How do I deal with my 13 year old daughter?

Beverly - posted on 04/19/2011 ( 8 moms have responded )

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My daughter was diagnosed with severe depression a while back and now she has gotten a little better. She relapsed into her self harm again and I'm trying so hard to stop her. But she just asked me to let her get her nose pierced for her 14th birthday! I don't want to say no and give her more reasons to hurt herself but I don't want to say yes and make her think I'll let her do anything. Her birthday is in the beginning of May and I don't know what to do with her.

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Mary Ann - posted on 09/26/2012

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It is as if we have the same child. My 13 year old daughter has asked for a belly button piercing or a nose piercing. (Husband and I have neither and look normal) Last night she flew into a rage because I did not want to buy her huge wedges (she has back problems) or let her and her little 13 year old get on a bus to go to find a job so she can buy her own. She hid under her bed and nearly fell asleep there, trying to let me think she had run away as she left the porch light on and the door unlocked... She has even chosen a day for her demise... I am at my witts end.. Can't sleep, and so on edge. Hubby just wants her to get over it. I am thinking of sending her to boarding school as I don't think we are hard enough with her and she gets away with alot, but then that would be passing on our parenting duties... Beverly, I know how you feel, not wanting to upset your daughter... I am the same.

Katrina - posted on 05/04/2011

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Hi, Beverly. I suffered from 5 mental illnesses from age 13 for 13 yrs. I also had major depressive disorder and self harmed alot (no one knew for many years though). mental health issues can be tricky because it comes from within and you only see what they're willing to let you see. As for whether the piercing is her form of self harm or not - trust your instincts on that one. Sometimes we forget that we were given these instincts for a good reason and we need to trust it. Clearly you're getting her help if she was diagnosed, so if you're really not sure, you could maybe call her doctor while she's at school, to ask their oppinion. If she wasn't depressed and didn't have self harm issues, would you let her get the piercing? If you would, then I'd say let her. Good luck with everything. Take care

Alice - posted on 05/01/2011

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If your daughter was diagnosed with severe depression it is obvious that you have gotten her appropriate help, good for you! many parents wait until its too late... When you say self harm , do mean 'cutting'? not my business of course but have had experience with this myself..God love you and your precious daughter! It has been my experience that self harm is related to inner pain and lack of control...meaning she might feel that she has no control over what is going on in her life...in my case that was the reason for my child's behavior, I had to make some life changes that were best but she had no choices in the decisions....so we must make rules as parents that leave them feeling like they have no control, but that doesnt make us bad parents...
Honestly, who is it going to hurt to allow the piercing? my daughters all got piercings at this age...now one has let them grow in again...I think its normal to want this and it could be a way for her to feel 'in control' of something!
As parents we have to make the decisions for our kids to keep them safe and protect them from harm and it sounds like you have done a lot of stressing about this, its up to you but if you keep communication open and she has medical help with her depression things will get better, I promise....
hope I have helped a little and good luck, raising teens is hard but being one in today's society is even harder...take care of you ...

Mary - posted on 04/27/2011

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Give her a reason and if you are willing, tell her you will discuss it with her again next year, or whenever you are comfortable. I have a 16 year old daughter who I am going through the same thing with. She attempted suicide last year and I feel I have been on a rollercoaster ever since. We recently had to ground her for skipping school, but we could not completely "lock her up" so to speak due to the depression. I gave her a couple hours of freedom and made her hand over the blackberry and use one of her older phones. I found more than anything, my daughter always wants a reason as to why I say to no to something. Hope that helps.

Caroline - posted on 04/20/2011

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hey, don't know if this helps at all but my 14 year old has her nose pierced and has coloured her hair, both with my permission. In saying that, she doesn't suffer from depression etc but also her friends are not into piercing or colouring etc. i feel that she is experimenting a little in finding herself. don't get me wrong, she does ask permission and there are lines i will not allow her cross but i feel that a piercing can always close and hair can be cut or dyed back so no real harm done. I suppose you need to ask yourself if she is trying to find who she is or if it's the depression talking. Good luck.

Alice - posted on 04/19/2011

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Beverly, it sounds like your daughter is having depression with Manic tendencies. You need to get her into her Psychiatrist and if you really think she is going to harm herself into the hospital and let them re-regulate her meds. At this age because of puberty their bodies can begin to metabolize them differently.

As far as the piercing goes, people in a manic will chose a more acceptable form of self harm than to cut or to take their life. Sometimes they use piercings and tattoos as a release for what they are feeling. This needs to be addressed in the office with a Dr.

In the meantime if you don't have the book read "Blue Genes" by Dr. Paul Meier. I got mine off of Amazon and it is very helpful in understanding your daughters condition and the choice of med's for her and how they work.

Your first call should be to her doctor. You have to stand your ground and while you wont be the most popular mom right now, you will know you are doing what is best for her.

Louise - posted on 04/19/2011

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Susanne has a good point here check with the school and they can be the bad guys. You can not adjust your parenting because she was diagnosed depressed you have to carry on as you would of before. Otherwise you are going to have a very controlling teenager on your hands. She has to learn the words no and you must not be frightened to say so. I understand you do not want her to self harm but if you feel she will get her into therapy to talk it through.

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I wouldnt let her get her nose pierced shes too young. Have you checked with her school because I doubt they would allow nose jewellry anyway? I would tell her that if she really wants it done she can when shes 16 and not before.

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