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Really need advice on 13yr old daughter

(13 Posts)
birchykel Mon 18-Apr-16 09:06:45

I'm hoping I'll get lots of replies saying that everything is normal and I'm worrying over nothing!
My daughter (sorry I don't know all the abbreviations) is struggling, she's lost her grandad and she walked away from her real dad about two years ago now.
She lives me and her step dad and little sister.
She has been finding hard getting herself to school however she will be fine if I take her right to the door no tears etc this morning she had to walk, she can meet her friends but no she started crying and refusing to move. Normally I get her in the car and take her if she plays up but this morning I didn't I told her she needs to go, I'm not making her little sister late for school anymore and that if she doesn't go then we will both get into trouble.....thought some tough love would work...nope she's sat in her room sulking.
I've emailed her head of year explaining my reason for doing this because I feel she plays up and I give in. I don't know what else to do.
Is this normal behaviour?
Any advice would be great

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corythatwas Mon 18-Apr-16 10:02:32

That is one of the very difficult things about being a parent: you are the one who has to decide, on the spur of the moment, in the few minutes before you are going to be late, if your child is just "playing up" or if there is an underlying issue.

In the case of my dd it turned out to be severe anxiety which led on to self harm and suicide attempts and eventually needed medication. Tough love only made things worse. But I know when my db panicked as a young teen, tough love did sometimes help him.

The best I can suggest is talking to her at a time when you are both feeling calm, try to get at why she is so much more unhappy about walking than being driven. Is it because something happens on the way (bullying?? Or is it because this means she has to manage her anxiety all the way to school?

For some children, tough love is all they need. For others, it may take longer: dd did baby steps, from going in to school by car, to taking herself on the bus.

birchykel Mon 18-Apr-16 10:17:57

Sorry to hear about your daughter, sounds awful. Hope things are better now.
Mine says she doesn't want to leave me, we have had a chat many time and she says the same thing. She walks home from school fine. That's why I just don't know what to do. I guess she must be anxious about leaving me but there has to come a point where she grows up. If I keep feeding the baby in her then surely it will keep being like this?

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mummytime Mon 18-Apr-16 10:43:03

Please go to your GP and try to get her referred for help.

To be honest in my experience when dealing with a person with anxiety issues you need to be able to take baby steps towards independence, grab the opportunities good days present, and realise on bad days it might regress.

Do try and find out why she doesn't want to leave you. Does she know? Can she express it?

corythatwas Mon 18-Apr-16 11:17:48

It is not about feeding the baby in her: it is about helping her to find ways to manage this anxiety. Telling her that she shouldn't be feeling this way might not actually help at all. From that pov it is no different from, say, an irrational fear of spiders or crippling social anxiety.

For some reason, leaving you in the mornings triggers some kind of underlying anxiety that overwhelms her. The first step, imo, is to acknowledge that this is happening and it's a fact. As mummytime says, it will probably help to establish if there is anything about it she can vocalise.

Then go on to reassure her that lots of people have these panicky thoughts and that it is something that one can learn to manage. And that her life will be a lot easier if she does manage it. Then you can decide together whether to take her to the doctor or try to work at home with CBT-type exercises. But it is essential that she feels that you are on her side.

We have come out on the other side of the tunnel: dd is now holding down a job and has a good social life. But it took a lot of work and patience and understanding from all of us.

lljkk Mon 18-Apr-16 11:18:48

Not really normal, sorry.
How much does she tell you what's going on in her mind, at school, life? I have one teen who only talks to me thru the cats (I know I know), but that's his way. The other teen bores me witless with her latest rants & Phandom (I still listen). I think the rule is try hard not to push teens away when they want to communicate or be with you.

In short run, could you deliver her to school very early (for her) & then be on time with the younger child? I know it's a hassle, but would it do as a temporary measure while you work on other things to help her confidence?

birchykel Mon 25-Apr-16 20:53:23

Thanks for replies, we talk a lot and she tells me everything is ok at school she just misses me and that she's only started feeling this way since her grandad died almost two years ago and to be fair it makes sense.
I definetely reassure her that feeling this way is normal and I even told her how I felt when my grandparents passed away and I felt exactly the same as her. I was worried that my parents would die while I was school and it seems my daughter is having similar thoughts.
She is so proud of herself when she manages to go to school without tears and she did managed to go alone towards the end of last week. I took her today but tomorrow she is going to try again to go on the bus. So fingers crossed.
She is on a waiting list to see a counsellor at school but I've also contacted a counsellor privately so hopefully she will be able to talk to someone soon.

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Spandexpants007 Mon 25-Apr-16 20:56:47

Can her friend call at the house to collect her?

birchykel Wed 27-Apr-16 19:39:03

She was walking with a friend but she let her down one day and now she won't trust her again. Her really good friends live closer to the school so it makes sense for her to meet them and then walk from there.
I've been trying to call a counsellor today from nhs but waiting lists are huge so we are going to go private to see if can talk to someone and hopefully it will help her.

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bigTillyMint Wed 27-Apr-16 20:26:22

Have you tried bereavement counselling? Winston Wish is one organisation that supports children. I think you can contact them directly.

birchykel Sun 01-May-16 15:47:22

I've organised counselling for her next week through her school but I will keep this in mind as never heard of this organisation before so thank you

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corythatwas Sun 01-May-16 18:43:56

You sound a really great mum and as if you are absolutely on the ball.

birchykel Sun 01-May-16 22:03:25

Thanks corythatwas.

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