To think my teenager needs help?(23 Posts)
I wouldn't have thought so but her father does so I thought I'd run it by here.
DD is 16. 5ft 10 and gorgeous (in my opinion obviously but), she has clear skin, is slim, funny, interested in people, kind and does reasonably well at school. She is sporty and part of an am dram group. She seems to have regular (lovely) friends and has a few long standing friends from primary who are in different schools or different friend groups in the same (mixed) school. She works part-time in a local busy restaurant and seems well liked by her colleagues. So, on the face of it she seems a perfect teen but the reality is she cries all the time.
She briefly had a boyfriend who finished with her after a few weeks because his ex said she regretted finishing with him (so DD can't pin this on a personal fault as she would be wont to do) but while she was seeing him she said to me: do you think he is seeing me as a joke? Or is it possible really likes me? But she was really happy for those few weeks.
I don't understand her complete lack of self esteem but no matter the encouragement from school, work or peers she seems set on pegging herself as a failure.
Tonight's bout of self doubt (and tears) comes on the back of the amount of couples from her year she saw around town today.
It's frustrating because she has so much going for her and has been commended for achievements in school and in extra curricular activities and it seems none of these count because her peers are not queuing up to date or befriend her.
I have spent the past two years mopping tears and reassuring her but dh is wondering (and I think he may have a point) if she needs help with seeing herself in a more positive light. Maybe it's beyond us as her parents? We certainly feel it tonight.
So, normal teen behaviour or so getting that needs more attention?
I thinks its normal to an extent, especially if she's a bit sensitive (in the nicest way)
But it wont hurt to get her some counciling it can only help.
Counselling relating to her poor self esteem would be good for her.
This may be unorthodox but what is she getting out of this? Is she being rewarded with attention for this behaviour?
I think the teenage years are an emotional roller coaster and sadly social media these days is a horror for self esteem. It does sound as though she has very low self esteem and it can’t do any harm to look into confidence building classes for her. Best of luck
self-esteem is struggle for teens.
Crying all the time.. is she generally emotional, does she bounce back and have truly happy moments, too?
You could ask her if she wants support to help avoid those lows. She has to be a willing horse before you try to lead her to water, though.
Thank you. They are both lovely replies and reassure me I am not being hysterical (either way)
I think she would benefit from talking to someone, or get involved some confidence building.
I can relate to your OP, my teens were awful I remember them well, sometimes I think back on it, i can't believe how insecure I felt, my self esteem was low, confidence comes with age.
I think mine may have come sooner if I has someone to discuss my inferior complex with.
My DD sounds beautiful inside and out.
You say she has lots of friends from school, primary, drama etc. Then says she’s upset because her peers are not queuing up to date or befriend her.
So when you say peers, I’m assuming you just mean boys? In that case who does she like? Who would she like to date? Because people aren’t going to que up to date her if there’s not a mutual attraction.
Please don’t take this wrong OP, but when you say that ‘they’re not queuing up’, you make it sound like everyone should be, because everyone should be fighting for her attention. Why does she think she needs people queuing up? What’s wrong with a mutual attraction with just one person? I don’t get the ‘queuing up’ thing at all sorry, so apologies if this has come across wrong, it’s not intended that way.
As someone who works with teenagers, the best advice for 99% of them is to get them off social media, it is so destructive
She is very emotional (as is her father so I can blame that bit on him ) and it is a point we laugh about (as I am considered cold and ice queen ish compared to the two of them) but this is different. It seems to really knock her energy wise. She gets attention for it but I only have two children so she gets a lot of attention anyway and doesn't have to vie for it. She will mostly avoid seeking her father's attention. They are quite similar and clash a bit. She has a good relationship with me, a reasonable if rocky one with her dad and a fantastic one with her younger brother who adores her above the rest of us.
She really has no obvious reason to doubt herself. Everyone we know encourages her and is positive about her.
My DC went through a bout of feeling sad/anxious aged 15/16, went to counselling, which helped tremendously.
It is such a difficult age and sometimes even though an outsider/impartial person says the same as you as parents do, it helps. Also congnative behavioral therapy does provide tools for when they get overwhelmed by these feelings.
By queuing up I mean no one is interested. The "queuing up" bit is facetious because she would be happy if any boy was interested or if she felt that any girl or boy would make the first overtures of friendship with her rather than her always being the first to make the effort. I have always signed her up for drama camps in different towns during summers so she has to make the effort with strangers as we live in a very small rural town. I thought I was future proofing her against the tough teenage years so am a bit disappointed that she is struggling so much. She's a really good girl and I wish it was as easy as I feel it should be for her.
I was a spotty, plain, non-sporty, nerdy and positively-not-cool teen in the 80's and don't remember suffering such crises of confidence so am also dismayed to realise that a teen I would have aspired to be (in my dreams back then) should be so unhappy.
I would get her some kind of support because I'd be concerned that level of low self esteem could lead to future problems, e.g. in terms of what she will accept in a relationship if she has that low an opinion of herself. Good luck.
Could it be anything hormone related? The teen years are pretty awful for most people but to me this does sound more than normal and when she’s 18 if it’s still going on I imagine people will be less sympathetic
It’s like she has become stuck in this pattern of behaviour; I doubt she consciously thinks she will get atttention from it but I wonder if it’s now the default.
I hated being 15,16. Really fucking hated it and was miserable the whole time.
I'm a very jolly person now
Some people just seem to have a harder time of it than others.
If you can afford to pay for counselling, perhaps a short course of sessions could help.
There may be things she's finding really tough that she isn't comfortable talking to you about.
It's great that you have the perspective to not see it as a personal slight and consider if she needs help. She's lucky to have you as her mum.
Is she overly concerned with being in with the popular/cool crowd? My DD is younger but I can forsee her being similar, she cares too much about popularity and what others think, does my head in tbh, as she is a sociable girl with friends but never seems to be enough. In a way, I get it as I think the popular kids are so busy trying to be friends with everyone, they don't make deep and meaningful connections with a few people which you have to do if you're less popular/nerdy.
I think she needs counselling to try and bring her self esteem and confidence up. It's good that she is still out there and doing stuff... but she could quickly lose motivation and slip into a bit of a sprial down if you aren't careful.
She has this ideal in her head that she needs to have people "queueing up" in order to be successful. Thing is, she doesn't feel that way.
You list her attributes (against your own at the same age), and come across that she therefore shouldn't feel the way she does - she has so much going for her (that you didn't?).
I think its telling you say she's a really good girl too. I wonder if she's been put on a pedestal a bit? I would ask her what she thinks success looks like.
It may be a lot of teenage hormones raging, but I think some time chatting, talking about who she is and wants to be, being accepted for who she is right now, would possibly help.
It's really hard seeing the 'popular' crowd and not being part of it, especially if you aren't in a large school where there are other 'tribes' to be a part of - the nerds, the goths, the creatives... Some counselling wouldn't hurt to boost her self esteem. Sometimes an outside voice is what's needed.
She sounds brilliant though, and I suspect she will find her feet in 6th form. IME it's a lot less tribal and a lot more inclusive its friendship groups.
Oh bless her. Being a teenager is HIDEOUS. Have you discussed any of this with her, proper?
Yes I most likely have her on a pedestal (I would have killed to be like her as a tèen and my parents would have been over the moon to have such a focused child) but her brother is also on that pedestal as they are great kids and try as I might I cannot fault them beyond their lack of self esteem.
I don't want to spoil her too much but I do want her to be ready for real life in two years (when she leaves school and home) and to toughen up a bit but mostly to find resources beyond me to help her out of moments like these.
I will sort out some counselling to (hopefully) enable her to pick herself up out of these funks.
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