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Dr. Rossi
Dr. Rossi, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4627
Experience:  PsyD, LPC, CHt
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I have a 10 year old daughter that is very insecure. Much

Resolved Question:

I have a 10 year old daughter that is very insecure. Much of the problem shows when her 13 year old sister is together with all the friends. I need help. I live in Honduras and do not have access to a doctor but I need to get her some help. What can I do? Is there an online system I can do????
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Rossi replied 2 years ago.

Dr. Rossi :

Hi,


Is it more of an anxiety disorder as in social anxiety that you're referring to?

Dr. Rossi :

Or do you believe she's more introverted?

Dr. Rossi :

There are online counseling options as long as she's open to giving it a try.

Dr. Rossi :

Some would be through metanoia.org and liveperson.com

Dr. Rossi :

Unless you think she needs medication for anxiety?

Customer:

No it is not anxiety. She is insecure but yet secure in some ways. She was here today with her best friend and her best friends sister. My older daughter was with another of their friends and then they both came to the house. The moment all 5 were here - Cortni starts saying "nobody wants to play with me..."


This happens all the time and it is now to a point I am really concerned. I need to know how to deal with this so I can better help her.....If you need more detail I will tell you anything I can.


 

Dr. Rossi :

Thank you for clarifying. It sounds that she may be comparing herself to her sister and feeling somewhat inferior. Is it primarily happening among friends and w/ her sister? How does she assert herself at school and other social situations?

Customer:

The other 4 just came and asked her to go to the pool and she said no I don't want to go - the other girls don't understnad and I am worried she will push her friends away as she does not kow how to deal with what she is feeling. Her school teachers can see she does not have the self esteem she needs....


 

Dr. Rossi :

Does she share with you any of her feelings or what she's thinking about when this happens?

Customer:

She is confident in some ways. She loves to sing and has the emotional strength to do Kareoke when we go,etc...she is a beautiful little girl and I think sometimes her class peers are jealous of it which only compounds the problem she has....


 

Dr. Rossi :

It would be helpful for her to be able to identify how she may be sabotaging her relationships. She wants one thing but when she withdraws it leads to the opposite of what she wanted.

Dr. Rossi :

Because she is still a preadolescent, her sister and her sister's friends may have some different interests. She may feel inferior because she's younger and may not always relate to them.

Customer:

I noticed a few years ago and talked with my older daughter about it - sometimes she would be so mean to her. My older daughter is very sweet and so confident and strong and will defend her sister but Cortni can't seem to get it that she is special to. I asked her on day "do you think your sister loves you" she told me sometimes she does. Broke my heart. This is so out of my league. I have a very insecure mother so I know the signs - I just don't know how to help her.

Dr. Rossi :

Is there a counselor at her school?

Customer:

Yes - sometimes she will tell me things that happen, problems at school etc..... She is pretty worked up at the moment and when she gets that way I don't know how to calm her down.


 

Customer:

That is exactly correct. I tried to explain that to her just a bit ago. She is sabotaging her relationships - that is correct.


 

Dr. Rossi :

She is still learning her place as she's growing up. You may notice that her older sister carries herself differently because of age and personality differences.

Customer:

I don't think there is a counelsor but I will check. They go to a private school and it is small and the owners are really wonderful people.


 

Dr. Rossi :

Self esteem develops over time and is based on inner confidence as well as outward feedback from peers and adults.

Customer:

Every progress report she gets they always write - Cortni needs to have more confidence in herself and realize that she is SMART!

Dr. Rossi :

You may try to teach her that confidence comes from within as each individual comes to this world with the opportunity to create themselves and their life as they want it to be.

Dr. Rossi :

She could focus on those things where she feels helpful to others. For example volunteering or helping another child with school work or a project.

Dr. Rossi :

As she sees her own skills being helpful to others, she can start to see herself in a different light.

Customer:

I did tell her today that if she is feeling bad she is the only one that can ultimately change how she feels. I guess I need to find a calmer time to tell her that again. I don't know how to get her to step back when she feels those feelings and analyze what just happened - did I just think this because I felt it, or did it really happen.....she is only 10


 

Dr. Rossi :

Even when you ask her to help you with things around the home and point out to her that she's good at whatever chore or task you've assigned to her. Praise and encouragement are to always be given. You may get her to journal. That would allow her to go back to her feelings and thoughts later on and observe what had transpired in an objective frame of mind.

Customer:

She often thinks things happened a certain way because she "felt" it that

Customer:

That is a good idea. I will get her a journal so she can write it out. That will also in some situations help her work through it.

Dr. Rossi :

The more she is willing to share with you, the more you can try to point out discrepancies b/w thinking, felling and action. If she feels that things happen one way or another, she may have the traits of intuitive/feeling type of a personality.

Dr. Rossi :

Let her know that her journal is private and that you would like her to feel open to share some of the things she's struggling with or needs feedback on.

Dr. Rossi :

There may be some books for her age that focus on building self esteem for young girls.

Customer:

I will give her a place to keep it in my room so she is confident nobody else will read it. Do I tell her I will check it everyday????

Dr. Rossi :

If there is an option for her to get involved in something like helping someone/volunteering with pets or elderly or children in some way, that would help build a sense of self esteem.

Customer:

I don't know but I can look for things.


 

Dr. Rossi :

No. Don't tell her that you'd be checking it. You'd want her to use that for her private thoughts. She may decide to share certain portions of what she's written down with you.


 

Dr. Rossi :

You could also take a blank piece of paper and make 4 columns on it. Mark each one- What happened, What I thought, What I felt, What could I've done differently. She can use that to write her experiences and then reflect on them.

Dr. Rossi :

She should journal at least once a day.

Customer:

She is in Tykwondo - Blue REd belt and is excellent - I could talk to her Coach about it as well. They have 3 girls and they all go to shcool together and play together. I know they will help however the can. Who knows maybe they think I don't even realize it as I have never said anything to them. I have just tried to help her here at home.

Dr. Rossi :

You could set some times that are convenient for both of you and have a "check in time" This means that the two of you sit down undisturbed and go over what had transpired during the day.

Customer:

Okay - I will do that. Good idea. Gives her the questions to answer to think it through.

Dr. Rossi :

Think of scenarios where she'd be empowered by doing something for someone.

Customer:

Okay.

Dr. Rossi :

You want her to start to feel competent rather than in need for others to help her.

Dr. Rossi :

Others help can be subtle.


 

Dr. Rossi :

You could do the check in time with her more frequently and over time spread it out to a couple of days and than to once a week.

Customer:

Yes - I want her to not need others approval all the time. I want her to have enough of her own approval

Dr. Rossi :

That would help her become reliant on herself as well. Of course, you always remind her that you're there for her.

Dr. Rossi :

She is still young and developing. Something to watch out for would be not to unconsciously project onto her some unresolved issues that you may have had with your mom.

Dr. Rossi :

Sometimes parents try to protect and save their children for heartache.

Dr. Rossi :

If she is spiritual, you could use spirituality to teach her that each person is as special as the other one. No individual is grand. Each person is on their own path in life.

Customer:

I try to help her see the way my Mom acts sometimes (and my Mom is trying to get better, at 76...) because now my girls see it the way I did as a child. I keep hoping I can help her understand the behaviour and it will help her with her own.


 

Dr. Rossi :

She most likely sees the difference b/w your mother and your own parenting style.

Customer:

She is spiritual. She is in a place right now where she thinks it is everyone else and not her. I understand it is a combination of everyone - but she doesn't see she has any issues.

Customer:

I do my very best to not say - "this is your fault...." I don't say that. But I also want her to understand in life when we have a problem we just can only control how we think about it, react to it, how it makes us feel. etc.....and do it in a right positive way so I don't make the issue worse.


 

Dr. Rossi :

Not seeing her own issues is her defense mechanism. Gently show her that everyone is learning throughout life. She may like some people more than others and the other way around. It is nothing personal. Just differences that exists among individuals.

Dr. Rossi :

Exactly. You're reminding her of her own self control and that things sometimes are out of ones control. She's still a child and does not have the experiences that older individuals do to be able to see it this way at the moment.

Dr. Rossi :

Yet, she can have faith in herself and faith in a higher power at the same time.

Customer:

Okay that is a good point. She has one girl in class that is constantly trying to get Cortni and her best friend apart. The little girl is insecure also and I try to explain to Cortni that is what is happening and why the other little girl is mean sometimes...do I just keep at it. I feel like a failure - nothing seems to help....


 

Dr. Rossi :

You can point out to her that sometimes when people are unhappy, they take their unhappiness onto others around them. You're not a failure. She has to decide to accept that what you're telling her is a fact and you're not just being her mom trying to smooth things for her.

Dr. Rossi :

Each experience in life is teaching her something about herself.

Dr. Rossi :

You can also let her know that if her friend happens to follow this other girl, that it is her choice. That perhaps she had not been a true friend if she does that.

Customer:

Okay so I just have to keep the course. I talk with her sister about it and I ask her to help me too...she tries but she gets frustrated with her sister more easily than I do.....

Dr. Rossi :

Or, if her friend befriends the other girl, it does not mean that she's not a good friend to your daughter. People can have more than one friend. She may be comparing herself or feeling left out depending on the interaction b/w the other two girls.

Dr. Rossi :

Her older sister can just stay positive and encourage her to do things. If she gets frustrated, let her know that at that moment, she is to take a break and speak to Cortni when she's calmer.

Customer:

No - her best friend does not follow the other girl. But I know from experience with my mom - you can only push people away for so long before they get tired and go away. I have good relationship with my Mom but it is because I chose to deal with it and not let it get to me. I am adult thought and these are babies. took me a long time to get here.

Dr. Rossi :

Her sister can think of giving her some choices. For example, some friends come over and she asks Cortni- do you want to go out with us or do you prefer that we all do something together at home. This is just an example.

Dr. Rossi :

Even kids can develop these sort of relational dynamics. This is how individuals learn about the world and others around them. Some lessons are not as good as others.

Customer:

Right - I will talk with katelyn about that. Katelyn is kind and she understands better. That is a good point. Make Cortni think they will do what she wants because she is important. It is give and take - not always your way but sometimes.

Dr. Rossi :

Having options/choices would help her feel like she's also participating in making a decision. They can include her in their "decision making process"

Customer:

She needs to feel included more. Good point.

Dr. Rossi :

She could try to see that her sister's friends are also her friends rather than these are "my sister's friends"

Customer:

I have asked Cortni to tell her sister when she is feeling insecure - rather than badgering her with a sock....etc....Katelyn told me today that she did that but Cortni doesn't see it that way. I think I will sit with them both later after the other girls are gone and try to go back over what happened so maybe we can get a clear picture and maybe Cortni will see it better.

Dr. Rossi :

Speaking to both of them is helpful. That way everyone will be on the same page. You could have both of them do a weekly check in with you.

Customer:

That is what is so weird - they are all friends equally. That is what perplexes me so much.

Dr. Rossi :

Sometimes people misunderstand one another and that causes the conflict when initially things were all right.

Customer:

How do I get back to you when I need to??? Is there a way I can get you back to talk with?

Dr. Rossi :

Perception is very important and must be kept in check at all times. What one person perceives is not the same as another one may see it.

Customer:

This is the hardest job I have ever had.....

Dr. Rossi :

If you're posting a question on this site, you can write at the start of the post For Dr.Rossi. That way I'd see it.

Dr. Rossi :

It is hard when you're empathizing with her.

Customer:

okay that is good.

Dr. Rossi :

You don't want her to suffer.

Dr. Rossi :

Just remind yourself that learning at times involves disappointments, You're raising her to be a realistic adult one day.

Dr. Rossi :

You're not per se saving her. You're showing her and teaching her how to do that for herself.

Dr. Rossi :

As she grows older, she'd become more autonomous in her thinking. Right now she's your young daughter.

Customer:

I know - I don't want to see my little girl live the way I watched my Mom for all those years. I just finally had to get to a point where she had to fall down and see it herself. Nothing worked with my Mom. It is funny now that she is 76 she comes to me and says things as she realizes it all - I just can't believe it - things we have talked about for years that she could never grasp, she is finally telling me. I don't wnat to see that happen to my little girl.

Dr. Rossi :

You're not your mom. So, your experiences and your daughters life with you is different.

Customer:

Okay - I have to think about it different too so I don't get my own emotions in a spin over it.

Dr. Rossi :

Exactly! That is what I'd caution you about. You're not trying to save Cortni as you were not saved by your mom. Metaphorically speaking.

Customer:

Okay that helps.

Dr. Rossi :

And, you're not reliving your past through Cortni.

Customer:

"teach" her a better way, so she can save herself (metaphorically speaking!)

Customer:

do you know of any books she could read??? she likes to read.

Dr. Rossi :

yes, teach through example, praise, objective feedback, letting her know the truth- that some people are different and each wants something out of life.

Dr. Rossi :

Do you have access to amazon.com?


 

Customer:

yes I do.


 

Dr. Rossi :

Just Between Us: A No-Stress, No-Rules Journal for Girls and Their Moms by Meredith Jacobs and Sofie Jacobs

Customer:

Oh thank you. I will order it right away.

Dr. Rossi :

You welcome.

Dr. Rossi :

Once you start the check in with her and the journaling, keep it consistent.

Customer:

Thank you for the help! I am going to keep at it and apply the new ideas, get her the books, and if I need more help I am going to check with you again.

Customer:

I will do that.

Dr. Rossi :

Sure!

Customer:

thanks so much

Dr. Rossi :

Take care. Pls remember to rate at the end!

Dr. Rossi, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4627
Experience: PsyD, LPC, CHt
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Expert:  Dr. Rossi replied 2 years ago.
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