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"If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way" ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Northhills PSST 8-11-07 (Regaining Parent Power!)
Posted by:Lloyd Woodward--Sunday, August 12, 2007

We ended up with 13 parents at our recent PSST. Even with all of us at the table (this is the one meeting where we actually meet around a table) we were able to hear something from everyone. We also welcomed four first timers to our group. We haven't posted a role-play for sometime now. Let's call this one Regaining Parent Power.

The Scenario: 16 year-old daughter is in a temporary psychiatric placement after her release from Shuman. She went to Shuman after assaulting her step-father. Her assault case is pending in Juvenile Court, he has been assigned an Intake Officer, and her parents have attended one PSST, at which time they found out that if a child is out-of-control and pending in Juvenile Court, the parents can request that a Walk-in Detention Hearing is held at Shuman Center.

Girl: Get me out of here. You have no idea what it is like to be in a place like this!
M: I'm sure it's not fun here honey.
Girl: No! Have you ever been admitted to a place like this?
M: No
Girl: Have you (looking at SF) ever been admited to a place like this?
SF: No
Girl: See! And it's your fault (looking at SF) that I have to stay here.
SF: Mine?
Girl: Yes, you told me to hit you!
SF: Yes, you're right. I said "if you had to strike someone, hit me, not you're mother.
Girl: Well I did what you said, so why am I in here?
M: You can't assault people honey no matter what they say.
Girl: Ok, I won't now let me go home- I learned my lesson- No you stop (cutting off a response that M was attempting to make) I have to get out of this hell hole - you can't keep me here against my will.
M: We came here to tell you what we have decided.
Girl: Tell me in the car on the way home- I don't give a sh*t what you decided anway. What do I care about you two? Decide away- just GET ME OUT OF HERE!
M: Well that's the thing that you aren't going to like.
Girl: What do you mean now? Do I get to go home or what?
M: We would like to explain what's going on- but you seem so upset- I'm not sure this is a good time to tell you and there's so much to tell you that has been going on- (looking at her husband) I'm not sure where to start.
SF: (also looking at mother now, not at Girl) I know I guess we'd have to start at the beginning, but I'm not sure this is a good time to tell her either- she seems to be ready to flip out again.
Girl: Whaaaaaat are you two talking about- oooooooo God I hate dealing with both of you- you are such morons- tell me what you are talking about- tell me NOW!
M: Ok, but not unless you agree not interrupt us- there is too much to tell if you are going to interrupt us though the whole thing.
Girl: Ok OK OK OK - just tell me.
M: No interruptions?
Girl: (glares)
M: (returns stare for a minute- then swiches to looking at her husband) what do you think honey? It's your call.
SF: (looking at his wife) I think you handled that pretty good honey. Why don't I start.
M: Please
SF: (looking at Girl now) OK, first of all...
Girl: (if looks could kill he would be dead for sure)
SF: We told the Intake Officer that we wanted to do this- but we know that it's going to really really make you mad.
Girl: What's an Intake Officer?
M: The lady that is scheduling your case before a Judge.
Girl: What for?
M: For assualting Dad.
M: Fine. For assaulting my husband, is that better?
Girl: He said to hit him so I hit him, kicked him, and bit him. That seems fair to me.
M: Well, you will have an Attorney and he can help you convince the Judge of that.
Girl: Ha ha. You think you are so funny don't you?
M: No- I don't think any of this is funny. (looking at SF now) Do you honey?
SF: Nope (looking at M)

quiet now between all three

Girl: Well, what's going on- tell me (voice sounding a little more cooperative now)
SF: OK, try not to interrupt?
Girl: Yes I Won't Interrupt. (facesious comment)
SF: Like I said- you are going to be pretty unhappy with us- but we want you to know what's going on. But listen. If at any point, this information make you so angry that you feel you are going to flip out- just get up and go back to your room, right honey (he looks at M) it's ok if this is so upsetting that she needs to just get away from us.
M: Of couse. We really don't want to upset you honey but we have made up our minds about some things is all.
Girl: what is making me mad is younz not telling me- that's what I'm about to go postal on you both for- so get on with it.
SF: We admitted to the Katie Jones, that we can't controll you. That's the main thing.
M: Right- that's a good place to start- honey, we haven't been able to controll what time you come in- where you go- or who you hang with for some time.
Girl: So what- that doesn't make me mad.
SF: Katie agreed with us, that having a Walk-in Detention Hearing is a good idea. So, when you get out of here- you will go to Shuman Center to have a Walk-in Detention Hearing.
Girl: What? What kind of sh*t is that?
SF: When you have charges pending, then in Juvenile Court you have to be under someone's control up until the hearing- but your mother and I can't controll you.
Girl: What's going to happen at the hearing.
M: One of two things. Eigher you will be released home with us until your hearing, or you will be detained at Shuman.
Girl: You can't be serious.
M: Yes we are.
Girl: I'll get you both for this.
M: Is that a threat?
Girl: Does it sound like one?
M: Yes, it does.
Girl: Ok, then if it walks like a f**$&*g duck, then MOM it's a f**$&*g duck!
M: Thanks. I'm glad you said it that way.
Girl: Why?
M: Because it makes things clear. It make our point for us doens't it honey (looking at SF).
SF: Yep- it's hard to say you can control someone who threatens you, especially after they have already assualted you.
Girl: You told me to do that!
SF: Nevertheless, you injured me- i received medical treatment, and we have decided that we won't live under those conditions anymore. You tell her honey (putting his arm around his wife.)
M: We have a contract that we made up (pulling a piece of paper out of her pocket.)
SF: Right, this is what we need to agree on before you come home.
Girl: I'm done with both of you get out of here- now!
M: (Standing up) OK, I know you are angry, we can talk about this some other time.
SF: Yes, we will talk about this again.
Girl: Wait. Leave the paper.
M: Sure thing.
Girl: I see what's going on- you two want to get rid of me dont' you?
M: We want you where you are safe and unless we come to some understanding- that is not at home.
Girl: Just say it. You want to get rid me so you dont' have to deal with me. Right?
M: Yes, OK, if that is what it takes to keep you safe- then yes, that is what we want, right honey?
SF: Right, we know we can't control you. At 16, you have to go somewhere else where you will have supervision- apparently it's not with us- but just for the record- I wish we could work things out.
Girl: Oh sure, and I have a bridge to sell you in New York...
SF: Nevertheless, this is what we told Katie Jones, and she agreed with us.
Girl: (looking at contract) What if I agree to all this sh*t? Why can't I just come home? Give me one good reason why I can't just come home?
SF: Because you probably won't agree to this contract.
Girl: Why do I have to agree with this?
M: Because we said so.
Girl: That's not good enough.
M: Regardless, this is the deal- you can take it or leave it.
Girl: (Gritting teeth- jaw jutting out) and if I agree to all this?
SF: If you are sincere, we will give it a try.
M: Yes, we'll try it again if you think you can live with these rules.
Girl: (jerks herself up and storms away)

Wondering what the rules might have been like? Check out Ken's Rules of the Road for some ideas that help young people avoid going back to drugs and alcohol. http://nevertheless-psst.blogspot.com/2007/07/rules-of-road.html

Wondering what these people would have done if there was no Juvenile Court involvement? Check out information on ACT 53. http://www.alleghenycounty.us/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentifier=id&ItemID=11904&FolderID=364&terms=act+53&searchtype=2&fragment=True

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