Teenage daughter in turmoil!(15 Posts)
I hope someone can put my mind at rest. I've two DD's aged 14 and 16 and my youngest is really worrying me. She began year 10 and I think she's worrying about her GCSEs already etc but also she keeps getting so weepy and over the weekend, she broke down a few times, and last night said that she just feels so sad all the time. On Friday, she opened up a bit about her dad, (we're divorced) as at the beginning of this year, he went to work down in Cornwall (we live in Hertfordshire) and met a Polish woman and he completed changed towards my two daughters,only seeing them for an hour or so and taking them to KFC, only speaking about himself and his new girlfriend. Then a couple of months ago he moved down there permanantly. Bearing in mind we split up 6 years ago and for 5 years, he'd come round to see the girls whenever he liked (which used to pee me off but I'd put up with it). He was never a great provider and only just recently begun paying maintenance. She broke down and said she didn't understand why he left them and why did they have such a rubbish dad. I've had depression before and and so scared she may be going that way.
is there a counsellor at school she could talk to?
or even go to your GP
hope you can get it sorted - at deadbeat dad - does he realise how he's affecting his daughter? maybe you should tell him and he can talk to her too (not sure if it would help, but he had a responsibility there)
Depression can occur in teenagers but she has clearly given strong hints about what is underlying her upset. Make contact with the ex dh tell him firmly that he needs to buck his ideas up and get up and sort situation out with dd, use guilt if needed eg. distressed 15 year olds can escilate behaviours such as self-harming if they feel not listened to(not trying to worry you). She may be comparing her situation with her friends , try and explain that you love her always and that her dad probably has no idea how much his circumstances changing has affected her. Some form of counselling would be good but she may not be willing to go to one at school. Main issue is for him to become aware of situation and be pressured into helping.
Oh the poor love . Does her school have any sort of pastoral/guidance set up that you could access? Alternatively, you could try speaking to the GP. In our area the Child Guidance team have a support worker who sees teenagers in just this sort of situation.
My dad left when I was around her age or a bit younger. I did sort of wonder if he still loved us because why would he leave otherwise.
Is there any way you could have a chat with him. Obviously try to make it as non accusatory as possible as men can be so defensive. He may just need to have it pointed out to him that she's at a delicate age and needs to feel loved.
Thank you so much for replying, really appreciate this. I know what you mean regarding self harm etc, I think that's the kind of thing I'm worrying about happening and escalating out of control. I've contacted the school and awaiting a reply, they're pretty good I think in this situation. As to their father, I think he's so into his new partner to be honest, I think he'd be as much use a chocolate teapot or even could make things worse, but will see how things go. It just breaks my heart seeing her this way
Hi, you said the girls's dad was not a great provider, but he had been round the children lots until his new love happened and presumably loves them. It may be that he's so loved up with the new woman that he honestly hasn't realised how his virtual disappearance from their lives might be affecting his daughters - grown-ups often forget that a few weeks for us might be short, but feel like forever to children. If you think you can manage a phone call without exploding at him, that would be great, if not maybe text or email to let him know how sad she is.
Oh God I feel for her, I was in exactly the same situation at 14. I was a real daddy's girl until he buggered off with the OW and I never really saw him again. It has affected me a lot after all if your own parents don't love you enough to put you first what does that say about you as a person?
Is there anyone else who can make him see sense? Could you talk to grandparents and let them know how unhappy she is? Don't let her know you have talked to anyone she will be mortified.
Give her a hug from me
I had a rubbish dad too and was very hurt by his ongoing rubbishness and rejection of me.
My mum used to say " some people aren't cut out to have a family", but didn't slag him off and even pointed out his good points while reassuring me that it wasn't me who was the problem, but his inability to be a good dad.
As you say, it might not be helpful to ask him to spend time with your DCs at the moment but I think the fact of her telling you how unhappy she is about him is a very significant start to her feeling better.
Your poor girl.
I wouldn't rely on Dad stepping up to the plate anytime soon tbh, it's a harsh truth to realise your parents don't love you as much as you need them to (I have experience of this myself) and it can take years (if ever) to come to terms with that. You need to find a way to explain to her that this is all about him and not her - she's done nothing wrong. Chocoluvva makes a good point about this.
On the plus side, you're obviously a caring Mum which goes a long way and your DD can talk with you, I'd try and see what professional avenues of support are out there - the school seems like a good place to start.
Get counselling for her. She needs to be guided through this. She needs to understand that this is not her fault and says nothing about her but volumes about her deadbeat father.
Don't be afraid of depression. It may or may not have got to that point but don't be afraid of it if it has. She needs assessment and counselling.
Thanks everyone. Things haven't got much better. She seems overwhelmed by GCSE coursework pressure at the moment, she feels she's unable to cope and has been really low. I spoke to the school, they've been great but she doesn't want counselling at the school as they take them out of classes and she doesn't want people to know. You know how it is at that age. I spoke to my eldest last night and she opened up a lot about when they used to see their dad. She feels she sister is like this because of his behaviour when they were with him. He'd have breakdown after breakdown in front of them, crying, shouting etc. She said that when they'd be in the car with him, they'd fear for their lives as he'd drive erratically and stop in the middle of nowhere and freak out. It's really upset me as you read about dads doing crazy things to their kids don't you, when they lose it. Am glad he's away now. But am sad it's messed my lovely girl's head up. My eldest also said that her sister is afraid of him, but wants a dad so much. I just wish I'd met a good man a few years back that would've been a good step dad to her. I'm waffling but I feel so upset for her. Should I act now and take her to the doctor and ask for outside counselling for her? What's the procedure?
I can see how the school counselling would not be ideal. Teens feel horribly self conscious and they don't want to be marked out in any way.
I really think you should take her to the doctor and try to get a referral for outside counselling.
From experience, outside counselling via NHS can take a long time to secure. Via the school can be much quicker. And it need not make your DD feel self conscious - there is always a cover story to be used! What it sounds as though she needs is a space to talk through the issues and school counselling is a good way for teenagers to do this without feeling disloyalty to either parent - it's their space. Talking about your dad to your mum can be awkward for both of you! But I agree with chocaluvva - it's his issue not hers, if she can believe that. Good luck. (Do YOU have someone to talk to as well??? Look after yourself.)
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