12yr old with no ambition.

Suprina - posted on 02/18/2011 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I have a beautiful 12year old girl who doesnt seem to care about anything! She doesnt take responsibilty for anything, everything is someone elses fault. She doesnt care about school (6th grade). She is VERY social, but thinks she has no friends and that no one likes her??? Which is NOT true, she is always surrounded by people.

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Amanda - posted on 02/19/2011

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First of all, there are two totally separate issues here. Not taking responsibility has little to do with feeling like you have no friends.

Let's address the friends thing first. People can be social butterflies, but still not really have friends. Does she have at least one other child her age or no more than 2 years younger that she spends the majority of her time with? Is she allowed to have friends over? Is she allowed to have sleep overs? Does she get invited to birthday parties and time out with friends? If the answer to these questions is no, then no matter how many people are around, your daughter really doesn't have friends. You would then need to look at what she is or isn't doing that makes the other kids not want to be friends with her. Is she a tattle tale? Is she a gossip? Did she recently move or change schools? Has something significant changed in her life? These are all really important aspects to having friends.

As for the not taking responsibility, has she ever accepted responsibility for the mistakes she has made? If she has and this is new, it could be an age/development thing. Focus on retraining her to acknowledge both her strengths and weaknesses. If she has never taken responsibility, then she has never learned that she needs to, and this is a much different road that is going to have to start slow. You can't expect a child of any age to just do something that they have never done before without guidance and understanding.
My best to you and your daughter!
Oh, one more thing, has she started her menstrual cycle? This could be complicating her life more than you might remember!

JuLeah - posted on 02/19/2011

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Depressed? Not caring about anything is often self protection. Kids that don't take responsiblity ... sometimes they have not really been ased to, have not seen the adults in their life take that on, or are still little enough to get caught up in magical thinking (If I deny it, I didn't do it)
American society, TV, Ads they see .... all are about instant gratification and no personal responsibility.

Does she get enough sleep (10 hours at least) Does she eat a healthy diet (very very little sugar, processed foods, junk) Becuase sleep and diet have a HUGE impact on our mood, our self perception, our world view, our energy level...

If a 12 yr old has no ambition, there is a reason and you are wise to take action and get involved.

You can't give a kid self esteem, right? You can't make another person feel good about themselves. But, you can set up her enviornment, provide her with experiances that will head her in that direction.

Many parents lower the bar hoping to increase their child's sucess and by extention, their self esteem.
This most always back fires. Raise the bar and teach them to jump, but don't lower the bar. Kids know you have lowered the bar and think, "That's the best mom thinks I can do? Mom must think I am a real loser. I must be a real loser"
I saw it all the time in the classroom, "Mom thinks I'm stupid."
"Why would you say that?"
"Look at the paper, it sucks, but Mom said she was proud of me"
Also, you might want to ask yourself if these behaviors are a change for your daughter, and if so, what happened that might have caused the change.
Ohh, also ... maybe, get her involved with something bigger then herself ... a volunteer project or some such thing ... a way for her to help others in need and to make anothers' life better in some way

Christy - posted on 02/19/2011

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Maybe she has depression? Can you take her to a mental health care professional and get her evaluated?

Kimberly - posted on 02/18/2011

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Its a busy differnet time in the life of a 12year old. They are changing in there bodies but I also remember that groups at school all changed. Just try and talk to her and make sure there isnt something deeper( like bulling) going on with her. Sometime you can be in a room full of people but yet feel very much alone so just try and talk to her or leave the door open for her to be able to come to you when she is ready. Maybe try some alone time with her if you can, go for a walk or coffee( drink) just the two of you.

Angie - posted on 02/18/2011

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She's at a tough age. Her self esteem is just developing and she probably feels a little akward. Be honest with her. Teach her to take responsibility by never letting her blame things at home on others. Be honest with your distrust of her "it's someone else's fault". It may take some time for her to come around but in the meantime, keep a close eye on her and make sure she isn't displaying signs of depression.

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