05-09-2021 06:14 PM - last edited on 05-17-2021 02:53 PM by Janine-RO
I'm looking for any help and advice I can get so I can help my daughter please.
My daughter is nearly 13 so I know she has a lot going on hormone wise etc but I'm so worried about how low her mood is and how often she is isolating herself in her room.
The lockdowns have intensified the isolation and since starting secondary school she has not had chance to settle into school and develop new friendships. I am very concerned about a brand new friendship that has recently sprung out as if from nowhere since she returned to school. This girl has steered her away from her other two friends and they have reported controlling behaviour from this girl and lots of nasty / belittling comments.
My daughter is very secretive and will not invite this friend round where there is a chance I will meet her. I've read the sections about negative friendships on the website and it sounds very much like what is happening. My daughter's self esteem has plummeted and she spends hours applying make up etc and trying "to change her appearance."
The school are saying they are keeping an eye on her but haven't witnessed anything.
I've tried so many times to talk to her but she won't open up to me, becomes very defensive and shuts herself away and is just in her bed constantly.
Has anyone been through similar? Thanks for reading this.
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05-13-2021 06:25 PM
05-09-2021 07:25 PM
This age for girls can be a real turning point and teenagers do go through a normal process of rebellion and wanting to change their appearance. In saying that more could potentially be happening, as she may be showing signs of poor mental health and potentially being a victim of a toxic friendship. It's great that you have spoken to the school and they are keeping an eye on things. If you think that they are not doing enough or they could be doing more it help to keep informing them of your concerns, so that they are aware your worries are impacting your family.
Would you be able to take your daughter to you GP or another professional she can trust to talk to, possibly without you if she is secretive to get insight as to what is happening? It might be beneficial to discuss a potential mental health diagnosis and find treatment for it, if need be. Is there a way of speaking with the school to link her in with a mentor, youth worker, youth group or other program/supports for your daughter to attend? Is there a particular activity or club that she would like join? This might be a way for her to partake and engage with positive relationships and activities.
Hopefully this helps in finding supports in your local area.
05-13-2021 07:30 AM
05-13-2021 03:14 PM
Hello @Fritzbom , thanks for sharing your experience with us here. I have read your other post and noticed that you have been going through a tough time lately. If you do want to share more about the concerns you have for your daughter, please feel welcome to create a thread by clicking 'Start a topic' in the top right hand corner .
05-13-2021 06:25 PM
05-13-2021 10:52 PM
Teenagers can be very challenging. Nagging doesn't always seem to work with them but its good that you have become aware of what works for you and are looking to engage in extra support for your daughter. It is a vulnerable age but it sounds like they have good support with you as parents looking out for them. Staying strong and looking after yourselves as parents is also very important as well as utilising your own supports.
Feel free to keep sharing your experiences here and we are here to support you also.
05-14-2021 05:01 PM
05-17-2021 02:52 PM
Hi @Fritzbom ,
Thanks so much for sharing your experiences here, it can feel so helpless and isolating when our young people are having a hard time and I'm glad you were able to come here . I'm a parent myself now of 2 kids (one who's starting high school next year) - the way you've described what your daughter's going through also reminds me a lot of how my parents were probably feeling when I went through some rough times as a teenager. The weight gain, withdrawal, all of those things resonate with me a lot. In my case, it was a sign that I wasn't really coping, but I also wasn't ready to admit that I probably wasn't actually OK, and did need some help.
It sounds like you're a caring and switched on mum, and that is hugely protective for your daughter. I'm terribly sorry to hear that she lost a friend to suicide as well, that is really tragic, and those ripple effects can really extend through so many people. It's great that she looked for some support after that happened, do you know if she found that helpful?
I'm just going to share some resources that may be helpful as well , if you're ever wanting to talk to her about what happened and about suicide more generally. It's an incredibly hard converstation to have, and some parents worry that it might put those thoughts at front of mind for their own kids, but research shows that it's actually a really protective thing. It's also pretty common to hear from parents that they're worried that their young person is depressed and / or isolated, but doesn't want help, this article has some great tips on things to try in that case.
It can be really hard to see our kids struggling @Fritzbom - do you have people in your life that you can go to for support/ to vent/ get help if you need it? We do also offer a one to one parents support service, I can give you those details if you think that would be helpful. It's free, and is delivered online or via the phone