Is it possible to hold a child (who claims that they have mental health challenges) accountable for their bad behavior?
I go back and forth with this all the time. My 13SD who really isn't my SD as she no longer lives with us or sees us at all...she behaves horriibly to her father, obviously is angry at him for remarrying, so doesn't want anything to do with him at all. She left 6 months ago to live with BM full time and because she has been struggling social-emotionally so badly, everyone (my DH and his ex-wfe the BM and pretty my DH's family of siblings who give him advice), all told him to back way off and let her do what keeps her happy because she has been struggling with depression and making suicidal type comments. I am a high school guidance counselor, so I KNOW that you have to take those types of comments VERY SERIOUSLY.
Yet......I think she is manipulative and she is a 13 girl that should not be given this much power. Alas, I have more of a tough love parenting style than my DH and his family, especially with the way they handle the "fragile" sulking girls in their family which is not few and far between! I have two bio boys of my own and I never had to deal with this level of fragility -- you're a KID you do not DECIDE what you do and do not do, I do as your parent.
My DH just plays the mental health card with her all the time. To me, to himself...
His counselor told him too just give her space. It is 6 months later and she has hardly contacted him at all, with the exception of the recent request to attend his family holiday party (she undoubtably wants to see her girl cousins that are in their older teens/early twenties who baby the shit out of her and her aunts who spend a lot of time stroking her hair and asking how she is).
What no one in his family does is feel bad for my DH who she has blown off for the last 6 months. Maybe when I don't show up to the xmas eve party with my sons to accompany my DH and his kids his family might actually realize that she is wreaking havoc and should probably be finally told that her behavior is unacceptable. My DH overshares with his adult siblings to ask their advice because they have known her their whole lives and he is so at a loss on what to do. I'm the new kid (around only 5 years) who would NEVER let my two teen sons be able to act this way without at least calling them on it! The discipline part with teens is tricky, but they don't even call a spade a spade to the kid and at least tell her she is causing a world of hurt because they don't want to burden her with it when she is already emotionally struggling. She probably doesn't even know my sons and I aren't going to my DH's side of the family for the holidays because of her behavior because they don't want her to feel guilty. GIVE ME A BREAK!
Also getting pretty tired of hearing my DH's sisters say things like "you don't want to push her away entirely"....why do we have to handle these kids like ticking time bombs instead of holding them accountable for their behavior? The kids have all the power these days it seems!?