06-08-2021 08:50 PM - edited 06-08-2021 08:50 PM
Welcome to the forum. I am glad that you've joined and are looking for more support. It sounds like you are having difficulties with your kids and are struggling but have a really positive attitude about it all. If you do want to share more about your situation, please feel welcome to create your own thread by clicking 'Start a topic' in the top right hand corner.
06-27-2021 07:58 AM
I came across Reach Out when I was looking for help online. I tried to sign up to the parent coaching but after going through the process it said there are no times available on any of the days/weeks. I so badly need help so I decided to try the forums.
My daughter is 14. I am a single mum (only the last few years) and she is my life.
In recent years I've learnt three key things:
1. I should have said a hundred positives for every negative. I should have realised how incredibly internalised my daughter is, how sensitive her beautiful soul. I wasn't attuned enough to the damage she was sustaining at school, at home, through the last 5 years of my illness, through her parents separation. I paid too much attention to things like her education, to making sure she had every opportunity available to her. I didn't pay enough attention to her feelings of self worth.
2. I didn't set strict enough boundaries. My daughter is very independent and headstrong. And from the time she could string a sentence together she has been a brilliant negotiator. I didn't pay enough attention to the slow erosion of boundaries, or to the possibility that she would simply start ignoring them altogether.
3. The above two things combined are a recipe for disaster. Things have spiralled fast. I'm scared. I'm overwhelmed. Nothing I have tried has helped.
So in a nutshell my tip for parents with pre-teens is to focus on building self-esteem while holding firm on age-appropriate boundaries.
06-27-2021 03:46 PM
Hello @Bluewren , I’m sorry to hear that you have been feeling desperate. It sounds like there has been a lot going on for you and your daughter lately. It also seems like you have been supporting your daughter a lot lately and that you care deeply about her. I am glad that you've joined and are looking for more support. If you do want to share more about your situation, please feel welcome to create your own thread by clicking 'Start a topic' in the top right hand corner.
06-28-2021 03:19 AM
Hi Blue Wren,
I'm sorry to hear about your struggles with your daughter and it sounds like you've been through a lot with five years of illness and separation from your husband. That must be very hard for you. I have had serious and often life-threatening medical conditions for some time and know others in the same boat, and it can really put a lot of strain on relationships and your self-esteem. I have struggled in the past with feeling useless, invalid, lost etc and have needed to re-invent myself and build reasons for living beyond being a mother and wife. For me, that is my writing.
I felt from your message that you are being quite critical of yourself. So, I'd encourage you to write a list of what you're doing well. What is going well in your relationship with your daughter etc. Keep a gratitude journal. I've been meaning to do that myself.
I am Mum to a 17 year old young man and a 15 year old daughter. She can get quite big for her boots and she's also had to look out for me a bit, which has impacted on how we interact. I guess there are times where she in a sense parents me, so it's then hard to put her back in her box and be the child again. My husband tends to go down that path when things trigger and it never ends well.
I find with my daughter there's this balance between being her parent and being a friend. You need her to be honest and open with you and chat so that the door is open if challenging things come along. However, there still need to be rules and boundaries in place. Saying no is important for everyone.
I get this feeling that you need to take some good deep breaths and tall. It's something we need to keep doing as parents because we get knocked around so much and we can so easily lose sight of what we're doing well.
I hope that helps.
07-02-2021 07:04 PM - edited 07-02-2021 07:10 PM
1. Hi, my kids are 22 years and 18 years. They had a debate over dinner last night about how you eat jelly and this made me laugh so much my stomach was aching.
2. I try to keep my stress levels down by trying to take 15 minutes a day to do some mindfulness, meditate, walk the dog etc. On a harder day I always talk it out with a friend and try to find some joy -even if its only in a chocolate biscuit.
3. I was led to ReachOut Parents today through work (I work in a secondary school and often talk about reach out to students) I also have experienced having a child with generalised anxiety disorder, school refusal and depression, to be honest there were times when the journey was very lonely. That journey for us seems to be coming to an end and it would be so nice to be able to support others parenting through the teen years too.
4. My top tip for parents whose kids are about to enter the teenage years would be to let your teen know every day that there is no behaviour or choice that they could make that could change how much you love them. Your love for them is unconditional.
5. The best thing about weekends are having a family breakfast together regardless of where else the day takes us all.
07-02-2021 10:47 PM
Thank you for introducing yourself and welcome to the forums!
I really love how much you value quality time with your kids and how you try to find the joy in each day. Gratitude really does make a huge difference in our lives and can be the simplest thing to incorporate into your life on a daily basis. I also really value and appreciate your parenting tip so thank you
07-02-2021 11:12 PM - edited 07-05-2021 06:36 PM
Hi. I am a single mum with 2 kids. I have raised my kids by myself for the last 10 years, since their father went back to our country and we never saw him again.
My kids are 16 and 15, lovely kids. We love going to the beach with the dog, joking and spending quality time together. employee monitoring
I work a lot, but I try to share time with my friends and exercise to keep stress down.
I am in this forum because I have been having hard time with my kids. One suffers depression and anxiety, already in treatment, and I just discovered that the youngest one has been self-harming and drinking secretly.
At least, they trust me and this is out now. And we will go through this. However, I feel mentally drained and physically exhausted. So I joined this group to learn from others and understand that I am not the only one going through hard times with my kids.
I love the weekends since I can spend more time with my kids and my friends.
07-05-2021 02:08 PM
Hi @KaseyBear and welcome to the forums – it’s so great to have you here.
It sounds like you’ve had quite a journey raising your kids solo; if you'd like to connect with other single parents on the forums, there's a single parents' discussion board here. We also have some great resources for single parents here.
I can hear how devoted you are to your children in your post. It’s wonderful that you have such great strategies for self-care in place, such as exercise and time with friends, but I’m so sorry to hear your children are both struggling with their mental health and that you’re finding it so hard.
As you say, it’s amazing that they have felt safe to share their pain with you – it’s a testament to how much they must trust you. It sounds like they've also been able to get some support from mental health professionals - is that right?
Do you have any support for you through this tough time?