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Therapy or Gas Chamber?

I went to see the child psychologist with my daughter last week. You would have thought I was taking her to the gas chamber. I had decided not to tell her we would be going in light of her argumentative ways and only told her when she asked why I was home from work. Unfortunately, my darling daughter has also picked up swearing from her friends at school, dance, the bus, soccer and where ever else she is hearing it because it is not from me. So the swearing starts then the kicking the air starts. “I am not going to the therapist, I HATE you!” “Only Special Ed kids go to therapy” “I don’t need therapy, you do” and on and on the whole ride over, I guess I should be grateful she even got in the car.

I park the car on the street in front of the office only to have my daughter inform me that she knows people in this town and they are now going to know she is in therapy. I told her just tell them you came with me and I also said there are other types of doctors in this building. We get up into the waiting room and she informs me that I must go in with her. The therapist comes out and asks me to fill out the insurance forms and motions my daughter into her office. Arms crossed, pout obviously apparent and stomping into the office she goes. I mortified, sit and fill out forms. In less than 5 minutes the therapist asks that I join them to see if we can work together to sort out what is going on. I get into the office and I am met with attitude daughter, tough bullying daughter, who do you think you are telling me I need to be here daughter. I sit and let her rant about why she doesn’t need to be here and how I lied to get her here. I did tell her the court recommended that I take her, which is true; to make sure she is happy and well adjusted. I also took her because she is disrespectful to me and argues about everything, I just didn’t tell her that part. If I had we never would have left the house.  My daughter is so against being here that she is putting her feet on the couch acting tough and being very rude. Usually my daughter is not this way with other people. The therapist asks how she is doing in school, my daughter tells her straight A+’s and one A, the therapist asks how she is doing with sports and my daughter tells her great she is playing soccer, softball, dance and just started basketball. The therapist asks me what I have to say and I tell her I am very proud of how well my daughter does in school and that the teachers have nothing but positive things to say about her in class. I tell her she participates, helps other students and that the teachers have told me she is a pleasure to have in class. I continue to say I am proud of the grades she got considering all the extracurricular she is involved in. Then I tell the therapist that my problem is my daughter doesn’t listen to me and refuses punishment. I said she refuses to go to her room when I tell her to, I can’t carry her she weighs over one hundred pounds, or to give me her phone, which doesn’t work either because she always loses it. People have suggested I pull her from sports but my reason I don’t is she is a very busy kid and I find that getting her energy out playing sports not only helps her but me too!  I looked straight at the therapist and said I am not going to smack my kid so I end up leaving the house and going for a ride to calm down and sort out what is taking place. This is the only way she listens. My daughter doesn’t like me to leave so I do and then she gets it. However, that to me isn’t the answer either.

The session actually lasted an hour with my daughter coming around saying to the therapist “ I’m not usually like this,  I know you think I am acting all tough, but I don’t need to be here and I don’t want to be here it is a waste of our time” The therapist was able to point out to my daughter that I am proud of her academic achievements and that she excels in sports, but that I have a problem with her back talk and that she won’t take punishment when I give it. Somehow the therapist convinced her to come back in six weeks to check in and we left. On the way home she informed me she is not going back and ranted most of the ten minute ride home. We walk in the door to our home and she turns to me and says “I’m calling dad and telling him you MADE me go to therapy” my ex and I have a strained relationship to say the least but I said go ahead call him. I had had enough and at that point and was basically throwing my hands in the air. I stood close enough to hear her side of the conversation, and a funny thing happened, “ Hi dad, mom made me go to therapy” silence then “ well you know when I do something wrong at your house and you send me to my room” silence then “ well I laugh at mom. WOW admitting it!! I start to smile. Then I hear her say ok I won’t and good-bye. She comes over to me and says “Dad said if I stop being disrespectful I don’t have to go to therapy anymore.” I said yes I agree. That is what I was trying to get across to you. The rest of the day and night went smoothly I am happy to say. Are we stopping therapy, no chance, but it is a good start to what appeared was going in the wrong direction.

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