It’s a roller coaster.

My daughter’s behavior has gone off the rails again. She had been doing pretty well in school, participating in therapy, obeying the rules….then the progress suddenly stopped and we plummeted downward.

This is a recurring pattern:  Make progress. Slide backwards. Rinse. Repeat.

I don’t know why the progress only continues for short spurts. I don’t know why she suddenly decides to bite someone or throw a table. The reality is – it happens. There isn’t any excuse for the sudden and outrageous behavior shift. My daughter would like to blame someone else for triggering her outburst – but she is the one who is behaving badly. My daughter would like to do as she pleases without any consequenses – after all, she is a teenager.

There are times when you can look at her and see that she can’t help herself, can’t control her reactions. She simply loses it.

There are other times when her actions are clearly calculated….if you have enough wherewithal to walk upstairs and rip the wallpaper in MY room, this is NOT the same as flailing about and ripping the wallpaper where you happened to be standing when you lost control of your temper.

I struggle with identifying that self-control line sometimes. I want my daughter to be as responsible and well-behaved as possible. Where the line is clear – I do not cut her any slack: If you angrily destroy your own toy, it does not get replaced. If you angrily destroy someone else’s property, you need to replace it. In my head, I can hear her saying “that’s not fair.” She has a thing about ‘fair.’ The problem is, her definition of ‘fair’ is fluid and self-serving. Not to mention, life is just not fair!

I hope she gets back on the rails soon. I would like her to finish school on time. And, selfishly, I would like to avoid another disruption in our visitation schedule.

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