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I love my daughter so much.

My daughter has been having trouble for about 15 months now and every time I think we are on track something else happens.
Last year she got involved with a boy at school and at first it was cute they were 12 but he started asking for things that a child of that age shouldn't be even thinking about, my daughter eventually showed me the Facebook messages and I took them to the school, but the school didn't want to know about it, this changed my daughter completely she started self harming at school and they would just ring me and tell me to pick her up, we have been to professionals but that didn't help as her main problems are that she does things before she has a chance to think, this maybe harming or posting pictures to people because she thinks in her mind that they like. I'm so tired and have reached the point that I'm scared of what will come next. Guys that show her some kind of false love on Facebook she takes as being real and thinks the only way to keep them is by sending photos even though she knows it to be wrong and against the law.trying to take Facebook away is not the answer so what is.

Re: I love my daughter so much.

I think your daughter needs to continue seeing a professional about this, especially if she is still self-harming. If the people she's seen in the past haven't helped, take her to someone new. It can often take many tries before you find someone she works well with, and I know it'll be frustrating, but you'll have to be patient. Also try your best to be patient with her, because she also needs to accept that she needs help before she can really be helped. 

 

I can understand how the school would react badly to her self-harming, as I've experienced that as well. But you have to understand from their perspective, normally seeing a young girl (or anyone for that matter) hurt herself deliberately would be extremely disturbing for her classmates, were they to see her do it, and it's generally school policy to send the student home if they're self-harming at school. It's also a sad fact tha lot of teachers probably just aren't equipped to know how to deal with this sort of thing. 

 

With regards to acting without thinking, in my opinion that's something she'll probably grow out of, and with the help of a psychologist who can help her to see that she's worth more than the "false love" that these guys are giving her. A lot of people in their early teens act without thinking much but I reckon that goes away after a while. It's just important that she learns to repect herself and not to give herself to other people who don't give that same respect. 

 

If she wants to talk to anyone, perhaps you could direct her to our website, or Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800). 

It might also be helpful for you to take a look at these links about self-harm: 

http://au.reachout.com/What-is-self-harm

http://au.reachout.com/I-think-my-friend-is-self-harming

 

Re: I love my daughter so much.

Hi Katrina,

I agree with what graphiqual said about the importance/benefits of your daughter continuing to see someone. Whether that be the same person, a new one with the came profession or a different person and type of professional entirely (psychiatrist/psychologist/counsellor)

It sounds to me that self-esteem, self-confidence and/or self-acceptance are the big things going on with her. Of course, that doesn't mean that is what it certainly is, that's just what what you've written reads like to me.
Therefore, I'd really encourage you to try working on that, reminding her and doing things for her to make her feel loved and accepted regardless of anything she does. Building up her self-worth so she knows that she doesn't have to do this stuff for someone to like her, instead letting her realise the people who require it aren't worthy of her.

I know, that's an easy thing for me to say and harder thing to do. Here are just a couple of ideas that come to mind to make it a little less of an abstract idea:
1. Each day say and/or show somehow that you love her.
2. Praise all of her achievements. Whether this be passing a test, acing a test, looking really nice, doing something nice, a drawing, a good suggestion...
3. Spend quality time with her.
4. Take an interest in her/her interests. If she expresses an interest in trying something, even just saying it once, take the initiative and provide her with the possibility (within reason of course!)
5. Encourage the good friendships you notice. Those good friends of hers who you realise are good influences, make them feel welcome in your home, encourage their seeing of each other and perhaps even befriend one of their parents.

I'm wondering what you mean by taking facebook away not being the answer?

Re: I love my daughter so much.

Hi Katrina

 

Thanks for joining Reach Out and sharing your story with us.

 

graphiqual has shared some really good advice there that's worth following through on. In particular, these things do take time. If you and your daughter feel you're not making progress with the professional she's been seeing, do try other professionals — everyone approaches problems differently and it can often take a few attempts before finding someone with whom your daughter can make positive progress. It's also important for your daughter to understand that you are there for her to open up to when she's ready and that you will always be there to support and love her. 

 

Aside from that, make sure you're looking after yourself, too. It's common to try to pour yourself entirely into helping to solve a loved one's problems but you risk exhausting yourself and burning yourself out both physically and emotionally. It's important that you're there for your daughter whenever she needs you, which means making sure that you take time out for yourself to ensure you're in the best possible condition to help her when she needs it.

 

We have an article with some great advice about making sure you care for yourself while caring for others. The information on Reach Out is primarily focused at a younger age group, however, the principles remain the same. In particular, our factsheet about building better coping skills is useful for everyone. Consider using some techniques for yourself for coping such as writing down how you're feeling and/or using some relaxation techniques to ensure you don't stretch yourself too thin.

 

I know it's easier said than done but stay positive. You and your daughter aren't alone in what you're going through.

 

 

Re: I love my daughter so much.

Thank you to all who have taken the time to read my story,that in its self is just very special to me. I've put my daughter into karate to try and give her self esteem and self worth and every day I text her when she is at school to give her quotes such as I love you or you mean the world to me. I do hope she will realise that she has so much to look forward and that so many people love her. But as for now it's one day at a time. Thank you to all this has been amazing just to get it out.

Re: I love my daughter so much.

I like that you say it's "one day at a time", I think that's an amazing attitude to take. And you sound like a wonderful, loving, supportive mother; just remember to try not to smother her too much.

All the best, take care.
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Re: I love my daughter so much.

Personally if she is acting inappropriately on facebook and can't be trusted to act responsibly (posting nude photos etc) then I would remove the facebook.