Reply To: I really don't know what to do

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I wouldn’t throw consequences out the window. I’d hold her accountable, because life will continue to do that.

The problem is, sometimes their behavior comes from their symptoms, or is borne out of stress, etc, but other times it comes from their own choices. So sometimes they need a little extra time with Mom. Sometimes they need reminders. But sometimes they need those consequences. In the midst of all that is going on, their character is forming. No, not everything that happens is from a place of poor character. But the character IS forming. So consequences are still needed.

I have a child with both bipolar and adhd. I’m teaching her that when she feels out of control, she needs to have her tailor-made ways of reaching out for help, and I will help her. But the way she treats those around her – we can’t just let it all slide. Her behavior does really impact others around her. If she rages in the wrong place, she will get kicked out. Our whole family could be asked to leave. (That’s never happened yet, but it is an example of a real scenario for us that could easily happen.) So we would all face collective consequences for her behavior. And I shouldn’t let that slide. We shouldn’t be held hostage by her behavior, while she just gets constant reminders. She has to learn to manage herself, and consequences help drive the desire to work on her coping skills when she is tempted to just give in and not fight for better ways.

As for siblings, the best way for them to start to understand is for you to draw a parallel to their own experiences. Ask them if they’ve ever felt so angry and said things or did things that later they wish they hadn’t. Also, if they are going to be able to let things go, your daughter needs to make things right afterwards. Because some of our kids’ behaviors do damage relationships. Even if she didn’t mean to hurt someone, the fact remains that someone IS hurt, and it is her responsibility to make right what she did.

I think you did fine. Keep up the good (and hard) work of being Mom!