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I was unreasonable but how do I fix it?(9 Posts)
Basically I said the completely wrong thing to my 13 year old DD and I completely regret it! I would like some guidance on how to fix this please.
The backstory (which is relevant)
As a child I was abused and severely neglected, I had nothing, and as a coping mechanism I started self harming at around 12 and felt in control when I starved myself. Obviously my DD knows nothing about this.
When I had my DD I gave her the complete opposite of what I had, or I tried too, she was never abused, always has nice things I am always lovely to her as would be expected.
I was completely shocked last week when I discovered she had been self harming, and I noticed on the school website she hadn't bought herself lunch in weeks either (she refuses breakfast).
I must admit I freaked. And instead of being supportive straight away, I said to her, what reason do you have to do this? You have no reason!
I obviously apologised afterwards and asked her why and has anything happened etc and asked her to talk to me or anyone else she trusts instead, but she said she just feels angry at times.
I know I was very unreasonable, but how to I support my little girl? I just automatically assumed that she couldn't feel bad because I gave her the opposite of what I had and I know it wasn't right.
What do parents do when their child is doing these things? I am currently sat on the sofa with her watching silly YouTube videos and eating ice cream so she's okay just now.
It’s time to tell her your history and explain why you reacted the way you did. You don’t have to tell her every horror of your childhood, but you can tell her it was rough in the particular ways in was rough and explain what negative coping mechanisms you used. Then you talk to her about how you got past it and recommend she start therapy so she has another person to help her learn positive coping skills.
I wouldn’t actually use this as an opportunity to talk about your own history but spend time listening to her, boosting her and talking about how we manage outer feelings.
I’d also alert school to her eating habits and ask if there is counselling support available. Talk about her friendship groups.
Hopefully you can help her navigate the difficult times but don’t be slow to ask for help if her issues deteriorate. Eating disorders can develop at frightening speed.
Yes I agree. I think sit her down, apologise for your reaction and say it came from fear and upset but it was wrong. Don’t go into detail, but explain that you had an upsetting childhood and you don’t like to think she might be upset too.
Your daughter is not a "little girl", and given what's transpired you need to tell her all about your experiences and how you know/can imagine very well what she might be feeling. You also need to apologise for having such a perplexing reaction, but it was your past trauma clouding your judgment. After that, find your daughter a therapist.
I think all girls around this age go through " something " . My dd did on the not eating front but one of her friends lost a lot of weight and it frightened her enough to realise she needed to eat. Plus she liked her grub and needed energy for her dancing.
Don't start telling her about your childhood...it's not appropriate right now. She clearly us struggling at the moment and topping up her own problems with her mother's is not a good move imo.
However, I totally understand where you're coming from op. I had a tough childhood...my DC moan about the smallest things and I often think inwardly "you have no idea"...not that I would ever wish them to go through anything awful obviously.
I'd have a chat about different coping skills as that what self harm is. (So, talking, doing activities you enjoy ,keeping a journal etc to vent & get it out ).Ask if anything specific is causing her anxiety. Does she have a good support network of friends , as peer support is a massive deal at teen stage.And re the eating , alert the school but don't make it a huge thing ,just keep an eye on her & also make sure she knows skipping meals etc can affect mood hugely . Shes eating ice cream so that's a hopeful sign she's not to obsessed with calories etc. kooth.com does free online counselling for under 18's.
Thank you for your responses, she's upstairs now, chatting with friends.
I know this sounds biased, but it genuinely isn't. She is absolutely beautiful, and I genuinely wouldn't just say that!
In high school I always thought the pretty girls won! Ya know? Like the really pretty ones.. and my DD surprisingly is one of them (I say, surprisingly, because of my own reflection and past).
So in my mind I just thought, well I've given literally all I've got, surely you will be happy?
Apparently not and it's made me realise that maybe all these material things aren't actually important at all!! I never had them in school so I wondered how my own kids would react and apparently it's the exact same!
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