I was just reading on your site and bookmarked it….Your advice is very sound and solid. So, I was wondering if you could direct me as to how to deal with my daughter? I am a single mom with a very limited income and I don’t know what else to do except to go try to find free help online somehow. My daughter comes from a broken home. I divorced my ex 4 years ago. We just recently, about a year ago moved to Texas from Virginia. My daughter has great friends in school. But seems to be depressed a lot. She draws constantly and says that it helps with her depression it makes her feel happy…though…she is obsessed with it…to a point that it is affecting her grades and school work, she is failing. She admits she is obsessed and cant help herself. I dont know what to do nor how to approach the situation and get past it…I dont have the money to take her to a therapist. Would love to find an online service that has counselors that she can chat with that I could pay a very affordable service fee and she could get on the internet and chat for advice and to help keep her going in the right direction….She is on the pc a lot and also loves to role play. Could you help direct me as to how to get through this and get my daughter (Keri) out of the hole she has put herself in and thinking in a more healthy light. I have tried to reason with her and make her realize the seriousness of her education and what it means to her…I dont know what else to do.
I understand that you are going through a tough time but your daughter seems to be going through a tougher time.
You need to first identify the reasons for your daughter’s self proclaimed depression.
Ask her about what is bothering her- Is it the moving? Is it any person in her or your life? Or is she missing daddy? How does she feel towards you? Is there any anger in her? What do friends and teachers tell her? How do they view her? Get to know these aspects indirectly while talking to her.
Ask her about her drawings, the theme, what she means to depict, who is drawn, which situations are portrayed, what colours and strokes she uses, etc. Even this can give you an insight into her feelings. You can then clarify by asking her about it.
Find out what she does on the pc: What kind of sites she is visiting? Which games is she playing? Is there any unpleasant thing on the net that she has seen? It could be anything. But you need to be aware.
Talk to her as a friend rather than preaching about things. Ask her what she feels or thinks about different things. Find out what does Keri really need and make it available to her.
You mentioned that you’re a single mother. Do you yourself get stressed out and express certain things to her? If yes, you must avoid that at all costs. Be fair to her.
Do you spend enough time with your daughter? Is she getting enough of your love and affection? She needs the comfort of a mother and the security of a father, which depends now solely on you and the way you deal with her. So make sure you’re there for her when she needs to talk.
Make exclusive time for the two of you where you indulge in fun activities, maybe watch comedy movies together, or go swimming, anything within your range and that she enjoys.
Convey to her that you love her a lot. Show physical affection whenever you can.
Discuss about various topics with her.
Invite her friends over sometimes and organize a fun evening for them. That would give both of you a reason to loosen up.
It is not easy to be a single mother but remember that it isn’t easy being a child of a single parent either!
You could also go through the link given on the editorial page for divorced parents and children.
Good luck to you. Hope you found some solace and answers to your queries.