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How to help a young teen with anxiety about getting things wrong.(3 Posts)
(Sorry this is a bit long)
Hi all, my dd has recently turned 13. She is in her first year of secondary school (not UK so different system here). She attended our local small primary and really thrived there. She is very bright and academically able. I don't think she got more than a spelling or two incorrect during her entire time in primary, the same with maths etc. She scored very highly on standarised tests. This came easily to her. She really loved school and enjoys learning.
Behaviour wise,although we've had issues at home, she was always well behaved in school, to the point that she was never reprimanded or in any trouble.
Because of this I think she has built up a fear of ever having a teacher cross with her or getting in trouble.
Her secondary is quite high achieving and so far she is doing well.
She is very stressed though. There is a system of merits/demerits in place and she lives in fear of forgetting something or doing something wrong and getting a demerit. She has blown it way out of proportion and got incredibly upset about it this evening.
I've reassured her that as long as she isn't rude or disrespectful to teachers, doing something dangerous to herself or others or bullying then we wouldn't be upset with her for getting a demerit for making a mistake. She knows nobody is perfect and we don't expect her to be but she's putting all this pressure on herself.
We had a good talk tonight and she seems more relaxed after getting it out in the open but i am worried how she will cope in the future.
Should I talk to the school or maybe look into counselling for her? Or continue to support her and see how it goes?
She has takes part in sport and has been in music competitions without winning and she has always coped fine. This need for perfection seems to be only school related.
Any advice gratefully received. Thanks
I would contact the school, speak to maybe a guidance teacher tell them about how she feels, or she could come and express her worries, they should be able to reassure her and maybe there are programs or counsellors in place that can help... she needs to know she isn't alone in how she feels , most teens feel this way it's a hard age ! My 13 year old has just shaved her chin because she felt insecure about a few hairs - now she has stubble! Peer pressure is awful and worse now than it ever has been!
This sounds exactly like my son, so far I have talked to his form tutor and we are working through an anxiety book together with CBT techniques. Mine lives in fear of getting a detention and is hugely perfectionist about his work, he's always been able to handle his anxiety very well up until now. His form tutor was really sympathetic and she spoke to him about it, which did help. Ds said he felt better afterwards and he was less anxious at home , we also have some meditation CDs which he listens to at bedtime. It's good your daughter can talk to you, just listening seems to help my son.