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Three is a crowd

Discussion forum for parents in Australia

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Three is a crowd

 My 13 year old daughter hibernates in her bedroom whilst her Dad is home.  The minute he is gone she comes out.  I know this is because he is the displinerion in the family.  Because of this she does not like her Dad. When I try to arrange family outings one or the other does not want to go.  What concerns me the most is my daughter has no friends to see over the school holidays.  Too much time spent alone and online. When she comes out of her room when her Dad is gone she is exhausting to be around as she in my face, sitting on me and generally acting like a 4 year old..  It is like she has all this excess energy. She cannot concentrate enough to watch a movie with me.  We do walk the dog together.  

When she was in primary school I could arrange play date as I was friendly with the other mums. But now in high school mums don't do that. She sufferers badly from social anxiety so I cannot sign her up for any group programs.   I believe in my heart that a lot of my daughters issues are because she has no friends to see on the weekends or holidays.  She has one friend at school who believes she is transgender.  I just want my daughter to have friends with no issues.... how can I help her make friends ?  She will not approach any other girls at school as she thinks they are judging her. Also she is into Heavy metal music and everyone in her classes are into pop music.  Sorry for rambling.

Star contributor

Re: Three is a crowd

Hi @Worrisome, it sounds like you have some genuine concerns about the amount of time your daughter is spending on her own and how this might be impacting her mental health.  I'm wondering whether you have had the opportunity to hear your daughter's take on this? Often, particularly as parents, we make assumptions about what might or might not be a problem for our child but it is important to hear their side of the story, without offering solutions (at least initially).  If your daughter agrees that her social anxiety and the time she spends alone are causing her distress, perhaps you could explore support options such as seeing a counsellor or psychologist (if you haven't already). The best treatment for social anxiety is gradual exposure to social situations, so you're probably correct in your thinking that she would benefit from more social contact, however, this is best facilitated with the help of a psychologist or counsellor.  I'm hoping some of the other parents on the forum will be able to give you some tips as well.

Super frequent scribe

Re: Three is a crowd

thanks TOM-RO

yes, my daughter is seeing the whole cast... GP, Psychologist, Psychiatrists and has just begun taking anti - depressants.

I just want to be able to assist my daughter in making friends, as I am sure this is a large part of the issue. I am going to try to get in touch with headspace, I am hoping they have clubs for kids with the same issues?

Frequent scribe

Re: Three is a crowd

Hey there @Nervous, even if they don't have a club/group they will definitely have contacts to what's available in your area.


Re: Three is a crowd

Hi @Worrisome . So sorry to hear this ! It must be so hard to watch your kid become so disconnected from family life . Without knowing the full story , have you had a discussion with your husband about  your theory on why she stays in her room ? A fathers discipline when balanced with lots of love and attention should be an insulater to a child disconnecting so obviously and consistently. If she is keeping away from him maybe from her perspective there needs to be more positive interactions ? I don't want to sound like I am judging him as I am sure he is doing his best ,and I don't know your husband or your daughter  but if this is the reason she stays in her room, as you say  ; to avoid him , it might be a good idea to address this with your husband to find a solution . 

Perhaps building on her relationship with her dad , could be a key that unlocks her door ? 

Small steps like spending time doing fun things together , or  playing cards in her room with her while they drink  homemade smoothies ?? Anything to get them establishing trust and connection across time . 

I wrote a reply to @Nervous about coping strategies for social anxiety too . Its under : Anxiety is contagious . 

best of luck !