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How to get over excuses
July 24, 2000
2:33 pm
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ddcc
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My 15 year old neice is currently living with me. She lives with her Grandparents but her Grandmother is hospitalized long term. This child has been shuffled around between Mom , Dad and grandparents. She was emotionally abused by Mom's husband at about 5 or 6. After moving in with her father, she began to lie, steal and make living hell for her Dad who worked a lot of hours to provide for her. She played Grandma (VERY STRONG WILLED WOMAN) against her son (DAD).
During hospitalization, some of the childs lies have been exposed and confirmed. She is pushed against a wall because the truth has come out. Since she living with me and I do love her, I would like to know how to help her quit using invalid excuses(LIES) and get over the true harms that have been done to her. Grandparents make excuses and don't discipline her. Discipline seems to be working GREAT (Phone restriction etc...) but she is still rebellious because she isnt in control. Control is her issue and has been for years. Any suggestions?

July 24, 2000
6:39 pm
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Ash
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I know this might sound a little weird but it seems as if your neice doesn't have a sense of where she really belongs being transported from family member to family member - not to mention exposure to abuse at such an early age. I can offer some suggestions being a mother of a 13 year old, but situations and conditions are different for everyone.

Here goes...create a sense of stability for her. Set some goals (together), get into a routine of asking her how her day was, if she learned anything of interest, what feelings she had (anger, regret, joy etc) and address them. She probably needs support, and to be reassured that she is wanted and loved. Show her that you care, but don't give up especially when you think there's no hope and things won't change. Stay positive regardless of her thoughts and feelings (because they are hers and they are real).

Yes, I'm telling you to shower her with attention. Best of luck to you and your neice.

August 1, 2000
7:49 am
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Iris
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The first thing that may help is for you to listen effectively to her. Listen and try to mirror the meanings and the feelings she addresses. Don't blame or judge or evaluate or preach or questioning, just try to understand her from her frame of reference. Paraphrase what she says and what she feels. This could let her feel that you understand her, so she might disclose to you more of her private world (thinking and feeling). Thus, in time, this would let her trust you more. Then you will be in a position that can give her help.

If she asks you what to do, don't give her answers. Let her brainstorm answers and help her evaluate each one and decide for herself.

Let her know that you love her and accept her no matter what she behaves.

There are many other things to do but the first step is a prerequisite. let me know how things are going in order to give more feedback if necessary.

Good Luck

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