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Forum -> Parenting our children -> Teenagers and Older children
She needs the help but won't wanna hear of it!



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amother
OP


 

Post Sun, Apr 21 2024, 11:56 am
My 13 year old has been struggling academically.

Although she's received OT and speech therapy in the younger grades she's still very much in need of help, and I could easily sign her back up for more therapy.

But here's the challenge.

Being in a highly academic environment, and in a highly competitive class her self esteem has suffered a lot over the years. Coupled with teenage hormones, she's now become especially irritable and moody about many things, including my offers to help her study for a test or the idea of getting help. After she got deeply frustrated one time when I mentioned joining a math tutoring group in her school I vowed never to talk about any kind of “help” ever again.

Yes, I understand that at her age there's a stigma around ‘getting help’. She's about to enter high school and doesn't want to feel dumb, not even at home with a private tutor. And I can tell that an especially sore point for her because she's socially-aware and sort of well-liked.

But there is so much help available out there and she really really needs it! Like many in my generation I am highly pro therapy and feel like its a shame not to take advantage of a solution that can significantly improve your life. Plus, she needs this for more than her school years as she has trouble with expressive and receptive language and many more things.

To add to this mess, I really feel the need for her to also get some talk therapy sometime before she gets married, which doesn't have to be now, but should be in the cards somewhere around the age of 17-18. The reason for this is that she doesn't seem to handle herself maturely or confidently overall (lots to break down here) and I haven't been the best mother to her in her toddler and early grade school years. I was a first time mom and was also deeply struggling at that time. Ultimately I really wanna see her do much better, not struggle through her insecure teenage years and then fall into marriage.

To note, I am in therapy myself and work hard to improve our emotional connection.

So, regarding the academic help, do I push her or not? Perhaps there's a creative solution here. We don't have to call it “therapy”.
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oneofakind




 
 
    
 

Post Sun, Apr 21 2024, 1:17 pm
Firstly, it sounds like the school is not an appropriate placement for her.
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amother
Navy


 

Post Sun, Apr 21 2024, 1:22 pm
Why is she in such a school if she’s having so much difficulty? I think her whole environment needs to be changed.
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mummiedearest




 
 
    
 

Post Sun, Apr 21 2024, 3:57 pm
I think there needs to be a line between helping a child who wants help and changing a child. You have her in a competitive environment that she is aware of and can’t keep up with. On top of that, you want her to do well in that environment. She does not want more help and likely feels that any help you get her would be for the purpose of making her a more perfect child. You want to get her therapy before she’s marriageable? Who says she won’t mature naturally? Children don’t need to all have the same strengths. She likely feels scrutinized and judged. There’s a reason kids resist these things. Maybe she feels you’ll always find something to fix in her. Obviously, you’re just trying to do your best for your kid, but she’s not going to see it that way.

Children naturally want to succeed. If she’s not doing that, it means she feels it’s impossible. She may be very realistic about her strengths. If she doesn’t have the ability to keep up and you keep her in that environment, she’s not going to develop a great self image. At this point, putting her in a more relaxed environment could do wonders or backfire.

If you are in therapy, great! Focus on improving yourself. You don’t have to improve her. Ask her if she is happy in her school or if she wants to switch. Discuss why. Do not offer your opinion. Discuss her interests and strengths as she sees them. Ask if she wants to try any extracurriculars. Allowing her to develop her strengths on her own terms will have a more positive impact than sending her to therapy at 17. Accept who she is now and nurture her in a way that she will accept. This will be better for your relationship and give her a chance to blossom. In my experience, kids will blossom soon after this age if you let them. Keep an open dialogue about what she wants in life and see what is practical for you to do in that direction. And love her for who she is now, not for what she can be later.
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