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I don't know what I'm doing with parenting teens

(17 Posts)
mrsbakedpotato Tue 09-May-17 21:41:05

regular but NC for this.

I'm a lp but exh has EOW. Very selfish/difficult man who left me for OW when dcs little. So I've done a lot of years on my own, and have no extended family and an abusive background, alcoholic parent etc.

It hasn't been easy but just recently feels worse and now I feel a bit lost as to what I'm meant to be doing. Two teen dcs the eldest 15 is very low really, negative body image, some ocd tendencies, I'm worried about her. Have taken her to the GP but its up to her to decide whether to get counselling they said.
She's up and down, more down after been to exh house I think. Plus she's on social media a lot. Exh oblivious to any problems. I don't speak to him much as its too difficult to. I try to keep neutral obviously, when talking to dcs about their dad.

I feel like now I'm just not sure what I'm meant to be doing. My experiences at that age were more a survival technique iyswim and I was lucky to get through it intact- I didn't have any guidance or actual parenting (had years of counselling as an adult)

I have a good relationship with dd and she does talk to me. I'm just worried I guess, that she seems to find life so hard and I can't really do anything to help. I encourage her to have a social life but she doesn't really, and doesn't have interests. But I can't make her do things by this age.
Sorry its so long but any advice or insights are welcome, I spend lots of time worrying, with it just all going round in my head.

Hermonie2016 Tue 09-May-17 22:20:52

It is a worrying time as teens have so many pressures, more so girls as social media has such focus on image.The fact you care and are around for her is very important, don't under estimate your contribution.

How is she doing at school? I think up to 16 is tricky but post 16 tends to be better as they are through gsces and they tend to feel more comfortable in their own skin.I have older teens and not one would go back to the 13-15 stage.

Building herself esteem is critical so finding activities she enjoys, even volunteering would help.What is she interested in?

ImperialBlether Tue 09-May-17 22:23:07

My daughter was just the same and when she went to university she discovered yoga. It's been absolutely amazing for her mental heath, her fitness and her body image. I can't recommend it highly enough. Could you suggest something like that to your daughter? There are lots of yoga tutorials on YouTube if she wanted to do that before going to a class.

mrsbakedpotato Tue 09-May-17 22:29:41

Thank you both flowers I feel a sigh of relief to know others have been through this. imperial yoga is a great idea. I will suggest that or maybe get a DVD or youtube like you say.
hermione she hasn't really got interests. Volunteering is a good idea. School work feels like pressure I think. That's good to know it may get easier after 16, gives me hope.

ImperialBlether Tue 09-May-17 22:31:11

Yoga is a really cool sport as well, and your body shape is fantastic after you've done it for a while. It also leads to healthier eating, which is great at that age. She's not near Brighton, is she?

greenberet Fri 12-May-17 18:54:06

I'm struggling with this too - I have been posting all week about issues with kids & EA / narc/ just bloody difficult X.

He has no respect for me - completely shafted me financially. I'm worried about the kids mental health due to recent acrimonious divorce. I have depression which he too dismisses and any concerns I try & express about kids are met with "they're playing you" or it's nonsense if I get any answer at all.

Just had a blazing row with my DS about him going out - he came home from school & said he's arranged to go out . I've said no - he went out without my permission last friday night. Their GCSEs start next week - he was off ill Monday and yesterday I posted about them not keeping on top of stuff , i.e. Rooms being a continual mess. I contacted x for some support he tells me DS does cleaning at his and I need to motivate him. What he doesn't tell me and I find out later is X pays him to do his cleaning.

I am sick of trying to do this on my own. Both kids can be manipulative & verbally abusive - traits of the X -they only listen to me when I lose it - otherwise they argue their case & wear me down. I don't know where to get some support - the lack of a decent male role model is the cause of most of the issues. This is only just the start of it - I'm trying not to dole out punishments as a way of getting them to listen but it is so bloody hard and I haven't got the energy
My DS sees me as a waste because I am a SAHM - never mind that I put them first in everything for the last 15 years!
Any suggestions

MyheartbelongstoG Fri 12-May-17 21:17:12

I've no advice as mine are still young but just wanted to say you sound like great mums x

SaltySeaDog72 Fri 12-May-17 22:13:20

Hi mrsbakedpotato

I am a LP and ExH has kids EOW plus one night. My eldest is 14 and I am struggling with the same thing. dd1 feels under pressure, problems with use of social media, so so hard. Things came to a head recently and (as a last resort) her phone has gone. We are in constant discussion about what needs to happen for her to get it back. Today she really opened up and was tearful. I am normally a fairly confident, intuitive parent, but have found this age a massive learning curve. They are still so young but under a lot of pressure. Your dd is talking to you so you are doing great. You're not alone OP.

keepingonrunning Sat 13-May-17 00:24:58

I found this website today. It might help.

junebirthdaygirl Sat 13-May-17 03:33:22

I am a mother who has come out the other end and its a bloody difficult time. You have much going for you as a parent. A good relationship with your dd and the fact she opens up to you. Sometimes we think teens have problems because our lives are not perfect but often its just the stage she is going through. Having you there solid enough in the background is worth anything. The one thing that hellped me was talking to friends especially one who was open and honest about her struggles and her kids were a bit older than mine. They do come through. So hang in there . Sounds to me like you are doing well with her. Get all the help you can from school and keep yourself well as your stress levels being down will enable you to stay calm and give her the idea that all is well. Try not to take on small things like a messy room or too much make up etc. We all parent through that stage by the seat of our pants.

greenberet Sat 13-May-17 06:30:26

keeponrunning thanks for sharing that link

This is exactly what I have been needing -hopefully OP will find it useful too

PosiePootlePerkins Sat 13-May-17 07:14:32

That's a great website thanks for posting the link. My DS has just turned 13 and we're just at the beginning of navigating these tricky years. My DH works away a lot so its often just me and its really hard to know the best way to handle things. He's just started to assert himself more which I find really tricky!

SaltySeaDog72 Sat 13-May-17 08:29:09

It's so difficult when you don't have the other parent around to just talk about it all with. My ExH and I are friendly and amicable enough, but his upbringing was shoddy, he has his own issues and cant really be there for anyone on a meaningful level (hence he is the ex) so it really is just me steering my daughter through this difficult bit of her development. It's lonely, exhausting, and very hard..

Joysmum Sat 13-May-17 08:44:52

I'm not a LP but dh and I have sought advice from our DD's school pastoral service with things we've felt out of our depth with. It's been a great help.

We have one child, they've dealt with thousands and have had training. It seemed the logical thing for us to do.

You're all doing a fantastic job and your kids are lucky to have you flowers

MajesticWhine Sat 13-May-17 09:04:00

OP it's clear from your post you are doing a great job. I struggle with my teens especially eldest 16yr old DD who has mental health problems and has for two years. What I am beginning to realise as a general rule is that suggesting things is usually unhelpful. So trying to get her to take up a hobby or go out and socialise, eat healthy, exercise, revise for exams etc. Any such encouragement is met with resistance and is perceived by her as pressure. So if your DD is like this, I recommend you focus on keeping a good relationship and just listening to her, and letting her sort things out at her own pace. Listening to her and taking an interest is the best thing for her self esteem. Obviously facilitate counselling if she wants it.

Huskylover1 Sat 13-May-17 13:36:28

15 is a really difficult age. Body image issues. Raging hormones. Lots of exam pressure. Pressure to look good on social media. Low confidence.

IME, things dramatically improved when the kids started Uni. They were old enough to go out partying, they met new exciting people, they gained independence.

Just keep doing what you're doing. Keep talking with her. In a few years time this will be a distant memory.

Could you arrange a treat for her once a month? That way, she's always got something fun to look forward to. Maybe a sleepover, with pizza and movies.

mrsbakedpotato Sun 14-May-17 18:48:26

Just coming back to this - thanks so much to everyone for the contributions and comments flowers The support means so much it really does.
keeponrunning thanks for the link, really useful info on there.
Good to hear from those who've been there and others going through it brew
imperial not in Brighton unfortunately. I may take up yoga myself wink to try to stay centred.

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