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daughter advice
September 25, 2006
2:48 pm
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thumkin
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I have a 13 yr old daughter. I see her doing things that make her soooo much like I am and I want better for her. She just wants people to like her so she lets them treat her badly. She is such a loving person it is killing me and I dont know how to stop it. I have tried talking to her but I know it will not help, it never helped me either. She thinks there have been too many changes in life since I was her age. Is there anything out there that I can do to save my daughters life because I do not want her to have the pain that I have had. I want her to be happy and know that she is loved.

September 25, 2006
2:56 pm
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Anonymous
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Hi, Thumkin --- Don't know if I can help, but I've raised three daughters so maybe I can suggets a few things. One thing I tried to do was involved my daughters in positive activities that kept them interested and busy and gave them an opportunity to make friends with other girls that would be good influences on them. Build up your daughter's self-esteem as much as you can. Encourage her and let her know how much you love her and what her good qualities are. Be genuine because they can smell insincereity a mile away!

I think the hardest lesson I learned as a mother was that I couldn't keep my daughters from all pain. And sometimes it seemed to hurt me more than it did them. In other words, keep your sense of perspective. Be there for her, to listen if she wants to talk to you. Let her know you love her, with no strings attached. Hope this helps. Caribou

September 25, 2006
3:04 pm
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ScaredinMichigan
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thumkin,

to start with, you aren't bad, and it isn't an all bad thing if she turns out as well as you have. You are great at helping others. You can hope that she cares about others as much as you do. You are a good hearted person. Keep talking, even if you don't think that she is listening, and try to surround her with healthy relationships. With any luck at all, she will realize what is happening, and not let people "abuse" her or their relationships with her. If she thinks that she is just being helpful, and a friend, she will find friends that will be true to her. Good people usually do. Part of it is age, I believe. Those early teen years will get you every time. They are trying to figure out who they are, and where they fit in. Usually they will figure it out within a couple of years. She is making that change between being a child and a young adult. I believe that it is harder on them, than it was on us. I am 30, so you are looking at 17 years ago. I see watching my nine year olds friends that times are different. The good kids, with a good heart will usually find their place pretty quick, and figure out who her true frinds are going to be. Be thankful, in spite of the hurt that you see, that she isn't one of the kids that is walking all over the good ones. I know it isn't easy to see her hurt, but, be thankful for what she is. I hope that made sense. If I come up with a better way to say it, I will let you know. You are a great person, and it sounds as if she has followed in your footsteps there. That is something to be proud of.

Scared

September 25, 2006
3:07 pm
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thumkin
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Thank you for your response. What kind of activities would you suggest. I have three daughters but my oldest daughter(13) is the one I worry about most in that area. She has friends but it always seems like they treat her so horridly. And my daughter thinks that all the other kids hate her. I know there are a few who are mean and hurt her feelings quite a bit at school, but I think my daughter closes herself off from many people because she doesnt want to be hurt by them like the others hurt her. She usually only opens up to friendship with the other kids that nobody seems to like. She has one friend that physically hurts her, leaves scratches on her leg from pushing the swing too hard, moves her chair, that kind of thing, the girl also dumped grass and dirt in my daughters hair one day at a race. It made me angry that my daughter would want to be friends with some one who would treat her like that but she says mom you dont understand me and H have soo much in common nobody else wants to be our friend. Well duh I wouldnt be freinds with someone who hurt me like that either but she doesnt see it that way. She sees it as someone empathizing with her and wanting to spend time with her. OOHH I am just so worried about her. I know I cant protect her from everything but surely I can teach her to be more self confident. It is my fault she is where she is at anyway, now I need to fix it, but oopps is that codependent thinking? Her step dad, my ex beat both mine and her self esteem down, I should not have let that happen how many years did i tell him if i had to choose between him and my daughter i would choose my daughter but for ten years it was a lie, i always chose to stay when I should have been saving her.

Ok well i guess i went off on a rambling tangent and the reasons why she is the way she is cannot be changed but I have to do something about from here on out.

September 25, 2006
3:11 pm
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thumkin
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Scared - thank you. It is hard to hear good things about me when I am feeling crappy but you are right about my daughter being a wonderful person and she does want to help people all the time. Doesnt matter who either. It could be a total stranger, her best friend, or someone who has hurt her. This girl even has suggested we go to the salvation army on thanksgiving to help serve the dinner to the poor. She is great and so full of love. I know part of all this is a fact of life and transition from little girl to growing up, but I worry about all the damage I have done so far in the examples I have set not just for her but for all three girls. Maybe I never realized before what it means to be a responsible parent. Maybe that meant more than just making sure they were taken care of and safe, and healthy.

September 25, 2006
3:25 pm
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ScaredinMichigan
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Their emotional health is just as important if not more than the physical. A child that urned out that loving didn't come from a bad mom. You are a great person, and I can tell that. Keep your chin up. Teach her from your examples. You can hope any bad examples that she has seen are ones that she will not use for her own life. We all see our parents do and say things and learn to do just the opposite. Our mistakes are only failures if we do not learn from them. If it teaches your girls how not to be treated, and how to truly be loved, then those things weren't all bad. Don't be too hard on yourself. Encourage them, and love them. Those are the two most important things that you can do.

Scared

September 25, 2006
5:47 pm
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Anonymous
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I can really relate to how you are feeling, and to how your daughter must be feeling. I, too, grew up in a home where there was violence and I had no self-esteem. School and making friends was very difficult for me. 13 is a hard age . . . she wants to fit in and have friends, but girls that age can be so horribly critical and hang in out cliques. Do you have a Boy's and Girls Club near you? They offer recreation for kids and young teens at a very nominal fee, if not free. Church youth groups are good, too. They do fun things and give kids an opportunity to make new friends in a safe environment. My girls were very involved in Girl Scouts. Of course, by the time they got into Middle School, it was "uncool" to be in Girl Scouts, so they didn't tell anyone about it. It was mutually understood by all the other girls in the troop that they didn't discuss it at school in case "anyone found out." If your daughter is at all athletic, school sports are available. Does she like to read and like libaries? Maybe she could volunteer at the public library in the children's section. Get her involved involved in her positive activities and she will have fun and it will build her self-esteem. That will also help with her selection in friends.

You can't beat yourself up for what happened in the past. Just learn what you don't want from it and move forward.

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