9 answers

Emotionally Needy Daughter

My daughter has something wrong with her on a regular basis. She is 13 now, but this is not new because of puberty. She plays basketball now, and has not tried to avoid sports because of it. But she always has a pain somewhere. We have been to a doctor on several occasions and she has been deemed healthy. My mother's intuition tells me it is either growing pains, a need for attention, or both. I just wondered if other mothers have experience with this.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks so much everyone for reassuring me and for sharing your personal experiences.
As for the lady who thinks I was exaggerating about it being on a regular basis, that was not a play a words or melodrama. She really does have a pain of some sort no less than 3 times a week and often more. She's a good girl with high grades and no trouble at all otherwise, except for the sarcasm normal for her age group. I do make it a point to do fun things just with her, often, and to show interest in her friends and her day at school, daily, to ask her opinion on things, to read books she recommends and see movies she likes. We bake, take walks, play games. It does seem at times like she can't get enough attention no matter how much I give. But I guess it's sorta like taking a kid to the park and them resisting when it's time to leave? Anyway, you're all great to reach out and share your input. :0)

More Answers

My daughter is also 13, takes dance and gymnastics, is a straight A student in the Gifted and Talented program, and constantly has a complaint about some kind of pain, or "Feel my knees! Feel my knees! They move! Something's wrong!", or "Oh my gosh! Look at how this bone sticks out!", or "My back hurts", "My big toe hurts", etcetera, etcetera. I remember being her age and my mother constantly taking me to the doctor every time I complained about an ache. I was diagnosed with arthritis, a slipped disc, an unusal bone disorder, blah, blah: I don't have any of these problems. So unless my daughter won't wake up or she has a tumor on her face the size of a grapefruit, I just look at her when she complains and I say sarcastically, "Oh man! I bet it's something fatal, like Psychosomatic Pain Disorder! We've gotta get you to the ER immediately before you fall into a coma!" Of course, my daughter has my sense of humor so your daughter might actually panic if you say something like that. :) I don't know, but it works for me. My daughter always laughs and says something sarcastic back and then forgets about whatever it was that was bothering her in the first place. I hope this was helpful somehow. I just wanted to let you know that your daughter's not the only one that exhibits this type of behavior. I don't think it's attention-seeking or any of those things. I just think girls are more observant of their bodies and that girls hold stress in their bodies moreso than boys. Heck, I still hold tension in my body, and I'm 37 years old. Comes with the territory of being female!

1 mom found this helpful

hello, my name is T. i have a 14 yr. old daughter and a 9 yr.old son, i have been married for 16 yrs. my daughter used to complain all the time about something hurting her also it was always her stomach or head aches. we took her to the dr. for them to tell us she was healthy also. we finally took her to the hospital, and they ran x rays and cat scans to tell us she had an intistinal blockage, she got some medicine and that cured the problem. so she played basket ball also in the 7th grade and now she's in the 9th and has not had another problem. i hope this helped in some way. T.

1 mom found this helpful

I remember when I was about 13 or 14 and I started aching all over. It wasn't puberty either b/c I had been having a period for years. I guess it was growing pains. It would hurt to walk or anything. I hope this helps.

When I was a teenager (Which wasn't too long ago) I too, went through the pains in which your daughter is ultimately undergoing. I do not think it's a self-seeking request for attention, and maybe saying, "on a regular-basis" is a little too frequent. My mom used to always tell me, "that your are a drama queen, and are being melo-dramatic" I believe that all young lady's go through a physical phase in some aspect, and some are just more preoccupied with it than others in their teenage years. She's just probably seeking your support in some way whether it be emotional or otherwise. (Just bare with it) Believe me, daughters's(whether they'd like to admit it or not) NEED thier mothers as a teenager and maybe she feels a little neglected by your busy schedule or whatever the reason may be, and just yearns for your love. Trust me in time all things shall pass. Just give her time to get over her-self, and things will be going back to normal before you know it!!! Best Wishes S.!!!

I had the same problem when I was your daughter's age. The doctors ran all sorts of tests and couldn't find anything wrong, they decided I had growing pains and my mom decided I was faking. Well, here it is 16 years later and I still have these mystery pains. It turns out fibromyalgia and lupas run in my family and while I haven't gotten a diagnosis, most dr's don't think there is such a thing as fibromyalgia, I do believe this is my problem. Anyway I hope this helps, there is a test for lupas and sometimes that disease can be deadly but I hope that's not the case. Sorry for the downer there and hope you and your daughter can find a solution that you both can live with.

I have definately experienced this. My son started this around 12 or 13 also. We took him to the doctor and he was healthy and didn't have any problems. (I couldn't tell you how many visits to the doctor that I paid for to tell me he was well). The good news for us is that he has seemed to some what grow out of it since high school started, but the year is only half over for us. I really do think kids go through growing pains and it is just something we have to live with and deal with. Unfortunately there is notihing that we can't do about it but be patient with our children.

I say to just get a spray bottle, fill it with water and squirt her every time she starts complaining about some imagined hurt. Taking her to the doctor all the time is just telling her that she can get more attention by telling you shes hurting. Chances are, if shes growing, shes going to be in a little pain. Thats what Tylenol is good for. But to save your pocket book from getting thinner and thinner every time you go to the doctor, have her write down all her "ailments" and take it to the doctor when its time for her yearly exam. (The squirt bottle works wonders though, try it out, you will find its fun for you and the look on your daughter's face will be priceless the first few times. I use it on my younger brother's friends when they come over and start complaining about whatever.)

I'm not sure I have any advice but can tell you my experiences. I have a daughter 16 who always has a pain. She is also seeing a psychologist and psychiatrist. The psychologist says it is psychosomatic. She is immature and can't deal with her emotions so it is exhibited through pain. I also see that if anything is a degree different than what she thinks is optimum we hear about it. It is very hard. My husband and I are afraid we will not respond to something that IS a problem. But usually the pain is not long lasting and easy to determine that it was more a complaint than an actual pain.

My daughter is now 15 but her "pains" started at 13. Like your daughter it hasn't kept her from doing the activities or sports she likes. She does some complaining and whinning about the "pains". I have not taken her to a Doctor but have put her on some very good vitamin supplements with lots of water or water beverages, encouraged her to do some stretching moves everyday. I honestly believe their bodies are growing and changing rapidly at this age and that is where the pains are coming from. They need good nutrition, stretching, and lot's of rest! It doesn't hurt to add a kiss and a hug when she say's something is hurting her. Happy Parenting!

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