Q. I got a divorce 6 years ago to forget the past and start afresh. I have been working hard on my career and doing my best to raise my daughter. However, my daughter has been grumpy and irritable for quite a long time. Recently, I have found out that she is dating with men through SNS and I am completely shocked. I took her for psychology counseling to no avail. She says that she wants to leave home. I don't know what to do.
A. Many people experience difficulties due to problems of children after divorce or remarriage. Many children of parents who are divorced or remarried have psychological problems, but they are not recognized until they get serious and manifested as apparent behavioral problems.
You may have thought that you are doing well both with your career and parenting and just thought that your daughter is going through normal period of adolescence with small problems here and there. Diverse problems of adolescence occur when children and teenagers begin to think for themselves and form their own thought standards. They find their own thought standards and adults' thought standards do not accord with each other and experience conflicts and discordance. Teenagers with unstable psychology may experience more difficulties in the process. Your daughter seems to have had psychological problems for quite a long time but they have not been detected and been aggravated.
Psychology counseling may not be very effective in this case. Your daughter had to talk about her negative emotions and experiences during counseling. Unfortunately, females including children grow psychological wounds when they retrieve negative emotions in the absence of safe types of attention and consolation. They may even generate new wounds or transform fake wounds into real wounds during the process. When parents find that psychology counseling is not effective, they may even refer their child's case to professional psychiatrists for a more robust treatment including medication, which may put the child into the vicious cycle of worsening the condition and applying more powerful treatment.
It is very dangerous for a 14 year-old-girl to be dating with men through SNS, but from your daughter's point of view, she is doing it since it provides her with comfort and pleasure, and makes her feel good from getting attention and consolation. Your daughter's psychology seems to be getting aggravated judging from the fact that counseling did not work and she wants to leave home. She feels more comfortable with attention and consolation from dating with men through SNS than with counselors or her mother.
It is essential to accurately understand the root cause of the child's psychological problems. When females have negative emotions and unstable psychology, their mind operates to have them try to treat psychological wounds by getting attention and consolation. In case of girls, attention and consolation must be provided by their mother, and otherwise, their psychological condition deteriorates even further. When attention and consolation are not provided by their mother, girls may seek them from other people feeling comfortable and loved in their conscious.
When the mother herself has psychological wounds in herself, it is harder for her to provide her daughter with adequate attention and consolation. Even if the mother consciously tries to connect with her daughter psychologically, her psychological condition makes it hard to implement the adequate parenting method.
Your daughter's psychological problems are likely to have started when you first sensed that your daughter is going through the phase of adolescence and have been worsening for the whole time. The problem cannot be solved by viewing it as the child's problem, which can actually expedite the advancement of the condition. It must be viewed as having stemmed from the mother's psychological problems and problems of parenting. The root cause of your daughter's psychological problems is your inability or failure to provide adequate attention and consolation and adequate parenting when she first developed negative emotions and psychological wounds.
First and foremost, you must treat your own psychological wounds and restore healthy psychology. Then, both you and your daughter will feel more stabilized and comfortable to interact and connect with each other. You must first analyze your present psychological condition and find ways to restore healthy psychology. When you interact with your daughter with healthy psychology, your daughter will also experience the improvement in her condition and naturally stay away from behaviors that used to worry you since she has no reason to get attention and consolation from undesirable or inappropriate relationships.
You may want to apply for Free Consultation on Divorce and Remarriage to be guided for the restoration of your healthy psychology. You will learn exactly what to do for yourself and your daughter through the consultation. It won't take long for your daughter to recover once you become a happy mother.