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Soon To Be 15 Year Old Step Daughter Who Is Physically Abusive To Family Members

Question:

I have a soon to be 15 year old step daughter who I have raised since she was 2. She hits me, bites me, pulls my hair, scratches me, and calls me a bitch. She does this to her grandma also. She also tries it with her brother and has even drew her fist back at her dad. We sent her to Texas to spend the summer with her mom and she physically abused her mom within 2 weeks. She is bipolar but medicated.

I am to the point that I do not want her at my house due to the roller coaster of emotional and physical abuse. She is very good at getting out of trouble with her dad and nanny. I don’t know what to do. I am trying to talk them into getting her in an in-house treatment or even a permanent group home.

What do you suggest???

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Answer:

I do not need to tell you that your daughter is out of control, whether she has a bipolar disorder or not. The fact is that this behavior must stop and the adults in her life must take action to control her and stop the acting out. How to do that?

Think of it this way: What would you do if a stranger assaulted you outside of your home? Most of us would not hesitate to call the police and file assault charges against that individual. In other words, that must happen with your daughter and it may be the only way to get her the help she needs.

For one thing, her assaultive behavior is dangerous because someone can get hurt. In addition, she is probably intensely frightened by her lack of control over her actions and is crying out for help.

What I am suggesting is that you can do the following: 1). Take out what is called, in some states, a PINS petition against her. PINS means “Person In Need of Supervision.” That way, she comes under the scrutiny of the court and the judge. They will monitor her behavior. 2). Call 911 when she becomes violent and the juvenile legal and mental health system will take over.

When there is a teenager with this much violence and impulsivity, there is the very real danger that she could turn to drug and alcohol abuse. The more she lacks control over herself and the more she becomes alienated from the family the more she can identify with other troubled kids in school and greater the likelihood that she will hang around with them and get into more trouble.

The family must be made to understand this. Taking action is not to punish her but to get her able to control herself.

Also, the family must make certain that she is taking her medication. It is possible that she is not.

Best of Luck

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