Any Moms with teenage girls? My daughter gets ME depressed when I just sit and listen to all her woes, challenges, worries,etc. and I sit very nicely and listen but I have no advice to give her; I just listen. Afterwards I feel like absolute crap (depressed and woeful). I don't know how much more I can handle! I don't know what to do about the bitchy friend - backstabber that my daughter hangs out with, or the boyfriend that will text but not call. I have a hard time separating myself from it all.
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Luann - posted on 11/19/2008
After listening, it may also help to just compliment her on her strengths and encourage her. Hard times is what makes a person strong and resilient, and she can use these times to develop coping skills. Maybe it would help if you shared similar experiences you have had. Help her discover some hobbies or groups she could join to get to know more people that are nicer and have more things in common with. That way she can be in contact with some friends that she can feel better about herself when she's around them.
Corrie - posted on 11/18/2008
I have ten teenaged girls (13 to 17 yrs.) living with me. My husband and I take care of them because their parents struggle to deal with them (we are social workers). Anyway, I think you are really doing the best thing for her, listening. As I read your post it made me think of a book that I read several years ago. It is called "Odd Girl Out" and I'm sure you could find it in any major book store. There was a really crappy TV movie made about it so don't go by that if you saw it. Anyway, it talks a great deal about the struggles teenaged girls face these days. It was a great book, but it was tough to read because I could identify with so much of it even as an adult woman. However, I really think you are doing a great job by listening. My girls would love if they could have a conversation with their bio parents and mpst of the time they don't want help or answers, they just want a listening ear. As far as separating yourself, I think that is the real challenge that faces us as parents. I also have my own biological children and my oldest is my seven year old daughter. I am dealing with third grade drama right now and it breaks my heart, I can't imagine how much more difficult it gets when they are teenagers. Keep your spirits up and don't work about the fact that you don't have advice to give, your presence and love are all that she needs.
Wendy - posted on 11/18/2008
I think drama starts in 6th grade and get worse throughout middle school but I think it gets better in high school because there are more kids so it appears to be less drama. My oldest just started her freshman year so I'm not really an expert but the fact that you are listening is the most valuable thing. Remember that it is her life and allow her to just keep talking to you and look at it that she is talking to you as one of her friends not as mom. Everything usually works out, even with the bad stuff...remember that life isn't perfect and no protective blanket for their feelings but that is what makes them grow as a person. I can relate perfectly with the "bitchy/backstabber friend" so no worries!
My daughter talks to me about her day, everyday, good or bad but mostly about social stuff. Unfortunately, she is not doing well academically but I'm still hopeful she will find her way.
Lori - posted on 11/18/2008
First, what a blessing that you have a teenage daughter who does talk to you about these things. How wonderful!!!
Second, I can direct you to a site that greatly impacted my life as a parent. It is the Focus on the Family site at www.family.org. Great practical wisdom about most all family issues.
Third, a wonderful book I read and still read is the Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian.
I hope this helps. Hang in there mom. She needs you more than ever!!!