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I checked her phone...13yo daughter is heading down the wrong path...Help!!!

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Please advise... asap!

Looking at my daughter's phone last night, since she has been on it a LOT lately.  She knows I check her text messages, so I looked at other social media apps and all the texting she has been doing.  She seems to be starving for attention from boys.  She texts them constantly and freaks if they don't answer right away....super, super NEEDY.  She told one how bad her life is, that her parents are fighting, she's "in a bad time", she doesn't know what to do... and that she is going to CUT herself.  The boy is begging her not to do it, and she says "too late".   This is all a LIE.  She was on spring break trip with a friend when she wrote this!  We are not fighting!!  And she doesn't cut herself!  I would know, we were just at the dermatologist and she had to strip down to her undies b/c of her eczema, etc. (sensitive skin).  She doesn't cut, she just wants him to think she does!  Now I know why she's wearing jackets & hoodies all the time.  Not to hide the cuts but to hide the fact that she is lying.  Then... after telling this same boy how much she LOOOVES him over and over, the very next week she has moved on to another boy....pestering him, flattering him to no end.  She is also cursing like a sailor and gossiping BAD about other girls!

a little background...I check her texts periodically, and I thought they were a little "needy" before, but not this bad.  She has been in dance since she was 4yo.  About a month ago, we found out she has a fracture in her back and mild scoliosis; we are seeing a spine specialist next week.  So, I know part of this is that she is BORED.  She's not at the dance studio 3-4 nights a week.  So first thing, she needs to be busier, but not in anything physical. I expected that she would be a little emotionally "down" for a bit b/c of this injury (although I have kept a real positive attitude about it with her, "You're going to heal up just  fine, We got this!")  Second, I plan to take away her phone tonight, but that will not fix the desire for attention...I need suggestions!  I think my husband needs to show her more attention, tell her she's pretty, but that's just not his style... he's always telling her he loves her though, giving hugs, etc... My sons didn't have all this social media crap.  My stomach is just in knots and I am at a loss of what to do. 

Sophie Irene
by on Mar. 21, 2013 at 10:23 AM
Replies (11-20):
by on Mar. 27, 2013 at 11:23 AM

It's good things are looking up.  Stang your ground and hang in there.

Quoting SophieIrene:

Update:  We had a huge discussion with her last week.  The phone is taken away indefinitely.  She was actually talking to a couple of boys that she didn't know. "Met on Instagram".  She knew better.  Instagram account is being deleted.  She knows she made a lot of mistakes. She went to school with short sleeves on and told the couple of kids that knew about the cutting that it was a lie and it was stupid of her to say  that.  She said she has never done it (I checked her all over) but she HAS briefly thought about it.  I have an appt with a counselor next week for her.  She doesn't want to go, but I think it will help once she gets started.  Meanwhile, we spent a lot of time together this weekend and are going to start some gardening as soon as it warms up just a little.  We had the BEST weekend without that phone.  Even she knew it.

by on Mar. 27, 2013 at 11:23 PM

bow downYou are doing what is right!

by on Mar. 27, 2013 at 11:45 PM
Isn't it amazing how things improve when you take away the electronics? I thought my two sons would shrivel up and die if I took away the XBox, cell phone, IPad, laptop, etc. but when I declared Tuesdays a "no electronics" day, we actually had- gasp- FUN. We went bowling, which we all just suck at, but no one cared. We ate pizza and chili-cheese fries and then we went and did some shopping together. It was wonderful.

You need to find out where your daughter's neediness comes from. And yeah, a therapist may be able to draw that out of her. Tell her that boys are unnecessary, don't tangle yourself up in someone else when you have the whole world- her whole life- ahead of her. Her life is like a blank canvas she gets to paint on. I'm a little jealous of her. I wish I could have that again sometimes.
by Bronze Member on Mar. 28, 2013 at 12:00 AM

 Between ages 13-15 are the worst for teen girls!  Seriously.

Her dad does need to spend lots of time with her, doing fun things (NOT commenting on her physically....that's a no).  Mine went to the laser tag place recently and they had a great time. 

It does get better.  Seeing much better days now, a few years later. 

Do put a limit on the texting and discuss with her what sort of stuff is appropriate. 

by on Mar. 28, 2013 at 12:03 AM
Acting classes... She can still be creative, Not be as physical
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by Member on Mar. 28, 2013 at 2:46 PM

 I agree with altmom and luckysevenwow.  With maturity comes responsibility....quite obviously she's not at the point yet that she can handle having a phone and/or the social media aspect of it.  Another suggestion is to cut off the texting/smartphone and just have it be a phone.  My DSD was lying and sexting and we ended up having to take her phone away entirely after she kept breaking the rules.  She's 16 and even now will try to get away with it via email.  Sometimes kids just mature slower than others.  With DSD it was a matter of self-esteem, we got her into counseling which helped a GREAT deal but she still does it so obviously that's not the only issue. 

Kids aren't required to have a cell phone, they are not a necessity of life.

I also pointed out to DSD that people will like her for who she is but if she lies then they will have a problem with it and her.  She did have a friend point that very fact out to her this last year and that helped more than anything, she was lucky that the friend forgave her.  Teens aren't usually quite so forgiving in this day and age.

Good luck!

Quoting luckysevenwow:

I'm gonna go with altmom on this one.


She is looking in all of the wrong places, and proving she isn't mature enough to handle social media or texting, for the time being.

Talk, talk, talk with her. Let her know that her lies can put your family in a really bad place. Kids talk and the last thing any family needs is people thinking the wrong things about you guys. 

Then get her into counseling, this isn't something that will just correct itself. You need to help her find what is causing it.


by on Mar. 28, 2013 at 2:51 PM
TAKE THE PHONE. Do not give it back. Get her therapy. Monitor all internet chats. TALK to her about what she is chatting/texting about. Don't judge, just ask why she would write xyz when it is not happening. Ask how she feels when she gets that attention.

My SD was like this. She moved onto cutting for attention and then couldn't stop. She started fake threats of suicide when she was sad and then got caught up in that. Her whole view of life is so distorted.

Intervene before it is too late.
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by on Mar. 28, 2013 at 6:00 PM

I can't give you any specific advice on what you should or shouldn't do for her.  I am struggling with my teen daughter as well. 

However, try to take care of yourself and other relationships through all of this, not just her. She does need your help, but she doesn't have to be the center of your universe.  I am learning this the hard way.   Know that this is going to be a tough road and a long haul for all of you, (there is no quick fix or easy solution).  But your daughter will most likely come out of these teen years okay, and have learned a few hard lessons along the way.  :-(


by on Mar. 29, 2013 at 11:50 PM

I have boys so Im not that much help. But when they were having problems they often refused to go to a counselor, so I went myself to vent and gain strategies to deal with this behaviour. I found it helped me to calm down and act sensibly insted of being a nervous wreck and adding to the problem.

good luck

Oh and shop around for a good counselor. Especially one who has dealt with teenagers themselves.

by on Mar. 30, 2013 at 12:07 AM
Getting her help is the best thing to do. If the first counselor isn't a good fit keep trying, sometimes it takes a couple of tries. I've seen it posted a few times that kids have refused to go to counseling and I don't get it. They're kids. If you tell them they're going, they go. They might not like it but hopefully they will open up eventually. When I found out my daughter was making herself throw up I took her to a therapist. She insisted I was wrong, she wasn't throwing up and she didn't need therapy. I can't imagine what would have happened if I had just said OK and let it go.
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