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Ask TherapistJen Your Own Question
TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 3382
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
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My almost 10 year old daughter wakes up angry almost every

Customer Question

My almost 10 year old daughter wakes up angry almost every morning and yells that she just wants to be nice. She says the popular girls leave her out and people say mean things like she is coo coo, crazy, and they tell her she is sensitive. I got worried when she told me she has a place in her mind that she puts these people in prison or dead in this imaginary place to cope with her anger....what should i do?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 4 years ago.
Hi. Welcome. I am a Licensed Master Social Worker with more than 20 years experience working with individuals and families. I am also a mom of Twins.

I am sorry to hear of the pain that your daughter is in and the associated fears you feel. Clearly there are some things going on for her and it sounds as if she is being bullied by these girls. She is without an outlet for these feelings and comes up with a place in her mind to put these girls so that their behavior toward her just stops. she is frightened, confused and angry that this is happening to her.

You are doing a great job by giving her the reassurance and love that she needs from you, but she also needs the coping skills to deal with these girls so that their mean behavior toward her doesn't affect her to this level.

I might suggest that you take her to see a child therapist so that she has a place to talk of these feelings and get the support she needs while going through this. At this age, as quickly as these girls have turned on her is as quickly as it could stop as they turn their aggression toward someone else. Her is some additional information on bullying and things you can do.

I commend you for taking this seriously and supporting your daughter and wanting to get the help that she needs to process these feelings. You may start with a visit to her pediatrician as they may have a few therapists that they work closely and you can coordinate care.

She may also be very worried as the new school year approaches so getting her this support now would be the best thing to do. Please let me know how i can support you further.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I think the girls are bullying her as much as she feels left out of the group if no one wants to play a game she has made up.
Her father re-entered her life about 7 months ago, and he is now out of her life again due to the domestic violence in the home; he has health issues as well as a drug problem. so
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 4 years ago.
Yes she has a lot going on and she doesnt have the outlet to express it all. I would speak with the school when school starts to nip this problem at the beginning of the school.
I would definitely speak with the pediatrician so they can recommend someone for her to see. She has been a victim of bullying and also a witness to domestic violence and now the loss of him leaving the home as well. She needs this support as do you.
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 4 years ago.
I am touching base again as i was alerted that you gave a rating of Bad Service for my work. Please let me know what was unsatisfactory so that i may help you better with your needs.

Your daughter is suffering and I have made several recommendations on what to do for her during this time. Speak with the school about the problem there, take her to your pediatrician and a child therapist so that she has an outlet to express her feelings. Keep doing as you are by providing her reassurance and love and giving her the skills for standing up for herself and finding other friends who share similar interests.

Please let me know how I can help you further as a rating of bad service indicates that i haven't helped you at all and my goal is to be able to do so. I will await your comments.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The suggestions you gave are things have already looked into. I reached out to you for more insight; already know she needs to speak with someone about her feelings. can you offer any other insight into these issues?
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 4 years ago.
Hi Cindy,
thanks for getting back to me. The information you provide in your question and the things you have already tried are where we, the experts, draw our information from when assessing the situation and offering suggestions based on that and our insight. Nowhere in your question or in the things you have tried suggests that you looked into the things I mentioned. So, I gave you my best insight and suggestions based on the information your provided. I do not believe the response and insight that I gave warranted a rating of bad service, which hurts my professional reputation.

If you now say these are things you know and have looked into, then I am glad you have done that. Let me know what the school has said about the bullying and what they plan to do about it and then we can go from there and see if their strategies suit your needs. In addition, will she be starting therapy soon? If you don't have a therapist, I can help you locate one.

Girls are entering adolescence earlier and earlier and they are having to deal with many more things such as the situations you describe. There is a wonderful book for you to read on the topic which can also help give some insight into the minds of adolescent girls. It is called... "Reviving Ophelia," by Mary Pipher. This has been an invaluable tool for many parents.

So again, these are my best thoughts, insights and suggestions and I am happy to continue the dialog with you so I can understand it more and support you through this. Clearly she is suffering and needs that extra support. The things you are doing by giving her love and holding her are truly wonderful and she needs that too.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

thank you for your continued dialogue with me. your last response with book suggestion is helpful. will look into that today.

I have discussed the opition of speaking with someone to her, but she rejects and changes the subject non chalantley.

so no she is not in therepy as of yet. do you have any suggestion on how to bring up this topic with her? any conversation starters??



Today she was reading me school work and what s wrote and said caught me off guard. the assigment is to fill in the blank of I AM....I GetM

Ect. she wrote 1. i sometimes feel left out 2. worry my pants will fall down in class, 3. cry when am embarassed. I casually asked her when was the last time she felt embarassed. Her example she gave to explain had t d wth if someone aked her to pull her pants down..I aked if that ever happened she said no it was just an example. tld trust her and believe i want her to feel comfortable o tell me anything. What else should say or do???

Expert:  TherapistJen replied 4 years ago.

Hi Cindy,
She is really beginning to do a great job of opening up. When she tells you what she has I would support her as you have and let her know that all of what she is feeling is quite normal and although she may feel like she is the only one feeling scared, embarrassed or filled with worry, that she can rest assured that many of the other girls are feeling the same things inside and they may not show it either. Sometimes this simple statement of letting her know that she is not alone could be helpful. Encourage her to keep talking to you so you can share some experiences with her too. As an example..."when I was a young girl, I felt left out on the playground. I felt sad inside, but I walked over to another girl who was on her own and asked her to play together. It felt scary to do that, but I was so glad, I did."

In terms of having her speak to someone, keep encouraging her to talk to you and let her know that if she desires to talk to someone you would bring her. Then you might find someone who uses play therapy so it won't feel so scary for her.

I want you to also know that what she is going through is quite normal. Young adolescence can be a tough time for all girls, and I am betting that each girl in the class feels as your daughter does. You can also let her know that when these girls are being mean it is their way, however wrong, to express their own fears. Encourage her to stay strong, know she is loved and find other girls who are kind.

Hope these additional thoughts are helpful. Keep being the great Mom you are and continue to encourage her to speak to you.