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Is it normal for my 16 year old daughter to act out? I have never had any trouble with her till a month ago when my ex moved next door. Then we moved away. Does it have something to do with that? She has always behaved and done things when she was told, but now she just pushes people away, spends most of the day in her room (not at school yet), cries for no reason, screams and rants when I ask her to do anything, goes out without telling me where her is going, fights with her siblings all the time, won't eat and if she does its a little then she makes a trip to the bathroom, and is still wearing the same clothes she wore last week. I have taken her to our family doctor and they said she's fine, but I don't think this is normal. None of my other kids have done anything like this. She is unreal. I am so worried about her it is tearing us apart and I don't know what to do. She refuses help and goes in to these moods where she won't talk to anyone for weeks if we say anything about it, so we don't. Does anyone have any suggestions? I have tried everything, even trying to get other members of the family to talk to her, but it doesn't work. Does anyone have anything that could help me? Thanks.
By mc4lifes from Sydney, NSW
I am no expert, but I would say it definitely is a result of the events of a month ago. How far away did you move? Is your daughter still able to be with her friends? She needs that. How about letting her have a party and inviting her friends over? If you are in a new city, perhaps you could invite a couple of teens from the new city to the party, too. What used to interest her? Help her find some way to satisfy those interests now. Can she find a youth group to join? Does she miss her dad? Could/should she live with him some of the time? I said a prayer for her and you.
An obvious suggestion is to wait until she seems to be in a decent mood and ask her how she feels about your ex and everything that has transpired. Don't ask yes or no questions because the answer will probably be "no". If you are able to view her Facebook/Tumblr/Twitter/Instagram pages you may find clues that will help you ask the right questions.
Don't assume that she does not have accounts on any of these. All she needs is a friend with an iPhone or laptop to setup and maintain these social networking accounts and she can keep it completely under your radar. It took some online "detective" work for me to find out that my 13 year old daughter was being viciously harassed online by some classmates. If you have Windows 7 on your home computer you can create a free Windows Live account that will let you monitor her activity without her knowledge. It's sneaky, but you have to protect them from themselves sometimes.