Hello and Thank You for consulting Just Answer. As a Parenting expert, I will gladly assist you with your concerns. First of all, I would like a little background information to assist me in addressing the situation.
How long have you been the legal guardian?
Have there been any past or recent traumas that may attribute to this young girl feeling the way she does?
Does she have many friends?
How does she perform academically at school?
Are you and her religious?
Thank you in advance for your responses!!!
Some more questions...
Does she have any weight issues?
Is she changing schools..ie...starting high school?
Is she shy?
Is she in sports?
Does she seem happy or sad the majority of time?
What were the results of previous counseling?
My apologies. Sometimes having background information can assist with providing you with a more comprehensive answer.
I am trying to ascertain any reasons why the young lady may feel the way she does as well as her current strengths and weaknesses in order to provide you with a better sense of direction.
about 1 year - How long have you been the legal guardian?
She lost her parents - Have there been any past or recent traumas that may attribute to this young girl feeling the way she does?
First of all in raising children, especially teenagers, open and honest communication is a key ingredient in maintaining healthy and positive relationships. Make sure she is able to communicate with you freely without being judged all of the time.
Second, focus on her strengths: the things that she does well and seems to have a strong interest in. Really praise her for her accomplishments whether it be in school, sports, or other interests. Do not focus on the negative aspects of her life too much. That will only make her feel worse.
Thirdly, keep her involved in activities with other teens around her age. Whether it be in church youth groups, community service organizations, etc. She needs to feel a sense of belongingness and that her contributions matter and are meaningful. This will help her improve her self esteem as well.
If she is not happy, ask her what she would like to do that would make her happy. Have her create a list of short term and long term goals and the things that need to be done to achieve those goals.
You might want to try another counselor. The previous counselor may not have been a good match.
Let me know if you need more assistance or would like to continue our discussion.
I certainly do sympathize with you as well as the young lady. Losing both parents is difficult for anyone, especially children. That issue is probably the most pressing and needs to be addressed thoroughly. Hopefully, you can have her be seen by a child psychologist who specializes in loss and grief with children. She needs to meet with the psychologist on an on going basis. You may need to seek counseling as well so that you can learn intervention and coping techniques in how to deal with her and this situation.
With regards XXXXX XXXXX school, they must be more sensitive to the needs of your child. If that means that you need to speak to the assistant principal or principal, then by all means do so. You need to advocate for the rights of this beautiful young lady. Don't allow her to slip through the cracks. If you need to email her teachers weekly or every other week, then do that as well.
It sounds like this young lady has some self esteem issues which are understandable. High school can be so cruel and she is probably desperately trying to find her place and fit in. Encourage her to be involved in as many extracurricular activities as possible and that are allowable for her schedule without impacting her grades. She will meet new people and start to blossom. She will come out of her shell.
You will need to be a role model for this fine young lady now. She will be watching your every move because you are her mom and dad now. So be positive. Help her stay focused. Encourage her. Talk to her about the ups and downs in life. Make her feel like a princess. Tell her that she is beautiful. Travel with her. Go out on the weekends every once in a while for special activities. She needs to be exposed to lots of great and wonderful good things in the world. Then she can start to prioritize what she wants out of life with a little guidance from you along the way.
Hope this provided you with a little insight. If you need more assistance, please let me know.