Help for my 12year old daughter

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Heartbreakinfla, Jun 26, 2010.

  1. Hello to everyone,

    I found this site purely but chance, I needed to find a place with other mom's who understand what i'm going through with my 12yr old daughter.

    First let me start by saying this has been a really tough year for my daughter. Her dad and I split up and we moved into another home. Her dad has his own place. She see's him often so he is not an absent father. She has three other brothers that she fights with. Sometimes its chaos, but i do the best i can with everything.

    She is a year behind in a grade. She should be in the 6th going onto the 7th this coming year but due to the FCAT she failed the 3rd grade so was held back. So she will be starting middle school next year. ALot of her friends failed that year were so she has been moving up with the same friends for the past 3yrs. I have her in a school that is k-8th grade so again she will see her friends that she has built friendships with so now what is happening is quite devastating and I can only be there for her and try to help her through this.

    I don't know when it started but she began to be very moody and angry and not very pleasant at all. The beginning of the school year was fantastic. I threw her a twilight Birthday Party and she had her friends over. They had a great time and I thought things were good. She still hung out with her Best friends and I didn't think anything was wrong. Then about 3months ago, she started to have stomach pains and never wanted to go to school in the morning. She did start her period around that time, so I thought it might be related, but she hated her life, and everything about herself. I took her to a therapist and she said it was just the "teenage" stuff. I don't know if she knows how to mask her feelings but i am still concerned.

    The end of the school year approached and I thought just make it thru this year and we can work on stuff it has to get better. She had school trips and she was still friends with all the girls. She was invited to a end of the year pool party and I offered to have a few of her boyfriend's over after. That didn't go as well as i planned cause 2 of the girls were texting there BoyFriends's all night and while the other girl slept, and my daughter felt left out and came to talk to me and slept in my bed while her friends slept in hers. I told her she needed to ask them if they wanted to watch a movie or whatever she said no they don't she started to be moody and angry again. I couldn't wait for the girls to leave in the AM to be honest with you.

    We aren't rich so my daughter doesn't have the most name brand clothes but she still has cute clothes. All she could talk about is how much they had and what she didn't and what she wanted. Then last week a girl sent out invites to another pool party. I love Facebook (NOT) my daughter wasn't invited until the last minute. The night before she was talking to the girl who was throwing the party and that girl said she was sorry "my daughter" didnt' get invited, but wanted to know if she could. My daughter said yes so i took her. She had a good time, i thought things were on the good road again. Then the Facebook drama happened. Over a stupid quiz, her BFF said My daughter wasn't her TRUE boyfriend's, and my daughter was devestated and started a fight with her boyfriend on FB. I came home from work and I told her to take off the posts, and you don't need to fight on FB. My daughters posts sounded desperate and needy and begging for friendships. I don't want that for her. She has always had friends and has always been a happy child. Now none of her friends will text her, call her, or comment on her FB page, and She thinks everyone HATES her. I told her that its not true, and if her one so called boyfriend was her friend she wouldn't do this to her.

    To make matters worse, the girl that is now hanging with my daughters friend, posts on her FB that she is hanging with "_________ her BEST FRIEND, almost like rubbing it in my daughters face. Not one post but like 3 or 4. Also this girl has had several parties and my daughter was not invited, but my daughters other friends were.

    How do i help my daughter through this? I feel like i'm walking on egg shells. Oh and by the way her stomach aches stopped since she is not in i know there had to be something going on with school or her friends? I know both girls mothers well so do i call them and find out whats going on, or will that seem needy? And i still hate Facebook!

    Thanks for any help or comments....
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I would take her to a GOOD therapist that she can relate to. A bad match doesn't do any good. She has a lot on her mind. Don't minimize the divorce. I went through one too and it about killed my kids and helped my daughter on the road to drugs and destruction. Kids feel very vulnerable and insecure and even guilty (and VERY angry) during a divorce. They don't want it, no matter what the reason for it was. She sounds a lot like my sensitive daughter who ended up on drugs, so I can't urge you to get her into counseling fast enough...I would try a female over a male and one who is nurturing. My daughter started using drugs at 12, and I'd hate for your daughter to do what mine did to blunt her pain.

    You can't m ake other kids hang with your daughter. What you can do is make her see that these "mean girl" wars kind of indicate that she may do better with new friends. "Mean girls" happen with all girl cliques. My youngest daughter, who is 14, just blows it off and tends to never be the center of the drama. My oldest one, the one who tookk drugs, was always the one who seemed to be on the "outs." She was a difficult child to raise because she is so sensitive, but she is a great young adult who has cleaned up her act, so take heart. I would try to show your daughter that they are perhaps not the best crowd to hang with. And get her a very good counselor whom she likes. She has a lot on her mind!

    One last thing: Is she in a very small or private school? I ask because that was a very poor fit for both of my still-at-home kids. The private schools in my opinion tend to have an "exclusive" attitude especially about money. As for the small schools, my youngest daughter liked the smallness when she was younger, but asked us to put her in the bigger school last year. Her reason was: "When the girls start drama, in a small school you get sucked into it because ther's nobody else to hang around with. In a big school, you have more choices." She loves the bigger school. Both of my kids hated the Catholic School I send them to for three years. Not all schools fit all kids.

    Welcome to the board!
  3. BeachPeace

    BeachPeace Guest

    Welcome here! This place has been great for me to be able to read the wealth of knowledge from the parents here.
    My daughter, Indigo, is almost 11 - she is homeschooled because she had a lot of social difficulties and issues with school, but she has a type of Autism. We do have some pretty strict restrictions on the computer and do not allow her to use social networking sites such as myspace or facebook. Maybe you could let her take a break from using facebook for a while?
    Anyway, lots of hugs to you and welcome!
  4. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    The stomach aches are pretty classic anxiety - and are real, not an excuse. Something is going on, we just don't know what.

    You need to find a good therapist - check with your pediatrician for a referral or maybe a guidance counselor at school knows the name of a good therapist (based on experiences with other students). This is a tough age...especially for girls. Throw in the changes at home and it's not surprising your daughter is struggling. Depression and anxiety are relatively common among this age group, especially with girls.

    And as far as friendships - omg, I never knew how cruel girls could be. My son and his friends never did these things - they'd get into an argument and be fine 5 minutes later. Girls get catty. I hate to say it, I really do. I hate the expression and everything it brings up and how it throws us back about 100 years in the women's movement, but it's true.

    She needs someone she can feel safe talking to who is objective. Sometimes you have to kiss a frog or two before you find that right therapist. But keep trying.
  5. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Welcome! Sorry you had to find us. I have a couple of recommendations in addition to therapeutic support. Pick up a copy of Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman.... and keep her off Facebook! I'd step in and delete her account. Also, she's being bullied. It's called relational aggression and your daughter is being targeted. It could be for no other reason than the queen bee sensed some weakness due to the divorce, school or $$$ issues. It could be for no reason at all. None of which are anyone's fault except the bullies.. Also, notify the school that this is going on so they are aware for next fall. And get your girl into some activities where she's exposed to new & different kids. Kids with activities are more likely to overcome bullying than those without. Find something she likes: art, horses, dance, swim, scouting, 4H, cooking classes, volunteering at the animal shelter or children's room of the local library. It will give her something to feel good about herself.
  6. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Your daughter is at that in between time ~ not quite a teen ~ no longer a "child". There's raging hormones & unfortunately, cliques that make things very very hard. She's yet to develop a true sense of self; she's a work in process. AND she wants to fit in with the kids she's always fit in with before this time.

    Girls can be so much meaner than boys & they do it in a very "sweet" manner. I agree with all TM had to say; especially regarding the FB account.
  7. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    This is a horrid age for girls. They are so mean and spiteful. My easy child went through this and it lasted about 4 yrs. I think I hated it more than she did. I was more of a loner at that age and just read and painted, but she is a pleaser, and nothing she did was right. It drove me nuts, how she ingratiated herself to those %*#$&'s.
    Having said that, if this interferes with-her schoolwork and her normal functioning, find another therapist and get to work.
    Also, you may want to pick up a copy of QUEEN BEES AND WANNABES.
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Your daughter sounds to me like a typical teen (a easy child, not necessarily a difficult child) who has potential to turn into a difficult child with all she's trying to deal with. Poor kid. And poor you - tis isn't fair. And even if she is simply a hassled easy child, you are all still welcome here, don't feel your problems are too small. No problems are too small. And frankly, this sounds nasty for you both. So - welcome.

    Now to the problem - I agree about cancelling the FB account. I would recommend another alternative, at least for now - Gaia. On Gaia you use an avatar and a pseudonym. It's got a lot of rules about appropriateness but there is still plenty of scope for fun. My younger daughter still posts on Gaia at age 23. She and her husband used to 'talk' on Gaia when she was breaking up with her previous boyfriend. So although it superficially looks like kid stuff, it's not necessarily. But fromwhat we've seen, it's a lot 'safer'.

    Two reasons to cancel FB:

    1) It's hurting her badly, and she's also learning to use it as a weapon. Very bad habit.

    2) While it is known she has a FB account, she will continue to be deliberately targetted. But once her page is gone, it takes the wind out of the sails of the bullies. I speak from experience - I used to post on a pay-per-view writing website, under my real name (one of the rules of the site). I was a total innocent about the internet. I am a good writer, I quickly rose to a high level of accreditation on the site. Writers were ranked on each article, by readers. I ranked well. I also wrote a lot and was making a fair bit of money (hundreds, not thousands, but still useful). Then I began to find some flame comments on some of my previously well-liked articles. I watched ranking drop at the same time as the flames appeared, then as others read my articles the ratings would go back up again. What was happening was - I was being attacked by a person who used a range of different identities and disposable email addresses who was writing some really nasty stuff and at the same time clicking the bottom rank in the rating scale with each new identity. It was plain nastiness for its own sake. That website was also at the point of failing, as it turned out, so the moderators had stopped caring and where previously they would remove inflammatory material, this time they did nothing.
    At first I tried to defend myself. My now son-in-law also posted a response in my defence and interestingly, the flamer replied with an accusation that the defensive response was really me, using a pseudonym. This tipped me off to what the flamer was doing (people accuse other people of their own crimes). The more this person wrote, the more information I got as to the person's true identity. At about the same time, my best friend began to get nasty emails in her workplace, from disposable anonymous email addresses. Her boss was sent a nasty email telling him to be suspicious of my friend who was (according to the email) a liar and a cheat. Again - more clues. My best friend had recently had a falling-out with a female friend and we compared notes. Familiar phrases became obvious. A pattern became obvious also - whenever anybody (myself, SIL1 or my friend) posted a defensive comment on my writing, it was immediately attached and a fresh flame war would begin. So I shut down all activity of my own on this site and pretended I was not even looking at it any more. I stopped posting new articles, I topped responding to any goading. And the goading increased for a while - there were gloating posts, there were posts such as "Where are you hiding? Have you become a coward as well as all the other character flaws you have?" and "Your silent sulking only proves me right." But I gritted my teeth and maintained inactivity. I noted her attempts to keep downrating me, but ironically all her activity was keeping my posts high on the hit list, which was bringing me in more income! Plus I had already had hundreds of positive ratings given, so the law of statistics meant that an article that had, say, 700 high ratings would not be adversely affected by 5 or 10 zero ratings.

    She did eventually stop. I never let on to her that I knew it was her, or what she was doing. In fact, we crossed paths socially and I played along, not even talking about the website or my problems. It was an interesting evening - she had no idea I knew, but I could tell she was enjoying what she thought was my blind ignorance.

    At the same time, other nasty stuff was happening to me - good friends were accusing me of some nasty underhand stuff, which I knew was coming from this person. All I could tell my friends was, "You should know me. If you could believe me capable of this and if you are not prepared to take my word that I am not responsible, then you don't know me as well as I thought you did. It is your choice to believe bad things when I tell you I am not responsible. So it is my choice to keep my own counsel and refuse to discuss this any further."
    It was an education - I learned who my true friends were and who were "fair weather" friends, the shallow ones who cared more about appearances and about covering rear ends. I learned to keep my mouth shut and my ears open.

    My flamer (who livd nearby and was actually a nasty piece of work to a lot of people, while generally pretending to be nice) eventually left town. After she left, some people discovered how they had been duped. Others never learned it. But a lot of damage was done by this person.

    it was a valuable lesson in human nature, on many levels.

    So "mean girls" can be any age. This woman was fifty. Old enough to know better. As for my revenge - well, all I can say is, never offend a writer! She is now a villain in one of my stories and it was very therapeutic writing. Of course,she would never recognise herself! Change hair colour, change age, change gender, change anything...

    So pull the FB. It stops your daughter responding inappropriately. And it stops the bullies getting a payoff for knowing they have succeeded again in hurting her.

    We went trough this with easy child. Also a friend of mine is going through this with her daughter. Some girls are not as emotionally strong as others, and these are the ones who either become bullies, or become complicit in the bullying and either allow themselves to be bullied or through them allow the bully to work. This emotional strength does not come naturally. How you handle this can determine how she develops from here.

    What we did when easy child went through this - we talked about human nature, we talked about how the other girls were probably feeling and why they were doing what they were doing. The bullies are often insecure and need to control others in order to feel better about themselves. Other girls go along with it for fear of themselves being the target.

    A typical girl bullying scenario - "If you play with her, you won't be my friend." That is emotional blackmail and bullying. The problem is - if the person told this chooses to go along with it, they have become complicit in the bullying of someone else. But if they choose to stand their ground, they risk being the one ostracised with all their friends being told, "If you talk to her, you're not my friend." And underneath it all, how confident are we,especially when we're kids, of the depth of friendship we have? How far can we trust our friends to stick up for us, even in the face of possible rejection themselves?

    In easy child's case, the bully who said this was one rather small girl who was very controlling. Some girls (most of them, in fact) didn't like it, but chose to follow through. Often it was easy child who was excluded. At first on the days when she was chosen to be a friend, the sun shone for her. Then when the next day she was out of favour, the day was just wrong in every way.
    easy child had another good friend, K. K tended to give in to the bully, but when the opportunity arose she would approach easy child and say, "I really do like you, but I don't want bully to know you and I are still friends."
    K was trying to have it both ways. Or K might say to easy child, "I don't particularly like bully, but J and R are friends with her and I want t be friends with them. If I play with you, none of the others will ever play with me again."

    It has been interesting to see how these girls grew up. K, J & R all have grown up worrying more about what other people think, than about what they themselves want in life. Over time they drifted apart, especially from bully. When the dust cleared, they all realised that they never liked bully and had been wasting their time trying to placate her. But along the way they lost their own sense of strength and till need other people's approval to actually do anything.

    easy child, on the other hand, has grown up to be her own person. She can work with a team very well, can manage staff well, but also doesn't need to win approval if it's not appropriate to do so.

    And bully? Grew up sexually promiscuous, involved to a small extent in drug use and heavy partying, lived with a string of different (and sometimes abusive) boyfriends and has never stuck at any one career path.

    This is the time to help your daughter learn to value herself and her own high standards of behaviour. The way these girls are behaving is inappropriate and socially damaging. In the long run, they will be the losers.

    How you teach her now, is how she will learn to be a strong, self-reliant and productive woman in the future. In en years time, those other girls will be nowhere. Now will they matter to her. Of course, that won't comfort her now. But she needs to learn to trust herself, to value herself and be able to manage with her own company in the lean times. As a general rule, the girls who are popular with everyone now, more than the others, are generally the ones who are compromising their values fr more. I'm not necessarily talking about sexual promiscuity,although at this age it can be connected. A person prepared to compromise here, will be more inclined to compromise in other things too.

    And for the record - the last person who ever said to me, "If you play with her, you're not my friend," said it to me only two months ago. And she is aged 75 years old!

    Some people never learn! (and I don't consider I have lost a friend - because a true friend would never say such a thing).