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I don't know how to help my girl.

(19 Posts)
StabInTheDark Sat 27-Apr-13 14:32:27

Hi everyone,

I'm not really sure if I'm doing this right or not, it's my first time posting on this site. Basically, I'm a mum of three girls and my eldest is eighteen. She's beautiful, clever, funny and happy, an absolute treasure.

She's having some problems at school with other girls that seem to be quite serious- it seems to be nastier than normal school girl stuff and it's got to the point where the police have been involved. I think the main issue is that my girl and a few of her friends have been blamed for what's gone on and been completely isolated because of it.

About a month ago, she fainted at school in a toilet cubicle on her own- luckily her teacher followed her in and found her- so I made her go to the doctor as she's never fainted before. She'd also told me how she'd woken up through the night a couple of times struggling to breathe. She was prescribed something for anxiety.

She looks absolutely exhausted all of the time (she's described school as being like walking on eggshells all day long) and at the minute her (usually mild) eczema is up with a vengeance, especially on her face. For the last week or so, her eyes have been extremely swollen and puffy, too.

I'm so worried about her, and I just don't know how to help. She's very private and every time I try to speak about it, she bats it off. I can't stand seeing her so exhausted- I'm also worried that she's going to miss her grades for university, especially because she's started taking days off more frequently. The thing I'm most concerned about is her mental health- there are so many awful stories about suicide and self harm that come as a result of things like this, and I just don't know how to help.

Any advice would be hugely appreciated. I hope that this isn't too long and rambly and I've managed to post it in the right area! Thanks for reading,

Kate x

ssd Sat 27-Apr-13 14:38:19

hi op

dont have any experience, kids younger than yours, but didnt want to leave you unanswered

bumping for you x

usualsuspect Sat 27-Apr-13 14:41:38

Can her gp refer her for some counselling?

LineRunner Sat 27-Apr-13 14:44:52

It does sound pretty serious if the police have been involved. Has it been physical? Why is your DD being blamed?

I would also say, can you try to take her to your GP to make sure her eczema treatment is as good as it can be? I know she doesn't have to go as she's 18, but you may need to give her a lot a bit of encouragement. I had psoriasis at that age and it did get very bad at the transition to university - so much stress I think.

usualsuspect Sat 27-Apr-13 14:45:59

What about the school,do they have any counselling options she could use.

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Sat 27-Apr-13 14:47:47

Your poor daughter.
How have the school been dealing with it? There was a serious case of bullying when I was at school with police involvement. The school ensured the child was accompanied at all times, mini cabs to and from, changed school times (leaving lessons 5 mins early).

StabInTheDark Sat 27-Apr-13 15:03:58

Thank you all for the responses!

usualsuspect- I think the school probably could refer her to a counsellor, but she wouldn't go down that route off her own back. She panics every time I mention phoning the school... I'm debating whether or not to just go over her head on this one.

LineRunner- It's been physical to a point, but it's all taken place out of school, on nights out etc. To cut a long story short, DD and her friends are being blamed because other girls have manipulated what's gone on. The extent of it is one of those things that's quite hard to believe. With regards to her eczema- yes, I think you're right. She hasn't been in years now, because the cream she uses has been fine, but this flare up probably warrants another visit!

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter- I know, it's absolutely breaking my heart. The school have been more concerned with brushing it under the carpet. I know my DD mentioned that the teacher who found her in the loo has been good- lots of emails/encouragement/hugs, but I honestly find it quite extraordinary that nothing more has been done. Because most of it has taken place outside school, they're of the opinion that they can't do anything, despite lots of phone calls and meetings with DD's friends' parents. I just keep reminding DD she only has a month or so left there. Don't want this to jeopardise her future!!

LineRunner Sat 27-Apr-13 15:17:41

beingamummy, my DD's a year younger than yours and at the moment we are experiencing a lot of problems. She has her AS exams coming up.

I'm thinking, just try to makethe next month or so as calm as posssible. Make sure her room is ok to revise and work in. Try to make sure when she goes out with the ghastly friends that she has arrangements to get home safely. Keep lines of communication open. Gin.

I did go in to see her sixth-form head to let them know I was worried.

I dunno. It's so hard sometimes.

Wendywishes Sat 27-Apr-13 15:20:18

Tbh I would go into the school again.Make an appt and go straight to the head. I had similar[but not as bad] issues with dd,15, a few months ago and eventually went to the school.I was lucky as they stepped up and moved her classes around,got her away from bullies ,dealt with bullies etc but really the school do have a duty to ensure the well being of your dd and this ,even if its not happening in school time,is seriously affecting your daughters studies.So therefore,yes,the school can and should get involved.

StabInTheDark Sat 27-Apr-13 16:08:31

LineRunner- Oh I'm sorry to hear that. It really is tough. As a mum to three teenage girls I thought I was pretty shock proof, but sixth form has proved the worst and most testing so far. Thank you for the advice! I think you've hit the nail on the head. With her only having a month left, I'm more concerned about getting her through it and like you say, making it as calm as possible. I just can't believe none of her teachers have phoned me- you only have to look at her to see something's going on!

Wendywishes- So glad it worked out okay for your DD. I completely agree with you that the school should get involved. The unfortunate thing is that there won't be the possibility of DD's classes being switched around, as it's A Level and there are only about ten of them in each lesson! My girl is being v. mature and finding herself empty classrooms in her free periods etc, but the sad thing is, she shouldn't have to. Totally disgusted and disappointed with the lack of action, or even contact, from the school.

LineRunner Sat 27-Apr-13 18:16:37

OP there are lots of other threads on this site (esp the Teenagers board) that are worth reading, particularly about older teenagers, and especially have a look at the thread from Maryz.

This site can be quite irreverent at times, but there's a wealth of knowledge, experience and compassion here. Lots of luck smile

Wendywishes Sat 27-Apr-13 18:25:33

Oh Beingamummy I do hope everything works out.The good thing is though at least its only a matter of weeks left really so with lots of support from yourself she will get through itsmile.You sound like a great mum and I dont think theres much more you can do really at this stage.Shame on the school but she will be done with it shortly.Good luck!

mindfulmum Sat 27-Apr-13 23:13:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SavoyCabbage Sat 27-Apr-13 23:24:43

Is there not another route to seeing a councillor, independent from school?

Jarca Sun 28-Apr-13 01:18:45

I think she needs councelling.

The police was involved and something really bad happened.
There could be something unting her down. Something even worse what nobody knows yet and she fears it being discovered.
What about a priest (if you go to church)? She should open to someone. In her current condition the last month in school might be one month in a hell.

flow4 Sun 28-Apr-13 09:17:06

What a horrible situation, being. sad Since your DD has only a month to go, I don't think it's worth tackling the school. I would focus instead on her resilience - how she handles stress and negative situations positively. Help her identify what can she do to help herself - including relaxation, treats, rewards, but also prioritising and stopping/changing certain things. She needs to be kind to herself and regain some control. Help her see that even tho there are parts of her life she can't control at the mo, there are other bits that she can make pleasant for herself, to balance things out a bit. smile

Feeling out-of-control is bad for our mental health, so I don't think 'going over her head to school is a good idea. Counselling won't work if she doesn't want it - it needs to be her choice.

It's hard not being able to 'fix it' for our kids. Be kind to yourself too, being. smile

StabInTheDark Sun 05-May-13 22:48:45

Sorry for the late response! Thank you, everyone, for your replies.

mindfulmum Thank you! I hadn't even considered checking when real lessons end. I'm going to phone the school on Tuesday to ask about study leave and have a conversation with DD about whether she'd like to leave earlier. Like you say, if teaching has finished, she would probably be able to concentrate on revision much better at home!!

SavoyCabbage I'm sure there would be, but she's pretty reluctant to go for counselling full stop. Doesn't think she needs it and is opposed to the whole idea!

Jarca Hmm, I agree with what you're saying about it being a month of hell for her, but I honestly (going purely off mother's instinct) don't think there's more to it than what she's told me.

flow4 Thank you. I agree completely. You're right about not tackling the school, especially as my younger DDs don't go there, so once she leaves, we can sever all ties! After your post, I've decided not to discuss it with the school or pressure her into any counselling. Fingers crossed the last few weeks fly in for her.


mindfulmum Mon 06-May-13 07:39:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Noggie Mon 06-May-13 08:02:10

Definitely let the school know how concerned you are as an explanation for why you would like her at home once all the theory had been taught. Ask for past papers with answers to use at home. Really hope the next few weeks go by quickly for you all and your dd feels that she can do her best in the exams x

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