S.C. asks from Derry, NH on July 30, 2009
My Teenage Daughter Is Disrespectful and Has No Interests Besides AIM and TV.
I'd like to hear from other moms of teen-age girls, especially with ADD. My daughter isolates herself, stays up late and sleeps during the day and is often in a bad mood. We've tried to interest her in activities but all she wants to do is text friends, watch tv and hang out on myspace and AIM. She is shy and avoids going to events where she doesn't know anyone. How can we help her create some structure that we can all live with? Any and all ideas will be appreciated. She is seeing a counselor.
1 mom found this helpful
L.W. answers from Boston on July 30, 2009
X.D. answers from Boston on July 31, 2009
I am a big believer in teenagers either getting a job or volunteering - preferably doing both! She is still a bit young so start her with some volunteer hours somewhere that interests her.... The library is great so are kids' clubs or go the nature route (like at the Sheep Pasture in Easton). Or she could get water certified so eventually she could teach swim classes, etc.... Here's the point - get her out of the house and having to listen to other adults and being responsible for her actions! You can't stay up all night if you have to be somewhere in the a.m.! Take care.
D.M. answers from Boston on July 31, 2009
My oldest is only 10 but we've already dealt with an incredible amount of moodiness and tantrums, not to mention low self esteem and lack of motivation. She has ADHD and in the past year she has really seemed to change - for the positive! I credit it to her getting on meds. I know, meds aren't for everyone, and they were definitely not our first choice (or even our second choice). I have been suffering from major depression ever since high school so I have been concerned that she might develop it. Interestingly enough, before we were able to get meds for her the psychiatrist had her get an EKG and blood test to make sure that everything was balanced. Sometimes thyroid levels can be too high or low, sometimes there are heart problems, and there are other issues that they can look for that can be contributing to her moodiness and sleeping patterns. The other thing to consider is that as teenagers mature, their bodies are chemically changing. They require more sleep, not less. They also turn into "night owls" and sleep in late in the morning. Definitely, the schools have it all wrong by sending the elementary kids in later and the high schoolers in earlier! There are studies to back this up. If your daughter suffers from anxiety she may be over anxious and nervous about interacting in the "outside world" - I would definitely speak with your doctor and try to get in to see a psychiatrist. Ask about tests to rule out existing physical conditions that can be contributing to these behaviors. Remember, ADD can make change more difficult and kids can be very resistant to change in "normal" circumstances. I wish you lots of luck, and I think that your daughter will do just fine. Just remember to get a lot of support for yourself, too! You both could probably benefit from some counseling to help you manage all of the stressful changes in your lives. Hang in there, and take care!:)
L.P. answers from Lewiston on July 31, 2009
I don't have a teenage daughter, I have 2 boys. But I remember being moody and withdrawn when I was her age. A lot of it is "that age", unfortunately, when your body is changing daily, you want to be treated like a grown up, but you're really still a kid inside. Instead of her texting friends, can you invite a friend over once or twice a week for company? And since you're out of work right now, take her for a girls day out, maybe a manicure at a spa for a real treat. Go horseback riding, mountain biking, kayaking, or whatever outdoor activity she would enjoy. This would help with her self-esteem. I agree that she shouldn't be staying up late and sleeping during the day - you could use her help around the house. Does she earn an allowance by doing laundry, vacuuming, dishes, ?? Cell phones and texting costs $$, she should have to pay for that stuff herself. Kids today have so many luxuries that they don't consider luxuries, but necessities. They are LUXURIES!
What about her self-esteem? Mine was very low at that age. My parents did their best to help, but there were bullies at school who whittled away at my self esteem almost daily. Do you think that's happening with her? She might not tell you because it's embarassing/unpleasant.
Tell her daily that she is beautiful and that you're proud of her, etc. Buy her some tasteful makeup (Avon of course!), French braid her hair if she has long hair, and teach her how to look her best, and SMILE!!! Everyone looks prettier when they smile! Put a note in her lunch box once in a while when school starts back up again, like "I love you and I think you're awesome, love Mom" Good luck! I'll be into the teen years very soon with my boys. I think my problems will be fighting off the girls!
D.F. answers from Boston on July 30, 2009
Is your daughter on medication? It sounds like your letting her rule your home. She is only 14, she should not be staying up all night and sleeping during the day. Who is she texting??? Did you know your supposed to be 18 to have a myspace account. I know what it is like to have a teen with ADD. I also know you need to have limits and consequences for not doing what she is supposed to. Her moodiness is normal for that age. Please do not let ADD be an excuse for her. When you step up and make rules for her to follow, it will be worse before it gets better. But get her involved in something she likes, make her go. She just may find out she enjoys it. Good luck!