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Forum -> Parenting our children -> Teenagers and Older children
ISO the right help fo a painfully shy teenager - Brooklyn
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amother
OP


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 3:33 pm
My sweet DD is 14. She's extremely shy and slightly socially awkward in certain settings. I'm trying so hard to find her the right help but I'm not getting anywhere.
Any ideas?

She bh has a good friend in school, and unfortunately that friend is switching out for HS. She never calls anyone on the phone to chat.

Yet when I see her on the block w the neighbors or at simchas w the cousins, Im thrilled, since she is very well liked and thriving in those settings.

She refused to even entertain the idea of sleepaway camp, there aren't any DCs for her age anymore. She will be a counselor in a DC iyh but she already told me she won't talk w the other counselors cuz she's not interested. I think she's afraid to make friends.

It's such a pity because she does have alot to offer and has a really good personality once you get to know her.

When we went to a HS interview recently she was forcing herself to make eye contact w the principal every few seconds and sat abit slouched. She spoke really quietly and responded to some basic questions with 'I don't know'. It was painful to watch. My heart breaks for her.

I know she can be confident and 'normal' when she's in her reg environment in school, w the neighbors, w the cousins and family etc. Yet I can see the social awkwardness getting worse as she gets older. Especially when she looks like a mature 14 yr old, but the behavior sometimes doesn't match the age.

What kind of therapist would be able to help with this?
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amother
Mocha


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 3:56 pm
Find someone who specializes in social anxiety
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amother
OP


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 3:59 pm
amother Mocha wrote:
Find someone who specializes in social anxiety


Thank you. Would that be a regular talk therapist w this specialty? I can see dd being uncooperative, We need someone super experienced to help her open up.
Would you know of anyone?
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amother
Lightgray


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 4:00 pm
Have you tried calling relief for recommendations?

I think Tali Arieff might be a good fit but relief would be able to guide you better.
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#BestBubby




 
 
    
 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 4:06 pm
To boost confidence develop any talent DD has such as art, music, baking, photography, etc.

Tutoring a younger child may be helpful.

Even adults prepare for interviews, having a friend ask them typical questions.
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amother
OP


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 4:08 pm
amother Lightgray wrote:
Have you tried calling relief for recommendations?

I think Tali Arieff might be a good fit but relief would be able to guide you better.


Didnt ask Relief. Guess I should reach out to them. I will research Tali Arieff, thanks for the recommendation.

Any other therapist recommendations? I feel she would benefit tremendously from play therapy, it wd need her cooperation though.

She gets so angry if I ever suggest any type of help. Of course I don't outright call it help. We first hv a reg discussion where we end up bringing up the subject of let's say camp, or HS and then I gently mention that I know someone in so and so school or camp and maybe she wd like to go there? Or if she wants to speak w someone fm there to get a feel of the place.

She gets so upset, she cries real tears, like you can think I suggested she should scrub the floors or something.
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amother
OP


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 4:17 pm
#BestBubby wrote:
To boost confidence develop any talent DD has such as art, music, baking, photography, etc.

Tutoring a younger child may be helpful.

Even adults prepare for interviews, having a friend ask them typical questions.


She has been to alot of these extra curricular talent places over the years. She went for gymnastics, art, baking, you name it. I offered her music lessons but she only wanted tgo w someone and we couldn't find anyone else interested tgo w her.

She gets alot of cool stuff, brand name clothing and accessories to help her stand out, hoverboard, collections etc. Whenever there's a new shtick like rubiks cubes she's one of the first to get it.

On the block she's the one kids gravitate to since my dh and I made a decision to have our house be an open house, all kids like to hang out here, she makes the smores pies and ices and carnivals etc.

But this confidence still doesn't translate into regular life outside the norm.
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amother
Pearl


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 5:11 pm
Could it be that your dd has trouble talking with adults and adapting to new situations? Very normal for a 14 year old!
It’s encouraging that she likes to be with the people she loves the most and neighbors. This does not sound like a social problem but of mingling in the adult world and meeting new people.
For future school interviews maybe have a dress rehearsal with her to help her become more confident. Also if she is happy being a camp counselor, then give her some space and let her find her own friends.
My ds ,age 16 just started becoming more sociable Teenagers need time to mature and grow . Unless she is bothered by her own isolation and is miserable ( G-d forbid) then I wouldn’t push therapy.
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chayak




 
 
    
 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 5:22 pm
Any suggestions of books a painfully
shy teenager could read?
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amother
Chestnut


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 5:49 pm
OP,
I have a similar situation with my Dd also 14. Not exactly same issues but some similarities.

Refuses therapy.

We just “forced” her to go for art therapy. She only went twice so far. No idea if it will help. I hope bezras Hashem it will.
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Dolly Welsh




 
 
    
 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 5:53 pm
Maybe some people are just shy with strangers? As a personal quality?

She has social skills with people she knows. She isn't reclusive.

You say she 'seems mature for fourteen.' If that means a developed bosom, and it sounds as if that's what you mean, self consciousness is normal at that age.

She may always be more home-oriented, and not the one to take a spotlight role, for life. So?

Fine with known people, not fine with new people. If you had a son considering such a girl, wouldn't that be a good way to be?

As for the schools interviews, they are quite used to all that.

I would be careful of making an issue here. You don't want to give her one more thing to feel she isn't good enough at.

She's consenting to a counselor job. That's fine right there.

Nobody knows 'who they are going to talk to' before they even get there.


Last edited by Dolly Welsh on Tue, May 14 2024, 5:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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amother
OP


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 5:55 pm
amother Chestnut wrote:
OP,
I have a similar situation with my Dd also 14. Not exactly same issues but some similarities.

Refuses therapy.

We just “forced” her to go for art therapy. She only went twice so far. No idea if it will help. I hope bezras Hashem it will.


Hugs. It's so hard as a parent to watch them be this way. May I ask how you got her to agree to go? Even her reg annual checkup visits to the Dr, it takes at least a full week of convincing her tgo. And when she gets there, she barely cooperates. Does a huge favor by stepping on the scale after the nurse will ask her about 10 times.
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amother
OP


 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 6:06 pm
Dolly Welsh wrote:
Maybe some people are just shy with strangers? As a personal quality?

She has social skills with people she knows. She isn't reclusive.

You say she 'seems mature for fourteen.' If that means a developed bosom, and it sounds as if that's what you mean, self consciousness is normal at that age.

She may always be more home-oriented, and not the one to take a spotlight role, for life. So?

Fine with known people, not fine with new people. If you had a son considering such a girl, wouldn't that be a good way to be?

As for the schools interviews, they are quite used to all that.

I would be careful of making an issue here. You don't want to give her one more thing to feel she isn't good enough at.

She's consenting to a counselor job. That's fine right there.

Nobody knows 'who they are going to talk to' before they even get there.


Thanks for your post. Just wanna touch on afew things you talk about:

*By saying she looks like a mature 14 yr old but her behavior sometimes doesn't match, I meant that she doesn't look like a little kid that hides behind their mother in the grocery because they spot their teacher in the next aisle. Yet she still does this. It is very age inappropriate. When you see a teen, (she happens to be petite and I did not mean the developed chest area) you expect them to act w a certain degree of maturity.
* hypothetically, if I had a son being redt to a girl who I heard was very very shy I would prob not consider looking into it. Sorry just being honest here.
*she is declaring beforehand that she will not even talk to anyone, because she's 'not interested' that's diff than not knowing who you will talk to beforehand.

I appreciate your insight.
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Dolly Welsh




 
 
    
 

Post Tue, May 14 2024, 7:15 pm
Hides when sees teacher in the next aisle in the grocery store.

Teacher is out of context. In school, she knows exactly how teacher has to act, teacher is on the job. Structured situation. In grocery store, teacher is off duty. Who knows how teacher will act? In a sense teacher is now a completely different person.

So that's scary.

Well it is.

And the teacher may indeed be a formidable personality anyway.

You find this a bit much. I think it will pass by sixteen.

Being a bit scared in general might come easily to a small-built person.

I would let the camp situation work itself out on its own without talking about it. She will find herself in a group of new girls. She can't exactly stay silent and work with them.

Be more sneaky. Instead of candidly saying, come on now, you have to be more socially fearless, sneakily send her to do errands or cope with bill paying and taking things over to people who are expecting them. Act as if it were the most natural thing in the world and needs no talking about. Be offhand.

That amounts to harnessing the enormous power of expectation.
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amother
Chestnut


 

Post Wed, May 15 2024, 12:36 am
OP,
We’ve been talking about it for months.
She said no way to therapy but when I found out about art therapy I tried warming her up to the idea since before pesach.
Then when I finally made the appointment she was like no way!
She said she never thought we’d follow through with it.
She barely spoke to us for about 24 hours and was really upset but we held our ground.
She NEEDS this.
Finally she opened up and said she wished we would have given her more of a choice.
My husband said you only have to go once and after that we’ll see.
I don’t know if this was the right approach and I don’t know what will happen.
Bezras Hashem it will be good. For both our daughters.
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amother
Molasses


 

Post Wed, May 15 2024, 12:54 am
amother OP wrote:
Didnt ask Relief. Guess I should reach out to them. I will research Tali Arieff, thanks for the recommendation.

Any other therapist recommendations? I feel she would benefit tremendously from play therapy, it wd need her cooperation though.

She gets so angry if I ever suggest any type of help. Of course I don't outright call it help. We first hv a reg discussion where we end up bringing up the subject of let's say camp, or HS and then I gently mention that I know someone in so and so school or camp and maybe she wd like to go there? Or if she wants to speak w someone fm there to get a feel of the place.

She gets so upset, she cries real tears, like you can think I suggested she should scrub the floors or something.


Maybe art therapy?
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amother
Fern


 

Post Wed, May 15 2024, 1:37 am
Rachelli Shear is an excellent play therapist. I believe she works with teens as well.
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amother
Whitewash


 

Post Wed, May 15 2024, 2:14 am
If she doesn’t want help then there’s nothing you can do, and making her feel like there is something wrong with her is only going to make her problems a lot worse.

You have a daughter who is shy and awkward in some settings. That’s okay. There are shy, awkward people in every environment and they live perfectly successful lives. She does have relationships with people in several settings. That shows she has the skills necessary to succeed in life. It’s just hard and scary for her in some circumstances, and her teenage way of dealing with that is avoiding it and pretending she’s not interested. She might stay like this as an adult and that would be okay even if she’s not the perfect extroverted daughter you wish she’d be, or she will grow out of it.

If she’s 14, she’s in ninth grade, right? It is so so normal to struggle socially in ninth grade. It’s basically the norm.

I and most of my friends would feel very awkward as teens meeting our teacher in stores. I remember us blushing and acting very, very awkward. It was a rare, very confident girl who would handle it like an adult. She is being normal.

The fact that you discriminate against shy people when picking a spouse for your child doesn’t mean that everyone else does. I think you need to be more open minded and less hysterical. Accept your daughter for who she is and believe in her.

Making a huge issue out of her very normal way of being is really going to screw her up.
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amother
Phlox


 

Post Wed, May 15 2024, 11:01 am
chayak wrote:
Any suggestions of books a painfully
shy teenager could read?


Quiet
By Susan Cain
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behappy2




 
 
    
 

Post Wed, May 15 2024, 11:12 am
Two ideas. One is to get the book Breaking free of childhood anxiety and OCD. Second is to find a therapist for yourself to guide you in helping her. I think it's highly unlikely at this point that she will go or engage with a therapist. I would recommend craniosacral therapy or bodywork but my guess is that she won't cooperate much with that either.
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