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12 year old daughter says we don't care(9 Posts)
Hi, my 12 year old daughter is brilliant, talented and beautiful.
However since the onset of puberty she has become irrational, tearful, says she feels ugly, doubting herself and is downright rude. She started her periods last week which is adding more to her stress.
I do get that puberty can affect girls considerably but really, to this degree?
I would like to think I am understanding mum and I tell her how proud we are of her, that she is beautiful and I also make sure she has time to talk if she wants to (or we just do fun things...her latest thing is teaching me the new 'slang' words, we laughed so much!).
She has a cold at the moment (no temp), so I've got calpol, tissues, throat lozenges...a medicine cabinet! So she asked if she could have calpol for school, I asked if she was ok and she said you don't care about me so why ask! Then proceeded to tell me how she won't be able to breathe today as I didn't get her more menthol lozenges. You name it everything was my fault! When I dropped her off I said have a good day, she said well I won't will I?! I'm sick and you insist on sending me to school! She says she needs a day or two to rest (see below).
Oh and another thing, she is (and always has been) an awful sleeper ever since she was born, she survived on 9 hours as a baby and now it's 7 hours. Tried everything! No phone, she doesn't sleep. With phone, she doesn't sleep. Meditation, she doesn't sleep. White noise, she doesn't sleep. Her issue she says is that she can't turn her mind off things and that she worries about everything (school, work, people talking about her).
Sorry about the ramble! I just wondered if other parents/mums have this with their
little big girls?
My DD is 10, and this sounds fairly normal for her and her friends of similar and older ages.
Re the sleeping and the mental health, does she do any sport or physical exercise?
Perhaps try mindfulness, yoga or simply walking.
Borrow My Doggy - get her to help walk a neighbours dog.
Time out of the house for her is space for both of you away from each other, she gets fresh air and exercise and a friendly animal to vent at instead of you!
She’s going through massive changes as you recognise, and she’s carrying an infection, I’m not surprised she’s feeling low.
You’re obviously a caring mum, she’s taking out her feelings on you because you’re a safe target.
One thing you might think about is how you praise her - being beautiful, brilliant and talented is quite a burden if sometimes that’s not how you’re feeling. She might feel worried she’d be letting you down if she failed at something, especially as school is probably piling on the pressure as well.
Sometimes we worry so much, and try to give them advice and guidance about everything they face, but sometimes we just need to listen and be there. It’s very hard being a teenager, and being a parent of one is challenging!
Thank you. I think the pressure is spot on...and it's what she tells us, there is pressure at school (to do well and socially she can struggle), pressure at home (I send warning texts to my oh on his way home as he will ask how a particular lesson went or a test went, she hates that). She does so well in school and is very conscientious and I agree she is thinking pressure is everywhere. I think I need to take a step back, I try to remember positive things she mentions and ask how they are (she plays in a school band and loves that).
She isn't particularly sociable (she even turns down parties without letting me know...I found this out via some of the mums, I thought she just wasn't being invited to all these parties the others go to!), I ask if she wants a friend over and all she says is no, they won't help me. I don't have anything in common with them. She says to not put pressure on her to be sociable. Thing is when she is around friends she smiles, giggles and seems to have fun, she tells me this is her 'pretending' to be happy 😕 how true this is I can't work out but she does try to avoid social situations at all costs.
She doesn't exercise really other than PE (although is a slim thing and eats loads!). I really like the dog walking idea. She loves dogs but we can't have one as we have a cat and my youngest is terrified of dogs. I'll mention it to her later.
It really is a worrying time and being the mum of two girls I see myself posting something similar in a couple more years!
I help run a junior parkrun close to me.
It's a really fun activity to get involved in, it might help her meet and socialise with some new children, have an outlet for her feelings and so on.
I'm a huge advocate for animals and nature and exercise to help people feel better in themselves.
And don't push the being sociable bit, she might just be a bit introverted and that is not a bad thing.
You sound like a lovely parent, just don't over worry, otherwise she may sense that too as an extra pressure.
If she plays in a school band, is there a way she can pursue and develop that interest outside of school?
Or can you even start going to gigs/concerts together?
You clearly have her trust, if she’s sharing that she feels she can’t be herself with others.
Having low mood, problems sleeping and feeling ‘wrong’ in yourself can be indicators of depression. I think you’re right for you and your DH to dial down the questions. Doing side-by-side activities - walking, baking, doing a jigsaw, and listening without giving advice unless it’s asked for, are good ways to give her space.
And if you feel she needs some extra support maybe find someone for her to talk to.
It’s a little thing, but sometimes I send my kids to school with a keep cup and a sachet of lemsip or similar. They can get some hot water from the school canteen and have a hot drink to ease cold symptoms. They each have their own cup. Just a small gesture that she might find thoughtful?
OP I'm going through something similar, although perhaps more extreme. I just posted. My son is also extremely conscientious. He doesn't have pressure from us or school though, it's all him. He is also reluctant to socialise as he says he has nothing in common with the other boys, but he has had a history of bullying. He is not at all sporty either.
The only advice I have ever been given is to keep him busy. Horse riding was great though and horses are very therapeutic.
He also has terrible trouble sleeping, but as a child he would sleep for days...