19 answers

Seems like My 8 Year Old Daugther Is depressed...help Me

hi moms....my name is V. i am 25 yrs old and a mother of 3 beautiful kids ages 8,6, and 2. for a while now i have been having trouble with my 8 year old daughter fightin in school alot. it is very hard for me to figure out why is sh behavin the way she is. I live in pleasant grove, and as a lot of you might know, it is not a very good area. My daugther has been bullied through out her school years and has ben good about handleling them till this year. She is in the 2nd grade and would constantly be punched by 5th and 6th graders..i do talk alot to the teachers and principles but i cant be at school to stop this so i tell her to tell an adult when they mess with her, and if they keep on that she has to learn how to defend herself even if it means to punch back. Livin in an area like this she has to. At home she is very quiet. and if i call her attention on somethin she just simply says.."im goin to take a nap". she dosent tell me whats botherin her at all. she dosent say a word through dinner, infact she dosent even look up. Talkin about this, even when i think about it it brings tears to my eyes..i want to know what can i do. I had her very young at age 17 and my ext one followed at 19. please, if someone can help me out with some advise im ready to listen. it hurts to see my daugther this way. at age 8 she has alrady told a teacher that she wants to run away from school.

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I want to take this time to thank everyone who responded to my bulletin. I have been a member of this site for quite a while now but never posted anything. Yesterday when i got the call from her teacher about the fighting and behavior, the rest of the day was just sad for me. I posted this bulletin up efore i left work yesterday and when i got home i spoke to my husband about what happened at school yesterday. For the first time he did not say a word. But i did see the sadness and confussion in his eyes. we just sat on the couch talkin for a long time trying to figure out what we can do. I came to work today and saw how many responses i got and read every single one. It felt real good to read everything every single one of you had to say. I am very happy to find this site. although i dont know any of you it feels as if i have known ya forever. thank you so much. I am printing all of your advice and am going to share it with my husband tonight. i will keep you posted on my daughter Alexandria.
I feel like everything is going to be alright, the more and more i read the more stronger and determine i feel to change this problem, thank ya again....V. m

Featured Answers

I agree with everything that has been said. Absolutely take on the school and make them see that this is a problem, and you will not tolerate it. Something I wanted to add though...if you don't get a chance to spend very much time with her alone(which I know has to be hard having 3 that need you constantly), try to edge out a little time for just you and her. Take her out to lunch on a weekend, just you and her, or something similar.

It's possible that being away from the house, and away from the other children, she may open up a little better. I would think that at that age, a child wouldn't want his or her siblings to know what they are going through, for fear of embarrassment and being picked on by them. Not to say that they would, just that it may have crossed her mind and caused her to clam up some at home around them.

Just my 2cents. I truly hope you can get the schools to do something about it. I was the victim of horrible teasing and some abuse by other children when I was in school, and it can be devastating to self-esteem. I still struggle with my own self-esteem and mainly because of trying to overcome the taunts that were pounded in my head by my abusers. I wish you all the luck in the world!

More Answers

Your story has touched me. Kids can be really cruel.
Yes it does seem like something is going on. Do you have any family memeber that she will open up to? I was bullied at a young age & I didn't want to tell my mother either. But if you don't have any one besides your self that might can get through to her. Just let her know you care about her & when she is ready to talk you will listen. If you can (I know it is hard with 2 other kids) spend some one on one time with her.
I hope everything goes well. Hopefully you can ge someone she will talk to.

I agree with most all that has been posted. You need to get her out of that situation either by taking on the school and holding them accountable or moving or homeschooling. Abuse of this type is devasting to the child being abused and if left to go on can lead lead to self esteem issues, runaway and suicide. What is happening to your child is against the law and DISD policy. I agree also that it sould like sex abuse is a possibility and as I have been there with my child as well, you must get her out of that situation. Please let me know if I can help in any way...........you must show your daughter that is is NOT ok to be treated like this and that she does NOT have to endure it.

B.

Please take your daughter to see a counselor. She needs to talk with someone who is trained to helkp her deal with whatever issues are bothering her. There are some places that have sliding scale fees if you don't have insurance that covers it. She is so young and has many years in school ahead of her.

V.,

Bless your heart, and your daughter, too! How awful for both of you. I was a school counselor, so I'm looking at this perhaps a little differently. First of all, I would encourage you to really show your love for her - give her lots of attention, hugs, cuddling, etc. She sounds starved for attention, and I don't say that to be critical. It is draining to be a mom, and it's hard to give out to everyone all the time! I know you may be already doing this...

Also, her behavior is a red flag for sexual abuse. You have to check this out, please don't ignore the possibility! It could happen anywhere, from anyone. Of the friends I have who were victims, it has been a brother, an uncle, a family friend, and a church music director. It can come from anywhere! So please be aware of that, and talk to her without getting too emotional or stern. Just some matter-of-fact questioning, with lots of assurances of your love and your desire to protect her.

More than anything, you have to get VERY ASSERTIVE with your school! They HAVE to protect her! It is not her job to defend herself against bullies. I don't want to be critical, but I can't believe you would leave her in such a situation for such a long time. She is shutting down - that is dangerous. Regardless of circumstances, you really have to protect her. If it means moving, DO IT!! I know that's not easy, but we're talking about her life and her emotional stability, as well as her physical safety. Can you imagine how loved and protected she would feel to know that you're willing to move to a new place to make sure she's safe?

My last word is, take her to a counselor - not a school counselor. I say that as a school counselor! We are not as well trained as a licensed professional counselor, nor can most school counselors spend the time you and your child need. A play therapist or family counselor will be very helpful.

Please don't let this continue. It is breaking your heart, and it sounds like your sweet daughter is already broken. My heart goes out to you both, and I wish you God's wisdom, guidance and providence as you work through this. Which brings me to my "real" last word! If you're not already involved in a church, consider it. It can provide great friendships for all your family, and support in many ways. But more importantly, you can always cry out to God. He hears you, cares for you, and cares for your daughter. He will help, if you ask and trust!

God bless!
S.

Well I almost cried when I read your post. It's good you recognize something is really wrong. A lot of people have suggested counselling and I agree. But that can be expensive so I wanted to point you to your insurance if you have it. My insurance pays for 8 sessions of mental health counseling. It's not a a lot but if yours or your husbands insurance covers it, it's a good start. I personally was the oldest of 3 during a time when my mom's and stepdad's marriage was rocky. I had taken on a lot of responsibility caring for my siblings to keep things calm and stress free in the house. No one noticed my feelings. Instead of shutting down, I acted out in my teens and early 20's by using (light) drugs and sleeping around. If it's only the situation at school, and not any type of abuse, check into home schooling co-ops as an option of getting her out of there. Please up date us. She sounds so sweet. You sound like a great mom. D.

Does the school have a guidance counselor (GC)? That's the best place to start. Be very persistent about getting her to talk to the GC and see if she can open up to them. If at all possible, can you also check into a child therapist because there may be things going on that they could dig out of her.

BTW, I hate to sound like an alarmist but have you suspected other types of abuse? Some of her behavior is consistent with abuse. A child therapist could help unlock the issues surrounding your daughters problems.

Finally, are you a member of a church? They also offer counselling. If not, I believe there are many churches in the area that provide counselling for free or a subsidized fee.

It's tough being such a young mom of 3 kids. However, I am sure there are resources out there that you can access to help you get professional help for your daughter. Do it as soon as possible because carrying such heavy emotional burdens becomes more difficult to treat and correct as the kids become older. The damage deepens with time.

Believe, trust and act...you will find an answer eventually!

God Bless You and Your Family!

Hi, I am a mother of an 8 year old boy. We are fortunate enough to live in a small town therefore we don't have the same problems in school. If she is that miserable at school, do you have any other options in regards to switching schools? If not, maybe you could become friendly with some of the parents of her school mates and have playdates and maybe if she gets to know some of them better maybe this will lessen some of the bullying problems that lead to the fighting. Unfortunately, kids can be awful. I would just continuously tell her how great she is and how the most important thing thing is for her to be happy with herself and not care what other kids think. However as an adult it is easier to do. You might even set up a meeting with your school's counselor where they might be able to offer advice. Sometimes kids don't want to talk to parents so if your child has a family member that you trust that she is close to you might have them talk with her. I wish you the best in this situation and hopefully we will hear back that things are going better for your little sweetheart.

From experience .....what you HAVE to do is make the school take notice.My oldest daughter was having a truly hard time in elementary school, lots of problems,both at home and with issues at school.You have to show her that you are on her side.Find out who is causing her grief and DEMAND a conference with the teacher,principal and the other parents of the kids involved.No matter what they need to be aware of what is going on in that school.If you wait too much longer it could not only get worse,but it could affect her grades and her future. You can't be there 24 hours a day to protect her and you shouldn't.BUT you do have to try to give her the tools to take care of herself or she will be helpless to the cruel reality of the world.For your own sanity PLEASE find out what is going on. One more thing the bullying that has went on for her IS ILLEGAL in the state of Texas,look at your schools code of conduct and arm yourself with information and take the school on HEADFIRST and INFORMED. Do Not allow them to ignore the situation.

V.,

This must be hard, b/c we love our children so much, and it hurts to see them hurt. Your not alone. Have you thought about maybe trying counseling with your little girl on whats bothering her? Especially if she won't talk to you, maybe she will eventually talk to a counselor after a few sessions.

As moms sometimes our kids won't talk to us, but if we keep on asking eventually for some, they will break down at some point and spill their guts.

Let her know that whatever is on her mind or whatever it is thats bothering her, she won't get/be in trouble with you and that you are only here to help. Tell her how much you love her and you don't want her to be hurting in any way shape or form.

My heart goes out to you and your little girl. I hope that maybe my advice helped in some way. I am too a young mother (26) with 3 kids of 5, 4, and 2.

Take care.

I agree with MOVE MOVE MOVE I know it can be expensive and difficult but its worth it. I was harassed to the point of death threats in middle school and they all lived in my apartments ... one lived NEXT DOOR! My nephew was nearly strangeled at the same age by his classmates, fought back and he got into more trouble. He moved to his fathers to get him away from it and hes thriving there. Hypnotherapy is wonderful and covred by most insurance and usually affoardable. My mother and aunt do this as their profession however they are in california, I am sure we could help you find one locally. I used it for the greif of my parents divorce, the greif of my lost daughter, and the greif of my lost friend now I can smile when I think about them, not cry.

V.,
MOVE< MOVE< MOVE!!! If you can Please move from there immediately. I was a victim of this same thing and if my mom had moved me away from this and put me in a better school life would have been so different and so much better. I cannot stress it to you enough to get your daughter out of that school NOW!! You cannot do anything to change the situation. Not even talking to the prinicpal will help. Those kids will find a way to bully no matter what. Your child is going to start to have stomach issues, anxiety etc....... the list goes on , unless YOU do something FAST! Only YOU can do soemthing and if it were my child I would not let her go to school there another day!
Good luck, L.

Hi V.---depression is a definite possibility in children. She is showing the signs as well. Find a doctor---I would not jump to a Rx for her, but may want to find someone she can talk to---maybe even family counseling. Sometimes one person in the family seems to be having problems and everyone just thinks that child is the problem when in reality it is a family issue. I would encourage family counseling and put her on omega-3 (EPA) for depression at least for now. Here are some links for you to review so you understand why I am suggesting that:
http://www.mcmanweb.com/article-15.htm

http://www.mercola.com/article/omega3.htm

As for her issues at school, I agree with the other mom who said to do whatever it takes to bring this to light and resolved. Your child has the right to go to school in a peaceful and safe environment. It is the schools responsibility to make sure this gets the attention necessary to resolve it.

Good luck,
K.

I agree with everything that has been said. Absolutely take on the school and make them see that this is a problem, and you will not tolerate it. Something I wanted to add though...if you don't get a chance to spend very much time with her alone(which I know has to be hard having 3 that need you constantly), try to edge out a little time for just you and her. Take her out to lunch on a weekend, just you and her, or something similar.

It's possible that being away from the house, and away from the other children, she may open up a little better. I would think that at that age, a child wouldn't want his or her siblings to know what they are going through, for fear of embarrassment and being picked on by them. Not to say that they would, just that it may have crossed her mind and caused her to clam up some at home around them.

Just my 2cents. I truly hope you can get the schools to do something about it. I was the victim of horrible teasing and some abuse by other children when I was in school, and it can be devastating to self-esteem. I still struggle with my own self-esteem and mainly because of trying to overcome the taunts that were pounded in my head by my abusers. I wish you all the luck in the world!

HI
Lady
Don't be upset or blame yourself for having her at a young age I have a 8yr old daughter as well also I am around your age I just want to tell you to start spending time with her telling her that she is beautiful get her to love herself and that she can stand up to anyone.I know that they have the new rule in school about zero to;erant but you have to teach your kids to defend for theirself because we can't always be there. Secondly spend alot of time with her even if she doesn't want it let her know that it is ok where you live at its not the best but its a place with a roof over your head explain to her it will get better also I don't know if you are involved in a church home but do so it really helps em alot my 8yr old love to read the Bible I have her reading Proverbs every other day to me in the kitchen at the table in the beginning she didn't care for it but now she loves it remember you are the parent and that you have the last say so I know because we are still young ourselves we tend to be their friend you are the parent and its your job to give her what you didn't have I would tell my child everyday until she would tell me I know mom you can stop telling me this that she was beautiful and wonderfullu made in God sight and that she was so special to me and noqw I see that paying off when she have issues at school and we talk about it and I ask her how do she feel sometime she tells me it doesn't bother her bec she loves herself at this age it is criticial that you do what it takes to amke a differ you might even suggest talking to those kids parents yourself it take time let your last result be removing her to another school you don't want her to grown up in live thinkin that she can run from her problems all the time but at the same time you are her protector that this age make her feel save and comfortable with talkin with you be a friend and also a mother color with her sit down and watch what she watch spend 10 to 15min with her makes a different don't let her isolate herself with that depression talk about it and bring it out and then deal with it....let me know how it goes

You have many wonderful responses. I just wanted to say that my prayers(only if wanted are with you).
I do want to reiterate and ask you to think back when she really became withdrawn from you. Pinpoint that time. Also, find out if the older kids are boys or girls. I have a bad taste in mouth thinking that it is more than just punching. I know several other moms have said it. I am just in shock that the principal, teachers, and others have not done anything. Get into the administrations' faces, unfortunately, sometimes that is the only way!!!

I know moving may be hard or unrealistic, but she absolutely needs to be removed from her situation. Force her school to allow her to be transferred to another area school. (They did it with one of my school friends for a similar reason). If they won't comply... threaten to go to the media. That is what we had to do with one school, and it worked. (We were on the news even). In the meantime, she needs counseling. I went through this as a child and teen and had severe problems from it... I don't know how I survived and got as far as I did. One poster mentioned sexual abuse... let me tell you one in nine girls are sexually abused... and those are the reported statistics. She is young, and it is not too late to save her and help her realize that she is a woman of value and divine worth.

V.,

I read your letter today and I felt compelled to respond back to you. I am a mom of two boys, and although I don't have any girls I do remember how awkward I felt growing up in a small town where girls were constantly picking on me. Would it help if your daughter had a mentor or a big sister to spend time with? Pleasant Grove is a long way from where I live, but I would love to maybe get together and chat on the phone when you have some free time. It always helps to have someone to talk to. Email me at ____@____.com when you get a moment.

Your email really touched my heart and made tears roll down my face. I have 2little girls and I could not imagine the feeling you are going through now. Kids can really be cruel and it is a shame and alot of bullying it comes from improper teaching or non involvement but it should not be tolerated at all. I would try and demand a transfer asap. I would not even put her in a harmful place for counsel at this school or bother with talking to the school any further since if she has been there for this long and it has been an ongoing problem I do not see it stopping at all. I would let her know that I am by her side thru it all and she can count on me to be there for her and can trust me no matter what the circumstances. My girls are my life and I cannot imagine seeing them hurting by someone in school or anywhere or anyone and nothing being done. I would be holly terror there! This is something that is just unacceptable from the school, they should protect our children by all means from bullies. I was somewhere just last week where there were about 40kiddos or more in a gym of all ages 2-16 and the parents sitting around the gym while they played and ran etc and there was alot of bullies there and the parents did nothing, I finally got up and stopped the kids and told them I did not know who their parents were but I was not going to sit and watch them bully these kids as long as I was in here and to stop now!! I then commented aloud that it was so ridiculas that all the parents sitting around watching and doing nothing but no one said anything! If you need to talk please feel free to email me it is so sad. I can imagine what she is going thru, I lived in the grove once upon a time and worse but it is even in the small schools as well but maybe not to the extreme of a certain way. You will be in my prayers. Good luck to you, take her out for some one on one time at least once a week , just you 2 that is something that is just hers! Please just at her young age dont tell her to fight back to defend herself, she should not have to at all and she should not be subjected to this ongoing abuse. Maybe she feels alone in a way that she thinks you are not protecting her, not to be mean by saying this but kids think in wierd ways. Maybe since she has to keep on and on with protecting herself and not being protected she feels alone since she feels she should be protected if that makes sense. But by all means I do not mean to bash on you just give you an idea of maybe how she feels? God bless. L.

I think everyone that reads this heart is breaking....it's very sad that children can be so mean. We went through something like this when we moved. Girls especially seem to be so cruel.
Just remember when she finally does open up to you that your reactions to what she says may determine whether or not she opens up to you again. If you appear sad or mad she may feel like she doesn't want to burden you or hurt you, therefore; she might not talk to you. I learned that with my daughter the hard way. Fortunantly kids are resiliant and I kept pushing (not in a pushy way of course =))and just became an ear for her. I would sit and listen and then when she was done talking I would just offer her lots of praise (for just being brave) and tell her how proud I was of her and how much she was loved. I would also offer suggestions on what to say and how to react to the bullies.
I know this won't be the cure-all for the problem as you can't really control other children but hopefully my advice can just be more encouragement for you to cope as well. I know it hurts to see your kids hurt and I do sympathize. I know you wish you could just go everywhere with them and offer them a shield of protection, but we can't.
I hope you will keep us posted and hopefully you'll have wonderful news! It's so tough what our kids have to go through.

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