update on daughter...

i posted a thread recently about her…
anyway, thought that i would update…might be a long post, sorry

Dad took her out to buy stationery, books, etc (her finals are approaching). They talked, not about the stuff Dad wants to hear-she was upset that she had to get almost all As, and then 4.0 GPA and so on, dad told her to not put pressure on her grades, DD got kind of annoyed. He asked about church, if she is interested in joining any group…she said no, she doesn’t like catholics in general.

dad asks why, she says they are generally bad people. he didn’t push the issue, dd says that she doesn’t understand why god has to be sexist, he tells her it isn’t, dd reassured that she still believes in God, but is not “keen” about being more involved, or hearing people out. Apparently to her, people are fond of sugarcoating things about the church. I personally get what she is trying to say, but I feel so :eek: because IMO the further she strays, the more questionable her behaviour might be.

they were supposed to have some pizza but dd is apparently on a diet, dad wanted to get home asap, so both arrived earlier to my dismay because that’s all they talked about, apparently. dad says it was all awkward and he isn’t willing to do it again
ANYWAY…

I did notice some strange behaviour IMO. there’s some sort of sad energy radiating from her. I don’t know what she’s sad about, but she has no energy to pick fights, she will just cuddle into the corner of the couch and use her phone. :frowning:

Asked my son about it but he said that he doesn’t care. oh boys…

sister tried to bond (asked if they could paint her nails), dd gave her an annoyed look

as for the modesty issue I was talking about, I loosened up a little, allowed her to wear certain clothes (shorts, camisoles, etc) as long there is no cleavage or butt cheeks spilling out. She seems annoyed and kind of did the whole “whhyyyy but it’s comfortable” whine. Told her that she deserves guys to not look like her like she’s an object. She then calmly proceeded to tell me that “guys who respect women based on what they wear, aren’t the ‘good guys’ they think they are”, and that she doesn’t care about what guys think of her. I tried telling her exactly what I mean but she kind of brushed it off and asked me to give her some alone time. So…yes. No huge fights or anything but I feel like there’s something bothering her :frowning: a break up? something in school?

did ask her about it but she brushed it off. did hear her crying a bit at night, but I was kind of wary about going in, didn’t want her to know that I saw her being all “vulnerable” or anything. Hope she’s ok :confused:

any scrap of advice will make me so grateful. I feel as if she hates me. Other daughter is also a teenager but she hardly gave me any stress, so I feel like there’s something really off with her, but at the same time I know there’s not much I can do about it.

It’s good that your husband spent some time with her, and it’s good that your daughter felt able to voice why she isn’t so interested in Catholicism at the moment. It might have been awkward, but please, please don’t get up. Your husband and daughter have only just started spending time together - of course it will be awkward! But the time is invaluable and if you carry on with it, it will get better. Maybe your husband could take your daughter out somewhere that does healthy food, or let her pick somewhere to eat? Just don’t give up.

Have you tried asking her about it? Your daughter sounds like she’s very stressed at the minute, especially with exams coming up.

Good on you for compromising!

Ask her about it. Tell her you can see she’s upset and you want to know if there’s anything you can do. You aren’t going to find out unless you go and talk to her.

Keep going, keep spending time with her. Maybe you could pick out a film together, or do something that she’s interested in? I think you just have to give it time. If it’s awkward when talking to her, try spending time with her that requires you to be together, but not necessarily to talk, like a film. Maybe on a car journey you can take it in turns to pick out music and say why you like it?

There’s also a book called the Five Love Languages which I’ve seen recommended on CAF before. Online, you can find their quiz which a teenager can take to find out their love language. If you work out which love language she has, it’ll help you to work with that and show her she is loved. The quiz is here: 5lovelanguages.com/profile/teens/

It does sound to me like she’s quite stressed at the minute. After her finals, she may start to feel a little better. Maybe when they’re done you could go out as a family to celebrate? Just little things to boost her self esteem.

Lou

In my opinion ( i am a professional), I see a few red flags that need attention. It sounds like she is really withdrawing and the whole crying at night thing worries me. Teenagers at this age typically do instigate arguments and attempt to assert their independence. That it their JOB. They are getting themselves ready to make their own decisions and be an adult. Teens frequently push away parents at this stage, readying you for an empty nest.

  1. She appears not to trust you or your husband enough to tell you what’s going on. So you need to find someone she does trust, maybe an aunt or cousin. Someone who can be her FRIEND.

  2. As a MOM, I would at least ask her if she is depressed or if she thinks about hurting herself, she may need medication. If she won’t talk to you, you need to tell her that she HAS to talk to someone because you are probably pretty worried. She may have someone in mind or my consent to speaking with a school counselor or teacher. Regardless, I feel you have to get to the bottom of this somehow.

I have seen this too many times to count. My daughter has parents that she is terrified to talk to. I raised my kids with the “you can talk to me about anything”, yes the line between friend and parent can get blurred. But I would rather have to let a few minor things go than have my kids lie or keep secrets from me.

How about this tack: Ask her if she can name five people she could talk to, if she had something to talk about that she couldn’t talk to you (her parents) about. If she can’t name anyone, let her know that she is getting to be a grown woman and needs to think of who those people might be. Then encourage her to have an ongoing relationship with them.

This might be her godmother, her aunties, her grandmother, a neighbor, the mother of a friend, a counselor at school. It doesn’t matter. The main thing is that you help her to realize that she doesn’t have to face her problems alone and that you are primarily concerned that she has someone to talk to, not that she disclose everything to you.

This reinforces the idea that you are there to help her take the reins of her own life and to make her own decisions wisely and with real support, not prevent her from doing it by hanging onto control of her life for as long as possible. It is a way of earning her trust with regards to respect for her growing independence.

If she asks why, then yes, I’d be up front and say that I’d noticed her crying and wanted to make sure she knew I wanted her to feel she never has to face her problems alone, even if she wanted to feel she was facing them as her own woman. I’d want her to know that grown women take care of themselves by mutual care, not by taking everything life throws at them alone.

I’d ask her if she thinks men are mind-readers, that anyone ought to expect to say one thing with their clothing and not be taken for their “word.” Clothing is communication. What you choose to wear from the options you have is a statement about yourself. Everyone knows this.

If you say by your clothing that you don’t care if men visualize you naked by dressing in a way that leaves as little to the imagination as legally possible, well, that is how they’ll visualize you. You’ve told them that your comfort or love of attention is something you value more highly than your own self-respect. After this, are you really going to have the gall to criticize you for giving you exactly the same amount of respect you give yourself? They have not just your permission, but your encouragement to see you as someone who does not want their respect! If you encourage them to see you a certain way and then criticize them as not “good guys” for doing what you encourage, you are nothing but a hypocrite.

You have to think about what you say with your actions even more than you think about what you say with your words, because words are cheap, while actions require self-control and self-awareness. If you expect anyone to show you more respect than you can be bothered to show for yourself, you’re putting all of the work on others and expecting nothing of yourself. Why does that deserve any respect?

Be prepared to find out that she probably has nobody to talk to.

From my experience and also others’, I realized that teens who are going through issues, while they have good friends, don’t enjoy being vulnerable in front of anyone. I know for a fact that one of my closer friends probably have a lot of issues that she sometimes hint at, but would never tell me. I have thoughts that I will never tell my family or friends. So I won’t be surprised if your daughter feels the same.

Like most teenagers, she’s probably venting on social media under an anonymous account (like me :blush:) and while it seems nice she is doing that, it might not be a good thing. It gives her an illusion that she has a support system. When I was venting about my self harm, I’ve had fellow teenagers sharing tips on how to hide it from people. They are like “don’t self harm!! But if your teacher asks, smile and say that you got a fight with your cat and laugh it off!!1!”
That’s clearly not good advice, isn’t it.

She’s on a ‘diet’ and I can’t help but think WHY. Is she fat? Skinny? Medium?

I don’t mean to make you paranoid, but usually people who are perfectionists (those who do well in school), and are not pretty (you kind of said she isn’t) and are dieting and crying at night…

I don’t think she actively encourages others to lust after her, she just wears what she likes and what she feels good in. IMO from the way she looks at modesty, she has the popular opinion most girls her age might have: I am going to dress in the way that I feel confident and happy in and go about my life. That could mean that I could be wearing a bikini, or a burqa, either way, I don’t deserve to slut shamed for it

:shrug: my view is that yes, nobody should be shamed for what they wear, but what you wear makes a first impression and not everyone is going to stick around and find out what a lovely person you are. You wear a modest business suit at work, and if you don’t, you don’t get taken seriously by your colleagues. So same thing applies in your day-to-day life.

Have tried telling her that, but I just think she doesn’t care much about the issue. It’s not like all of her outfits are immodest (she dresses normally for mass, but she dresses like she’s going clubbing when she hangs out with her friends).

Thank you for the advice. I may sound like a hypocrite because we are similar. I hardly even talk to my husband about certain stuff, she probably got that from me:o

She had a good friend we liked but they had a falling out a couple of years ago. She then started mixing around with her current friends, and at this rate, I don’t think they are good friends that truly cares about her.

I’ve been trying to get any hint to see that she has an adequate support system, but I don’t think she has any. Teachers’ remarks on her report cards have always been saying stuff like “___ is quiet and reserved among her peers”. I will try asking her later. Ever since she was little, she has been always bottling up everything, so I’m quite upset about it.

she isn’t fat. Quite slim, in my opinion. Yes, she hates showing much emotion so I won’t be shocked if she has nobody to talk to. i don’t know what to do anymore

We’re all hypocrites at least some of the time. The lighting on mirrors is always a bit more flattering, I suppose! :rolleyes: :wink:

There is no need to be upset or dramatic about this. Who do you have to confide in? Just let her know that at her age she will be happier if she has older women to confide in, and that she’s gotten the age where she ought to be able to talk to someone other than you or her peers, people who love her but whose opinion she might fear will become an interference to her ability to know her own mind. Maybe you can tell her this is something you can both work on!

That is the thing: Let her know that we all need help to know our own minds, and you want her to feel free to find that. It is the woman who knows her own mind who will be most able to say “no” to both men and women who try to push her to follow something other than her own conscience.

Sometimes it is our mother who is that person for us, but not always. Actually, I’d say that is fairly uncommon from our first need for independence until we are well and truly adults. That is nothing to be ashamed of or to feel upset about. The truth is that if she learns to open up to someone who is “easy” because they have less leverage to pressure her than you and her friends do, the sooner she’ll be able to open up to all of you with more confidence.

PS Yes, I avoided talking to other women about my “business” because my mother’s example was that it was something to avoid. If the confidantes are carefully chosen and thankfully found–which can be difficult, I won’t lie!–it is definitely something to seek out, not avoid.

Really happy to hear that her father had some one on one time with her.
Please encourage your husband to keep doing so even if he feels awkward.:slight_smile:
He’s the parent,not the child,so feel needs to be grown up and keep trying even if it’s uncomfortable for a while.
IMO,for him to just not engage is not an option.

Perhaps it won’t be possible, to reason with your daughter right now about the why’s of modesty-could that be dealt with once the other issues are resolved?

Is her sister able to offer to do some activities with her that arn’t based around looks (ie:not hair,nails etc)?

There are websites where perhaps your daughter might feel comfortable to post anonymously.One website is a mental health website called Sane Forums.
It’s from Australia but I think anyone from any country can post there.
saneforums.org

Dads want to be encouraged in this.

Yes, I’d say it would be good for him to teach her whatever he knows, whether it is how to do maintenance on a car or what the poem is that he learned in 7th grade and still knows by heart. She’ll probably complain, but unlike time with Mom, she’ll probably know to prize time spent with Dad right now. (Mom usually falls out of popularity until daughters become secure in their sense that they are grown women…hence, the practical value of being the advocate for the daughter in knowing her own mind and sticking up for her own sense of herself.)

And yes, he ought to endure some of the activities that she suggests, even if they make him feel like a cat in a frilly bonnet. When it comes to that dance they have when she’s in her wedding gown, he’ll be glad he did. I’d put it just that way to him, too.

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