Need Help!--13 year old isolates herself

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Need Help!--13 year old isolates herself
8
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 12:28pm
She isolates herself more than i did as a kid, so I'm worried. All she does is read and write about superheroes, like Bird of Prey, Batman, she likes "Charmed" as well. She grabs a plate of food and back into her room. She doesn't want to do much with me and her sister, nor has friends come over. She tells me she has friends at school, but that their weekend plans always fall through. I'm afraid that she might lose what's real and what's not, women are superheroes. Now she wants to take karate.

Anything i should be worried about, is it just finding her own likes and dislikes, boys like comic books. Is it puberty?

please help, any insight would be great.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2003
Wed, 04-02-2003 - 10:10pm
Don't worry about her, i went through that faze, accually i'm just comeing out of it, i'm 15, my faze hit about middle of grade 8. don't worry, she just wants time alone, to figure herself out. Don't bug her about not spending time with friends or u, my parents did that to me and i just isolated myself further. Let her do Karate, let her get out of the house when she wants, support her, let her know she is welcome to go out with her friends or spend time with her family. Let her find something that she will forward to doing like Karate, my thing was Horses, i would spend hours by myself with my horse, i really enjoyed it, and still do, my parents never and still don't understand it. If ur duaghter enjoys Karate she will give all shes got for it. So don't worry about her it's just a faze, which she will get over it as soon as she feels comfortable.
Avatar for heartsandroses2002
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 8:18am
My 13 y/o does this also. Like Susan, I've learned that the less I say about it the better. We've discussed what is required, such as dinner and certain family events, but we let her have her space. I think its important to respect her need to be alone. Not just playing mindless games on the computer, but just sitting in her room listening to music and/or reading a magazine. She really enjoys just being by herself. And we do talk - alot. Our best times for talking and catching up are in the car and at bedtimes. When I stop in to say good night, I'll sit sometimes and she freely tells me about her thoughts, ideas and her day. And I often will take only her with me to run errands so that we can catch up.

As long as you afford her the time for privacy and time alone, and clearly explain 'family times' and then let go, she'll come around again. I can see that my dd is becoming more and more interested in being with us these days.

Good luck

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 7:58am
I remember that when my ds was in 7th grade, he tended not to spend time with his friends on weekends even tho he said he had plenty at school. The beginning of 8th grade was the same, and I spoke to him about it. He just liked being alone. At least your dd is doing soemthing creative. My ds would watch tv and play video games. Then, something kind of happened, I don't know what, but he started hanging out with his friends after school and on weekends and now I never see him unless he's grounded for something.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 11:17pm
Yes - taking away the disapproval AND offering compromise - this is great :-)

And sometimes just reminding her she's *wanted*; that her presence is *enjoyed* - this is what communicates itself through these kinds of compromises too.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 11:13pm
I totally agree. These are all great suggestions. -nt
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 4:27pm
I totally understand, I also have a 13 year old dd. She is almost 14 and SEEMS to be coming out of her isolation year a bit.

I thought it was awful at first. Then she finally convinced me that she wasn't unhappy and that she enjoyed her alone time. That she just had a lot to think about...or sometimes a lot NOT to think about.

So we made some compromises about times that we expected that she partake of 'family times' and times that she could choose. Funny thing was that once we stopped bugging her about it, she actually didn't spend quite as much time alone as she was doing before.

She was expected to visit with me for 15 minutes after she came home from school...after that she was free to do 'whatever'. Most times it ended up more like 45 minutes or so. She was expected to eat dinner with the family and help to either make dinner or clean up after. Three nights a week are designated nights that she spends at least until 8:30 doing things in the 'common areas' of the house. She can be on the computer, playing the piano, reading, watching TV or whatever she chooses as long as she is a 'presence'. After that time and on the other nights she may choose...we ALWAYS invite her to join us if we are watching TV or playing a game or such. I think just taking the disapproval away made things so much more comfortable. Both for us and for her.

Good Luck! And people call 2 terrible~~ LOL. Susan

Wishing you a wonderful day!  Susan ~ Parentsoup 'CL'
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 1:51pm
Hi and welcome to the board. I think you should let her take karate. Of course I'm biased - we are a martial arts family. If nothing else it will be a way for her to meet kids that might share some similar interests and could help her with self-confidence if she's lacking in that area. As far as the isolation - it's normal for kids this age to want their privacy but I'd insist that she spend some time with the family, too. Instead of letting her take her dinner into her room make her eat with the family - meals can often be a good time to 'connect'. Try to spend some extra time with just her - maybe offer to take her out for lunch and to buy a new book or some new writing materials. Express interest in what she's reading about and writing about - perhaps read a couple of her books or comics so you can discuss them. If nothing else, she can read on the living room couch as easily as she can read in her room!

Glad you found us and I hope you stick around.

Pam



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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 12:34pm
Personally, I'd let her do the karate thing. That'll ground her in reality as much as anything else I can think of, plus there may be some self esteem things going on that karate should address.

If things aren't any worse than you've described them, I'd say welcome to parenting a 13 year old.

Have fun, it's a bumpy ride.

Firefly