A concering pattern of behavior...

Nancy - posted on 05/05/2013 ( 2 moms have responded )

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I have a 13 year old daughter. She is smart, outgoing and fun. She has has a lot of enthusiasm and jumps in whenever an new experience or activity is presented.. It is difficult to name my particular concern so, I will just start at the beginning. When she was very young she took dance and swimming lessons and lived them both. She worked hard and improved quickly.. When she was around 8, that all changed. She still wanted to do every activity and be a part of it all, but she just stopped putting forth the effort. Here are some examples - she was on the local swim team, she started out as one of the best swimmers but , by the time she was 10, her coaches were complaining that she has shown no progress in the past couple years and she was still swimming like she had when she was 7, while her same age teammates had moved up to a higher level. When she was 8, she wanted to try out for a children's musical. The day after the audition, the director called me and said that my daughter had sat off by herself while all the other kids learned the audition dance number. When the director asked her why, she said she didn't feel good. (We had an ongoing "I don't feel good issue at that time). The director went on to say that she would gladly refund the program fee but my daughter insisted that she really wanted to do the play.. When she was in fifth grade, she decided to play softball. After the first few practices, the coach called and said that my daughter was putting forth no effort at all to learn the game or to try and improve her skills. He suggested that she be removed from the team. Again, she insisted that she really wanted to do it and she would work harder.. I kept hoping she would outgrow these issues but, now, I am really starting to get concerned.. She has been on her school ski team for 2 years and, again, her coach complains that the other kids are improving while she was not. Most recently, she was working in a group on a project, and she seemed to think that it was going really well but I was told by her teacher that he two teammates are working hard and often complain about having to pick up her slack. As a result they each got A's, while she is getting a D.
The problem is, when she was 7 or 8, it seemed to be a maturity issue that she would outgrow. Now , she is a few years away from the "real world". You might say she is just lazy but, first, I hate the "lazy" label and I am now thinking that there must be something else going on. I have had her tested for epilepsy and learning disabilities, she has neither, and she takes medicine for ADD... Any thoughts??

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Nancy - posted on 05/05/2013

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Thanks. I can't blame the medicine because this behavior started when she was 8 but she was 12 when she started on the medicine. The original med, Adderall, was a downer, but she was switched to Concerta and is doing much better. The irony is that she is extremely social and wants to be a part of everything but, when it comes to the effort, she shuts down. Thanks for the supportive words!

Patricia - posted on 05/05/2013

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It could be the medicine you're giving her making her so disinterested. If a person doesn't really have that disease, the medicine for it can act as a sort of 'downer' I hear. Or it could be she really does want to participate but she's afraid of rejection or messing things up so she doesn't try at all to save herself the embarrassment. I was a bit like that at her age, too. She might or might not grow out of it, but encouragement always helps.

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