View Full Version : Father Seeking help with 14-year-old Girl


JohnOnTheWeb
03-03-16, 10:43 PM
So let me first state I am not a true foster parent at this time. I hope to be in the future but right now I am looking for help and advice for a girl who is staying with us for the next six months.

My Wife and I are professional people financially well off and live in a good neighborhood with exceptional schools. We have a 19 year old son who is off at college this year and a 14-year-old daughter who is the VP of her freshmen class and has straight A’s.

We are a hockey family and both my daughter and son have been playing since they were 5. My daughter is on a Nationally ranked team. On her team we met one of her team mates who lives in an area without a strong hockey program and was facing some challenges. She was diagnosed with ADHT at an early age and was totally unhappy in school and life in general outside of hockey. She lives with her Mom, does not get along with her family and was traveling to all the team events by herself. She let us know she was looking for options and we volunteered to “Billet” / host her.
It was a little scary for us taking on this responsibility as the girl had a bit of a “Wild” reputation, we knew very little about the extended family, and to this day have never personally met the parents. The ADHT did not worry us as we were familiar with the issues as our son was also diagnosed and through the use of medication and regular routines we are proud of his accomplishments.

We love having this addition to our family and feel she is a wonderful person. She does have some challenges however in that she seems to have a need to control everything around her. She continues to be withdrawn and does not express herself very well. At times she is very belligerent to others and does not seem to accept responsibility for her actions. My daughter has tried many times to include her in activities outside of hockey but she constantly refuses and prefers to go up to her room by herself to chat with other members of her team with her phone.

Things are not all bad here by any means. My daughter and her are good friends and get along at home…it is just my daughter has other interests she pursues out of the house that are guest does not show any interest in. Her grades are terrible and I believe that with the right medication she could focus at school and turn this around in a heartbeat but I cannot convince her Mother or her of the importance.

My wife has a strong relationship with her and while she is a bit reluctant in dealing with me (Which is expected), we at times seem to get along and can at least bond over hockey.

We are being patient with her and doing our best to provide a structure for her to live within. She does what we tell her although it seems with a great deal of reluctance and drama. She never thanks anyone for their efforts and does not seem to appreciate the effort her parents and others have put in to support her dreams of playing hockey at a high level.

We are happy to have her in our lives and would do it again in a hearbeat. My concern here is are we doing enough? Is there something else we can be doing? I want her to leave in 5 months with a positive experience that makes her a better person more enabled to communicate and deal with the out side world. My worry is her “Free Ride” in hockey will end shortly. There really is no future for girls hockey out of college and if she does not work on her grades this will never be a possibility for her. What will happen in three years when High School is over and so is hockey?

Any advice or insight would be appreciated.

ginniebean
03-03-16, 11:57 PM
In your situation there is not much you can do, continue to build report with the girl, and perhaps that will help. She won't want to see you as authority figures and in effect you have no real authority.

I commend you on doing so very much for this girl. WOW. She comes from a different world it seems and finding a way to make a bridge to her may not be possible. In any case, what you are doing is immense!

Caco3girl
03-04-16, 09:39 AM
I agree, you are doing what you can. I have an 8th grader and he thinks he knows EVERYTHING and has his own priorities which rarely include what I think his priorities should be, that is part of the age group. The thing with this girl is that she isn't your responsibility to "fix". You don't have the power to make her see a shrink, you don't have the power to put her on medicine, and you don't have any authority to help her other than what you are already doing. You could ask how she feels about a tutor, or a future goal she might have but ultimately you will have to accept that if you had her from birth you might have been able to shape her life in a way that is more appealing to what you think life should be...but you didn't. You have 5 months with her, all you can really do is make sure she knows she has a safe place where she can be herself.

There are people in the world that will scrape themselves off the floor and flourish in the type of environment you have provided, but she may not be one of them...and that's okay. It isn't a failing on your part. You can provide her with a safe place to live, food, and opportunities to better herself but if she is happy with herself and who she is as a person....even if she is making it so she is destined to work at menial jobs the rest of her life.... there isn't anything you can do about it.

Lunacie
03-04-16, 10:29 AM
A percentage of those with ADHD also have ASD (autism spectrum disorder).

This girl shows some traits of ASD, the need for control and the limited and specific interest.

Just something you may want to read about to help you connect with the girl better.

It's awesome that you have taken her in and provided some stability and support for her.

I wish you the best in the adoption process. My sister adopted and raised three girls. :D

Socaljaxs
03-04-16, 11:18 AM
She lives with her Mom, does not get along with her family and was traveling to all the team events by herself. She let us know she was looking for options and we volunteered to “Billet” / host her.
It was a little scary for us taking on this responsibility as the girl had a bit of a “Wild” reputation, we knew very little about the extended family, and to this day have never personally met the parents.first, I want to commend you for what you and your wife are doing. You may not see it, but you are probably doing more for her and giving her more than you realize or she will express. The simple fact that you've never met her parents in person, and she was searching for options, in my opinion says a great deal about her previous living situation.

My opinion is that she has been severely neglected or cast aside, just based on a simple concept of her parent's not even meeting the family their own child is living with for half a year... That shows me a lot about how she has been treated and/or raised...keep doing what your doing.



She does have some challenges however in that she seems to have a need to control everything around her. She continues to be withdrawn and does not express herself very well. At times she is very belligerent to others and does not seem to accept responsibility for her actions. My daughter has tried many times to include her in activities outside of hockey but she constantly refuses and prefers to go up to her room by herself to chat with other members of her team with her phone.

Sounds like this girl has had a very unstable upbringing.... Usually, when a person seeks out and is looking for the need for "control everything" it usually is a sign of someone that lacks control of their current situations. Good example of this. One of my cousin's a few years ago, went thru a nasty divorce lost her mom, and lost a lot of money, has 4 kids and several other sudden life altering events. She lost a ton of weight and in almost an anorexic manner. I spoke to her about her rapid weight loss and her response was my life was in chaos and I needed some control my weight was something I could control and have power over so that's what I did I found control when I felt I had none... Make sense?

This girl sounds like she ks wonderful person with stability issues.... the problem seems just based on what you wrote is the fact she has not had proper security in her life.

She may not feel comfortable with people she doesn't know. She and your daughter get along. But that doesn't mean she needs to do everything your daughter does either. It's been a month since you took her in? Give her some time and proper stability, she may venture to unknown activities but she may not be ready too as well. If she doesn't want to go and do other things with new people. That's ok, she may one day but I wouldn't try to force it..

sarahsweets
03-13-16, 04:21 AM
Wow. You give me hope for the human race. If only other People could do what you're doing. Is social services involved? I mean if she needs things that she can't get at home and her parents aren't helping could you go a more formal route and get her help despite her parents wishes ? It sounds like you guys got her because home wasn't good for her. If that's the case then maybe having the school or state help you help her could work.

acdc01
03-17-16, 07:47 PM
You seem like a great person and I agree with the others that you are probably already doing as much as you can and that you are also most likely helping more than you know.

If she doesn't get good grades in high school, it's not actually the end of the world. There's always community college and then transfer to a university afterward - doesn't even affect your chances at getting a job if you go that route. Plus there are tons of good jobs too that don't need a college degree.

Does your son ever come home? I think you can encourage him to be nice to her and talk to her very casually (not like he has an agenda) of his own ADHD, his struggles, and how he overcame them. That's your best odds I think - especially if there is enough time for him to build some trust first (though I'm guessing there is no time for that). You could also invite her over for dinner sometimes even after she moves out just to let her know she's always welcome (even though she might not take you up on your offer, I'm guessing she'd appreciate it).