Thanks Phillipa, I do very much appreciate your response. Should we be ignoring the signs even though we feel she is possibly doing things just to feel belonging to the group? I have spoken to her about her friends previously and of course she defends every aspect of them. Ive had discussions this afternoon explaining that I am not in a good space at the moment and feel it is important for the whole family to reconnect and suggested an hour of device free time after school each afternoon and perhaps a regular family activity each week, whether it be a sport or just a walk etc. I'm thinking small steps but she couldn't even look at me while I was talking and had no input to the conversation whatsoever. We plan on discussing the language on videos that we have discovered while trying to fix her ipad, I'm not sure how that conversation will go.
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We have had an eventful and stressful couple of weeks and now it's all too much. I cant stop crying, thinking, worrying. I haven't been to work for two weeks and last night I was doing the ironing at 3am because I couldn't lie in bed thinking, crying, worrying and doing nothing. How do you overcome the want to just give up. I'm not talking about giving up on life, just parenting a teen.
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We have a recently turned 15 year old daughter. She enjoys been creative through art and sport and up until recently we thought we knew who she was. She has a history of anxiety and lying so trust has been an issue but we thought everything had settled down after moving friendship groups about 12 months ago. I wasn't sure on the new friendship group, I still have my concerns. If they don't want to go to school they don't go. They are not active in any way , they don't enjoy been social, all the things my daughter enjoys, and I do still believe that she does enjoy these things. Recently for her birthday she just wanted to go kick the ball at the oval.
She is now one to bend the rules at school, not participate in her usually loved PE classes. Her interests have changed, her clothing, her makeup etc and she spends her time glued to TikTok or Snapchat. We also have a 8 year old son and our daughters reclusive behavior is affecting him aswell. She will no longer participate in family games night, not even for one game, she wont come for a walk, generally family orientated events are a no go.
I understand this may be normal teenage behaviour - but we are struggling.
We have raised both our children with family values of respect, manners, self respect, kindness and honesty. When our daughter started with social media we had many conversations surrounding behaviors online. She was targeted online and at school throughout year 7 and half of year 8 and as such many discussions were had about our expectations aswell as her protection and etiquette online. Within those discussions we spoke of foal language and our disappointment if she were to use some of the language used in the school grounds. We are not a family who swears. I understand the need for some children to talk the talk to fit in but for us, there's a line.
Recently, I was told by a friend that our daughter had approached her to tell her she was bisexual. She herself has told me that two of the friends she is close to have both said they are bisexual, within a week of each other. I admit that I cried. I know its not the response I'm meant to have. I know I love her but I cant help but feel disappointed and in some ways not ok. I also know, in this day and age it doesn't matter how I feel. She herself hasn't told either of us so as far as she is concerned we don't know. We have also been told that she has told a girl at school that she likes her and now they are wanting to hang out after school. I know I'm meant to let it ride it's course but i am concerned. After been told by my friend of her conversation with our daughter I did check her contacts on her social media accounts, again I know probably not what should be done, but I needed to see who she was interacting with. Upon scrolling through the lists of names a message popped up. It caught my attention as it was asking for nudes. I didn't recognise the name so I scrolled through the conversation. I was horrified. The disgusting language, the content - everything. I still feel sick. Our sweet, caring, kind, quiet girl seemed to have this whole other personality happening away from us. I regrettably continued to scroll through messages, again knowing it wasn't right but who was this girl? Where did we go wrong? I have failed as a parent.
How do we encourage her to stay true to herself, that it's ok to enjoy been active even though your friends don't. That she doesn't have to be a certain way to be accepted or liked? Should we be trying to encourage friendships outside of school?
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