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How can I reconnect with my 12 year old daughter who is not a happy child?

My daughter has low self esteem and is desperate for attention of boys. I have always been a single mom, and have been a full time student the past couple of years, and worked full time. I see now that my daughter has suffered for it. She is disconnected and I can't seem to get her back. She stays in trouble for low grades, and just not caring. I see that she is going down a bad road, and I feel like I can't stop it! I have tried spending all of my time with her over the summer, and finally gave her Itouch back 3 days ago, only to have her use it to text the 14 year old boy next door to secretly meet her last night. Now she has lost it again, but I am sick over it. What can I do? Is putting her on lockdown the answer, or is it making it worse? I feel like I have ruined that precious child she used to be. How can I fix it?

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Asked by abullock at 11:46 AM on Aug. 10, 2010 in Tweens (9-12)

Level 2 (9 Credits)
Answers (5)
  • Honestly, i'm not sure, but here's a bump! I hope you get answers!

    Answer by LovingSAHMommy at 11:49 AM on Aug. 10, 2010

  • I would keep trying to get through to her, allow your feelings to come out and tell her your concerns for her. Just be open and honest. Tell her, you want to spend more time with her, and only want the best for her. You have to break through and hopefully gain her trust so that she will open up to you. Maybe try counseling. You post that she has low self esteem, and is not a happy child then those issues need to be worked with now, so that she can heal and be happy. Let her pick something that she likes to do and you both can do things together. Don't give up. If her school work is failing get involved and hopefully work together so that she can get back on the right track. Be careful of her friends. Give her praise when she does well, so that she will want to make you proud. I hope things change and the both of you can work through this.

    Answer by Kellyjude1 at 12:29 PM on Aug. 10, 2010

  • Where is dad or grandpa or uncle? She needs positive feedfback from a male positive role model who likes her for who she is. If not, she may end up getting what she thinks she needs from boys who will use her. I'd talk with her about self esteem and self respect and that sex isn't love no matter what boys tell her. I'd also tell her that oral sex is NOT safe sex. Too many young girls are getting throat cancer from giving oral sex. They think if they give that it's safe and the boy will like them for it. I'd get her involved in some group activities so she can stay busy and get attention that way from other kids and supervised. Personally I think preteens and teens need more supervision than little kids! I say that bc I was a single mom and my oldest dd got pregnant at 13. It's never too early to talk to her about serious matters.

    Answer by admckenzie at 2:59 PM on Aug. 10, 2010

  • What else does she do?
    Dance? Cheerleading? Sports? Theater?

    Sounds to me like she is lonely. I do think that lock down is not the answer. That only isolates her more. I think you need to get her involved in a local youth group. Find out what her interests are. Being a single mom I know that money is probably tight, but I really think she will benefit from some structured activities with kids her own age.

    Answer by Maureen-MD at 3:05 PM on Aug. 10, 2010

  • I dont really think that you should blame yourself. I was a single mother for 14 years, always have worked full time and earned a degree in college. We single mothers have to do what we have to do. You did nothing wrong, it is not your fault. What I did with my DD is put her in sports, that way after school she had something to do. I always made it a point to have a "date night" we would go to where she wanted to go to dinner and she would open up and talk. We would also go see a movie. I would ask her questions about her friends and stuff. I also found out what my DD love language was and filled her up that way.

    Answer by Esmrlda at 6:48 PM on Aug. 10, 2010

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