04-25-2020 04:42 AM - last edited on 04-25-2020 03:30 PM by Andrea-RO
Hi everyone, I’m cat. A mum of 2 girls 5 and 14. Please be kind as I’m struggling at the moment and are yet to find solutions.
My teenage daughter and I have had a strained relationship for a couple of years now due to my “strict” parenting. I work full time hours and have been quite stressed for a couple of years now (I know this is a normal parent feeling) and I have found that I have less and less patience with my teenager (borderline anger issues). I have always practised quite a strict parenting approach and it in turn has caused a rift between my daughter and I, this has made her more secretive and cunning about the things she does and attempts to do it still but lies about. Things such as lying about where she’s going, skipping school, smoking, drinking, smoking weed, sneaking out. I always catch her out And I end up losing it at her because I’ve literally lost all patience. I might also add that I have recently become a single parent and her step dad and I ended a relationship because he was struggling to parent her and the relationship broke down because I always found myself defending her and making excuses. I would even go as far to say that I found myself disciplining her so that he wouldn’t or telling her off so that he wouldn’t even if I didn’t see an issue with something she was going. I understand teens are always going to try push the boundaries Anyway the situation was toxic so now we have removed him from the picture she has seen this as a confirmation that I may be relaxed in my parenting now but I am not. I still allow some things but are quite firm with not accepting or allowing smoking, drinking or drugs. She has self harmed in the past after she was caught smoking cigarettes in the house and I attempted to find out the cause with counselling but only attended one session as she didn’t want to go and she didn’t self-harm herself again. Fast forward 3 months and The most recent incident was tonight, I’ve told her no Snapchat. So I found Snapchat on her phone. I got quite mad at her. Again, zero patience. She was messaging boys and I replied to a message she received and told the boy to stop sending her messages as she wasn’t allowed the app and then deleted her account.
I go into her room an hour or so later and she’s asleep but I can see that she has self-harmed. I see this as she wanted me to find her this way so she could send me a message. I got quite mad at her. I hate myself afterwards for reacting the way I do but I just can’t see that the issues are this bad she needs to harm herself and after taking time to calm down I realise that she is just so angry and can’t argue with me so she takes her anger out on herself and self-harms. She has never been able to argue with me because it makes me angrier and she knows this and it’s quite sad to think that this is her way of being angry and showing her anger, by harming herself. I’m just so mad at myself for not allowing her the space to be angry and voice her anger so instead she hurts herself. I haven’t realised until now what triggered her self harm and I’m so distressed about how I’ve always handled my arguments with her and how little support I’ve given her! She doesn’t have a voice when she’s angry so she hurts herself instead! I feel like such an idiot, a bad and unsupportive parent right now and I guess I’m just looking for support or suggestions about how I can better myself (addressing my anger issues) so I can help her emotionally and get her out of this space she’s in right now so that she stops hurting herself. I have googled where my first steps should be and I will be contacting our doctor to get referrals for therapists or family counselling but has anyone used any services that they can recommend to me. While this covid-19 issue is going on I’m going to assume that wait times for appointments and one on one visits with counsellors may make things hard to get immediate help.
But please help!
04-25-2020 12:53 PM
04-25-2020 04:21 PM - edited 04-25-2020 04:29 PM
That sounds like an incredibly difficult situation to be in. I think it's a fantastic idea that you are seeking professional support, and I do agree with @CatLady, that ParentLine is a really really fantastic resource, which allows you to talk with professional counsellors about what you're going through at the moment. You might also be interested in ReachOut Parent's One-on-One support program. This is a government funded program where you can work together with a mental health professional to figure out an action plan that works for you and your child. You can find out more about this service here
I did also want to quickly let you know that I had to edit some of your post which detailed your daughter's self harm. We know that we can sometimes want to share all the details around a stressful situation, particularly if it has scared us, but it's really important to remember the safety of our community. We try to limit descriptions of self-harm, particularly if they may be graphic for an individual to read. You can take a look at our guidelines around posting here