18 answers

Teenage Daughter Upset

I have a 13 year old that acts liek she is depressed and sad most of the time. She get mad easly and doesn't want anything to do with me. It seems that she tried to take everything out on me or her little sister (age 9) I know that 13 is a hard age but should I worried like I am.

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So What Happened?™

I want to fill everyone in a little more about my 13 year old daughter. She has been through a lot. I remarried after her dad and divorced. He wasn't a good man. He was into drugs. And mean to the kids. He tried to kill himself in front of the kids. I divorced him. And put the kids into couslining. A few year later I met and fell in love and married my hubby now. So now she has a good role modle in her life. Her dad is still in her life and she talks to him all the time. ( more than she talks to me) She tries to play us agaist each other. But we still talk about her. Yes she has start womenhood. I know some of the problem is that. I have talked to her about going into couslining but she doens't want too. I will try to get her in touch with someone a little older maybe that will help. I would like to thank everyone for the advice I will try a lot of it.

Featured Answers

My oldest DD is 11 and is already starting the pouty stage.. I cannot tell you what to do from experience, but I'd at least try to talk to her... If she refuses to talk to you, then maybe you should seek professional help. If she's depressed over something, it needs to be addressed soon.
A.

More Answers

Hi L.. I feel a lot of sympathy for you. I'm 31 and my mom is having trouble with my little sister who is 14. One thing that we have come to find out, is my little sister idolizes me and so we decided to take advantage of that by me stepping in more actively in her life. I have her over to babysit my kids once a month during school and about 2-3 times a week over the summer. While we're together I always ask her how things are going, and basically just chat with her. I know with my mom, it's always question after question, which is not going to get a teenager to open up. With me though, I'll say, "so are the boys still like they were when I was in school?" and then I'll give her an example. Then she'll tell me what they're like. I have all talks with her because I know my mom isn't one to give her kids the "talks". I recently even showed her how to use tampons, which mom was amazed she let me do since she's been very private about her body since she was about 5. We talk about everything from her relationship with mom to boys and girls at school, to the very serious talks about drugs and sex, and the important things is that she COMPLETELY opens up to me. So, it's really helped my mom not to worry so much because we know that she's okay, and I truly believe in my heart that she will come to me with anything. As a matter of fact, one day I said "Sara, you come to me about anything and everything. I will NEVER judge you, get mad at you, and it will always be private between only you and me" and she said "Really? Anything?" I told her yes and she said "Thanks, I love you". Now, this comes from a girl who NEVER used to say I love you to anyone. I never gave up on her though, even when she started wearing black clothes and dressing a little gothic over the last year. I do step in and tell mom what I think should be done, like I insisted she took away all black makeup and all shirts and CD's from a group she listened to called Chemical Romance. Mom's always cool since she knows that I know what the effects are on Sara more intimately than she does.

So, the reason I say all that is, do you know anyone, a friend of yours, an aunt, a cousin, a neighbor, that could start somewhat mentoring your daughter? A teenage girl really NEEDS an adult to be actively involved in her life, but for some reason it usually can't be the mother, for whatever reason. And if it is, boy are you lucky. Counselors aren't going to go well, they haven't at all with my sister. I think they rebel against the whole idea because it's something that came from their parents, the very people they're trying so hard to rebel against. Give it a shot, even if it's someone she's not close to yet, there's nothing wrong with saying something like "Hey, my friend needs some help working outside at her house this Saturday, and I told her that you may be interested in helping. She's paying $25" Then, you atleast get her over there. Make sure it's someone that's older but still young, and someone that's still a little trendy. Those are the people that teenagers tend to have as idols, and are able to relate with the easiest it seems.

1 mom found this helpful

L.,
You have my sympathethies. One because you have a teenager, two because it's a girl. I am a teacher and work with at risk teenagers. Believe me when I say being depressed, mad, and sad are their everyday chemistry. Is she eating? Is she still seeing friends? When she's acting this way, will she talk to you at all? I have found with my own children, daughter 21 and son 16, when I know there is something wrong, I wait until we are doing something together, maybe even driving to the store. I ease them into a conversation about, for example, "so, where's Corey been lately, he hasn't been over." My son will usually respond, "He's been with, Mark, (another friend)." Then he will get quiet, I don't ask anymore questions. Soon he will be telling me how Corey isn't hanging out with him so much and why and so on. But if I ask right out what's going on, I get "nothing". Try to keep the lines of communication open, in a non-threatening way, try talking when you are doing something, keep it light and casual. Try to avoid asking why are you mad, sad, etc. They don't usually know why they feel how they feel, that's what sucks about being a teenager, remember? Don't take the things she tells you lightly, Never disregard her feelings, "oh that's just hormones, or oh you'll grow out of it," to her right now, life is devastating, and she does not care how she will feel later, she only cares how she feels now. You say she doesn't want anything to do with you, but really she does, don't give up and don't take her outbursts personally. Try to remember how it feels to be 13, remember how you felt and what your pain was. Also remember that 13 now is like 16 in used to be. Kids are pressured to do so many things at such an early age. Talk to mothers of her friends. But most importantly do all you can to keep the lines of communication open. Plan a day with her, a movie and dinner. Tell her it's her treat to you because you don't get to spend as much time with her as you'd like to. She will not want to go, but by the end of the day, she may even be talking. Hope this helps. I just read your update and it helps to know some of the things you said, about her having a step-dad, and so on. My daughter resented her step-dad when he came on the scene too. She was about 12, she felt he had no right to tell her what to do, he was not her dad. Even though her dad was not around and hadn't been for a very long time. I didn't understand how she felt then, now that she's 21 she tells me, she resented her step-dad, they have grown close, but it was a long time before she would even give him the benefit of the doubt. She felt he took too much of my time away from her, that's why I stress, spend time together just the two of you.

1 mom found this helpful

Have you considered counseling? It sounds like she needs someone outside the family she can talk to.

welcome to the world of teen agers. Having taught this age for years, I really siggest that you make sure that you two and family are doing as much together as a group as possible. She is resisting your affection, trying to stretch out on her own and find herself. THe more she knows she has a strong, solid base at home, this transition will go easier for every one. You may have to force yourself to have Wednesday evening family game night even though you and her really dont want to... but inthe end everyone will have fun and bondng time is amazing. This is the time when she will start talking to you. For the two of you, start teachig her how to cook, work together one or two night a week ( with out the 9 year old) it is these weird seemingly none activities that make a 13 year old girl feel special. She will open up if youare not really asking questions and just hanging with her.
Good luck

I remember when my daughter was 13. She, too, went through this stage where she seemed depressed and angry...especially at me or any adult really. Just keep a close eye on her, let her know you are there if she needs to talk. But stay firm with her. Let her know you won't take any disrespect. Know where she is and who she's hanging with. Ask her what's going on in school. Talk to her teachers. Invite her to invite her friends to your house so you can see/hear what's going on. This went on till my daughter was about 15 almost 16 and then things got better. She's now 17 and we've had a great relationship for about the last 2 years now. she's happy and joyful and a pleasure to be around. Hopefully it's just an "age thing" and she will grow out of it like my daughter did.

Some of it is normal with the age. Getting ready to advance into school and social situations she hasn't dealt with in the past. Emotional issues surrounding friends and developement.
Is there some place she really wanted to go? Someone she wanted to spend more time with than you allow? Things she wants to do you won't allow?
You might want to see a therapist if you think there is more to this than what you think is normal, I would hate to say don't worry and have there be a deeper problem.
My daughter drove us nuts the year my father was dying and we were doing hospice at home with him and two of her friends were having some problems and she felt she wasn't getting the attention she deserved. We finally saw a therapist with her and things got better.

It sounds like there's something on her mind. Some one-on -one time with her might help, even if its just inviting her to the store or the dry cleaners or out to get a milkshake. Try doing the things she likes to do and see if she won't open up a bit. I like "How to talk so kids will listen and how to listen so kids will talk". Your public library may have a copy. Good luck.

You really need to get her to talk to you and tell you what is bugging her.Also I would get a complete physical done.If it isn't something mentally making her this way t may be physical like diabetes or possibly a thyroid problem.Or it could just be hormones but to be sure see a Dr.
Don't get alarmed to badly but teen age Suicide is way up because of drugs and peer pressure , you really need to be sure your baby is okay.

My oldest DD is 11 and is already starting the pouty stage.. I cannot tell you what to do from experience, but I'd at least try to talk to her... If she refuses to talk to you, then maybe you should seek professional help. If she's depressed over something, it needs to be addressed soon.
A.

Hi L. I am sorry to hear about your 13 Yr.old daughter. Something or someone is uspsetting her it sounds like. Have you thought of having your minister to speak with her or maybe a counsler??? We have three children and both of us have gone to counseling at one time or another and it is surprising how much they can help. Maybe it is just her age but I would want to find out for sure, you may be doing her and you the step needed towards getting together. There is nothing like a mother daughter relationship. Good Luck K.

L.,
I think you should try to get help for your daughter
if she will let you. Or do you know of an adult that she could talk to that might be willing to help her, even if
she just wants to talk and they would be willing to just
listen to her, sometimes if we just have someone to listen
to us, even if they don't really say anything, if they just listen that can help us more then we realize.

K.

My children are still young, so I don't have personal experience from a parent standpoint. However, I did have a best friend that attempted suicide in high school. She was depressed but kept refusing to talk to anyone about it. And instead of understanding, we would just get mad at her and figure she would talk when she wanted to...obviously she didn't! Luckily she's okay now and was placed into serious counseling. I always found it much easier to talk to my aunt when I was a teenager. She was more relatable (and NOT my parent!) and didn't judge me but just listened. I agree with the others; if there is someone you know she trusts to talk to, perhaps you ask them to gently take her aside or have a "girls night". But, I wouldn't just completely ignore it and chalk it up to "teenage years". It's a lot tougher out there nowadays for them!!
Good luck!!

when i was a teenager my mom did "bedtime chats" with me every night-- she'd come sit on my bed and we'd talk about anything... or nothing... just whatever i wanted to chat about. i loved that i had a time to talk to my mom that was one on one and i felt like i was the most important person to her during our time together. most of the time we didn't talk about anything very substantial........ but it kept communication open so when i did have something to talk to her about i could spill my heart to her.

i also had some great role models in their 20s who really enjoyed doing things with me and would listen to me. you might try to find an older friend for her to look up to like that, someone she can say she wants to be like in 10 years.

ask her to show you her favorite thing to do, and do it with her. even if you haven't ridden a scooter or painted your toenails for years, it'll be fun bonding time, and she'll probably get a kick out of mom doing something rediculous.

just some ideas. good luck, i look forward to those years! (just be grateful you're not changing poopy diapers every day any more, right?) (...the grass is always greener on the other side.......)

L.,

Of course, 13 is a hard age for all of us, but I would suggest taking a closer look at things. Maybe you could talk to her physician and do some research on recognizing true signs of depression at this age. I suffered from depression at a very early age, but it was not diagnosed until I was 28. It was a difficult road, and I wish it had been recognized earlier.

Definately pay attention. 13 is a very hard age. She wants to be treated like an adult but still wants to act like a kid at times. Plan alone time with her. Do grown up girl things like go to lunch, shop and ask her advice about something (what should you make for dinner, should we put curtains or blinds in he kitchen). After what happened with your ex, she needs to know she comes first in your life. You need to admit you made a mistake and apologize to her for that and let her know she will always be first in your life. After all that is the way it should be. And L., make no mistake abaout this. YOUR KIDS COME FIRST BEFORE YOUR LOVE LIFE. And any good man will understand that, and help you rebuild the relationship with your daughter.
K.

This is a tough age... My daughter is 12 and is starting to clam up a little more and be very moody. It's probably just her age, but have you thought about having another family member or family friend try to talk to her? My daughter talks more freely with her Grandma (my mom) then she will with me. Maybe she can talk to someone she's comfortable with so they can make sure she's okay.

Good luck!

S.
www.SuccessAtHome.info

Many things could be going on with her. Someone at school could be bothering her. She could be coming into womanhood. She could be bored which can lead to mild depression. If she feels free to talk to you openly that's where you need to start. Find out what is going on around her that you may not have noticed. When my daughter started changing around age 14 it was due to a new group of "friends". There was a lot of peer pressure and she succumed. It took her 3 years to get back on track. She would talk to me about most everything until she met her new "friends". It really does pay to be involved in your childrens' lives.
mddhf

I'm sorry to hear that, L.. My dad remembers my teenage yrs all too well, and although I always knew he loved me, I don't think my parents knew how to "validate" my feelings. And being the middle of three daughters, getting them to be still and listen seemed impossible. After reading your responses, what came to mind is my cousin who is 10yrs older, so yrs ago when she would ask me how school's going and such, she'd really listen! She didn't know about my bad grades or any other troubles, so she'd just sit and listen to me talk (I remember her saying "Yeah, 5th grade does get harder.") I was waiting for the "You better buckle down and study" or "Less TV" But she really knew how to listen and talk w/ me.

So I keep this is mind w/ my 9yr-old daughter, and really try to listen, take time to just be w/ her-apart from my 3-yr-old twins, and just acknowledge that home w/ her family needs to be her soft place to land outside of this crazy world.

--But I am firm w/ her as far as disrespect towards parents and siblings. My words may make it look easy but it's not!

~K., Ohio

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