This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

House Rules

Bob and Kitty and I came up with these House Rules together.  Kitty and I still need to discuss consequences, because she stated if Bob were present, she'd feel like Bob was getting her way (or something like that.  I didn't really understand it, but the point was she wanted to talk about it later.).

House Rules/ Expectations

Respectful and Pleasant to Be Around
- No name-calling, yelling, nasty or sullen remarks
- Request not demand or expect
- Be pleasant, polite and helpful
Consequences: _____________________________________________________

Responsible
- Safety – Let someone know where you are going, when you’ll be there and back, and contact info for who you’ll be with…
Consequences: _____________________________________________________
- Curfew – Midnight on non-work days.  9pm on workdays (Sunday through Thursday).   Unless approval is requested beforehand.
Consequences: _____________________________________________________
- Guests – No opposite sex/ LGBT upstairs.  Request permission to have visitors.  Visitors only between the hours of 10am and 8:30pm with advance request.
Consequences: _____________________________________________________
- Transportation – Parents will provide transportation with advanced notice for $2 a trip.  Between the hours of 10am to 9pm.  Requests outside of these hours must be negotiated.
Consequences: _____________________________________________________
- Clean/ pick up after yourself  
Consequences:  Lose items left out, _______________________________________
- Family chores – 
Consequences:  Lose access to WiFi/ network, _____________________________
- Food and drink – No food and drink upstairs (excluding water).  Keep personal food (purchased with own money or with the intention of being just for you) labeled and on designated shelves.
Consequences: _____________________________________________________
- Financial - Pay your debts,
Consequences: _____________________________________________________

Honest 
- No lying or stealing
Consequences: _____________________________________________________
- No alcohol or illegal items or immoral or illegal activities on property (including porn, smoking, drugs and/or stolen items…).  This includes guests.
Consequences:  Police notified, asked to leave the home, ______________________
- Be open, share what’s going on, and ask for help
Consequences: _____________________________________________________
- Attend therapy 
Consequences: _____________________________________________________

12 comments:

Susan said...

Mary --

1) You've spent years blogging that Kitty is unable to cope with detailed rules or any sort of consequences, ie you couldn't tell her she was in FAIR Club when she was in the FAIR Club.

Has Kitty grown/changed in any way that suggests she will be able to hold up her end of the Boarder Agreement?

Are you planning to actually impose the stated consequences on her?

What are YOU doing differently this time?

2) Even the simplified boarder agreement is very prescriptive and likely labor-intensive to enforce. Are you really, truly willing to consequence:

- every single rude name and unhelpful attitude?
- ensuring all friends-boyfriends-girlfriends of all kids leave the house at 8:30 PM every single time?
- confiscate every single item that gets left out?
- "immoral" activities? Is kissing okay but "third base" not??

3) If Kitty's not capable of getting the diploma/degree needed for her dream job, what does she have to lose by learning a trade?

Seeing as she doesn't have a job, what does Kitty do all day?

3) All you have ever written about high school guidance counselors suggests Kitty and Bear's were totally useless.

Why are you choosing to abide by the useless guidance counselor's advice regarding JobCorps / AmeriCorps for Kitty?

4) Why is Kitty's irrational fear of kids diverted from juvie a valid reason for ruling out JC / AC?

Is Kitty equally terrified of "special school" classmates who have been to juvie?

5) Kitty will probably be on SSI for the rest if her life, i.e.
a shared/group home for Kitty is a given. Why shared/group JC / AC housing a no-go for Kitty?

If equally sheltered Bob is expected to cope with the "deprivations" of a college dorm/shared off-campus house (tiny shared room, shared bathroom), why can't Kitty?

Anonymous said...

What would you do if Kitty eventually refused to go to therapy? Get a court order for her to go? Evict her? What? Now that she's an adult, technically she can choose whether or not to go. And at the end of the day, you can't make someone heal or work on themselves if they don't want to. It's not your life that's being worked on, it's hers. You say you're stepping back more these days, so if she stopped willingly going to therapy, what could you really do about it?

Anonymous said...

Hold up, are you going to quiz everyone that comes to the door if they're LGBT? Have some respect, if not common sense!

marythemom said...

Anonymous -
If Kitty decides to stop going to therapy, stop taking her medications, or stop following the house rules in general, then she will be invited to leave. Just like Bear was. I will NOT jeopardize the safety and well-being of the family as a whole, for a kid who is not trying.

The reality is, if you don't like our rules, then you need to find somewhere else to live where you can do whatever you want (providing you can find a place like that). Bear made this choice. He didn't like the structure, and was told by everyone that he shouldn't need it (even though he needed it to feel safe). He moved from house to house - usually when he got tired of being a "perfect" house guest and let them see the "real" him - in which case they let him see the "real" door. Eventually he found a place that provided the structure he desperately needed - prison.

As for the LGBT in the bedroom issue? I don't need to question them. Kitty tells me. I have absolutely no issues with people who are LGBT. I do have issues with people having sex or anything beyond kissing in my home (unless you're married) - there is no reason to put temptation and hormones behind closed doors. There are minors here.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure that given her fears of hospitalization that she'd not stop taking her meds. But going to therapy could be different, I don't know. You'd not evict her just for quitting therapy, but for continuing to willingly take her meds, would you?
I agree with you on the LGBT thing. Best not to put temptation in front of the kids.

Anonymous said...

Except the legal age of consent is 17. If you have a paying tenant, you can't deny them their right to a consenting sexual relationship.
"TENANT is forbidden from engaging in intimacy with any consenting adult within the rental property." Can you imagine that holding up in court? This is getting comical. It looks like you're just trying to hoodwink a disabled woman into a contract because she doesn't know any better, and is dependent on you for many things. I think this is a manipulative and crappy thing to do.
If you really think you're trying to help her learn how to read a contract and follow through with agreements, then make this a realistic lease and help her understand it. Don't violate her rights in the name of "education."

marythemom said...

Anonymous - I assume you're being facetious when you ask if I'll call the cops if Kitty refuses to go to therapy. No, technically I can't force my kids to work on their issues in therapy (I wish!), but you're wrong about it not involving my life. We alternate individual therapy with family therapy since she has problems with relationships due to her issues.

I can't deny my daughter the right to a "consenting sexual relationship," but I can say that it will not happen in my home, in the next room from my minor children. If Kitty were living in a college dorm, she could be told she cannot have males in her room, even though she's paying "rent."

In what way am I "hoodwinking a disabled woman"? I explained the boarder agreement to Kitty in terms she can understand (just like I do every legal document, insurance paperwork, and anything else she, as an adult needs to fill out and sign). I am not bilking her for tons of money. Yea, the document is unnecessarily legalistic, but it's my document, and I can write what I want to write. If she doesn't like it she doesn't have to live here or sign it.

I am teaching my child to the best of my abilities, and with as much respect toward her disabilities as possible. It is very difficult to live with a child with borderline personality issues and severe issues with reality. I am doing the best I can. It's not your job to "protect" her from loving parents.

Anonymous said...

No, I did think, but only slightly, that you'd give her a serious consequence for quitting therapy or for refusing to work during it. Some adults have court orders to go to counselling, so that's what I was thinking here. Good for knowing that you can't make her go. When you say you have individual and family therapy, do you mean that one session she's with the therapist alone, and the next she's with you and Hubby or just you?

marythemom said...

"When you say you have individual and family therapy, do you mean that one session she's with the therapist alone, and the next she's with you and Hubby or just you?"

Yes, that's what I mean.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. I know that attachment therapy isn't usually done with just the child and therapist alone, due to some children's tendancy to try to triangulate, lie or manipulate. But if it works for Kitty and your family, that's good.

marythemom said...

Anonymous - You are correct that attachment therapy shouldn't be done with just the child and therapist to avoid triangulating and so the child doesn't attach to the therapist instead of the parent.

Kitty hasn't done true attachment therapy in several years. She doesn't really need it any more. DBT is the recommended therapy for her now, but the residential treatment center she attended that specializes in DBT said she was not emotionally and cognitively able to work their program.

Sam said...

These sound reasonable to me. Especially for Kitty and her various and complex issues. Will make things run smoother in the family and give Kitty the structure she needs. Good that you all sat down and came up with them as a family.