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Dealing with Troubled Teens
Last Post 21 Mar 2011 05:18 AM by Old Guard2. 33 Replies.
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COASTIE_CLEMENTINEUser is Offline
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COASTIE_CLEMENTINE

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27 Aug 2009 11:10 PM
    So, I have accepted a position with the Girl Scouts and basically I will be working 4 of their programs, one of them being Girls Scouts Behind Bars. I have experience working with children and girls, but I have never worked with troubled teens.

    I have been learning and working with my new team members about it all, and the number one thing they say is "Show them you are the authority and do not let them manipulate and walk all over you, because they will try, especially since you are fairskinned and blonde."


    Has anyone ever worked with young girls with incarcerated mothers, or troubled teens/young women? (I am talking the types who are/were in gangs, drugs, prostitution etc)

    Any advice you have so I can be successful at this?


    ~Semper Paratus~


    ~Semper Paratus~


    jen899193User is Offline
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    jen899193

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    27 Aug 2009 11:53 PM
    best advice i can give you. when they upset you or hurt your feelings (and they will).....do not show any emotion or feeling. remain firm and don't argue with them.


    Jen
    Proud Coastguard Mom of
    SN Church, Brittney R.
    OS A-School
    Petaluma, Ca
     
     
    "Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." ~Benjamin Franklin
     
     
     
     

    ~Jen~
    captkyguyUser is Offline
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    captkyguy

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    28 Aug 2009 12:42 AM
    Very Commendable Clem!


    Kyle

     

    In his life changing name God Bless!

    I want to finally set it free, So show me how to see what Your mercy sees, Help me now to give what You gave to me...Forgiveness, Forgiveness
    jkribellUser is Offline
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    jkribell

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    28 Aug 2009 01:04 AM
    I have worked with troubled girls/teens. Don't pussy foot around stuff. Be brutally honest and yet never let them see you sweat ie never act shocked no matter how shocked you may be. They can sense if/when you care for or about them. No BS even when you don't know what to do, keep it real and honest. You can listen to their stories but don't buy into them. Everyone has a story that is worse than the next. Keep to the job at hand. In the end they will respect you most when you are honest with them. Good luck - it's tough work and many burn out really fast.


    Proud Mom of FS3 Kribell, Heather
    USCGC Hamilton - San Diego 
     
     

    Lucky to live in Hawaii - Mom to FS3Kribell, USCGC Hamilton, San Diego
    noregretsUser is Offline
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    noregrets

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    28 Aug 2009 01:22 AM
    Clementine!  Oh, GOOD LUCK!  I'll be honest, I was never 100% confident in my abilities to be a leader, role model, authoritative figure until I took my current position.  I work at a psychiatric hospital for children and adolescents.  (There's never a dull moment!)  But I work primarily on the boys and girls drug rehabilitation units.  Unfortunately almost half of our patients are court ordered and come from rather bad home lives.  One of the best things I've found is that you must be true to your word.  If you tell them no to something provide a reason why... stand by your guns.  If you promise them you're going to do something - do it.  It's okay to cut up every now and then, but it's also good to keep your distance.  For me, I'm the boss ... I spend more time with them than their doctors, therapists, and nurses.  Power struggles are an issue with everyone so be prepared.  Girls are VERY catty (as you know) and sneaky!  But you'll do just fine.  I actually have a 3 inch binder filled with all sorts of crap from my orientation and dealing with teenagers with issues.  If you need anything at all, just let me know... I'm more than willing to forward on the good stuff.  But I'm sure you'll be great.  It's hard (especially with older girls) to see you as an authority figure.  But, it's like teaching, go in there from Day 1 and make sure they know who you are and what your purpose is.  Don't go all "Boot Camp" on them (we have some of those), but just make sure they know... otherwise they'll eat you alive!  Be prepared to be called every name in the book and learn to have a tough skin.

    However, I think you'll do just fine.  I can't promise you that you'll love every minute of it.  Some days you'll run for the door!  But I think you'll find that there are moments when it's incredibly rewarding.  I know with my job, not only is there never a dull moment, but there's also a lot of situations that make me realize just how great my life truly is.  Best wishes and good luck!  Believe in yourself & keep your head up.  Also - let us know how it goes!


    Sara
     
    "Be the change you wish to see in the world."
    -- Gandhi
     
    "I am a member of a team, and I rely on the team.  I defer to it and sacrifice for it, because the team, not the individual, is the ultimate champion."
    -- Mia Hamm

    COASTIE_CLEMENTINEUser is Offline
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    COASTIE_CLEMENTINE

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    28 Aug 2009 03:28 AM
    Thank you for the advice and encouragements.

    I have been doing some studying and putting some activitites together that I think will be great ice breakers, for me to introduce myself and to get them to open up a tad, even if they just tell me their names...its a start...

    Its quite sad that my team and I are the only constant people in their lives...wish I could change the world...well, I guess I am one girl at a time :)


    ~Semper Paratus~


    ~Semper Paratus~


    COASTIE_CLEMENTINEUser is Offline
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    COASTIE_CLEMENTINE

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    29 Aug 2009 07:52 PM
    Oh my gosh....today was my first day meeting some of the girls and interacting with them- how amazing. This particular group was a "Community Group", their mothers are already out of jail/prison...They pretty much stuck to their groups, but a few of them opened up to me and I had some great conversations with some of their Gaurdians and some of the ASU sorority girls who mentor them as well.

    So far so good, next weekend is my first time at Perryville Prison- def. nervous to go their.

    Next meeting I have is Tuesday, I get to pick up some of the girls, so hopefully the car ride isn't quiet and awkward!


    ~Semper Paratus~


    ~Semper Paratus~


    CSAYankUser is Offline
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    CSAYank

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    30 Aug 2009 10:01 AM
    This is an amazing thing you're doing and I commend you! Though I don't have any advice on this particular matter, I do offer you luck and the knowledge that you ARE making a difference!


     -Pain is weakness leaving the body.
     -It's 5 o'clcok somewhere.
     - So can you tell me what exactly does freedon mean, if I'm not free to be as twisted as I wanna be.

    weppropUser is Offline
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    wepprop

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    30 Aug 2009 12:05 PM
    Heck, I don't even know how to raise my own teenagers. It's like a stroll through a minefield - just because your last step didn't blow up doesn't help you with the next one. So I have no useful advice except don't get dogmatic. What works for one, or even most, probably won't work for all. Be prepared to adjust your approach (without compromising principles) if necessary.
    pepperdoggieUser is Offline
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    pepperdoggie

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    30 Aug 2009 01:08 PM
    Having spent 15 years in the Public School system dealing with discipline issues I wish you luck! Teenage years are an enigma wrapped in a riddle tempered with hormones. The principal at a middle school used to say "How can you tell when a teenager is lying? Their mouth is moving"......unfortunately true in some instances. This will be a great challenge for you, and I admire your gumption.

    Pepper


    10AC4ME

    DylanCUser is Offline
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    DylanC

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    02 Sep 2009 12:43 AM
    I am a teenager, and i still could not give advice because i hate going through one day of school because of how some other "highschoolers" act.. haha
    jkribellUser is Offline
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    jkribell

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    02 Sep 2009 07:03 AM
    My problem child joined the Coast Guard...It's kinda like nailing jello to a tree....


    Proud Mom of FS3 Kribell, Heather
    USCGC Hamilton - San Diego 
     
     

    Lucky to live in Hawaii - Mom to FS3Kribell, USCGC Hamilton, San Diego
    southern118User is Offline
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    southern118

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    02 Sep 2009 03:02 PM
    I think you should ship them all off to the army or marines j/k

    good job on what you are doing and i give you mad props. i dont think i could do it
    noregretsUser is Offline
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    noregrets

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    02 Sep 2009 03:40 PM
    JKribell, I believe that's the best analogy I've ever heard!
    Clem, it's great to hear that things are going so well!


    Sara
     
    "Be the change you wish to see in the world."
    -- Gandhi
     
    "I am a member of a team, and I rely on the team.  I defer to it and sacrifice for it, because the team, not the individual, is the ultimate champion."
    -- Mia Hamm

    captkyguyUser is Offline
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    captkyguy

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    02 Sep 2009 09:47 PM
    After living through a teen I am convinced that all at age 15 need to be enlisted into the military and returned to finish school at 19... :-)


    Kyle

     

    In his life changing name God Bless!

    I want to finally set it free, So show me how to see what Your mercy sees, Help me now to give what You gave to me...Forgiveness, Forgiveness
    jkribellUser is Offline
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    jkribell

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    03 Sep 2009 12:14 AM
    For girls, I would move it down to 13~  I now know why animal mothers eat their young.......  they became teenagers!


    Proud Mom of FS3 Kribell, Heather
    USCGC Hamilton - San Diego 
     
     

    Lucky to live in Hawaii - Mom to FS3Kribell, USCGC Hamilton, San Diego
    weppropUser is Offline
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    wepprop

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    03 Sep 2009 12:19 AM
    For boys, military boarding school. For girls, convent school. Same principles, different uniforms...
    jkribellUser is Offline
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    jkribell

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    03 Sep 2009 12:50 AM
    Amen Wepprop!!  There you have it in a nutshell!


    Proud Mom of FS3 Kribell, Heather
    USCGC Hamilton - San Diego 
     
     

    Lucky to live in Hawaii - Mom to FS3Kribell, USCGC Hamilton, San Diego
    COASTIE_CLEMENTINEUser is Offline
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    COASTIE_CLEMENTINE

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    03 Sep 2009 01:51 AM
    In this particular situation,

    It is not the child/teenagers fault they are acting out in total unacceptable and outlandish ways. They have been raised by parents who do not do good things and have no direction themselves, so it is only natural for a young female or male to follow in the same behaviours.

    The stories and situations I am hearing are heart wrenching and just disgusting.


    ~Semper Paratus~


    ~Semper Paratus~


    jkribellUser is Offline
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    jkribell

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    03 Sep 2009 03:00 AM
    Sorry Clem-didn't mean to minimize your work.  I have worked with troubled teens and like you said have seen some really sad situations. Even on a good day with proper parenting though, teens can be VERY difficult so with the awful backgrounds and stories it's a recipe for disaster.  You are doing a good thing - make sure you take time each day to debrief and destress to make sure it doesn't get to you and burn you out. 


    Proud Mom of FS3 Kribell, Heather
    USCGC Hamilton - San Diego 
     
     

    Lucky to live in Hawaii - Mom to FS3Kribell, USCGC Hamilton, San Diego
    noregretsUser is Offline
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    noregrets

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    03 Sep 2009 03:49 AM
    I must agree with the parentals on this one! I know what I was like and also what I had to deal with when I was a young teenager (about 13-16). I wasn't awful, but I wasn't nice! My parents said I was the good one and I'm certain that there are times that still gave them heart attacks.

    And Clem, you're correct. It is sickening to think about how some kids are raised. Everyday I want to bring someone home... and it's hard to think about the environments they're going back to. On that note, I still think some people should be screened before they're allowed to breed! And Foster Parents should have more restrictions .... don't think I can stress that one enough! Just realize some days are better than others ... and even in their situation, they still find a reason to smile and carry on. Everyone has a sob story ... a mark of war, but don't let them dwell on it. Besides that's a good story to relish on to manipulate you in some way or another. I'm a huge (emphasis on huge) sucker when it comes to feeling heartbroken for others. I am still very bad at it. But, especially with kids with a criminal background/drug dependancy, they feed on that. They know exactly what to say/do. Not saying that you shouldn't feel for them ... because it's hard not to. And if you didn't feel for them, there'd be no reason to do your job .... but just never let your guard down. I'm sorry you're having to hear the stories. But it definitely gives you a reason to appreciate many assets of your own life! :) Once again, what you're doing is great! And JKribell's right .... debrief and destress!!!


    Sara
     
    "Be the change you wish to see in the world."
    -- Gandhi
     
    "I am a member of a team, and I rely on the team.  I defer to it and sacrifice for it, because the team, not the individual, is the ultimate champion."
    -- Mia Hamm

    captkyguyUser is Offline
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    captkyguy

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    03 Sep 2009 03:50 AM
    I ditto Jan...

    Sorry if my post came across wrong that was not the intent at all.

    You and all others willing to talk and help these kids is a life changing blessing.


    Kyle

     

    In his life changing name God Bless!

    I want to finally set it free, So show me how to see what Your mercy sees, Help me now to give what You gave to me...Forgiveness, Forgiveness
    COASTIE_CLEMENTINEUser is Offline
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    COASTIE_CLEMENTINE

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    03 Sep 2009 04:44 AM
    Oh, I didn't take what you guys were saying in a "wrong" way, just wanted to throw out there that as much as I wish shipping a teen out somewhere may work.....but with these kids, they are so used to being pushed and shoved, all they really need is a constant loving person


    ~Semper Paratus~


    ~Semper Paratus~


    PmackeyUser is Offline
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    Pmackey

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    03 Sep 2009 08:16 PM
    wepprop said...
    Heck, I don't even know how to raise my own teenagers. It's like a stroll through a minefield - just because your last step didn't blow up doesn't help you with the next one. So I have no useful advice except don't get dogmatic. What works for one, or even most, probably won't work for all. Be prepared to adjust your approach (without compromising principles) if necessary.
    HAHAHA Ditto to that one wepprop! Gosh I could not have picked a better analogy than that!

    Mom of 2 teenager boys and a rising 6 yr old daughter.. Glutten for punishment.. When it's good- it's REAL good!

    Good Luck CLEM you will be great with them I'm sure!
    Pmack
    Proud Mom of FA MACKEY USCGC JARVIS (WHEC 725) Honolulu, HI
    noregretsUser is Offline
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    noregrets

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    03 Sep 2009 08:17 PM
    Everyone join in with "All you need is love" :) Sorry ... there was a Beatles special on last night! :)


    Sara
     
    "Be the change you wish to see in the world."
    -- Gandhi
     
    "I am a member of a team, and I rely on the team.  I defer to it and sacrifice for it, because the team, not the individual, is the ultimate champion."
    -- Mia Hamm

    standinbyhim416User is Offline
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    standinbyhim416

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    04 Sep 2009 12:17 PM
    I babysat for a girl younger than the teens you will be working with but, my saving grace was always being stern but validating her and focusing on her strenghts rather than her slip ups. We would talk about what she was doing wrong and would write down how we could fix it and make it better. Many people who come from a broken home are just looking for attention in rebeliousness. So while being stern, try and be a friend and confidant. They will appreciate it, I am sure!


    Girlfriend to future Coastie
    thebigc12345

    Girlfriend to future Coastie
    thebigc12345
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    Onelove

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    11 Sep 2009 11:42 AM
    Cheers to making the world a better place to be in! It's people like you who make a real difference even if you help one person.


    COASTIE_CLEMENTINEUser is Offline
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    COASTIE_CLEMENTINE

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    17 Sep 2009 02:51 AM
    Update:

    After a few weeks I am starting to get into the grind of things. I should be all badged up for all prisons/jails in Arizona by end of October. Long process....

    Last night at program it was really hard because we talked about self esteem...something that they have little of...hard night....

    In good news....when I mentioned that my dream is military oriented, I caught the eye of 4 girls.... which is really good, so it shows that they " give me props and have a lil respect and want to get to know me"....so that is def. a step in the right direction.

    So thrilled I got this job...so thrilled.


    ~Semper Paratus~


    ~Semper Paratus~


    GIJaneUser is Offline
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    GIJane

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    16 Dec 2010 11:35 AM
    I'm sure it's gonna be tough in dealing with troubled teens but I'm sure if you only let them feel that you're there for them at the same time showing that you're in charge might just be helpful. I salute you for your dedication! Keep it up.
    _____________________________________________

    http://www.troubledteens.com/
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    pepperdoggie

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    16 Dec 2010 11:40 AM
    We haven't heard from Clementine in a LOOOOOng time. Her post is over a year old.
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