it is going to have to be you”. And do you know what? The kids stepped up to the plate and made the first move to correct the situation with the parent. But once they made the first move, that was all that was needed to open the door.

    Rebuilding relationships is a step by step process. But someone has to make the first step. Never doubt that Hashem loves you and that he is always by your side to help you. And never doubt that your mother loves you. No matter what. No matter the waves you ride together, no matter the arguments, no matter the circumstances. Life is not easy at times. Different families go through different and sometimes very difficult circumstances, but it is the love a parent has for a child and vice a versa that gets them through in the end.

    Hatzlocha rabah!

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