How to distinguish between normal teen antics and serious problem

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Super frequent scribe

How to distinguish between normal teen antics and serious problem

I never know how much history to go into with new posts. Self harm, 2 suicide attempts and substance abuse. New school for girls not suited to mainstream govt schools. Been attending for 1and half terms. Attendance has improved incredibly. Seems happier but was suspended for one day for drinking alcohol at school that another girl smuggled in. The other girl has been suspended for a week. So worried about all the drama starting again.
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Re: How to distinguish between normal teen antics and serious problem

Hey @Nervous - its awesome to hear that attendance has improved at the new school. 

Sorry to hear there's been an incident with alcohol recently - I can understand why you'd fear the worst starting up again. 

How has she been since the incident? Have you been able to talk to her about it? 

 

Prolific scribe

Re: How to distinguish between normal teen antics and serious problem

Hi Nervous,

 

It is incredibly hard to watch your children suffer, especially when they are doing things to harm themselves.  I was very worried when my partners daughter started to have issues similar to the ones you describe below (But not as serious).  

 

She too ended up in a non-traditional education path taking "distance education" courses despite living in a capital city.  That helped a lot so in our experience that was a great move.

 

Getting her medical treatment was another big part of the approach my partner took.   GP MEntal health plans,  Psychologists and a child physiatrist were all involved in trying to get strategies and the medication she needed.

 

That combined with love, many stressed and worried nights were what we used.

It all took a long time, and there was reversals where things went backwards.

 

If you have her in the new school and it is working.. keep pushing that.

If you have got medical help great and if you havent I would suggest getting that.  Be persistent with the medical system it takes a pushy mum to get there but you can if you persist.

 

And talk about how the relapse and how it make you worried for her. 

Make the discussion about her and her life and the consequences you fear for her actions.

Frequent scribe

Re: How to distinguish between normal teen antics and serious problem

I just survived another night of terrible behaviour.  I just don't know if the special school if I have her in is the right place for her. Whilst the school itself is terrific, the students are all trouble. And many come from dysfunctional families and what she is being exposed to is disturbing her. And this was the reason for tonight's bad behaviour.

Frequent scribe

Re: How to distinguish between normal teen antics and serious problem

I just survived another night of terrible behaviour.  I just don't know if the special school if I have her in is the right place for her. Whilst the school itself is terrific, the students are all trouble. And many come from dysfunctional families and what she is being exposed to is disturbing her. And this was the reason for tonight's bad behaviour. It was so bad I had to hide my car keys and purse.  And if she had of tried to leave the house I would have let her go. (I would have looked for her after I had calmed down) 

Prolific scribe

Re: How to distinguish between normal teen antics and serious problem

Hi Worrisome

 

I was sad to hear you had another night of terrible behaviour.  They take such a toll on both you and your daughter.  It is very normal and understandable to be frustrated worried and upset when issues start on a downwards spiral.

 

I would praise and encourage you for sticking in there.  Your love and care do make a difference to your daughter even if she struggles to shows it.

 

Peers are a big influence in our lives, especially with Teenagers. 

As you say the positive of a special school is they are setup for assisting kids but the down side is the peers they associate with can be very troubled and provide poor peer examples.

 

There are no easy answers here and every child is different.

I would suggest trying to look over a longer term, rather than making knee jerk reactions to such a big decision. 

 

How is the behaviour trending?   

Is the situation with the school/peers helping over the longer period?

Is she getting the education she needs?

Can you communicate how the peer role models are examples of how things can go so wrong?

Can you use the peers to point out what is good and working in her life?

 

In the end generic advise is all well and good but you will need specific strategies tailored for your daughter.

You need her buy in to any tailored plan and the best way to get these is through a child psychologist who specialises in this area.

 

My last thought is stick in there. 

While love may not conquer all, along with patience and understanding it is what all our kids need in the end.