Saturday, October 27, 2007

Mood swings and parenting

DD has been grounded this week, because she made arrangements to visit a friends house for an overnight without telling us that she would be unsupervised, and also for telling her friend's father that we were aware of that and were ok with it. She's always been sneaky, but this was a little more sophisticated than we were used to. Too bad for her, we are aware of her tendency to not be entirely honest, so we check everything out ahead of time.

Anyhow, apparently there was a Halloween party tonite at some other friend's house. DD had not been told "for sure" that she could not go on account of being grounded, but that she probably could not go. We were giving a little hope because we try to encourage DD to socialize and if her behavior merited, we might relent on the grounding just for the party and nothing else. But I really doubted it and told her so. Nevertheless, she "invited" the same friend from the previous paragraph to go with her to the Halloween party. Then she found out that her friend could not go to the party unless she was able to stay overnight at our house. At that point we decided that DD cannot take matters into her own hands like this, since we hadn't been consulted on this and had not given permission for either the party or the overnight....and we told her "you are grounded and cannot go." Then her friend called her and asked her what time they were going. Argh. Once again, she was told there would be no party. But Jason overheard DD telling said friend that "yes, I'll be there" "I can't talk now, call me at my bio mom's house" (she had a visit scheduled for tonight). So a quick call to the bio mom and we learned that DD had already called bio mom to make sure that she would be able to go to the party. Of course DD neglected to mention that we had grounded her and that we had told her she couldn't go. We explained the situation and bio mom was ok with DD not having a visit tonite. DD was not ok with that, of course, and her big plans were foiled. She made up a bunch of stupid lies like "I only called my mom to see if she wanted to go to the Halloween party, I didn't say I was going" (like a 45 year old woman is going to be interested in going to a high school Halloween party???) Anyhow, DH decided he was going to be the one to break the news to DD that she was staying home.

When he did that, she called him a bunch of swear words, told him she hated him, and ran off, intending to get to town some other way (we knew she wouldn't make it, so we weren't worried). DH started to have a mood swing like he does whenever anyone is upset with him or disagrees with him. I could see his mood change from "stern parent" to "extremely angry and offended person" in an instant. Sometimes when he has these mood swings, he says hateful things to DD just out of anger, and that's the bipolar talking. I pointed it out and he said he could tell he was having a mood swing and he was going to need a Lorazepam to calm down. Then we talked for a few more minutes and I went and fed the chickens, and when I came back, he was fine again. I asked him if he took his pill and he had forgotten all about it, because he didn't feel like he needed it any more!!! That is the absolute first time in a year that something like that has happened, especially with DD because she is never afraid to say hateful things when she is angry. DH and I were both shocked and excited by this. So maybe there has been progress??? I hate to get my hopes up.

And for anyone who is wondering, DD is spending her evening in her room and in addition to being grounded for an extra week, she has lost her TV privileges. Plus it's her problem to deal with the consequences of inviting a friend to a party when you don't have permission to go yet. Before she went to bed I made sure she knew that we still love her, but not her sneaky behavior.