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Old 05-28-2007, 06:20 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default HELP for my 13 year old daughter

My daughter has many anxieties - social anxiety is not too bad I don't think. She's been doing very well in grade 7 - goes to dances, has friends, etc. Last night she told me she wants to move and cried a lot. She said some people in her "group" don't like her and she's not having fun at school anymore. I've noticed she doesn't have friends over like she used to. I went to wake her up this morning and she's toooo tired to go. Does anyone have any advice? I told her she's special and not everyone likes everyone. I told her junior high can be tough and that running from problems doesn't help. What else can I tell her? It hurts soooo much to see suffering like this!!
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Old 05-28-2007, 04:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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I don't know what to say as i suck with kids and i am only 22. But atleast you have noticed and are trying to help her. Sry no advice.
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Old 05-28-2007, 04:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Shes in gr7 so only one more year till shes out of that school and into highschool. Junior high was hell for me too. As bad as school can be, eventually its over.
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Old 05-28-2007, 07:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default re: HELP for my 13 year old daughter

My daughter went through that also in 7th grade, girls especially are notorious for turning around and shunning or singling out one girl. But my daughter got through it, is in high school now and has lots of friends. Your daughter will find her true friends, she just has to be patient. Just be strong for her, and let her initiate the conversations regarding friends, she will talk to you when she needs to. Oh, and don't bad mouth the others too much, next week she may be friends with them again
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Old 05-28-2007, 07:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: HELP for my 13 year old daughter

Quote:
Originally Posted by phob33
My daughter has many anxieties - social anxiety is not too bad I don't think. She's been doing very well in grade 7 - goes to dances, has friends, etc. Last night she told me she wants to move and cried a lot. She said some people in her "group" don't like her and she's not having fun at school anymore. I've noticed she doesn't have friends over like she used to. I went to wake her up this morning and she's toooo tired to go. Does anyone have any advice? I told her she's special and not everyone likes everyone. I told her junior high can be tough and that running from problems doesn't help. What else can I tell her? It hurts soooo much to see suffering like this!!
i think lots of people end up copying other kids and trying to get into those "cool" groups and end up making friends that might not really be compatible with them...thats what happened to me

keep encouraging her to be herself...to do things she enjoys for the sake of what she wants and not because she does it for what others might want

be open to talk to her if she needs it...don't be too critical if possible...be there to listen instead of berate

these are all things i wish i had for support i usually got very critical responses from Uncles and i never really went back to them for help
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Old 05-28-2007, 08:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default re: HELP for my 13 year old daughter

Thank you all for your advice.... I agree, grade 7 can be aweful.... I'll just be here if she needs to talk and try to be positive
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Old 05-31-2007, 02:57 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default re: HELP for my 13 year old daughter

I don't want to add seriousness where it is not required, but if your daughter is now refusing to go to school, it means she is experiencing a high level of stress. Have you found out if she has just been shunned, or if she is actively being bullied?

The reason I ask is because there may be some useful skills your daughter can learn to stop bullying and prevent it happening in the future - a simple change of school may not be enough to help. There is something described as a 'victim status' personality that can, through no fault of the persons, attract bullying. This can continue for quite some time, even into adulthood.

Whilst I do not want to cause undue stress and alarm, It might be better if you can equip your daughter with coping skills that allow her to deal with bullying / name calling and to make herself a 'hard target' for the future.

A good resource to start with is here http://www.bullyonline.org/schoolbully/tackle.htm and here http://www.bullyonline.org/schoolbully/links.htm. The author, Tim Field, is considered an expert in the area and has written a number of books. Once your daughter knows how to handle it, it will bring pride and confidence, and the good feelings that come with it will ensure it is less likely to occur again.

All the best

Ross
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Old 05-31-2007, 06:07 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Thanks Ross... I'm 99% sure it's not bullying. It's her internal feelings. She has to be the "best" and everyone has to like her or she feels bad. Last night while watching TV, she picked up our dog (Maltese..Kita) and Kita left her and came and sat by me. She picked her up and put her by her again and Kita came back to me again. My girl started to cry and say our dog loved me more! I am finding this sooo frustrating. So I tried to compare it to something and told her when she was one year old, I'd put out my arms and another person would put out her arms, and she (my daughter) would go to the other person. We CANNOT feel that way! I don't know what to do - she is so sensitive to everything. Another thing that bothers me is that she HAS to be in the popular group... another group is not good enough for her. I told her the most popular are not always the nicest and she needs to reach out to other friends. Where did she learn that from? We are not better than anyone and others are not better than us but she seems to think so!! I am sincerely hoping this is a stage and she'll get over it because I think I may go crazy!!
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Old 05-31-2007, 06:24 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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I don't have a lot to add other than that I have two daughters, one just finished 7th grade and the other just finished 9th. I was so shy that I never knew any adolescent girls when I was a kid, but I've come to believe that as a species they are somewhere between a badger and a wolverine on the meanness scale.

7th grade was an especially tough year for both my daughters. It seems like junior high is the time when people's "group" affiliation is most rigidly enforced. Looking at my 9th grader, it seems like high school is either a little less rigid, or maybe just bigger and so there's more room to manuever socially. Whatever the reason, its better for her now.
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Old 05-31-2007, 06:32 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default re: HELP for my 13 year old daughter

I remember sharing similar feelings your daughter is at the same age range. (10-14). I'm not sure what to suggest, oddly. Encouragement can only go so far...especially if her anxiety is biological (in my opinion of course..others would disagree)

Could you get her into therapy? Such as CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) so that she can re-teach herself while she is still young and learn how her thoughts cause emotions? I recall you mentioning that she takes medication already. Being a such a sensitive person can become advantageous in the correct environment!

And honestly, ultimately, the fact that you care so much and that you are so receptive to what she is feeling is powerful in itself. I'm sure she will reflect and appreciate this what should be so seemingly simple fact when she is older. Not everyone is lucky enough to have had experience this.
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Old 05-31-2007, 07:47 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Hi Phob

Remember that in the 'nature vs nurture' debate, you must also include input from peers, relatives, authority figures, news, movies etc. As a parent you are doing everything you can in the best way possible - but you can't edit what goes into her mind from all these other things. You are doing the right thing by giving her choices and advice. You cannot 'stop' her from wanting to be popular or the best, you can only show her the different options, why they are both negative and beneficial to her, and leave her to make the choice. And then life itself has the final say (barring of course a choice that leads to genuine damage or injury).

Rememeber that teenagers know EVERYTHING. If you tell her that those kids aren't the best to hang out with, you are likely to be dismissed. To her its the most obvious thing in the world that 'hanging out with the best' is the ONLY option. She needs to SEE how it may not be the right way. Are these the girls that are shunning her? If so, tell her a story about a friend you had at school who knew a group of friends (could be acquaintances of someone you know or knew, doesn't matter - make it up. Its a white lie to help your loved one) who were all very pretty, but liked to prey on other people's emotions. They were popular and hung together in a little tight knit group. They knew when someone desperately wanted to be their friend and could control and manipulate those people because, they would say, "everyone knows you want what you can't have". They had other girls and even boys doing homework for them and giving them money, and would sometimes be really nice to them ("to mix the pain in with the medicine") .Instead of becoming popular and part of the group though, these girls just used them and were mean to them. For a while your friend was caught up in it, but eventually decided to break free and find out what her own personality was. She found out what she liked to do that made her happy, and gradually without realising she generated an infectious sense of joy that attracted others to her, instead of her trying to pull others close. With time she had her own group of friends who were close and respectful of one another. Try Leaving pamphlets around for groups and activities in the area. Help her to cultivate her own personal talents and interests and show that you appreciate and support her in whatever it may be. Even if its cricket Make it feel liker HER choice, and don't compare her to other teenagers - this sets kids up for the Magnification Error which features heavily in CBT thinking errors.

This may not be the best example, but an indirect route that she needs to think through HERSELF will be the best way for her to see it.

Get her to notice the good things she does in life, even the small things. Make her give herself rewards. If her homework is really well done, very occasionally say "you should treat yourself". Give her $10 and let her decide what this will be. If you see someone in a movie or on TV handle teasing or put downs well, in a balanced way, then say "oh didn;t they handle that well! I'd love to do that.". Subtly point out the alternatives ...

I think equipping her with assertiveness techniques and the ability to view herself and others in a more balanced way will be helpful. The xperience of being assertive in an every day way does huge amounts for confidence, and with time she may not feel the need for so much outside approval. Her need to be the best and be liked may be characteristic of the teenage years, but as we know, if the need becomes a demand, and the person in question is unable to GAIN the approval they desire, then this is a recipe for mood disorders and problems later in life.

This period of time is when teenagers start to define their identity, and they need a certain amount of freedom in doing so. You can guide, but restraint will only be reacted against - if you pull too tightly on the reins, she will slip out. Give her facts and choices. Give her concrete examples and possible outcomes from her chosen behaviours. Tell her if you wonder if her other friends feel sad that she wants to be with the popular ones more. Ask her WHY does being pretty or popular make other people more important? Try to have an intellectual debate with her and try to prove that prettiness + popularity doesnt equal worth. Ask her if she thinks that you need to like yourself before others will like you, and if so, does she think it is more important to be liked by popular people than to have a genuine esteem for yourself? Agree that the more you seek approval, the less you get, and perhas by loving yourself more you may give off a warmth that others are pulled towards, and you are more able to give others approval. Ask her how she thinks she might learn to like herself more and try to steer the conversation towards learning, development and personal achievement (not just schoolwork). Be balanced and try to curb your own worry. When she sees you are strong she will feel safe and supported, and will believe in what you have to say. There will be struggle and conflict, that is guaranteed - but how you handle it is what will define who both you and your daughter become.

Try not to take her problems to mean that you are a 'bad mother' - there is no such thing! You are doing what you see as best because you love her. Identify what you do that helps her, identify things you feel may not help her (both positive and negative). If you feel that you are having difficulty with this, then you might want to go and speak with a counsellor. Talking it through can take a huge weight off your mind and open up possibilities you hadn't thought of. Is dad around? Get him to provide a little insight on standing up for yourself. Girls tend to look to fathers for the more aggressive side of life and its important they get this type of input. If not, then try to find a male counsellor who can provide these views or find an understanding male teacher she RESPECTS. Gender balance is important and you should not place all the emphasis on yourself to provide this.

I'm sure as a user of this site that you will be aware of symptoms of depression and anxiety, so just keep an eye out for those behaviours in her. If alarm bells start to ring, don;t panic, and don't fire worried questions at her - just calmly ask and give support. If she needs a therapist, well then so be it. It is much better to have it at a young age. Remember - the prognosis for SA and depression is better the sooner it is treated.

Best of luck

Ross
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Old 05-31-2007, 10:39 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Try to remember what Junior High is like. That was easily the worst two years of my entire youth. I was tall and busty (NOT a good thing ) with frizzy hair....yikes I shudder to even think of it....

Kids are cruel, there is a lot of popularity crap going on, its horrible. What your daughter may be experiencing might having NOTHING TO DO with social anxiety but rather the usual early teen crap we all go through. The fact that she has been rather social in the past, dances, friends over etc.. makes me wonder how much of it isnt just the teen stuff.

Thankfully, time passes and things change. The same friends that are giving her crap now might be her best friends tomorrow. Just ride it out with her and try to be empathetic. Its all you can do.

Keep your eye out for extreme behavior though of course.

And good luck. Not easy watching your kid suffer, as a mother, I know that all too well.
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Old 05-31-2007, 07:24 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Thank you all so much for your words of wisdom.... they really mean a lot. I will be strong and listen - that's what she need. Thanks again
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Old 05-14-2010, 08:19 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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This seems to be a very common problem among 13-15 year olds. My daughter is also 13 and is experiencing shunning and bullying by her friends, but also by her classmates. She missed a few weeks of school because of a death in our family and when she returned, her friends told her that, because she was away, they regrouped and now she's not part of that group. They run away from her at recess, whisper behind her back. When she confronts one of them, they lie to her face and try to tell her that her other friends don't like her. So then she confronts the other friends, and they say the same thing about the first friend. My daughter spends a lot of time alone in her room listening to music and reading. She has told me that she is bullied by other "cool" kids at school. She will be walking down the hall and one kid in particular will "fake" punch her in the face or tell her to shut up when she is talking or call out across the classroom when my daughter is talking that nobody cares about her, etc. What is going on here in our schools? Where are the teachers and why don't them notice or care? I am just as frustrated with this as you are and am also looking for answers. I listen to her and try not to judge others, but try to help her come up with solutions to get through the day. That's not how it should be for a young girl - to get through the day. How sad. Any suggestions?
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Old 05-19-2010, 09:51 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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I'm sorry that your daughter has to deal with that, I remember how rough it was at that age. I can tell you this: no matter how many times you tell her it will get better, it's not likely that she'll listen to you. For the life of me, I can't understand why that is, but it is. Mothers are always right, and I wish I just trusted my mom when it came to that kind of stuff, but I took the harder route. If she has any older siblings, cousins, neighbors, etc. that can talk to her about the "drama" of junior and high school, the more likely she'll listen. I hope one day she'll look back on that, like I do, and just think that all junior high problems were stupid and pointless.
About her anxieties...taking her to talk to a professional, if they're that bad, might be able to help. Systematic desensitization? Make her face her fears and don't accommodate her in avoiding them. The sooner she realizes that she's in control of her anxiety, the better things can become. Good luck!
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Old 06-15-2014, 10:00 AM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Thinking about it now, I had the same problem your daughter has when I was her age. I'm no professional, but I would suggest taking her to your family doctor or a doctor of some sort. Everyone has struggles of fitting in with their group of friends. Being a teenager with all of those hormones and everything going on doesn't help at all. For me, I would always have trouble falling asleep and would be so tired I couldn't get up. My parents bought me a portable DVD player and I watched my favorite TV shows on ot before I fell asleep. Also, listening to music worked for me. I would just get lost in the lyrics. Hope this helped!
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Old 06-15-2014, 10:26 AM   #17 (permalink)
 
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One thing that might help is to get her a little bit of long-term perspective. Ask her questions about what will matter to her in the future: what she might like to do for a career, what she thinks she can and will do with her life, what her goals are.

One of the oddities about that age and about kids in general is that they can be obsessed with being just like everyone else. They want to fit in, and not to stand out.

Being different feels dangerous in those years because it attracts attention. Whoever is in the spotlight gets attacked by the people who aren't, because at some level they figure if they can keep the spotlight on someone else, then they're safe.

Then when you get into the adult world, you become desperate to differentiate yourself! Being a face in the crowd becomes dangerous because it makes it difficult to get a job or to impress people. Imagine walking into a job interview and trying to demonstrate how you're the same as everyone else.

I suppose my point is that you should encourage your daughter to embrace what makes her different and relish the opportunity to become a trend setter. If she starts a fashion and all of a sudden the confident kids are imitating her, she'll be sold on the value of confidence and independence for life. The popular kids always lose their aura at some point, because they're revealed to be just as secure as everyone else, and nasty enough to hurt others to protect themselves.

I wish you good luck.

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Old 06-15-2014, 10:27 AM   #18 (permalink)
 
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Pardon me, I meant just as *insecure
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Old 06-15-2014, 05:59 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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It sounds like the problem is yours OP.

She's obviously entering adolesence, and she's only 13.

Children have no idea who they are, and they very rarely have problems.

Unless there's an actual serious problem, I'd stop being such a wet blanket and let her be depressed.
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