11-26-2020 02:07 AM
Welcome to our forum. It is lovely to have you here and welcome another parent along. I have found this group quite reassuring as it's been difficult to connect with other parents face-to-face this year due to Covid. I have two teens...a 16 year old so and a 14 year old daughter. So, my kids are a similar age, although we do not have share the immigration experience.
Before I elaborated any further, I wanted to check whether your younger child has always avoided eye contact, or whether is was something more recent? Also, how do you think your daughter is adjusting to being in a new country? It is not as straight forward for some people as others, and perhaps this is something she's also working through.
School is a very complex and challenging place I reckon for most kids. It's like us adults going to the office everyday but they have so many more people they have to deal with, and so many unwritten rules and regulations just to feel accepted and have a few friends. Our daughter talks about needing to have an Apple phone or you're an outcast and she's not at a private school. I was pretty shocked about that because they're pretty expensive. It seems to be hard for many kids to feel confident through the teenage years, but it would be compounded when you've moved from another country and trying to settle in especially if you live in an area where everyone grew up together like where we live.
I think it's fantastic that she's talking to her sister and getting advice from her, because teens are less likely to talk to their parents and a sister would be my preference as a parent compared to friends who may not share your family's values.
At the same time, building up some connection between you and your younger daughter would be great. I saw a communications video on Reach Out which showed about how going for drives in the car together can be a good time to connect because the absence of direct eye contact is less confronting.
While it is really important to appear strong to your children, it is also good to share a few incidents about when you made mistakes or concerns you had as a teen. Perhaps you could use a bit of humour or show some photos say of a bad haircut or something. This would make you seem approachable and understanding and gets around her thinking perhaps that you have no idea what she's going through. By this, I'm not suggesting that you become her best friend, and that you retain your role as parent but you're just looking for ways to connect. I find this is an ongoing process with our 14 year old daughter as she likes to retreat to her room, and then as I was baking a massive cake for a function last night, she was wanting to cook herself and my husband dinner at the same time and was quite chatty. It was very distracting but I bit my tongue. I had been wanting her to talk to me and be close and this was what I'd wished for.
Another suggestion might be having family dinners at the table and everyone sharing something that went well during the day and something that didn't go well. Our family dinners have dropped off a lot with us going different ways with activities at night or after school. However, I am a firm believer in the family dinner to help people connect. Cooking together is another thing. Our son makes the sauces for my dishes and it has become his thing and he's proud of it.
I hope that helps.
11-29-2020 09:55 PM
12-01-2020 01:54 PM
12-06-2020 11:58 AM
Hi all and Thanks for Accepting me into this Forum.
1. My Children are 27 and 30, eldest being my Daughter and Youngest being my Son. I don't see my Son as often as I would like, but whenever we are all spending time together, they regularly make me Laugh, and we all have Fun together.
2. I try and take Walks and keep Busy.
3. Having a Narcissistic Ex who has never stopped hurting me, and regularly hurts our Adult Children in some Way.
4. Realize that around the Age of 14, Teenagers suddenly see their Parents as Hypocrites, so Remember this when you are setting Boundaries. Be Firm but Fair, Be Honest and Apologize.
5. A rest from the Stress of Work and Weekdays, a Time for Family Activities, Rest, Relaxation and Fun.
01-03-2021 05:44 AM
01-03-2021 03:30 PM
01-08-2021 12:42 PM
I have one 12-year-old boy who is starting high school this year. He made me laugh in the holidays when he built a crazy roller coaster in Minecraft.
I have tried all sorts of ways to help me manage stress. These include yoga, meditation, and bushwalking.
My son struggles with anxiety and has done so since the age of 2 years. In the final months of primary school, he struggled to go to school. He hits himself in front of us. He tells us he is sorry that he is a disappointment. H finds it very difficult to tell us or anyone what he is feeling. I am struggling to know what to say to him.
I have found that some of the struggles that I experienced being a parent of a preschooler have re-emerged now entering my son's teenage years. I think about how I tried to resolve these then and what I learnt did not work and what did.
The best things about weekends are spending time with my son outside of school work, assignments and activities.
01-08-2021 02:18 PM
Hey @rupert86 ! Welcome to the forum, great to have you here
Your sons anxiety sounds like it's been ramping up a bit recently, I'm wondering if you've accessed professional supports for this before that have been helpful that could be worth revisiting? You also mentioned some great ways that you like to manage stress, do you think he might want to try any of these with you?
I think thats so lovely he shared his minecraft creation with you! I'm amazed he made a roller coaster - so clever!!!