09-28-2020 05:38 PM
I have been noticing that my 11 year old daughter is getting very emotional, she cries about almost everything, she has sudden meltdowns and is complaining of stomach pain. She did mention to me yesterday, that COVID changed a lot of things for her, she no longer enjoys school, as everything is confusing and there is no routine, she also found it very difficult to not be able to have her friends over for visits and sleepovers. She also lost her beloved Grandfather last year, and just after that event, COVID struck. I am seeking advice from other parents, should I be worried, because I am, or should I see this as hormonal changes. I am a single mother, and she is my only child, we have a good relationship, but I worry a lot, there are so many things that can go wrong with kids, and one also does not know what is going on in their heads. I would really appreciate some advice, or even just reassurance that I am not the only parent experiencing this.
09-28-2020 07:53 PM
I'm not a parent but I just wanted to drop in and say welcome to the forums, and I'm sorry that your daughter is going through a tough time at the moment. It sounds like that you and your daughter have been through a lot lately with her grandfather passing and all the changes from COVID, and that would be something that most adults would struggle to handle, let alone people growing into teens.
I'm sure that other parents will chime in too but it seems to me that if you've observed a few worrying behavioural changes in your daughter (e.g. the crying, the meltdowns) combined with the stressful events she's been through, it might be worth speaking to her GP (if she has a regular one) about what is going on, and trying to learn more or talk to someone about the issue, as well.
For example, raisingchildren.net.au has some really good resources on understanding mental health in pre-teens.
There are also Parentline phone counselling services in every state where you can speak to a counsellor for parenting advice and support.
And of course, it's really great that you've reached out to here for support, as well.
09-29-2020 11:38 AM
Hi @AdviceSeeking ,
I just thought I would add my experiences as the mother of an 11 year old daughter myself! The last 6 months has definitely been an incredibly challenging time for so many of our kids - we have also found our daughter to be more emotional than usual, and I think a lot of kids have really struggled with losing the usual social activities and routines that they enjoy.
I do agree with @TOM-RO that it could be a good idea to visit your doctor, if you have one that you trust, as a starting point to have her checked over if she's experiencing recurrent stomach pain, as there's a lot of different potential causes of that, and it also could be a good way to open up a conversation about her mental wellbeing as well. It looks like you may be located outside Australia, is that right?
I can really relate to your daughter struggling with the change of normal routine, we found that one of the biggest challenges. One thing that helped a bit for us was trying to come up with a 'new normal' routine for now, with things that we could do safely - so lots of walks, cooking together, and having regular skype or zoom calls with family and friends have been really great for us. Does your daughter have any hobbies that she enjoys?
You are definitely not alone- you sound like a really caring and compassionate mum, and it sounds like your daughter is really lucky to have you in her corner. I'm also just tagging in some of our parent community members who may be able to give some more advice and support @compassion @Birdwings @Coops
09-29-2020 05:28 PM
Thank you so much for the advice, and also the resources, I am going to take her to the Dr for a check up, as I am not sure if the stomach pain is physical or mentally related. I will keep you up-to-date on the prognosis.
09-29-2020 05:33 PM
Hi, I really appreciate your advice, I am from South Africa, and had one look at this forum and decided to join. My daughter loves sport, she does Karate, Horse Riding, Hip Hop and is part of the Girl Scouts, and all of these activities she could not attend due to COVID, but we are in Level 1 right now, and she is only starting now to attend all of her activities. I am going to take her to the Dr to be checked out, and will keep you posted. Thank you for sharing my post to the other groups.
09-29-2020 08:15 PM
I came across the forum a few weeks ago, and it's filling a gap I'm experiencing during covid. I am missing most of my friends. While there are some friends I'm still connecting with via Facebook, many of my friendships revolve around our daughter's dance classes and the parents aren't going to wait at the studio anymore. I miss mulling over issues regarding our kids, and I also feel these casual conversations are an important part of parenting. That there's this collective wisdom we were tapping into , and we weren't meant to be going alone. So, I am here.
I have a 16 year old son and a 14 year old daughter. Both of our kids have had issues with recurrent stomach aches and I've also been surprised by how many kids have had trouble with this. You'd almost feel a virus was spreading round and yet it wasn't.
We had a pretty plain talking GP with young kids of her own. She first addressed constipation as a possibility. She had a chart showing different poos from very firm to runny. Teachers often suggest kids have a glass of water when kids have a tummy ache and that tends to help get things moving.
They've also been tested for Giardia, and tat has shown up and treated. That's known as the "fart bug".
Our daughter wasn't eating and was very underweight. So we went ahead and she had an endoscopy and they found she still had food in her stomach. This meant her stomach was low and she was diagnosed with gastroparesis. There's also coeliac disease.
Then, there's the psychological aspects of the stomach ache.
Another very valid explanation to the stomach ache, is not feeling well but not in any specific way and a tummy ache is easy to put into words.
I also agree with other responders that this year has been really difficult all round and I know a lot of people aren't okay. Our daughter missed her friends terribly, and our son ended up unable to sleep for a bit and had racing thoughts but he did come out and talk to us and spent quite awhile going through what was on his mind. He even brought up the death of the family dog three years ago. So, covid ended up being a breeding ground for trouble.
When we were back in lock down, it struck me that the restrictions forced us to live a lifestyle that was the opposite of what you'd recommend for good mental health. It's no wonder people aren't okay.
So, I also recommend the GP. I would try going for a few drives or walks with her and see if she will talk. I gave myself a lift which was an hour each way today and we have some really good chats. I still haven't addressed his intention to drop Advanced maths but I'm working slowly towards raising the subject.
Lastly, and perhaps I should've mentioned this first up, your love and concern for your daughter which stands out through your message, is a great healer in itself. It provides a rock and safe harbour which is really needed especially through the teenage years. I hope you feel the benefits I've experienced in coming here and connecting with other parents.
09-29-2020 09:51 PM
thank you so much for your message, I agree with you, I need to make time for my daughter and myself. Since lockdown, I have been working from home, and basically work 24/7. The only time we actually talk is when I am cooking dinner, I have however started walking the dog with her, and we talk, but we are mostly running after the dog and laughing. I do think it might be stress related, with everything changing at school and with friends, it has a big impact on her life. And maybe the hormones as well. It is so comforting to know, that I am not the only one.
09-30-2020 06:43 PM
Hi @AdviceSeeking ,
Thanks so much for keeping us posted on how you' re going - walking the dog with your daughter sounds like a really lovely ritual and great way to chat and have some fun time together. I often find that I have some of the best conversations with my daughter when we are also doing something else, whether that be cooking, or going for a bushwalk, or driving. I think it makes it feel less confrontational, so she' s more likely to open up.
I also completely agree with @Birdwings , that when our lifestyle was heavily restricted due to covid-19 (as it still is for a lot of people) it meant that so many of us lost the routines and rituals that are so good for mental health. It's great to hear that you're going to get your daughter checked out by a doctor too - it's always good to cover off all of your bases.
It sounds like it's been a really exhausting time for you, are you able to do anything to look after yourself at the moment? Often as parents we can put ourselves last, but self care is so important!