Don't know much about boot camps but they sound horrible.
Originally Posted by MsMoMpls
Boot camps don't work but I don't blame parents who feel their kids are out of control for feeling like there must be something. Therapy also doesn't work much. And all the love in the world doesn't help much... sometimes. I believe for some kids, being a kid is just horrible, no matter what you do.
I agree for the most part. My dh and I took in our 16 yo niece and she lived with us till she was 18. She came from a similar background to the op's cousin in that her mother treated her with no respect, no consistency, and lots of mental abuse, and then expected her to be a well rounded child.
It was really hard raising our dn for 2 years but we are so glad we did, she is a mostly responsible adult now and is off on her own, supporting herself and working hard. She still has her issues but stays out of trouble.
Therapy helped, psych meds helped, love and understanding and support helped, but none of these things were complete saviors, there were still many bumps in the road. However, I shudder to think of how our dn would have made it to 18 without therapy, respect, and prozac. I don't think she would have.
So, if you do decide to take in your cousin, don't discount the good that can come from therapy etc but know that you are in for quite a ride. My mantra was to just get us all through it alive and in the best mental state possible and screw always having rules be followed to a T (we did have rules and consequences but they didn't always get followed!) Things turned out better than we could have hoped for in that she graduated from high school (just barely).
|The media makes parents feel like they have to escalate, to prove who is in charge
This is so true and dh and I had quite a time balancing how to treat dn because dh wanted a tough love/authoritarian approach and I leaned more towards just keeping dn on the right track in general even if she wasn't a perfectly behaving teen all the time.
One other note about using your cousin to help out with the baby. I would also caution against using her to a great degree, maybe here and there once she is stable, but don't make her feel like your taking her in to be a babysitter. Only take her in if you are willing to make her part of your family and are willing to work hard to manage her ups and downs for the next several years while loving her unconditionally.