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Daughter age 16 feels rejected

(13 Posts)
Ectotherm Fri 05-Apr-13 09:12:37

We had a session with a counsellor last night and a main theme was that my daughter felt rejected and unloved by me. Background is that I got divorced from her Dad 3 years ago . It was as amicable as it could be, I have subsequently remarried. Daughter chose to live with her Dad, I live a couple of miles away , take her to school every day and have dinner with her and my ex-H once a week.
She has feelings of inadequacy after not doing as well as her peers at GCSE and finding Sixth Form tough . Most of her friends inc her boyfriend will be applying to Oxbridge, DD realises now that is not an achievable aim for her and hasn't really found her way .
Getting back to her relationship with me . In the beginning she came to mine regularly , or joined us on trips out. That tailed off and now when I ask when she is coming for dinner she claims " too much work " . The only time she does come is when she is seeing her boyfriend and they clearly avail themselves of her double bed in my house before heading off again with little or no contact with me .
I would like to spend more time with her . Have offered shopping trip, meals out and in etc . And yet she claims she wants to have a better relationship with me and at the same time pushes me away and tells me what a bad mother I am . ExH and my DH are both supportive , problem seems to be me and her . Old classic, eh ?

Teachercreature Fri 05-Apr-13 11:20:04

I think it's great that you're seeing a counsellor together. Hopefully they will be able to get to the root of why your daughter feels rejected and suggest ways to repair things going forwards. Wish you all the best with it!

mindfulmum Fri 05-Apr-13 13:14:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ectotherm Fri 05-Apr-13 13:40:10

Thanks for the support . We have found a good counsellor who says the format will be fluid ie some sessions DD on her own, some with one or both parents as is needed . I am hoping it will help build DD's confidence and challenge her negative thinking. She got 3 A * and 7 As at GCSE, excellent by national standards but her school is a very uniquely academic one with its own peculiar pressures and standards . I have suggested moving schools but she does not want that. I can see her taking a gap year and it would do her good. She is on course to get 3 As at A level which should be fine for most places apart from Oxbridge, where candidates from her school would be expected 2 A* at least . Also , I don't think it would be the right place for DD who is more laid back about academic work than her highly-motivated peers.
I suppose we congratulated ourselves too prematurely on getting through the divorce and remarriage thing, with everyone remaining friendly and doing large family events all together . We took our eye off the ball .
My approach has always been to give her space, not to hassle. To let her set her own goals for school and not to interfere. Equally , I have not insisted that she spends time with me , I have made offers and they have usually been declined . Not sure what she would like me to do otherwise , am hoping this will come out of counselling. Counsellor has already remarked that I tend to want to find solutions rather than acknowledging her anger or pain. So that is a start , I suppose .

Teachercreature Fri 05-Apr-13 15:15:50

It does sound a very good start - I am also a solutions person myself!

Wow that your daughter's tonnes of As make her feel not good enough - she is clearly very very bright! Well done to her.

Also know what you mean re taking eye off ball - my divorce seems to have gone ok so far but I do worry about what will come later on for my DD.

Fingers crossed for you!

Mosschops30 Fri 05-Apr-13 15:21:43

Can I just say she sounds like every other teen
All about them!

My dd sounds similar to yours.

Tbh if she told me she felt rejected but then didnt want to engage with meals, girly stuff etc then I'd say 'tough'

Maybe I'm just a shit parentgrin

watchingout Fri 05-Apr-13 19:52:59

Wow she needs some grips! Pushing your guilt buttons methinks. Doesn't want to engage in meals/shopping/shared time but happy to take advantage of a double bed? An underachiever cos she 'only' got 3A* and 7As ferfuckssake...

Glad you've got lots of support from DH and XH! Has she got any siblings?

Teachercreature Sat 06-Apr-13 13:05:27

Mosschops that made me laugh! I am usually a "tough" parent myself (and also a big fan of "Get over it"!)

But seriously, one other question I'd have is, why did DD choose to live with her father with the split? What was her perception of your relationship then? (And I do say perception for a reason - I know a chap who had a lot of issues with his mum, who is lovely, as he believed she didn't love him and so he felt rejected. She totally did, and in fact the problems seem to have stemmed from his childhood when they lost another son. You can imagine the grief would have been terrible, and as a child he maybe perceived this as a loss of interest and withdrew, and then they couldn't understand his withdrawal - vicious circle.) The counsellor will no doubt pick up on this, but it's certainly where I'd start. Just a thought, having seen mutual misunderstandings spiral into problems before.

LadyWidmerpool Sat 06-Apr-13 13:16:33

Wow she needs some grips! Pushing your guilt buttons methinks.

She's 16 and her parents have split up. That's harsh.

I can empathise with her and, if she doesn't feel loved, I can see why she doesn't want to engage in outings etc, even if that seems contrary and frustrating to you OP. From my own experience I would suggest you keep showing her by your behaviour that she is your number one priority, whatever happens. She needs to know and believe that you will put her first. Maybe something has happened in the past that has shaken that belief - she could easily have misinterpreted something tor example, I'm not saying you have done anything wrong. Don't let her push you away - she may be testing you to see whether you will give up on her. Not in a manipulative way, but instinctively.

I think it's great that these issues are being discussed now rather than swept under the carpet. Well done to you all.

Ectotherm Sun 07-Apr-13 18:13:15

She is a lot better this week and was in a good mood today. Had a nice afternoon tea with her and her boyfriend and her Dad. DD chose to live with her Dad as she did not want him to be on his own and she did not want to move anywhere else. I was in a pokey place nearby when first divorced and now in a slightly bigger house after my re-marriage. I have always been no more than 10 mins away and done the school runs.
I am sure the counsellor will work with her about the divorce, my re-marriage and then bring me along to when we see how we can improve our relationship. I am sure I have made loads of mistakes. We have been through a tough few years . My ex-h and I had a 20 + year age gap and just grew apart , really. DD is our only . We count ourselves lucky that we have stayed on good terms throughout .
It is never that easy however much we kid ourselves sometimes.

ivykaty44 Sun 07-Apr-13 21:33:41

looking at this another way

you seem disapointmed that your dd doesn't accept your offers to go for outings and when you suggest outings etc she decline.

Could you bring this up at a meeting in such a way that it is posative rather than negative

so could you say you would really like to go for outings and spend time together (don't mention the refusals) but you need to know what you dd would liek and enjoy doing that you can be together and spend time together and build on your relationship

Cerisier Thu 11-Apr-13 05:40:05

I think the exam thing will seem very important to your DD, much more important than it looks from the outside to everyone else. She doesn't feel as good as her peers and this is a horrible feeling.

She is anticipating losing her BF when they go to different universities so she will have lost her parents being together then her and her BF being together. Her dad is on his own and she will feel sad for him about this.

You are always there for her and she does know that but I can see why she is struggling. I hope that with the counsellor she can come to terms with the situation.

Teachercreature Mon 15-Apr-13 00:28:09

Some great points from everyone on here. Ectotherm absolutely everyone makes mistakes even if they don't get divorced - being a parent is tough! Even if you do your absolute best things can still be misinterpreted by your child (often in ways you don't even realise at the time) - and I'm sure as you say the counsellor will go over the issues around the divorce etc. But please don't feel bad! You've obviously tried hard to be there for your daughter and to work at the relationship with your ex - like LadyW said, it's great that you are all going to the counsellor and dealing with this now. I know people who have ended up freaking out in their 30s over their parents and by that point needing a great deal of help! Hoping it goes well for you all - you're very definitely on the right track.

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