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Having struggles with my 13yr old daughter

Having struggles with my 13yr old daughter

Prolific scribe

Re: Having struggles with my 13yr old daughter

Thanks so much.Smiley Happy
Things have been going really well over the last couple of weeks. Still getting the normal bit of backchat and moody snapping but no arguments and things have been really calm and settled.
I am learning to pick my battles and if I dont like the way shes talking to me I say it but say it in a calm voice and walk away avoiding tge start of an argument. Im learning also to meet her half way and give her more independence that she is craving and trusting that she will apply what we have tried to teach her growing up and make good decisions.
The advice on here has been amazing and so helpful to know other parents are goung through the same thing.
Parent Peer Supporter

Re: Having struggles with my 13yr old daughter

That's so great to hear @Moloko! I'm so happy for you! And thank you so much for sharing what's been helping you guys, it's so beneficial to the community to hear what's working for others. 


You're doing such an amazing job. It's not always easy to implement change, but it does pay off doesn't it?

Life with my daughter has changed SO much and I owe it to everything I've learned over the past 5 years. I still get it wrong, 'coz I'm human, and I really appreciate being reminded of the lessons Smiley Happy


I hope you're acknowledging yourself the amazing job you're doing! 


Parent Peer Supporter

Re: Having struggles with my 13yr old daughter

Message contains a hyperlink

Hey @Moloko, how have things been going with your daughter? 


I'm not sure if you received an email from ReachOut but I've just followed up again and unfortunately we can't offer the parent coaching anywhere overseas.


I was given the following link to provide you, which I hope can be of some help to you.


I hope and your family have a lovely Christmas! Smiley Happy



Prolific scribe

Re: Having struggles with my 13yr old daughter

Sorry I haven't replied sooner....I have had trouble signing in. Hopefully sorted now.

Things have been going ok with our daughter. She finished the school year with a great report. Seems to have made some good friends. Holidays have been great although she doesn't want to spend time with her family, more her friends. We went away and she got very upset because she saw her friends were all hanging out without her. It's very frustrating as parents but I am also trying to understand that she is wanting to spend less time with us and is gravitating more towards friends.

Her relationship with her dad is still very argumentative and firey which is upsetting for him and upsetting for me also as I can see both sides and they are so similar.

She is about to start college which I know she is worried about. She is desperate to be in the same class as her friends and I have requested it but unfortunately she is in a higher level class so they are unable to help. Now she is wanting to drop down academically to be in the same level as her friends....We have just had a big argument about it with her as we don't want her education compromised. We can understand she is really nervous about starting college especially with girls from her old school going to be there. I have requested they not be in the same class. Any advise on how to handle this?

Re: Having struggles with my 13yr old daughter

Hi @Moloko Thanks so much for updating us!


I am sorry to hear about the arguments still taking place between her and her Dad. It's a really tricky one in regards to dropping academically, well done on having a high level of empathy and being able to see it from her lens. This is one of those really tough decisions we have to make on behalf of our adolescent's. It's the sort of decision that when she is 25 years old she will thank you for.

For empowering her as a young woman to go the challenging route, but the more rewarding one. Sticking to her level of intellectual intelligence and not compromising it for a social life. At this point I am keen to hear what other parents think.


Out of interest - have Dad and Daughter gone to counselling together before?

Parent Peer Supporter

Re: Having struggles with my 13yr old daughter

Hey @Moloko, it's lovely to see you back! I'm sorry to hear you've had hassles logging in. If you have any problems in the future, send ReachOut an email (there's a link in the community guidelines), so they can see if they can help.


Things overall sound really good with your daughter, although I can imagine your husband feels the sting with his relationship with her still being tough. I like @Breez-RO's question about counselling, and it came to my mind as well. Do you think that's something your husband might be interested in doing if he hasn't already? It's so hard for you being in the middle too. You must feel a huge load on your shoulders.


I would've made the same choices as you regarding your daughter's schooling. I'm with you, she must be nervous and anxious and that's totally understandable. She will make new friends in her classes though, and as @Breez-RO said, she'll thank you for not letting her compromise her education. I'm sure you've explained your reasoning to her, so maybe now you could support her in finding some breathing techniques she can use to help manage her nerves?


My daughter's starting tafe this year, and while excited, she's also really nervous, so we've talked about her nerves and how they're just a reaction to something unknown. My daughter's come to know the physical signs of her anxiety which really helps her catch it early. 


It's difficult letting them go when they get to that age where friends are priority isn't it?! My daughter's the same. She rarely does anything with me, and only sees the extended family for celebrations. I know she'll come back around and I'm looking forward to that day! 

Prolific scribe

Re: Having struggles with my 13yr old daughter

@taokat & @Breez-RO
Thanks for the support and advice. I think we are all on the same page 're education. We dont want her to compromise her education for her friends. It's been about finding the right way to talk about it with her. She is like a little volcano that explodes, says or should I say yells her opinion, then calms down and thinks about things. We had some much calmer talks yesterday.

I think starting college is both worrying her and exciting for her, but more the worry side at the moment. What I found is working at the moment is to step back and try and listen to her point of view so she feels heard and validated without jumping in too quickly with my own opinion, which is helping to avoid arguments. She is worried about a lot of things starting college and I understand that so my solution to her was to offer to make an appointment with the person at college that is in charge of transitioning yr 9s into college to see what support and advice she can offer. Im hoping talking to this person will help put her mind at ease in a few areas.

In regards to Dad. He is getting better but they are so similar which is why they clash sometimes. The thing I love about him though is that he he always tries to read up and educate himself on how better to handle certain situations with a teenage girl. It can be a bit of an emotional roller coaster at times and we have to try and remember we are not the only ones going through it. Many of our friends are in the same boat even if it's not visible from the outside.

In general though things are going ok. She is still rude and backchatty, but she is also gorgeous and intelligent and funny and I just love those moments when she choses to engage and confide in you say I just have to remember how far we have come in the last 6 months. She was completely disengaged and unhappy with School, sports, friends and life in general and now we feel like we are starting to get our girl back a bit more. The damage the girls from her old school did is still there. I can see it in her confidence but we are making progress.

I will check in after the first week of school. Thanks again for all of the support
Founding member

Re: Having struggles with my 13yr old daughter

I think you are so very right about listening, really listening, to your daughter. It seems that you are treating her with love and respect, allowing her to have opinions even if you disagree with them.

To me the whole thing revolves around unconditional love for your daughter. Not an easy thing, trust me! As you offer her this love expect it to be tested a few times. In my experience when your child gets the idea that you really mean it when you say that you love them without limit they are empowered to get on with life confidently.I guess that's because they know that they have a backstop.

Keep up your good work and think on things that you are doing which are working. Be satisfied with small moves in the right direction.

Prolific scribe

Re: Having struggles with my 13yr old daughter

Ok so we had the first day at college. Did not go well at all. She was in a terrible mood in the morning which I understand because she was nervous. she is really unhappy. All of her friends got put in the same class as a friend but she is in a higher academic class so knew no one and is of the opinion she does not want to get to know anyone. She s got it in her head she just wants to move down academically so she can be in the same class as a friend. So upsetting. And so upsetting to see her so upset.

I really don't know what to do. I know her academics need to come first but what about her social well being? I am so worried we will go backwards with the great progress we have made alreadySmiley Sad

Parent Peer Supporter

Re: Having struggles with my 13yr old daughter

Oh @Moloko, my heart goes out to you, I really can imagine how you are feeling and how upset and worried you must be. My daughter is to start tafe next week after 2 years at home, and although she's excited, I'm terrified something's going to go wrong.


My first thought was - don't panic - SO much easier said than done!! Day one has to be the hardest, and if she'll continue attending I'd try and talk through her immediate reaction which is to want to be in a comfortable space with her friends. Her reaction is perfectly normal and understandable when we can see it from her point of view. How agreeable do you think she would be to sticking with it for say a month, and then reassessing how she feels then?


I hear what you're saying about her social well being - it's definitely important too. I just hope that she can stick it out for a bit and see how things pan out before she makes any drastic changes.  


Have you had an experience in your life where you've wanted to make changes because the new seemed really daunting? If you have, that might be a helpful conversation to have with your daughter. Sometimes really awesome things come from the things we find the most challenging if we can work through our fears and uncertainties. 


I really understand your worry about things going backwards. I think it's so normal after we've seen our kids grow after really tough times. One thing I try to keep in mind is that a step backwards is okay - it doesn't mean we go back to the deep depths we've been stuck in before. It may mean a few tweaks, or we need extra support for a bit, but things actually haven't ever gone back to the way they were. I try to remind myself of the hard work my daughter's put in, and the real growth she's had - that is always still there if that makes sense? I don't believe it's possible to go too far backwards when we have learned so much about ourselves? It's what I tell myself about my daughter anyway! 


If the bottom line is that she does move classes to be with her friends, it's not the end of the world. Her social circle will grow as she settles in and there's always time and opportunity for her to move back up at a later date. And honestly, being so intelligent she is likely to find the work too easy and boring, and may choose to make that move herself once she's feeling more confident.


You're doing an awesome job and she's so lucky to have you as her mum. Look after yourself too. Have a cry, do something caring for yourself. Hugs to you Heart



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