July 04, 2008,
L.W. asks from Springfield, OH on July 01, 2008
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.
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.
A.T. answers from Cleveland on July 02, 2008
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.
J.C. answers from Fort Wayne on July 04, 2008
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.
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L.H. answers from Terre Haute on July 03, 2008
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.
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M.W. answers from Cincinnati on July 01, 2008
Have you considered counseling? It sounds like she needs someone outside the family she can talk to.
R.N. answers from Columbus on July 02, 2008
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.
R.K. answers from Cleveland on July 02, 2008
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.
P.R. answers from Indianapolis on July 02, 2008
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.
A.L. answers from Columbus on July 02, 2008
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.
D.G. answers from Columbus on July 02, 2008
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.