12 year old daughter - is this usual

(36 Posts)
rubberdubber1970 Mon 04-Apr-16 15:00:23

Hi
I'm getting increasingly concerned about my 12 year old daughter.
Her life consists of you tube, laptop and her phone.

I'm now resorting to banning her gadgets because im fed up with her sitting alone in her bedroom (she's an only child)
She doesn't seem to have any real friends, no direction, no passion for anything.

She has always been quiet and reserved, but it's slowly getting lots worse.
She has lots of 'friends' but she doesn't contact them or make any effort to meet them.

We went camping at the weekend, she never spoke to any other children.

It's getting me depressed

tireddotcom72 Mon 04-Apr-16 16:40:24

not sure if it is normal but that sounds exactly like my 12 year old daughter to!

BloodyDogHairs Mon 04-Apr-16 16:42:18

You've just described my 12yr old Ds.

BoboChic Mon 04-Apr-16 16:44:11

Send her on a residential camp this summer?

IHaveBrilloHair Mon 04-Apr-16 16:45:44

Totally normal

Ledkr Mon 04-Apr-16 16:46:05

Yep, standard. I take phone on school nights or she bafoons around all night

PhilPhilConnors Mon 04-Apr-16 16:46:08

Is she unhappy about it?
Is she more sociable during term time?

It could be that she's simply an introvert, and needs time alone to recharge her batteries to be ok for school.

Kenworthington Mon 04-Apr-16 16:50:48

My ds (13) is exactly like this. it's itterly depressing

WallToWallBastards Mon 04-Apr-16 16:54:18

I was like that and I'm now fairly social at 19. I do still need more alone time than others. It happened at 16 when I started college. You could try and encourage her to be more sociable but she may well grow into it.

EssentialHummus Mon 04-Apr-16 16:54:42

Is she happy? Maybe she's just an introvert who likes time to herself, as PP have said. I was like this (and came out fine!) and I'd have sunk into proper depression if parents had taken away my computer.

Does she have any hobbies? Could you gently suggest one or two things for her to try out?

findingmyfeet12 Mon 04-Apr-16 16:55:33

Sounds pretty normal - depressingly so.

Threesoundslikealot Mon 04-Apr-16 16:57:27

That's my 13 year old DS. Although he does interact with friends online, and occasionally one comes round and they sit silently next to each other playing games/watching YouTube (different things, not together). But he rarely interacts with us during the day. Only at night when his siblings are in bed and we are looking forward to some peace and quiet, and then his screen time limits kick in and he comes to find us and tell us in minute detail about the YouTube videos he's been watching.

corythatwas Fri 08-Apr-16 15:32:24

Totally reasonable to restrict her phone before bedtime/when she should be revising. But I am afraid you may have to put up with her sitting in her room; for many that is part of growing up. Some emerge as bubbly and confident socialites, others simply grow up into introverts, nothing you can do about it either way. Take it as practice for what is to come: even is she does grow into a vivacious socialiser in 3 or 4 years time, it won't be with you she will be doing most of her socialising. This is where you need to find your own sources of entertainment. For this age it makes sense to insist on good manners and schoolwork and very little else.

OldBeanbagz Fri 08-Apr-16 15:37:45

Unfortunately it's depressingly normal sad

My 14yo DD is just the same at home but when we're out she's a totally normal (and almost grown up) person.

WeAllHaveWings Fri 08-Apr-16 16:05:21

ds(12) would be on his x-box/phone/youtube any free time he has if I let him.

If he isn't out with friends I annoy engage with him by asking him to help with chores or do something or go out somewhere together like Tesco (so going out with friends is more attractive!)

Has she always been a loner outside school? Did she used to go out to play with friends?

Do you think she is happy being in her room, or do you think she is just struggling with knowing how to connect with friends now outside of school hours? Can you help her begin to connect with some friends after school to see how it goes? Encourage inviting 2 or 3 friends (less intense than 1 to 1) to come over to hang about and have dinner/sleepovers/cinema/go swimming etc. Or see if she is interested in signing up to a couple of weekly activities, maybe with her friends? She could try some activities that are easy to do alone to begin with like martial arts, but have the opportunity to make friends.

Once she finds out there is more to life than x-box/phone/youtube hopefully she'll grow in confidence and start enjoying/arranging these things for herself.

Snoopydo Fri 08-Apr-16 16:08:32

Everyone I know with a 12 year old says exactly the same.

ManicPixieDream Fri 08-Apr-16 16:10:17

My 12 year old DS is just like this too. I'm hoping it's just a phase as I've been getting worried about him. He does exactly the same thing as your DS threesoundslikealot

Ledkr Sat 09-Apr-16 10:12:09

My dd has a phone ban for cheek at the moment.
She's a different kid. We've chatted and done stuff together, she's fun and amiable and we've gone days without a row!
I will need to give her phone back at some point but I need to find a way of limiting the use I think

ManicPixieDream Sat 09-Apr-16 10:23:31

That's interesting Ledkr DS has had his phone confiscated and an Xbox ban as he's in big trouble for a number of things. He has been interacting with us like a normal human and actually been pleasant with his little brother. I think you've got a point and we need to limit use too.

Undertheboredwalk Sat 09-Apr-16 10:44:39

My 15yr old is exactly the same, we now have strict time restrictions on devices and expectations that she will even to a v small degree! Interact with the rest of us for some portion of her day.
It's worked well for us, she's a good kid so we haven't really had any problems. I think it's definitely important to give them time away from their digital world, and they definitely wouldn't do it themselves. I think DD is much happier overall for having a better balance. smile

Ledkr Sat 09-Apr-16 11:02:00

This house has not been as happy for years shock

CountryLovingGirl Sun 10-Apr-16 07:16:48

I am so glad I am not alone! I have just posted a very similar post about the xbox and my 12 year old DS.
He is popular at school but obsessed with the xbox at home - and rarely comes out of his room!
He goes away with school (activity place) for a few nights in a couple of weeks - yay! He does go to football twice a week though - loves football!

clearsommespace Sun 10-Apr-16 07:41:17

It may be that banning her gadgets doesn't change anything. She may just need time alone. DD is 11 and doesn't have a phone or laptop. We have a family tablet. So although she watches a YouTube videos a week, that's usually in a family room. She spends ages in her room by herself, reads alot and listens to podcasts while pottering or playing with the cat, doing crafts etc. She has just had a week of school holiday and didn't contact any of her friends either. I was working from home and she was quite happy.

clearsommespace Sun 10-Apr-16 07:44:00

Did you know the other children on the camping trip? I would be concerned if DD didn't interact with children of family friends but I know she's be unlikely to seek out the company of strangers.

Iamnotloobrushphobic Sun 10-Apr-16 07:47:54

My 12 year old is the same and he has always been a recluse but it has gotten worse in the last year or two.
Despite everyone saying it is normal I really can't get my head around it because when I was a 12 year old, I and all other 12 year olds couldn't stand being in the house and would only be in to eat and use the toilet until it reached curfew time (which we regularly broke by 5-10 minutes).
What is wrong with all these 12 year olds today?
I can't even get my son to join any clubs either at school or out of school.
I am dreading the summer school holidays when my son will just want to mope about the house and constantly moan about everything (including boredom). I'm seriously considering sending him abroad to stay with family for a couple of weeks because he is so moody and I need a break from his moaning.

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