Teenage daughter lonely n low self esteem


Teenage daughter lonely n low self esteem

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Tony 61
Tony 61
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Hi,

I have a 16 year old, she's our only child.



For quite a few years now she has constantly complained of not having friends. She is tall n beautiful n talented etc etc n yet she is under confident in groups and constantly berates herself for anything that is not right.



She has friends but somehow has never had a close friend, ever. When she was in primary school she was a bit over weight, n got bullied for it, we did not hear about it, n we always thought she was a happy easy going confident child , however, now when she talks to us she relates it as what a horrible time she had there.



In senior school, she was in a group initially but since 2 years that group has moved on and she has always felt very strong about not being part of that group.

She tries to be part of other groups but maybe is unable to get into them. Or maybe her earlier group was the more popular one and other groups don't attract her yet she wants to be in some group so it's a bit complex. Over all she doesn't hv any close friends, does not belong to a group n feels very strongly negative about it.

This topic comes up every few days at home Abt how bad her situation is, how no one cares about her, n how no one wants to be her friend, when we try to give her advice, it always ends up in a slanging rude match, where she feels we don't sympathize with her n don't care, whereas we feel she is always making more of the situation is always seeking attention, be it at home or at school n with friends,but they r not willing to give it to her .

We are really struggling with how best to deal with her.



She looks strong outwardly but she is always hurting inside that no one cares, that she wants to tell others how she feels inside but can't n has to put up this brave front always in school.



We feel that she always over thinks it, is too intense about everything n maybe that is what drives other kids away, they hv their own issues n hv no time to worry Abt hers n give gervthe support She needs.



When she comes n talks to us at times we just listen n try to give her a shoulder to cry on, but often we also end up giving advice about how she maybe over thinking or making it all up n that starts another rude hurtful session. We feel that we can't always just listen to her sob stories but at times also need to show her where she may need to look herself, but obv that doesn't work.



Anyway. What do we do, obv whatever we are doing isn't helping, how do we help her be a stronger more self confident person n how do we help her get friends......



Our feeling is that if she was more self confident n comfortable with herself friends too would be more comfortable with her, but it's all very complex n I am hoping I can get some guidance from others out here on how best should we be handling this n doing the right thing. As you will all appreciate it hurts so much to see yr kid struggle.
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Find something that she would like to do outside of school. Let her be a volunteer for an organization where she can meet people. Find something where she is helping others, something like that will make her feel important and also make her feel good about helping someone. She could tutor, or be a big sister, or go to a children's hospital and visit with the kids, read to children in a library etc.
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I work with teens to help teach them leadership and personal growth, and I have noticed that most kids intuitively know what is right and what they SHOULD do, but they all seem to be waiting for the adults to tell them to do it or give them permission. 

I think a lot of kids doubt themselves, and they end up going with the flow.  If they just had a type of mentor, most kids would create way better results!

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Stu Schaefer
Stu Schaefer
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Tony 61 - 18/11/2015
Hi,
I have a 16 year old, she's our only child.

For quite a few years now she has constantly complained of not having friends. She is tall n beautiful n talented etc etc n yet she is under confident in groups and constantly berates herself for anything that is not right.

She has friends but somehow has never had a close friend, ever. When she was in primary school she was a bit over weight, n got bullied for it, we did not hear about it, n we always thought she was a happy easy going confident child , however, now when she talks to us she relates it as what a horrible time she had there.

In senior school, she was in a group initially but since 2 years that group has moved on and she has always felt very strong about not being part of that group.
She tries to be part of other groups but maybe is unable to get into them. Or maybe her earlier group was the more popular one and other groups don't attract her yet she wants to be in some group so it's a bit complex. Over all she doesn't hv any close friends, does not belong to a group n feels very strongly negative about it.
This topic comes up every few days at home Abt how bad her situation is, how no one cares about her, n how no one wants to be her friend, when we try to give her advice, it always ends up in a slanging rude match, where she feels we don't sympathize with her n don't care, whereas we feel she is always making more of the situation is always seeking attention, be it at home or at school n with friends,but they r not willing to give it to her .
We are really struggling with how best to deal with her.

She looks strong outwardly but she is always hurting inside that no one cares, that she wants to tell others how she feels inside but can't n has to put up this brave front always in school.

We feel that she always over thinks it, is too intense about everything n maybe that is what drives other kids away, they hv their own issues n hv no time to worry Abt hers n give gervthe support She needs.

When she comes n talks to us at times we just listen n try to give her a shoulder to cry on, but often we also end up giving advice about how she maybe over thinking or making it all up n that starts another rude hurtful session. We feel that we can't always just listen to her sob stories but at times also need to show her where she may need to look herself, but obv that doesn't work.

Anyway. What do we do, obv whatever we are doing isn't helping, how do we help her be a stronger more self confident person n how do we help her get friends......

Our feeling is that if she was more self confident n comfortable with herself friends too would be more comfortable with her, but it's all very complex n I am hoping I can get some guidance from others out here on how best should we be handling this n doing the right thing. As you will all appreciate it hurts so much to see yr kid struggle.

I went through something very similar in high school.  I didn't think anyone liked me, so I never talked with them or -- when I did -- I didn't say much.  Because of that, the groups didn't think I liked them very much... we were kind of at a stalemate...

It's really hard to meet new people when you have this mindset and lack confidence.

What I learned is that the best way to make friends is to say "HI" and then ask them several questions about them and who they are to get a really good conversation going... people like talking about themselves.

I would always freeze up... but I think having good questions planned could really help.

As far as creating more confidence... that's tough.  I think that if your daughter has some experiences where she does make friends (maybe even using the method I listed above)... it would add to her belief in herself.

I regret not making more friends because it really is as easy as saying "HI" and then just being interested in the other person.


Here are some example questions:

1. How is it going?
2. Hows the school year treating you?
3. What math class are you in?  How do you like it?
4. So what do you like to do for fun?
5. Did you see (insert the latest movie here)?  Did you like it?

Stu Schaefer
VP - PrepareMyKid.com
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Ask her if she can browse the BeyondBlue Forums then  advise you IF she feels they can assist concerns others may have.

 https://healthyfamilies.beyondblue.org.au/seeking-support/helping-yourself-and-others/online-forums   


Do gently, gently,  as old saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but not make it drink.

 

GO


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