My daughter alienating herself

Jennifer - posted on 10/31/2008 ( 9 moms have responded )

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We just recently moved and my daughter is spending all of her time in her room online (myspace, facebook). I have limited her computer time so that she would be more motivated to make plans with friends but she doesn't. I understand that it is a huge life change to be in a new school and have to make new friends, but she has just really pulled into herself. Been contemplating therapy so that she's got an outlet to talk to someone, but not sure if that would be a waste of time. She is negative, won't wear makeup, doesn't really take as much pride in her appearance as she should. How can I help her?

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Lauri - posted on 11/04/2008

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Sounds like she's depressed which could be due to the stress. Changes are stressful EVEN when they are good changes. She has 3 of the highest scoring stress markers: new home, new family, new school. Plus, she's probably not all the way through the hormonal swings of puberty which is why depression is so prevalent at that age.



Depression can make life seem overwelming or unmanagable. Of course she's wanting a quick fix like moving in with dad. Teaching her how to manage her stress will not only pull her out of this depression & teach her good self-care techniques it will also empower her. That is the biggest gift a parent can give a child.



Counseling may or may not be helpful - but there are many ways to reduce stress.



Diet and Exercise are the biggest part of the equation.



Exercise: 20 mins of exercising per day can relieve stress tremendously. You can require her to take a daily walk with you, and give her some 1 on 1 mom/daughter time in the mix. Or join a gym together, and require her to participate in 20 mins of exercise every day. (You're dealing with the same stressors, you could probably benefit from stress relief too).



Diet: Serotonin - the brains 'feel good' chemical messenger, is actually produced in the gut. That is why some people get moody after a round of anti-biotics - it can disrupt the flora of the intestines. So, if there is a lot of stress, you're taking anti-biotics, or depressed for other reasons it is good to take pro-biotics and limit processed foods like suger & white flour.



Humor is also a wonderful stress reliever. You can google this and find there has been extensive research on this. Rent funny movies on a regular basis.



Meditations are excellent stress relievers. There's a book called The Relaxation Response which is a specific meditation technique that has been scientifically designed and studied. It its a very simple technique, the book mostly explains why it works. http://www.amazon.com/Relaxation-Respons...



The catch 22 with depression is that the depression makes it hard to exercise, eat right and laugh. But if there is someone there to be accountable to that will get the ball rolling until she can motivate herself. Which really only takes a couple weeks, because it doesn't take much to start feeling better, and once you feel better these activities become easier to prioritize.

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Angela - posted on 11/10/2008

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how old is your daughter? move the computer out of her room where u can see what she is actually doing . and so that maybe she may also talk to you

Ann - posted on 11/06/2008

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First let me tell you that I have a girl almost 16, when she went to live with her dad she went to therapy and it helped.she was 11 then.she also had my space first and she was able to talk to her friends about how she felt maybe your daughter is doing the same thing. Just limit her time on the computer and make sure that she is talk to just her friends, no one else. I would also invite her new friends to have a spend the night party and rent a movie. As far as makeup let her and a friend go to the mall and get makeup and stuff and have a make up party. just give her time and she will do in her on time. don't push or it will make it worse. Enjoy her like she is, they grow up so fast that you wonder where they went.

Suzi - posted on 11/06/2008

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I would first of all take the computer out of her bedroom! you are enabling her to isolate herself. She can close the door and feel like she has friends, but they aren't really friends. Why would she feel like she needs to make friends? That is only one reason to remove it. There is danger lurking beyond that screen!

Go to the mall, hang out together...see how many friends she can make in a month...then invite them all over for pizza! Do fun things. I think therapy can be good, if there is anything underlying her inability to "get out there" but Im thinking, she just needs motivation. Hope it helps!

Keisha - posted on 11/06/2008

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therapy may be what she needs.. just to help her deal with her emotions... i would also make a day a month where she could hang out with old friends

Robbie - posted on 11/04/2008

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A good friend of mine gave me good advice concerning computers in bedrooms. "A tragedy waiting to happen!" Her own daughter, who was and is absolutely precious, made a horrible mistake and sent nude photos of herself to a boyfriend who lived out of state. He in turn sent those photos back to her hometown thru mutual aquaintances and completely tarnished her reputation. From there went even further down before she was taken to counseling. Counseling is a great tool for parents. I also agree with Kay's ideas too. Attending a lot of these activities together at first will help her feel she has someone to cover her back. Kids really do like their parents, they just don't want to look uncool doing it!

Jennifer - posted on 10/31/2008

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Thank you for your advice. She is involved in 1 club after school and I've been trying to get her involved more, she's just being very stubborn. She is also feeling very insecure because she is an only child, but we just moved into a home with my boyfriends 2 kids, so she is having a hard time adjusting to the fact that she is not an only child anymore. Not that she is selfish, its just another adjustment. Her father (who she only sees on the weekends) keeps voicing his opinion on how he does not like our situation, and my daughter has been making a lot of comments as to wanting to go live with her father. I tell her that is not the solution.

Kristina - posted on 10/31/2008

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Therapy is a good idea if she will take it seriously. My daughter was forced into therapy after my husband and I separated and it did absolutely NO good. She was uncooperative and would not share with the therapist. I think that you might just want to keep encouraging her to join activities at school in the community. Sign up for some things that the two of you can do together. Reward her with seeing old friends and computer time. Eventually she will see that this move was not punishment for her...and her old friends will have moved on. It will take some time. Get her out...Go to the mall...Attend some ball games...Sign her up for the youth group at your church... It might make things really busy and hard to accomodate for you, but it will be in her best interest. The first kids at school that will take a new kid in is usually the group that you DO NOT want her to be with. Talk to her about not just accepting anyone for a friend...look for the right people for friends. It will work out.

Kay - posted on 10/31/2008

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Therapy can be good, but try some of these first: If you have made friends with any other people, invite them over or make a "family date" to go do something together. Have a girls' night out with your daughter, bring along another mother and daughter if you know any. Find a church that has an active youth group, 1st just go together to services and don't push her too much. Attend local sporting events for the high school. Encourage her to join a club at school -- I don't know what your area has, but my daughter likes FCCLA and Key Club.

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